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A multiple intelligences approach to counseling: enhancing alliances with a focus on strengths
Journal of Psychotherapy Integration (2015)
  • Associate Professor Caroline Bulsara, The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Mark Pearson, University of Adelaide
  • Patrick O'Brien, University of Southern Queensland
This qualitative study investigated the experiences of 8 counselors as they introduced
multiple intelligences theory and activities into therapy with adult clients. As research
on the application of multiple intelligences in the field of education has revealed many
positive psychological benefits, this study explores possible therapeutic benefits from
incorporating multiple intelligences within therapy. Semistructured interviews, conducted
3 months post multiple intelligences training, were transcribed and analyzed
using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The major themes that emerged included
perceptions of enhanced therapeutic alliances, more effective professional work,
experiences of increased confidence, positive client response to a strength-based
approach, positive client responses to a multiple intelligences preference survey, and
positive outcomes from the use of music. Implications include the value of further
long-term research on the benefits of using a multiple intelligence approach to therapy
as an integrating metatheory, and instructing counseling trainees in the routine assessment
of client abilities through the use of the multiple intelligences approach.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Pearson, M., O'Brien, P., Bulsara, C.E. (2015). A multiple intelligences approach to counseling: enhancing alliances with a focus on strengths. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 25(2), 128-142. DOI: 10.1037/a0038881