There is no one that teaches us more about the work we do than our clients themselves. This is true for any of the helping professions and is certainly true for speech pathologists. It is through our interactions and applying theory, practically, to the presenting problems that we both perform the craft and grow in the craft. It’s like a beautiful double helix – these strands are wound around each other.

The Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology is intentionally elevating this concept in its current issue, Vol 22, No2, 2020.

Our Rosie was invited to make a contribution to this discussion. She quotes criminologist, Fergus McNeill (2012, p 31):

“The process of change exists before, behind and beyond the intervention”

She goes on to write:

“For me, this frees me of the need to position myself as an expert. I can just be me. My clients can be who they are. We meet as ourselves: equal in our humanity, differing in our knowledges, each of us needed in the bettering of the world we share… All of the following are needed for excellent work to go ahead: the two people in their connection, their two knowledges.I might have a therapy road map in mind.

They’ll have a map too. Or confess to being lost. Moreover, their story might make me feel lost. Together we can co-create a route and enjoy the highs and challenges of a trip with new sights and horizons.”

That’s how it is. Co-creation. It’s an honour and a privilege and a pleasure. As therapists, we are deeply grateful.



Braithwaite, J. (2002) Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation. New York, Oxford University Press.

Fredrickson, B. L. (2016). ‘Love: Positivity resonance as a fresh, evidence-based perspective on an age-old topic’. In L. F. Barrett, M. Lewis, & J. M. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, 4th edition (pp. 847-858). New York, NY. Guilford Press.

McNeill, F (2012), Four Forms of ‘Offender’ Rehabilitation: Toward an Interdisciplinary Perspective, Legal and Criminological Psychology, 17(1): 18-36.