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The Beginner's Guide to Counselling & Psychotherapy

The Beginner's Guide to Counselling & Psychotherapy

Second Edition
Edited by:
  • Stephen Palmer - Centre for Stress Management, London, Centre for Coaching, London

Other Titles in:
Counseling & Psychotherapy

March 2015 | 480 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Are you interested in the field of counselling and psychotherapy or just starting out in your training? Trying to get to grips with the many different approaches and decide which are right for you? This book can help!

An ideal introductory text that assumes no prior knowledge, leading authors in the field provide overviews of 26 counselling and psychotherapy approaches in accessible, jargon-free terms. Each approach is discussed using the same framework to enable easy comparison and evaluation, covering:

·        Development of the Therapy

·        Theory and Basic Concepts

·        Practice

·        Which Clients Benefit Most?

·        Case study

Four further chapters offer an insight into the therapeutic relationshipworking with diversityprofessional issues, and research, while resources such as suggested readingdiscussion issuesappendices of further information and a comprehensive glossary help you consolidate your learning. 

So look no further if you want to know the differences between counselling and psychotherapy, compare psychodynamic and psychoanalytic theories, discover how constructivist approaches can be applied in practice, learn about third wave CBT therapies, or just get an general overview of the field; this second edition of a bestseller gives you a whirlwind tour of the breadth, complexity, fascination and problems of the field of counselling and psychotherapy. 


Cary Cooper
Stephen Palmer
Stephen Palmer and Colin Feltham
An Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy
Alanna O’Broin
The Therapeutic Relationship
Psychodynamic Approaches
Jenny Warner and Gerhard Baumer
Adlerian Counselling and Psychotherapy
Lesley Murdin
Psychodynamic (Freudian) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Jean Stokes
Psychodynamic (Jungian) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Julia Segal
Psychodynamic (Kleinian) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioural Approaches
Joda Lloyd and Frank Bond
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Berrni Curwen, Peter Ruddell and Stephen Palmer
Behaviour Therapy
Kasia Szymanska and Stephen Palmer
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Paul Gilbert and Chris Irons
Compassion Focused Therapy
Christine Dunkley and Stephen Palmer
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
Donald Robertson
Michael Neenan
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy
Humanistic-Existential Approaches
Emmy van Deurzen
Existential Counselling
Ken Evans and Maria Gilbert
Gestalt Therapy
Kate Hayes
Person-Centred Therapy
John Rowan
Primal Integration
Jean Hardy, Helen Sieroda and Diana Whitmore
Ian Stewart and Mark Widdowson
Transactional Analysis
Integrative and Eclectic Approaches
Stephen Kellett and Ian Kerr
Cognitive Analytic Therapy
Elizabeth Robinson and Graham Dyson
Interpersonal Psychotherapy
Richard Nelson-Jones and Stephen Palmer
Lifeskills Counselling
Stephen Palmer
Multimodal Therapy
John McLeod and Mick Cooper
Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy
Constructivist Approaches
Anja Bjoroy, Stephen Madigan and David Nylund
Narrative Therapy
Juliet Grayson
Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Fay Fransella and Stephen Palmer
Personal Construct Counselling and Psychotherapy
Bill O'Connell
Solution-Focused Therapy
Research and Professional Practice Issues
Roy Moodley and Claire Barnes
Diversity in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Robert Bor, Carina Eriksen and Margaret Oakes
Professional Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Terry Hanley and Laura Anne Cutts
Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Stephen Palmer
Stephen Palmer
Appendices 1-3

Written by established leaders in the field and talented (relative) newcomers, this book is a comprehensive introduction to the wider field of counselling and psychotherapy and as such will be useful to trainees across a range of the psychological professions. The chapters on diversity, research and professional issues are a crucial and welcome addition to the field and should enable practitioners to recognise their wider role in clients’ lives.

Professor Martin Milton
Director of Counselling Psychology programmes, Regent's University

This work provides an exemplary introduction to the field of counselling and psychotherapy.  An impressively wide range of theoretical modalities are covered in a svelte manner that recommends this text as both a sound resource for beginner counsellors and psychotherapists as well as a valuable reference for seasoned practitioners.  Of particular recommendation is the manner in which the text aids the reader in understanding how these modalities fit into the broader field.  This is done through effective introductions and examinations of topics such as the therapeutic relationship, relationships among different approaches and through the exploration of contemporary research and practice issues.  It is undoubtedly a text that one will want on their shelves for ready and repeated use.

Dr. Graham du Plessis
Lecturer & Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychology, University of Johannesburg

Incorporating contributions from key figures with in the counselling field, this book provides an excellent introduction to the diversity of counselling approaches that underpin contemporary practice.  It also addresses important issues such as the significance of research, diversity counselling and the maintenance and development of professional and ethical practice. Authoritative but accessible, it is a valuable introductory text for trainee counsellors and prospective clients alike, as well as a useful resource for  practitioners wishing to keep abreast of wider developments within the counselling world.



Dr Liz Ballinger
Director of MA Counselling Studies (Part 2), University of Manchester

There is a great need for textbooks that help students and practitioners make sense of all the different approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. The second edition of Stephen Palmers' book helps us do that. The case studies at the end of each chapter help bring it all to life especially as they are written by those who actually apply the various theories day to day.


I also liked the way that differing approaches to CBT were treated separately rather than lumped together as they are in some introductory texts. Other useful additions are the chapters outlining a pluralist approach to the therapeutic relationship and overviews of professional issues, research and diversity issues.

Simon O'Donohoe
Assistant Curriculum Head, Faculty of Care, Child Care, Entry Level, and Counselling, Coleg Sir Gâr

This book makes a solid contribution to the literature on counselling and psychotherapy, underpinned by the rich expertise and extensive professional experience of the many authors. Stephen Palmer has done an excellent job in editing an accessible yet wide-ranging coverage of the field.  This text will appeal not just to beginners but also practitioners and other interested readers. I look forward to recommending it to my students.

Dr Sanjay Joban
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Westminster

This book is some useful in my teaching. It has allowed me to teach a subject that I did not know a lot about. It is simple to use and the case studies are an excellent resource.

Mrs Esther Trehearn
Business School, Peterborough Regional College
April 3, 2017

I have chosen this as an additional source for students, as it is a comprehensive text, inclusive of all the foundational concepts and theories related to counselling. A good resource for students beginning with counselling theory

Dr Serahni Symington
Psychology , Cornerstone Institute
April 29, 2016

Clearly laid out for students who are new to the area of Counselling.
Good variety of counselling approaches which students can use as a reference book.

Professor Yvonne Millman
School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University
July 1, 2016

A good basic introduction to counselling for beginners.

Mr Paul Demetriou-Crane
AEBLS, Havering College of FE & HE
February 11, 2016

This book is more appropriate for the health visitors who attend the introduction to the person-centered approach- it works well as a revision for the CfD delegates but is certainly suitable for a beginner who is considering understanding the process of person-centered listening and contemplating either engaging with or training in a therapeutic discipline

Ms Catherine Hayes
School of Education, Nottingham University
November 19, 2015

Stephen Palmer

Professor Stephen Palmer PhD is an award winning psychologist and psychotherapist. He is Founder Director of the Centre for Stress Management, London. He is the UK's first Visiting Professor of Work Based Learning and Stress Management at Middlesex University. He has authored/edited over 50 books including The Beginner's Guide to Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2015). He is Co-editor of the European Journal of Counselling Theory, Research and Practice. Currently he is Honorary President of the International Stress Management Association; President of the International Society for Coaching Psychology; Founder Co-Chair of the London... More About Author

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