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Boundaries, Power and Ethical Responsibility in Counselling and Psychotherapy

by Kirsten Amis SAGE Publications Ltd
Pub Date:
Pbk 184 pages
AU$59.99 NZ$60.00
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The boundaries of the therapeutic relationship are a crucial part of effective therapy. But understanding them, and the effects of power and responsibility, can be intimidating to trainee or newly-qualified therapists. This book will take them step-by-step through everything they need to know to work ethically and safeguard the wellbeing of both themselves and their clients.  


It tackles:  

· Contracting and the importance of negotiating and clarifying boundaries with clients  

· The implications and limits of maintaining confidentiality  ·         Keeping clear sexual boundaries, and how to work around issues safely and appropriately  

· What happens when circumstances change, and everyday or serious disruptions occur to therapy  

· The nature of the therapist’s power, and how to employ it responsibly to a client’s benefit.


Packed with case studies, ethical dilemmas and points for reflection and discussion, this is an essential read for trainee practitioners and qualified therapists looking to ensure safe and ethical practice.

Defining therapeutic boundaries, power and responsibility
Setting out together: contracting
Holding confidentiality
Navigating dual relationships
Keeping clear and safe sexual boundaries
Saying goodbye: therapeutic and ethical endings
Boundaries under pressure: managing change and disruption
Boundaries as communication: understanding challenges from clients
Maintaining boundaries: ethically responsible and therapeutic use of the therapist's power

This book draws attention to complex areas in counselling and psychotherapy that are difficult to manage.  In clear steps, Kirsten Amis guides us through the maze of ethics, boundaries and power.  Her common-sense wisdom shines through the text in a way that will enhance the practice of any therapist that takes it to heart. This is a great book for students and practitioners alike. Professor Alistair Ross     Director of Psychodynamic Studies, Oxford University          


This book addresses issues that are critical for the development of sound and ethical counselling practice. It challenges the trainee counsellor to think through numerous scenarios that could occur in any practice. It is well organised in relevant chapters and would be a stimulating read for a voracious learner.      Emeritus Professor Sue Wheeler     University of Leicester          


This is a valuable addition to current literature and will be useful and informative to those new to counselling and to experienced practitioners. Her style is accessible and the book is both comprehensive and concise at the same time – not an easy accomplishment.       Sheila M. Hamilton     Counsellor, Registered Member MBACP, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, UHI
Since completing her training as a mental health nurse in 1987, Kirsten has spent over 20 years working as a counsellor, lecturer in counselling and supervisor within the NHS, education, private practice and voluntary sectors. In addition to this, she works as an SQA Appointee in the role of External Verifier for counselling qualifications. Kirsten’s published work includes Challenges in Counselling: Counselling Students, (2013, Hodder) and Becoming a Counsellor: A Student Companion, (2011, Sage). Her areas of interest include counselling students, counselling training and working with addiction.