Manipulate: to handle, manage, or use, esp. with skill, in some process of treatment or performance
No. Definitely not. There was no manipulation whatsoever and I was on crack for thinking it. To which the rest of the class nodded sagely, looked at me as if I'd grown an extra head and I decided to keep said theory myself for the duration of my university career. Turned out that graduate school was more about parroting existing dogma than thinking outside the box.
If I go to a therapist or social worker with the problem that I want to change and which I have been unsuccessful in changing myself, I am asking them to take me out of my comfort zone and help me change the way I think or act and you can call that empowerment, guidance or manipulation, but as long as there is a contract between client and change agent, it's ethical practice. Getting hung up in the definition of a word that is most often used… well. The term little minds is flitting about in my brain, but that's probably arrogant.
Maybe ir's the word geek in me?