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Hard-Earned Lessons from Counselling in Action
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Hard-Earned Lessons from Counselling in Action

Edited by:
  • Windy Dryden - Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK


September 1992 | 160 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Therapists often struggle in their work with clients, convinced that their more experienced colleagues don't encounter similar problems or haven't been faced with similar worries. In Hard-Earned Lessons From Counseling in Action, leading therapists share their personal trials and lessons learned. In so doing, they prove that all therapists, no matter how expert or well known, have made mistakes--or faced challenges--and have had to learn from them aspects about the process of counseling--the hard way. Each contributor provides five hard-earned lessons and the particular circumstances that preceded it. This powerful volume will give comfort to both beginning and seasoned therapists by showing that everyone struggles from time to time in their work with clients. The advice and wealth of experience these lessons provide will be invaluable to all therapists, at all levels. Supportive and encouraging, Hard-Earned Lessons From Counseling in Action will be helpful to both students and professionals of counseling/clinical psychology and the human services. "This is a very honest book and should be essential reading for anyone beginning training as a counselor. It will also be useful for experienced therapists to stimulate reflections on their own practice. I would recommend this book....provides an open discussion on the problems encountered by therapists." --Clinical Psychology Forum "The fallibility of our fellow eminent practitioners can be a curiously reassuring reminder of our common human frailty. It is a comforting compensation for all of us that learning from our errors can improve our work. . . . The contributors . . . are unified by genuine and explicit revelation of their failings and a commitment to recycle learning. I certainly can apply their lessons to some of my own dilemmas, am and sure other practitioners can do likewise." -- Self & Society
 
Preface
Petruska Clarkson

 
Peggy Dalton

 
Emmy van Deurzen-Smith

 
Windy Dryden

 
Michael Jacobs

 
Dave Mearns

 
Pat Milner

 
John Rowan

 
Robin Shohet

 
Moira Walker

 
 
Index

`There is much to think about in this book... Many of the examples are not "mistakes" in the sense of saying or doing the `wrong' thing with the client; they are realisations of not only what counselling is all about but also who I am in relation to my work as a counsellor... the book requires us to continually reassess the way we use theory and the way in which we allow our personal and professional traditions to impact upon our practice. Our traditions will always predispose us to a particular set of strengths and weaknesses, to a particular way of thinking. By working things out for ourselves from first principles, we allow ourselves to rediscover our tradition within present experiences. This re-discovery is important since it is only with this sort of creativity that our own lives and our clients' lives can gain personal meaning' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling

`This is a very honest book and should be essential reading for anyone beginning training as a counsellor. It will also be useful for experienced therapists to stimulate reflections on their own practice... to examine their work and to learn from errors. It is refreshing to witness the honesty and openness of the writers - especially so in the present culture, where many therapists set themselves up as flawless experts... I would recommend this book... it provides an informed and open discussion on the problems encountered by therapists' - Clinical Psychology Forum

`The fallibility of our fellow eminent practitioners can be a curiously assuring reminder of our common human frailty. It is a comforting compensation for all of us that learning from our errors can improve our work... the contributors to this book are unified by genuine and explicit revelations of their failings and a commitment to recycle learning. I certainly can apply their lessons to some of my own dilemmas and am sure other practitioners can benefit likewise' - Self & Society

`stimulating... To write openly about one's questionable practices, if not mistakes, is a rarity in the psychotherapy growth industry and involves a high degree of self-disclosure and honesty. The contributors need to be commended on their courage to share the more fragile (though not at all unfamiliar!) moments of their professional careers... the many case examples pinpoint common clinical dilemmas with appropriate professional humility, thus demonstrating the value of learning from and through mistakes' - International Review of Psychiatry

`This book confirmed for me what a minefield counselling can be... I was very impressed with the levels of commitment shown by some counsellors and with some of the writers' painful honesty and willingness to change themselves and their techniques' - Changes

`most important to students/trainees of counselling and psychotherapy. It can alert them to the various pitfalls that lie ahead. Equally, experienced mental health profesionals will recognise many of the difficulties highlighted... the contributions demonstrate the value of counsellors receiving ongoing supervision in their work and the need for counsellors to be self-critical, to challenge their own observations and to strive never to become complacent' - International Journal of Social Psychiatry

Windy Dryden

Windy Dryden is one of the leading practitioners and trainers in the UK in the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) tradition of psychotherapy. He is best known for his work in Rational-Emotive Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (RECBT), a leading CBT approach.  He has been working in the field of counselling and psychotherapy since 1975 and was one of the first people in Britain to be trained in CBT.He has published over 200 books and has trained therapists all over the world, in as diverse places as the UK, the USA, South Africa, Turkey and Israel.He is Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapeutic Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. More About Author