Multiple intelligences and the therapeutic alliance: Incorporating multiple intelligence theory and practice in counselling
Pearson, M. (2011). Multiple intelligences and the therapeutic alliance: Incorporating multiple intelligence theory and practice in counselling. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 13(3), 263-278. doi:10.1080/13642537.2011.596725
How many ways do counselling clients reflect and communicate? How many ways can counsellors respond to client needs? Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (MI) has only recently been applied to the field of counselling. This discussion highlights the contribution MI theory and practice can make to developing the therapeutic alliance, to supporting a culture of client feedback, to enhancing counsellor flexibility, and to the overall effectiveness of therapy. The therapeutic alliance has been shown to contribute significantly to positive outcomes from counselling. Recent research highlights the positive impact from modifying treatment in response to client needs and interests. Understanding clients’ preferred intelligences enhances counsellors’ ability to tailor treatment. This article argues that counsellors and their clients could experience increases in the therapeutic alliance, in feedback and the effectiveness of the therapeutic process as a result of using MI theory and practice, offered in the form of expressive therapies. Possible new foundations for eclecticism, new directions for counsellor training and enhancement of practice are discussed.