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G. Fielder (WINDSOR, Berkshire United Kingdom)

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The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything you need to be an effective life coach
The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything you need to be an effective life coach
by Curly Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.88

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously out of step with current coaching practice, 27 Jan 2010
The approach to coaching described in this book is seriously out of step with the contemporary approach which is more client centred, honest, genuine and ethical. The book encourages an exploitative stance for the coach that seeks to maximise income and follow on work rather than really focus on client needs in a sincere way. May have been fine back in 2001 but current clients and coaches work in a more collaborative and mutually accepting way.

The authors flawed attempt to differentiate coaching and counselling shows lack of understanding of both and lead me to doubt her integrity. The lack of information on addressing the coach's judgements and assumptions was another indicator of poor practice.

The second part of the book features the author's personal interpretation of NLP and other approaches, but does nothing to help a new coach establish their own personal integration of the wide range of tools and techniques available.

Overall a deeply flawed book that disappoints on many levels. Far better is `The Coaching Manual' by Julie Starr who is more attuned to current coaching trends and what its takes to become a successful coaching practitioner.

Dictionary of Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling
Dictionary of Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling
by Emmy van Deurzen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and accessible, 5 Jan 2010
A well researched and accessible summary of key themes, authors, ideas, philosophical concepts and more to inform anyone interested in the existential approach to counselling and psychotherapy.

Existential ideas can be somewhat impenetrable but the authors have sought to clarify and aid understanding in this well cross-reference work.

Ideal for students but also practicing counsellors looking to engage more with the existential approach as part of their integration.

Listening in: A Novel of Therapy and Real Life
Listening in: A Novel of Therapy and Real Life
by Kevin Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful view into the world of a male counsellor, 5 Jan 2010
A great read for anyone remotely intrigued by what the world of a counsellor is like outside the therapy room as well as inside it.

The interaction between professional and private worlds are explored in a thoroughly believable way. All the characters are very human and so both flawed and gifted, but it is the way the main protagonist engages with his difficulties as they unfold that kept me glued to this book.

Also an insightful view into some of the challenges faced by male counsellors in an area of work seemingly dominated by females. The counsellor in this book is aware of the potential for erotic attraction between himself and his clients (not that that is limited to male counsellors) and how that threatens ethical boundaries. He also explores his wife being the main breadwinner and the impact on his relationships.

A key theme is how fostering genuine, intimate and non-judgemental relationships in one's professional life affects one's private relationships and indeed one's self relationship. Also considered are the parallels between the talking therapies and the world of prostitution. Where in both cases a deeply intimate one to one service is provided in private, for money and high levels of confidentiality are necessary.

Stories From The Couch: And Other Telling Tales
Stories From The Couch: And Other Telling Tales
by Mark S Benn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Parochial but useful to some degree, 5 Jan 2010
This brief book was written by an American therapist with an American audience very much in mind and often refers to aspects of US culture that may be unfamiliar to readers across the rest of the world. I still don't know what `Kool Aid' is and have never heard anyone say "yadda-yadda-yadda" even given all the American TV shows that are constantly aired in the UK.

So I found some of the contents difficult to relate to because of the parochial perspective and idiosyncratic style.

However, there are some useful observations on the human condition and what brings people in distress to therapy. The author's reflections on his own life, relationships, family, body image, etc help frame and inform the discussions to good effect in many cases.

Hence my rating this as 3 stars. Other American therapists such as Yalom manage to write with a global perspective and thus achieve greater reach than this book.

Three Step Folding Ladder 60105
Three Step Folding Ladder 60105

4.0 out of 5 stars useful step ladder, 28 Dec 2009
This really useful three step ladder is well constructed in all aspects apart from the plastic treads which do feel somewhat lightweight and insubstantial.

A man of average weight feels them bend just a little too much so it feels less safe and secure in use than I expected.

Fine for occasional use or for lighter than average people.

True for You, But Not for Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith: Countering the Slogans That Leave Christians Speechless
True for You, But Not for Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith: Countering the Slogans That Leave Christians Speechless
by Paul Copan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Imposing a single truth on a plural world, 28 Dec 2009
An interesting but ultimately deeply flawed attempt to discount the idea that each of us has a unique world view and perspective . That each person's perspective is relative to our culture, upbringing, and a multitude of influences in a plural world.

Copan argues for a world of absolute truths based on Christian fundamentalism using highly selective extracts from religious texts, flawed circular arguments and unchallenged assumptions. If this is supposed to assist Christians in arguing with those who challenge their beliefs, it misses by miles. For example, when challenged as to why some atheists have morals and act ethically, Copan states that atheists were "made in God's image" and it is this that enables them to know what good is. Wow, what a sound response that will be next time you get challenged!

The plethora of responses to books by Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, etc seems self defeating as religious apologists attempt to use rational argument and evidence to explain belief systems that are essentially irrational and mysterious. That is the point. An act of faith is central to religious belief that books like this ultimately undermine.

Religious belief as akin to ones underwear. A very individual and intimate part of a person's self of self that rarely benefits from being displayed to others. Even less acceptable is the desire of some to impose their underwear on others.

If you are drawn to this book then your faith may already be fading so perhaps Dawkins and co might be a better option. They are a challenging read for the religious but also a great test of faith.

I've given this book 2 stars because it has merit in exploring the way Christian fundamentalism seeks to impose a single truth on a plural world. How evangelism can distort and how those distortions are presented by apologists. How under the guise of rational argument the irrational is propagated as absolute truth and how this undermines personal religious belief based on faith.

Shared Experiences: The Experience of Having and Parenting Children with Upper Limb Deficiencies
Shared Experiences: The Experience of Having and Parenting Children with Upper Limb Deficiencies
by Charlotte Fielder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compassionate, powerful and balanced account, 8 Nov 2009
Firstly, I must declare an interest because the author is my wife, Charlotte. But that does mean I have witnessed her incredible dedication and effort over the past three years in researching and writing this invaluable book.

The result is a compassionate, powerful yet balanced synthesis of the experiences of around 30 parents of children with upper limb deficiencies, including her own parents. For Charlotte has a missing hand herself and brings her personal experience of a life lived with visible difference in such a way as to brilliantly illuminate the words of the parents.

The book covers a wide range of subjects that may be a concern for parents including difficult decisions about termination and surgery, the impact on parental relationships, self-awareness of the child and unwanted attention from others, health and educational issues, coping strategies and more.

But just as important is the insight that educationalists, health professionals and policy makers will gain by better understanding the experiences of those same parents.
This book is not just for those interested in upper limb deficiency. It speaks to anyone bringing up a child with any type of visible physical difference and also to anyone interested in our human capacity to face adversity.

Yes, I am proud of Charlotte's achievement in driving this through to publication, but more so I am proud of the difference this book has the potential to make to the lives of so many families.

Lastly, please note that all proceeds go to Reach, the Association for Children with Hand or Arm Deficiency and you can also purchase the book from their website.

Bereavement: Your Questions Answered (Vega Guides)
Bereavement: Your Questions Answered (Vega Guides)
by Ursula Markham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.77

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Less than helpful for those dealing with loss, 20 July 2008
This book has such a strong extreme Christian / spiritual bias that it is unlikely to be helpful to the vast majority of those dealing with the consequences of loss through death. Markham's distorted thinking includes a belief that grief is only really valid if you believe in an afterlife, that spirits hang around for about a week to check those left behind are coping, those that have died continue to love those left behind and that love can be so it goes on.

She relies on the supernatural to avoid dealing with many aspects of grief through the denial of the finality of death - coping with bereavement through the belief that the dead have not really died. They are somewhere else waiting until the dead and living are reunited. Useless rubbish to all but a few few of the deluded or ignorant.

If you really want help with your grief or to help others try 'Through Grief' by Elizabeth Collick which is quick read or to understand the process of grief try 'Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy' by J William Worden.

Only buy this book if you want an example of a really bad self help book that not only does not help but perhaps could even cause harm.
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