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Issues and Debates – A History of Psychological Practice

4. Rebalancing Power

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In this lecture, we think about rebalancing power in psychological therapy, focusing in particular on: (i) how the relationship between a therapist and a person accessing therapy has changed over time, resulting in the modern ‘equal partner’ dynamic; (ii) the early work of Philippe Pinel, who helped influence viewpoints on patients in ‘lunatic asylums’ to improve their living conditions; (iii) the role of Carl Rogers in furthering this relationship development by implementing person-centred therapy; (iv) the role of ‘experts by experience’, whereby those who have experienced the issues being presented by the client are involved in the therapy; (v) current regulations around balancing power in experiments, such as informed consent and the right to withdraw.


In this course, Dr Marc Williams (Cardiff University) explores the history of psychological practice, contextualised primarily around our understanding of mental health. In the first lecture, we think about how normality has been classified over time, looking at classification manuals like the DSM and ICD, and some of the consequences of differing classifications. In the second lecture, we think about the biopsychosocial model and its influence over the elements of cognitive behavioural therapy. Next, we think about psychological formulation and its more holistic view of clients undergoing therapy. In the fourth and final lecture, we think about the balance of power between therapist and patient/client, and how this has changed to become more equal over time.


Dr Marc Williams is a senior academic tutor and honorary senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. His university work centres around the doctoral programme in clinical psychology, including supervising doctoral theses and supporting trainees. Dr Williams’ research interests include eating disorders and people’s relationship with their environment. Some of Dr Williams' recent publications include 'Attentional bias in eating disorders: a meta review' (2021) and 'The relationship between climate change and mental health information-seeking: a preliminary investigation' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Williams, M. (2022, March 15). Issues and Debates – A History of Psychological Practice - Rebalancing Power [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Williams, M. "Issues and Debates – A History of Psychological Practice – Rebalancing Power." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Mar 2022,

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