For too long Counselling Psychology perspectives to understanding human distress have been drowned out by medical and clinical voices. This book challenges this, adding as it does to the emerging literature offering reflection and debate as to what a human – and humane - approach to such distress might be. By reflecting on the dilemmas embedded in this area this book offers a rare chance to think meaningfully
about distress rather than simply ‘do something’ to it. (Dr Martin Milton, CPsychol, CSci, AFBPsS, UKCP Reg)
I believe that this book makes a really useful and timely contribution to the literature and therefore potentially to clinical practice. It will be valuable to psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and others engaged in therapeutic practice in a wide range of contexts. It combines elements of critical thinking with a real depth of clinical experience and a useful selection of examples. The book contains contributions from both the authors and a range of clinicians with many years of experience. Each of the authors deconstructs some of the difficulties and dilemmas associated with the use of diagnostic categories and considers the contextual factors which are at play. The structure of the book is very helpful in that each chapter gives a historical perspective on a particular diagnostic category; this is followed by a discussion of the real life dilemmas in clinical practice, followed by a section which explores research and practice with service users labelled with this diagnostic categorisation. The reflection box at the end of each chapter is particularly useful as it will enable individuals or groups to consider and reflect upon the issues raised in the preceding chapter. I believe this book will be a real asset to the work of a range of professionals and will stimulate debate and critical thinking which can only ultimately benefit the service user and the delivery of psychological and therapeutic services.
(Professor Rachel Tribe)
This is an excellent and timely evaluation of some of the most common presenting problems faced by the contemporary psychological therapist. What makes this book so unique is constant linking between theory and practice, allowing the reader true insight into the thinking behind the conceptualisation of distress as well as how to work with it effectively in the consulting room. The book will appeal to students, practitioners and academics alike. (Professor Ewan Gillon)
For me, a therapist but not a psychologist, the book’s greatest strength was the insight it gave me into the breadth of counselling psychology practice and the inclusion by the authors of multiple perspectives in their interventions with clients. It is, I would suggest, essential reading for counselling psychologists and may also be of interest to other therapists. (Louise Guy)
About the Author
Barbara Douglas is a Chartered and Registered Counselling Psychologist. She is Registrar for the British Psychological Society's Qualification in Counselling Psychology and has a private practice in Edinburgh. Barbara previously taught Counselling Psychology at the University of the West of England and prior to that was Director of the North West Centre for Eating Disorders. She is co-editor of the third edition of the Sage Handbook of Counselling Psychology and has particular interest in the histories of both psychology and psychiatry. Barbara was honoured to receive the BPS Professional Practice Board’s Practitioner of the Year Award in 2011 and is a former Chair of the Division of Counselling Psychology.
Pam James is a Chartered and HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist and a Registered Psychologist Specialising in Psychotherapy (Senior Practitioner). She has been Chair of the BPS Qualification in Counselling Psychology and twice Chair of the BPS Division of Counselling Psychology. She held lecturing and management posts at Liverpool John Moores University over 25 years where she was awarded Professor of Counselling Psychology in 2000. She worked in NHS Adult Mental Health for 10 years; currently she has a private practice in Southport. Her doctoral thesis was in learning and she remains interested in the learning process per se, including the process of change whilst in the therapeutic relationship.