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What Is Counselling?: the Promise and Problem of the Talking Therapies

What Is Counselling?: the Promise and Problem of the Talking Therapies

ISBN 9780803988576
Edition 1
Publication Date
Publisher SAGE Publications Ltd
Author(s)
Overview
This rigorous examination of the talking therapies raises the possibility that counselling, as a newly emerging social phenomenon, is itself problematic.Colin Feltham contextualizes the counselling process, asking such key questions as:and#183; How has counselling evolved and why is it flourishing now in Western society?and#183; What are the limits on its applications?and#183; What social functions does it serve?and#183; Who benefits from it and who does not?and#183; What is its intellectual standing?The author brings contemporary counselling into sharper focus by comparisons with, for example, other modern and historical helping services, religious and philosophical analyses of the human condition, and the present socio-economic context. He also discusses the topical issue of professionalization - including the accreditation debate - and comprehensively examines the arguments concerning the alleged differences between counselling and psychotherapy.Looking at diverse views of the subject, this book demonstrates that it is extremely difficult to define counselling in a way which fairly, unambiguously and accurately places it beyond misunderstanding and which reasonably distinguishes it from other similar activities. It highlights such issues as the social ethics of counselling and the way its specialist languages may present a barrier to public understanding.Addressed primarily at counselling practitioners and trainees seeking an honest appraisal of the activity and profession of counselling, this book will also be of interest to psychotherapists, counselling and clinical psychologists, students and academics in the sociology of health, social workers and health professionals.
Overview
This rigorous examination of the talking therapies raises the possibility that counselling, as a newly emerging social phenomenon, is itself problematic.Colin Feltham contextualizes the counselling process, asking such key questions as:and#183; How has counselling evolved and why is it flourishing now in Western society?and#183; What are the limits on its applications?and#183; What social functions does it serve?and#183; Who benefits from it and who does not?and#183; What is its intellectual standing?The author brings contemporary counselling into sharper focus by comparisons with, for example, other modern and historical helping services, religious and philosophical analyses of the human condition, and the present socio-economic context. He also discusses the topical issue of professionalization - including the accreditation debate - and comprehensively examines the arguments concerning the alleged differences between counselling and psychotherapy.Looking at diverse views of the subject, this book demonstrates that it is extremely difficult to define counselling in a way which fairly, unambiguously and accurately places it beyond misunderstanding and which reasonably distinguishes it from other similar activities. It highlights such issues as the social ethics of counselling and the way its specialist languages may present a barrier to public understanding.Addressed primarily at counselling practitioners and trainees seeking an honest appraisal of the activity and profession of counselling, this book will also be of interest to psychotherapists, counselling and clinical psychologists, students and academics in the sociology of health, social workers and health professionals.

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