The Concise OED describes attitude as settled behaviour indicating opinion, and attitude of mind as settled mode of thinking. It calls to mind a sort of consolidation or gathering in preparation for doing something, and an orientation of intent and approach.
My dictionary does not refer to the spirited and somewhat oppositional sort of attitude that is sometimes associated with adolescence.
Both meanings apply in understanding what I mean by Therapeutic Attitude. A grounded, consistent, aligned position is needed, and this needs to be oriented towards the subject of the therapeutic intent (in clinical contexts the patient or the clinical problem). But this settled alignment and orientation is not enough. It is no use being too appeasing or mainstream. At some point the person needs to reach a place that they, or the government of the day, did not expect or want. This is the more (at least potentially) oppositional aspect of attitude. Without it, what follows risks being neither therapy, nor in the untrammelled interests of the person.
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