Beyond Harms: Exploring the Individual and Shared Goods of Psychotherapy

Blaine J. Fowers, Austen R. Anderson, G. Tyler Lefevor, Samantha Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Wendt, Gone, and Nagata raise some very important questions about harm in psychotherapy and initiate a valuable dialogue between scholars of potentially harmful therapy and multicultural counseling and psychotherapy. This comment enlarges upon the authors’ view that harms cannot be understood independently of goods by providing an argument that goods have an inherent place in psychotherapy and in multicultural viewpoints. The goods of psychotherapy (e.g., justice, respect) are ordinary and widely endorsed rather than esoteric or objectionable. Identifying these goods makes it possible to organize them into a coherent hierarchy that enables an integration of the primarily individual goods of standard psychotherapy and the primarily communal goods of a multicultural perspective. This can facilitate a mutually informative and enriching dialogue between scholars from these two domains. The hope is to encourage a more open discussion of the goods of psychotherapy, thereby fostering a more reflective, progressive discipline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-392
Number of pages13
JournalThe Counseling Psychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • ethics
  • goods
  • harms
  • multiculturalism
  • psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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