Collaborate therapy is based on a reciprocal and equal approach and was developed by Harlene Anderson and Tom Anderson. By creating a client-consultant relationship in which both parties use experience and knowledge to identify and examine challenges and conditions, collaborative therapy encourages the development of free thinking to attain progress. This form of therapy remains constant whether being used by individuals, groups, families, or corporations.
Collaborative therapy focuses on ideas that form knowledge as coming from the social realm, and that knowledge itself is the exponent of many beliefs. Ultimately, knowledge is the byproduct of social discourse and communication. Action is a result of this communication and the action taken is based on the knowledge derived from all parties. When implementing collaborative therapy in an organizational arena, the goal is to marry the organizations in such a way as to uncover a solution to the presenting barriers.
The postmodern view of collaborative therapy varies greatly from the idea that a consultant is the sole authority of said organizational social culture. This technique is accomplished by engaging all parties in an organizational conversation, a linguistic dialogue of sorts. Inquiries are encouraged and exploration by both parties is a natural element of this form of therapy. By opening the lines of communication, each party can contribute ideas and perspectives that will further the discussions and result in more cohesive solutions. The client and the consultant, along with the other members, all join together as partners in voicing, suggesting, inquiring, and developing the narratives.
This open discourse conflicts with the post-modernism ideal of thinking and knowledge being concrete and singular. Rather, collaborative therapy adheres to the core belief that knowledge is separate from the knower and that there is not one precise voice or solution. This therapy challenges the foundation of political and social ideology and strives to bring people and strategies together to achieve innovate and beneficial change.