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Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice [Paperback]

Emmy van Deurzen
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Dec 2001 0761962247 978-0761962243 Second Edition
`For a book with such a reflective and philosophical element, this is a surprisingly readable and grounded read. This is perhaps the strongest aspect of van Deurzen’s approach - an ability to understand social development and its often profoundly disturbing effects on the psychology of the individual and to remind us of what is really important in living' - Counsellingbooks.com

`There is a lot to be said for the existential approach in counselling and therapy, and the honesty, intelligence and experience that Emmy van Deurzen brings to her account say it very persuasively. This, thankfully, is not a book setting out a system or founding a school of therapy, but one the reader can engage with constructively to elaborate his or her own position on some very fundamental issues' - David Smail

`Existential Counselling in Practice was without doubt one of the classic texts in this field, and of considerable significance for the wider landscape of therapy too. Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice is bound to ensure that van Deurzen's practical wisdom continues to influence the future development of existential psychotherapy and counselling for many more years to come' - Simon du Plock, Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis

'Van Deurzen's introduction to existential counselling is outstanding and almost entirely devoid of the linguistic contortions which characterize some of the philosophical literature underpinning the field. For those with an interest in the practical side of existential approaches to counselling and psychotherapy - emphasising the challenges of living in the world rather than focusing on personal psychopathology - I can recommend none better' - CounsellingResource.com

Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice is the Second Edition of the bestselling text, which offers a concrete framework and practical methods for working from an existential perspective. Central to the book is the belief that many of our problems and concerns arise out of the essential paradoxes of human existence, rather than from personal pathology. From this perspective, the purpose of counselling and psychotherapy is not viewed as problem-solving or skill-building, but as a means of enabling people to come to terms with living life as it is, with all its inherent contradictions.

Emmy van Deurzen, a leading existential philosopher and therapist, presents a practical method of working, using systematic observation, clarification and reflection to help clients rediscover their inner strengths. She shows how personal assumptions, values and talents, once acknowledged, can be turned to constructive use. Using wide-ranging case examples the author also demonstrates the effectiveness of the existential approach in many different situations - from crisis work to dealing with chronic unhappiness.

The existential approach is a well-respected form of psychotherapy, but most writing on the subject tends to be heavily theoretical. This book offers a practical and accessible alternative, which will be invaluable to those in training as well as to more experienced practitioners.



Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd; Second Edition edition (19 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761962247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761962243
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16.2 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 476,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Emmy van Deurzen is a counselling psychologist, psychotherapist and philosopher who is a world authority on existential psychotherapy and who established existential therapy in the United Kingdom. She founded, directed and developed both Regent's College School of Psychotherapy and Counselling and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London. She has been Professor of Psychotherapy with Regent's College, Schiller International University, Honorary Professor with the University of Sheffield and is currently Visiting Professor with Middlesex University, for whom she directs two masters and two doctoral programmes at NSPC. She founded the Society for Existential Analysis (SEA) and its Journal Existential Analysis in 1988 and co-founded the International Collaborative of Existential Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ICECAP) in 2006. She was the first chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.

Amongst her books are the bestseller Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling in Practice (2nd edition Sage, 2002), which was widely translated as well as her book Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness (Sage, 2009). She co-authored the Dictionary of Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling with Raymond Kenward in 2005 and co-edited a book on Existential Issues with Claire Arnold-Baker in the same year. A co-edited book on Existential Supervision came out in 2009 and the second edition of her textbook Everyday Mysteries was published by Routledge in 2010, whilst Sage published her new co-authored (with Martin Adams) book on Skills in Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2011.




Product Description

Review

'Existential Counselling in Practice was without doubt one of the classic texts in this field, and of considerable significance for the wider landscape of therapy too. Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice is bound to ensure that van Deurzen's practical wisdom continues to influence the future development of existential psychotherapy and counselling for many more years to come' - Simon du Plock, Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis

'Van Deurzen's introduction to existential counselling is outstanding and almost entirely devoid of the linguistic contortions which characterize some of the philosophical literature underpinning the field. For those with an interest in the practical side of existential approaches to counselling and psychotherapy - emphasising the challenges of living in the world rather than focusing on personal psychopathology - I can recommend none better' - CounsellingResource.com

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Basic assumptions are those ideas that people hold to be true without questioning them. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating and Perceptive 4 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback
I found this exposition of the art of existential counselling most illuminating and perceptive. It contains a thorough introduction to the techniques and complexities with many fascinating examples from the author's own experience. The book is lucid and well written.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really quite good...... 12 Mar 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Emmy van Deurzen has written a solid commonsense book about the way she as an existentialist practises psychotherapy. Most people find existentialist philosophy very heavy going and give up before they grasp the basics.van Duerzen clearly writes from the heart as someone who lives by existentialist values. If you are looking for 'a how to do' guide this is not going to suit your purposes. If however you would like to view counselling and psychotherapy through the experienced eye of a wise person you really should give this a try- I think it is rather wonderful!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 13 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Very interesting reading through the case studies. This book gives the reader a good idea of the sort of problems that existential psychotherapy deals with. A very good starting point and Emmy Van Deurzen Smith's other books are also worth purchasing to find out more. Well worth it.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Universal Themes with Limited Appeal 1 May 2010
Format:Paperback
Wnenever I approach a book on existential therapy I always feel rather excited at the prospect of gaining further insight into the human condition from what promises to be an exciting form of therapy; yet I invariably come away from the book feeling disappointed, and I'm afraid this volume has been no exception. Ms van Deurzen obviously knows and loves her subject, and is clearly a leading figure in this field. Unfortunately, though the title of this book suggests that it might be something of a handbook for practising therapists, I found very little here that was of practical use.
As Ms van Deurzen makes clear,the themes of this type of therapy - and of existentialism in general - are fundamental. They concern issues of life and death, of meaning, of purpose, of choices and freewill. Yet in existential texts these fundamental themes are often developed and elaborated until the points being made become either incomprehensible, or just plain woolly. For my part, the most interesting part of this book concerned her approach to dreams, which I felt was insightful, and made a refreshing change to the interpretative approach of the psychoanalysts.
Nonetheless, one of the numerous doubts I have about this type of therapy is its apparent exclusivity. To an extent, all therapy relies on a client who is willing to engage with it, yet existential therapy seems to require a degree of philosophical-mindedness from clients that most simply will not have.
Another objection is that,just like psychoanalysis - which it clearly tries to distance itself from - this therapy has a tendency to complicate problems that don't need complicating. Sometimes a fear of falling off ladders is a fear of falling off ladders, and not an ontological crisis.
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26 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what is Existential Therapy? 10 Nov 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought this book in the belief that Ms Van Deurzen might be able to tell me what existential therapy is. I should have read the review on the back by David Smail, who says "...this is not a book setting out a system or founding a school of therapy...". One wonders what it is in that case. This is indeed a book which fails to set out anything very clearly at all apart from the chapter summaries, which provide a synopsis of what little the book actually says about what existential therapy is. In the end, it is an example of how many words can say very little. Any reader wishing to make sense of what this kind of psychotherapy is - from Ms Van Deurzen's point of view at least - may well find themselves quite baffled by how little clarity 17.99 will buy you these days. I understand the hardback version is 60. In the end, one might learn more about existential therapy by spending a night in a graveyard. This book does not do existential therapy justice and is quite simply to be avoided by anyone serious about the approach.
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