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In recent years there has been a growing trend suggesting the importance of writing letters to clients.
In part this reflects the democratisation of therapy and a loosening of the power relationships within many approaches. Accepting that therapy is a doing-with rather than a doing-to activity means there is an emphasis on involving clients in their own treatment.
For example now in the UK NHS it is standard policy and procedure for clients to have copies of all letters written about them. Good practice emphasises that letters should take into account the sensitivies of the client, be written without jargon and be respectful.
Beyond this some therapist like to write periodic letters summarizing the course of therapy in order to consolidate the agreed understanding of the work and to serve as a basis for negotiation as to future direction. The reformulation letter introduced by Anthony Ryle into Cognitive Analytic Therapy is a good example of this practice.
- Pierides, M. (1999) Writing to patients. Psychiatric Bulletin, 23, 385-386.