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Counselling and Counselling Psychology: A Critical Examination

by Colin Feltham PCCS Books
Pub Date:
Pbk 160 pages
AU$47.99 NZ$48.69
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Any theory is only as strong as its capacity to withstand sustained critical examination. The practice of critique must, therefore, form the basis of both good academic work and thoughtful clinical practice. This new series of ‘Critical Examinations’ looks at the claims of Psychology and various of its sub-disciplines.

This book by Colin Feltham, one of the field’s most prominent figures and insider critics, examines fairly but radically the claims and practices of counsellors and counselling psychologists using both macro-critical and micro-critical lenses. Beginning with the deep context of human distress, it sets the scene for key areas for critique, including a focus on the most significant originators of the talking therapy models. The central theoretical concepts of the major approaches are examined afresh in some depth. Components of everyday counselling practice are placed under a critical microscope. Research-based claims are exposed to renewed scrutiny and the professional aspirations of counselling and counselling psychology are not spared a similar critical treatment. A review of relevant socio-economic and philosophical critiques with possible responses rounds off this important appraisal of a psychological practice that has become, for good and/or otherwise, an unavoidable feature of our lives.

Of interest to under-graduate psychologists, post-graduate practitioners, academics and policy-makers. Also for anyone with an interest in critiquing the expansion of psychology throughout the media and our daily lives.

Acknowledgements; Abbreviations and acronyms used in the text; 1. Where did it all go wrong? Origins of human suffering, attempted remedies, and critiques; 2. Key figures in counselling psychology; 3. Problems of counselling theory; 4. Problems of counselling practice; 5. Problems of counselling research; 6. Problems of counselling psychology as a profession; 7. Summarising and answering the critiques; Index

Colin Feltham provides an informed critical look at the key figures, theories, practices and research strategies associated with these professions.  In doing so he raises numerous questions that many try to ignore, avoid or didn’t even know existed. Terry Hanley, University of Manchester, Editor of Counselling Psychology Review. …The honest exploration expected in counselling is turned on its own organisations, theories and practices. Candid and clearly written throughout, this is a very useful bean-spilling book. David Pilgrim, Professor of Health and Social Policy, University of Liverpool. In Colin Feltham’s latest book, you won’t find banal self-satisfaction about therapy’s beneficence, or yet another yawn-generating formulaic textbook … For therapy trainings that seek to produce critically minded practitioners who are sensitive to both therapy’s strengths and its many lacunae, this book is seminal reading – and for all therapists… Dr Richard House, University of Winchester; author of In, Against and Beyond Therapy, and co-editor of Against and For CBT (both PCCS Books)
Colin Feltham is Emeritus Professor of Critical Counselling Studies, Sheffield Hallam University. His publications include Psychotherapy and its Discontents (with Windy Dryden, Open University Press, 1992), Controversies in Psychotherapy and Counselling (Sage, 1999), Critical Thinking in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2010), Failure (Acumen, 2012) and The Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 3rd edn. (edited with Ian Horton, Sage, 2012).