Understanding the Counselling Relationship

SAGE
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`This book presents contrasting views of the relationship between the counsellor, or therapist, and the client, as held by practitioners from diverse theoretical orientations. Each chapter clarifies and considers the elements of the counselling relationship which have the most bearing on therapeutic practice and the strengths of each are highlighted in terms of understanding, theory and skills' - New Therapist

It is now widely accepted that the therapeutic relationship - referred to here as the counselling relationship - may be the most significant element in effective practice. Understanding the Counselling Relationship presents contrasting views of the relationship between the counsellor or therapist and the client, as held by practitioners from diverse theoretical orientations.

Each chapter clarifies and considers the elements of the counselling relationship which have most bearing on therapeutic practice. The strengths of each position are highlighted in terms of understanding, theory and skills. The relevance of certain psychological, sociological and research-based issues for practitioners from a variety of theoretical backgrounds are also considered.

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About the author

Colin Feltham is series editor of Professional Skills for Counsellors and Short Introductions to the Therapy Professions series, co-editor of SAGE Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy and author of several SAGE texts, including What is Counselling?

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE
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Published on
Jul 9, 1999
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781446239698
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Psychotherapy / General
Social Science / Human Services
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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`This book explores what clients have to say about their experience of the psychotherapeutic process. David Howe observes that, regardless of the therapist's theoretical orientation, clients say similar things about their experience of being helped (and not being helped). It is the non-specifics of genuineness, a secure trusting atmosphere, empathy and warmth that offer the vehicle for encouraging a dialogue of personal intimate material, and of "making sense" and understanding when we are in pain, puzzled or worried.... This is an easy and gentle read.... For those interested in Attachment Theory, this would be a useful addition to their bookshelf' - Clinical Psychology Forum

There is a growing interest in what clients have to say about their experiences of counselling and psychotherapy. In a powerful analysis of this subject, David Howe identifies a number of clear and potent messages. He explores such questions as why clients say the things they say and why the therapeutic alliance holds out such promise, and, using the client's experience as a platform, seeks to create a general theory of counselling and psychotherapy.

The author draws on a number of new and exciting ideas emerging in developmental psychology, sociology and the brain sciences to discuss the process by which the human infant becomes an individual as well as a competent social being. From the basis that the social and psychological structures which generate the client's experience underlie all psychotherapeutic encounters, the book then explores how the self forms and then re-forms in social relationships, including those established during counselling and psychotherapy. In conclusion, the reader is invited to consider a number of thought-provoking claims about the universal qualities that characterize good and bad practice in all schools of counselling, therapy and the helping process.

`Excellent... [the book] explores the "provision of effective counselling with limited resources and under strict time pressures"... with some excellent writing on the nature of time and attitudes to time in counselling and psychotherapy... the evidence in favour [of short-term counselling] is put strongly. Colin Feltham favours it as an approach of choice for certain clients, which should co-exist with (rather than adversarially seek to oust and replace) longer-term therapy... he draws from a wide range of literature, while identifying those key ingredients, skills and strategies that he has found especially significant. He also discusses some of the different contexts in which this work operates... Many of the questions and issues he poses... will be picked up most productively in training and supervision sessions' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Time-limited counselling - that is, the provision of effective counselling with limited resources and under strict time pressures - is becoming increasingly important as the demand for counselling increases, and the management of waiting lists and costs becomes a crucial concern.

In this clearly written book, which incorporates useful, illustrative examples, Colin Feltham outlines the specific practical and technical skills, strategies and knowledge counsellors must have in order to undertake time-limited counselling. Following an examination of the client's induction into counselling, he describes the most appropriate models for different clients and problems. Further chapters assess the management of time-limited counselling in different settings - including private practice - and look at research, training and supervision issues.

Squarely addressing the objections to the use of, and real problems in, the practice of this short-term therapeutic paradigm, the author argues that time-limited counselling can be justified not only on economic grounds but also ethically, philosophically, clinically and with reference to consumer preferences. He also identifies the common factors in successful short-term work that span different theoretical orientations.

Failure, success's ugly sister, is inevitable - cognitively, biologically and morally. We all make mistakes, we all die, and we all get it wrong. A chain of flaws can be traced through all phenomena, natural and human. We see impending and actual failures in individual lives, in marriages, careers, in religion, education, psychotherapy, business, nations, and in entire civilizations. And there are chronic and imperceptible failures in everyday domains that most of the time we barely notice, often until it is too late. Colin Feltham expores what constitutes failure across a number of domains. He takes guidance from the work of such diverse philosophers and thinkers as Diogenes, Epictetus, Augustine, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Cioran and Ricoeur, while also drawing on the insights of artists and writers such as van Gogh, Arthur Miller, Philip Larkin, Samuel Beckett, Charles Bukowski and Philip Roth. Precursors and partial synonyms for failure can be seen in the concepts of hamartia, sin, fallenness, non-being, false consciousness and anthropathology. Philosophy can help us but is itself, in its reliance on language and logic, subject to inherent flaws and failures. It is the very pervasiveness yet common denial of failure which makes it a compelling topic that cries out for honest analysis. We live in a time when the cliche of failed Marxism may be segueing frighteningly (for some) into the failure of 'selfish capitalism', in a time of geopolitical uncertainty and failure to address the dire need for agreement and action on climate change. But many of us are also painfully aware of our own shortcomings, our own weakness of will and lack of authenticity. Trying to identify where the lines may be drawn between individual responsibility, social policy, and historical and biological dark forces is a key challenge in this fascinating book.
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