The Beginner’s Guide to Counselling & Psychotherapy


Edited by: Stephen Palmer

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Psychodynamic Approaches

    Part II: Cognitive Behavioural Approaches

    Part III: Humanistic-Existential Approaches

    Part IV: Integrative and Eclectic Approaches

    Part V: Constructivist Approaches

    Part VI: Research and Professional Practice Issues

  • Copyright


    To Maggie and also the future generations:

    Kate, Kevin, Tom and Arina

    Emma, Leonora, Rebecca, Laura, Imogen, Joshua, Samuel, Harry, Aniket and Tejal

    Lists of Figures and Tables

    About the Editor

    Stephen Palmer, PhD is the Founder Director of the Centre for Stress Management and Centre for Coaching, London. Since 2001, he has been the UK’s first Visiting Professor of Work Based Learning and Stress Management at the Institute for Work Based Learning, Middlesex University. He was formerly Honorary Visiting Professor of Psychology during the 2000s at City University London. He is Consultant Director of the New Zealand Centre for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Stephen has authored more than 225 articles and 40 books on a range of topics including counselling, psychotherapy, stress management, positive and coaching psychology, suicide prevention, death and bereavement. He is also Editor of several journals and former Managing Editor of Counselling. He is Honorary President of the International Stress Management Association (UK) and the International Society for Coaching Psychology. He is also Honorary Vice President of both the Institute of Health Promotion and Education, and Society for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Stephen is a Chartered Psychologist and HCPC Registered Health and Counselling Psychologist. He holds the European Certificate in Psychology (Clinical & Health) and the European Certificate of Counsellor Accreditation. He is a UKCP registered psychotherapist and Fellow of the Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. He has Professional Counselling and Psychotherapy Diplomate status with the International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy. In 2000, Stephen received the Annual Counselling Psychology Award from the British Psychological Society, Division of Counselling Psychology, for his ‘Outstanding professional and scientific contribution to counselling psychology in Britain’. In 2008, he received a Distinguished Award for his outstanding and continued contribution to coaching psychology from the British Psychological Society Special Group in Coaching Psychology. He appears occasionally on radio and television discussing counselling, stress management and wellbeing. His interests include jazz, art and coastal walking.

    List of Contributors

    Gerhard Baumer studied psychology and trained as an Adlerian psychotherapist in Berlin. He has been working in private practice for 33 years and writes articles, gives lectures and runs workshops regularly in Germany and England. He is an international Adlerian trainer, has worked for the international summer school ICASSI as a lecturer, board member and co-chairman, and has co-authored chapters in Dryden (ed.), Handbook of Individual Therapy (Sage, 2002) and Dryden’s Handbook of Individual Therapy (Sage, 2007), as well as the first edition of this book.

    Anja Bjorøy, MHS, MFSP works as a family therapist, couples therapist and mediator, and is associated with the University of Diakonhjemmet as a teacher and supervisor in the Masters programme of Family Therapy. Her work is informed by social constructionist ideas. She holds a Masters in the Theoretical Foundation of Health Sciences, and a Masters in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice at the University of Oslo. FO, Norway has granted her an authorization as a clinical approved psychotherapist.

    Frank W. Bond is Director of the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He trained as both a clinical and as an occupational psychologist, and his research and practice incorporates theories, methods and practices from both disciplines. Professor Bond has published widely in the area of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), particularly as it relates to health and productivity at work. He has worked with ACT in a wide range of organizations, including UK government, the banking sector, advertising and broadcasting.

    Robert Bor is Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Professor Bor is a Chartered Clinical, Counselling and Health Psychologist registered with the HCPC as well as a UKCP Registered Family Therapist, having specialized in family therapy at the Tavistock Clinic, London. He is extensively involved in the training of psychologists and psychotherapists. He has published 30 books and more than 150 academic papers. Rob is co-director of a clinical and corporate psychology consultancy, Dynamic Change Consultants ( He is also a Churchill Fellow and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Royal Aeronautical Society.

    Mick Cooper is a Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton and a practising counselling psychologist. Mick is author and editor of a wide range of texts on person-centred, existential and relational approaches to therapy, including Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2011, with John McLeod), and Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy: The Facts are Friendly (Sage, 2008).

    Berni Curwen is accredited by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and by EMDR Europe. She co-authored Brief Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Sage) and has written a number of book chapters. Berni originally trained as a psychiatric nurse, has worked in the private sector, and is currently employed within the NHS as a Cognitive Behaviour Psychotherapist where she has regularly led CBT groups and supervises trainee cognitive behavioural psychotherapists.

    Christine Dunkley, DClinP is a Consultant Psychological Therapist and senior trainer in the British Isles Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Training Team. She is retired from the NHS after 30 years of clinical work and now supervises treatment teams across the UK and Ireland in the delivery of DBT. She is co-author of Teaching Clients to Use Mindfulness Skills (Dunkley and Stanton, Routledge, 2014) and the ‘Core components of DBT’ DVD series with Michaela Swales. She is the first chair of the Society for DBT ( and is an honorary lecturer for Bangor University on the postgraduate certificate in DBT.

    Graham Dyson, PhD, DClinPsy is an HPC Registered Clinical Psychologist currently working in independent practice in the South Durham area. He also works as a Senior Lecturer in the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Teesside University where he is responsible for recruitment and personal professional development. Prior to working independently, he worked as a clinical psychologist in the NHS for six years, primarily with adults in a low security setting. He completed his interpersonal therapy training in 2005 and since then he has used the IPT model within clinical work, teaching, research, training and supervision.

    Carina Eriksen is a Chartered and HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist with an extensive London-based private practice for young people, adults, couples and families. Dr Eriksen is an accredited member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and a Dynamic Change Consultant. She has managed a team of psychologists, CBT therapists and psychotherapists in the NHS for several years and she used to be an external supervisor for The Priory. She has extensive experience consulting in clinical and organizational settings in the UK and Europe. Carina is an author and a co-author of several books and her work has been published in prestigious journals.

    Ken Evans is Visiting Professor of Psychotherapy at USEE. Dr Evans approaches psychotherapy from a relational-developmental perspective and is currently interested in exploring the interface between technical skills and the therapist’s use of self in the therapeutic relationship. He has written several books, book chapters and articles on psychotherapy practice, supervision and research. Ken is co-director of the European Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies and a visiting trainer at several training institutes across Europe.

    Colin Feltham is Emeritus Professor of Critical Counselling Studies, Sheffield Hallam University, and External Associate Professor of Humanistic Psychology, University of Southern Denmark. His many publications include the Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy, edited with Ian Horton (Sage, 3rd edn 2012) and Counselling and Counselling Psychology: A Critical Examination (PCCS, 2013).

    Fay Fransella was Founder and Director of the Centre for Personal Construct Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Visiting Professor in Personal Construct Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. Sadly, Fay passed away in early 2011.

    Maria C. Gilbert is a UKCP registered Integrative Psychotherapist, a Chartered Psychologist (BPS), a Registered Clinical Psychologist (HCPC), an APECS Accredited Executive Coach, a BACP Senior accredited supervisor, and a visiting Professor at Middlesex University. She is Faculty Head of Applied Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling at Metanoia Institute in West London where she runs an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy. She has a small private practice where she works as a supervisor, a psychotherapist and a coach.

    Paul Gilbert OBE is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology for over 35 years with a special focus on shame and the treatment of shame-based difficulties – for which compassion focused therapy was developed. In 2003 he was president of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and was involved in writing the first NICE guidelines for depression. He has written/edited 20 books and more than 150 papers. In 2006 he established the Compassionate Mind Foundation charity with the mission statement: To promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion ( He was awarded an OBE in March 2011.

    Juliet Grayson is a UKCP registered NLPtCA accredited and COSRT Accredited Therapist and Supervisor, and certified Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor Therapist. Her focus is on relationships, sexual problems and personal development using Pesso Boyden Systems Psychomotor. In 2014 she published a chapter ‘Back to the Root: Healing Potential Offenders’ Childhood Trauma with Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor’ for the book Sexual Diversity and Sexual Offending: Research, Assessment and Clinical Treatment in Psychosexual Therapy edited by Glyn Hudson Allez. She is the co-founder of Stop Sexual Offending,, which is a network of therapists who will work sexual offenders.

    Terry Hanley is a Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology at the University of Manchester. He is a Chartered Psychologist and HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist with a background of working therapeutically with young people and young adults. He is the current Editor of the BPS’s Counselling Psychology Review and is lead author of Introducing Counselling and Psychotherapy Research (Sage, 2013) and lead Editor of Adolescent Counselling Psychology (Routledge, 2012). Terry’s research has primarily focused upon the development of accessible services for young people and training counsellors and psychotherapists in research skills.

    Jean Hardy, PhD worked for 25 years in universities teaching sociology and political philosophy. She discovered psychosynthesis in the early 1980s, writing A Psychology with a Soul (Woodgrange, 1996) out of curiosity about the ideas underlying transpersonal psychology. Now retired, she taught on the Psychosynthesis and Education Trust MA in London and is former editor of Green Spirit.

    Catherine (Kate) Hayes, MBACP(acc) is Assistant Professor in Counselling at the University of Nottingham. She lives in Norfolk and works as a therapist, trainer and supervisor. She contributed to a chapter for Implausible Professions (eds House and Totton, PCCS, 2nd edn 2011) and regularly contributes articles to the membership journal of the British Association for the Person-Centred Approach (

    Chris Irons is a Clinical Psychologist working in the NHS with adults with severe and enduring mental health problems. He is a board member of the Compassionate Mind Foundation, a charitable organization set up to ‘promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion’. He has been working for more than 10 years in researching, teaching and training in compassion focused therapy (CFT).

    Stephen Kellett completed his core training in Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield (1986–90) after working in the corporate sector as an Organizational Psychologist. He worked in Secondary Care in Barnsley in adult mental health on qualifying and progressed to a Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist. He completed cognitive analytic therapy practitioner training (2000–02) and is currently completing CAT psychotherapy training. Dr Kellett is currently Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.

    Ian B. Kerr graduated in medicine from Edinburgh University and has worked in the NHS for several decades. After several years spent in oncology research he trained as an analytic (Jungian) psychologist, psychodynamic therapist and cognitive analytic therapist and supervisor. He currently works as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy and leads a tertiary psychotherapy service. His clinical and research interests include further development of integrative models of therapy and work with more ‘severe and complex’ and ‘hard to help’ patients, largely based around the cognitive analytic therapy model. He has published numerous papers and book chapters on these topics.

    Joda Lloyd is a lecturer and researcher in occupational psychology at Goldsmiths’ Institute of Management Studies (IMS). She teaches in the areas of organizational behaviour and workplace coaching and counselling, whilst her research focuses on investigating acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and its proposed mechanism of change, psychological flexibility, in the workplace. Dr Lloyd regularly presents on her research in both UK and international conferences, and she is involved in a number of special interest groups and societies concerned with the promotion and dissemination of ACT focused research and practice.

    Stephen Madigan, PhD is the Director of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy ( The American Psychological Association has released his book Narrative Therapy (2011), along with a six-part video series of his therapy work. The American Family Therapy Academy honoured Stephen with their Distinguished award for Innovative Practice in Couple and Family Therapy.

    John McLeod is Emeritus Professor of Counselling at the University of Abertay, Dundee. He is author of books and articles on many aspects of counselling and psychotherapy theory, practice and research.

    Roy Moodley, PhD is associate professor of counselling psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He is Director of the Centre for Diversity in Counselling and Psychotherapy. His research interests include critical multicultural counselling/psychotherapy, race and culture in psychotherapy, traditional healing, culture and resilience, mixed-race relationships and gender and identity.

    Lesley Murdin is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist practising in Cambridge. She taught English for many years in the UK and the USA and taught courses for the Open University. She has been Chair of a UKCP Section and of its Ethics Committee. She has been Director of WPF Therapy and has taught and supervised there and for other training organisations for many years. She has chaired her professional body, the Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling, and currently sits on their Governing Board. She has published numerous books and papers on psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

    Michael Neenan is an Associate Director of the Centre for Stress Management and Centre for Coaching, Blackheath, London. He is an accredited (with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies) cognitive behavioural therapist. He has written and edited more than 20 books, including Developing Resilience: A Cognitive Behavioural Approach (Routledge, 2009).

    Richard Nelson-Jones has many years’ experience as a counselling psychology trainer and psychotherapist in Britain and Australia. His books have helped train thousands of counsellors and helpers worldwide. He is a Fellow of the British and Australian Psychological Societies and of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

    David Nylund, LCSW, PhD is a professor of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento, the Clinical Director of the Gender Health Center and a clinical supervisor at La Familia Counseling Center. Dr Nylund is also on the faculty of the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy. David is the author of several books, articles and chapters on narrative therapy, cultural studies and queer theory.

    Margaret Oakes is a Counselling Psychologist with experience of providing psychological interventions in primary care and NHS specialist services. She is also a pilot, flying short haul and medium haul routes in Europe, Africa and Asia. Margaret is actively involved in teaching, including part of the Aviation Psychology modules in the MSc in Air Transport Management programme at City University. Dr Oakes has a particular interest in anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and the psychological impact of cancer. She is a consultant with Dynamic Change Consultants. Margaret is co-author of several books and has published her research in peer reviewed journals.

    Alanna O’Broin is a Chartered Psychologist and HCPC Registered Practitioner Psychologist. After a career in the financial sector in fund management, she trained as a Counselling Psychologist, working in the NHS in primary care for several years. Dr O’Broin works with adults in her private practice and has lectured on the postgraduate counselling psychology course at City University London. Her professional interests include the therapeutic relationship and its boundary with the coaching relationship.

    Bill O’Connell is Director of Training at Focus on Solutions. He was formerly the Programme Leader for the Masters in Solution-Focused Therapy at Birmingham University. His background is in social work, youth work, lecturing and counselling. He is the author of Solution-Focused Therapy (Sage, 3rd edn 2012) and Solution-Focused Stress Counselling (Sage, 2001) and co-author of Solution-Focused Coaching in Practice (with Stephen Palmer and Helen Williams, Routledge, 2012) and co-editor (with Stephen Palmer) of The Handbook of Solution-Focused Therapy (Sage, 2003).

    Donald J. Robertson is a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist in private practice. He specializes in evidence-based, cognitive behavioural approaches to clinical hypnosis. His writings include The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis (Karnac Books, 2013) and The Discovery of Hypnosis: The Complete Writings of James Braid (National Council for Hypnotherapy, 2009).

    Elizabeth Robinson completed her core professional training as a psychiatric nurse in 1986. She received her IPT training and supervision in 1997 from Professor John Markowitz and Kathleen Clougherty, both of whom were trained by Gerald Klerman, the originator of IPT. She was the principal IPT research therapist for two clinical studies; the latter, a brain imaging study of IPT in treatment-resistant depression was for her PhD at Durham University. She works part-time in private clinical practice and as an IPT trainer and supervisor as part of the government initiative Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.

    John Rowan is a Fellow of the BPS, the BACP and the UKCP. He has been working as a therapist since 1980 and has presented workshops in 25 countries. He has published some 20 books. His most recent work has been in the field of the dialogical self, which is described in his book Personification (Routledge, 2010). He lives in Chingford.

    Peter Ruddell is accredited by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and the Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, of which he was a senior board member for many years. He co-authored Brief Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Sage, 2001) and has contributed chapters to a number of books. He has worked in the voluntary and private sectors and is currently clinical director of the Centre for Stress Management.

    Julia Segal is a Fellow of BACP. She trained with Relate and for the past 30 years, in the NHS and privately, has been counselling people with neurological conditions and members of their families, using the ideas of Melanie Klein to understand and illuminate everyday experience. She has also always been interested in the effects on professionals of working with people who have neurological conditions, and has run many workshops for professionals in different settings. She has written extensively on the effects of illness on relationships. Julia is best known for her books, which include Phantasy in Everyday Life (Penguin, 1985; Karnac, 1995), Melanie Klein (Key Figures in Counselling and Psychotherapy Series, Sage, 1992) and Helping Children with Ill or Disabled Parents (Jessica Kingsley, 1996). She has a blog as well as a website:

    Ian Stewart is Co-Director of The Berne Institute, Nottingham. He is a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst, UKCP Registered Psychotherapist and Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Ian is the author of three books on TA published by Sage, TA Counselling in Action (4th edn 2013), Eric Berne (Key Figures in Counselling and Psychotherapy Series, 1992) and Developing TA Counselling (1996), and co-author of TA Today (Lifespace, 2nd edn 2012) and Personality Adaptations (Lifespace, 2002). He has presented TA trainings nationally and internationally.

    Jean Stokes, MA is a Professional Member of the Association of Jungian Analysts (AJA) and the International Association of Analytical Psychologists; she is a Training Analyst and Supervisor for AJA and other training bodies. She is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy member of FPC/WPF and a member of the British Association for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Supervision. She has written on Jungian supervision, teaches on the AJA training and has a private practice in South-West London.

    Shafik Sunderani, PhD is a psychotherapy and research associate in the Centre for Diversity in Counselling and Psychotherapy. His research interests include: understanding psychotherapy processes with oppressed, minority and marginalized groups, therapist self-disclosure, counter-transference dynamics and discovering ways to de-stabilize the power imbalance between therapists and clients using two-person relational approaches.

    Kasia Szymanska is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is registered with the HCPC and accredited as a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist by the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies. She is also an accredited coaching psychologist (ISCP). Currently she has a private practice and is an Associate Director of the Centre for Stress Management and a Director of the International Academy for Professional Development.

    Laura Anne Winter is a Chartered Psychologist and HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist. She currently works as a Lecturer on the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of Manchester and in practice for Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, where she is based within a Complex Primary Care Service. Dr Winter’s research interests centre on issues of social justice within psychology. For example, she has explored the social justice interest and commitment of counselling psychologists, and is currently involved in the supervision of a number of research projects that focus on documenting the experiences of marginalized or oppressed members of society.

    Emmy van Deurzen is a philosopher, a counselling psychologist and an existential psychotherapist, who has worked in the mental health field since 1972. She is the founder and Principal of the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London, has published 13 books and has been translated into 16 languages. Amongst her best-known books are Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy in Practice (Sage, 3rd edn 2012), Everyday Mysteries (Routledge, 2nd edn 2010) and Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness (Sage, 2009).

    Jenny Warner was a Speech and Language Therapy Manager in the NHS and an Adlerian therapist, family counsellor, supervisor and international trainer. She is now retired. She has written chapters on Adlerian therapy in Individual Therapy: A Handbook (ed. Dryden, Open University Press, 1990), Handbook of Individual Therapy (ed. Dryden, Sage, 1996) and Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy (eds Feltham and Horton, Sage, 2000), and has co-authored chapters in Handbook of Individual Therapy (ed. Dryden, 2002, 2007) and The Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy (eds Feltham and Horton, Sage, 2nd edn 2006, 3rd edn 2012).

    Diana Whitmore, MAEd is Chief Executive and a founding Director of Teens and Toddlers UK. She is co-chair of the Trustee Board of the Psychosynthesis and Education Trust, trained in Psychosynthesis with Dr Roberto Assagioli and is one of the UK’s leading trainers of transpersonal counselling and psychotherapy and coaching. Diana has been a member of the trustee board of the Findhorn Foundation for the past nineteen years. Diana is author of Psychosynthesis Counselling in Action, Fourth Edition and Psychosynthesis in Education: A Guide to the Joy of Learning.

    Mark Widdowson is a teaching and supervising transactional analyst and a UKCP registered psychotherapist based in Manchester. He is a lecturer in counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Salford. His clinical research has primarily focused on the process and outcome of transactional analysis (TA) psychotherapy for the treatment of depression. He is the author of Transactional Analysis: 100 Key Points and Techniques (Routledge, 2009).


    I thank all the contributors and their clients involved with this book. This venture was a large task, which needed everyone’s ongoing cooperation. The support and encouragement received from the publishers, in particular Laura Walmsley, Kate Wharton, Rachel Burrows and Susannah Trefgarne, at Sage, was invaluable. My thanks also to the copyeditor, Elaine Leek.


    The first edition of this book, Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy, was a landmark tome for the field, highlighting the current theory and practice in the fields of counselling and psychotherapy. The second edition has updated this guide to take into account some of the novel and innovative practices that have emerged since the first edition. With one in four people in most countries suffering from the common mental disorders of depression, anxiety and stress, the need for advanced theory and effective practice is essential to attack the 21st Century equivalent of the Black Plague: mental ill health. Professor Palmer has brought together the leading scholars and practitioners in the field of counselling and psychotherapy to provide a guide that is unparalleled in the existing literature. If you want to know about these fields, this is the state-of-the-art beginner’s guide, a compendium of knowledge and effective practice that can’t be found anywhere else. For both sufferers and practitioners alike this book is a ‘must’ in understanding what is available, how effective the interventions are and all the issues surrounding the leading cause of morbidity in the developed and developing world.

    Professor Sir Cary Cooper

    Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University, Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences and President of RELATE


    This book is a guide to 26 different approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. It is written for beginner counsellors, counselling psychologists and psychotherapists in training or those more experienced who wish to have one text that covers the majority of the main counselling and psychotherapy approaches practised. This second edition includes additional chapters on ‘The Therapeutic Relationship’, ‘Diversity in Counselling and Psychotherapy’ and ‘Professional Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy’. The book has also been written for the layperson or casual reader who would like to increase their understanding of the different forms of therapy.

    Stephen Palmer

  • APPENDIX 1 Professional Bodies and Related Networks

    Professional counselling and psychotherapy bodies provide a range of services and resources to the profession, their members and to the public. Most hold annual conferences and run workshops. They usually publish newsletters and journals, some of which are freely available. The internet has few borders so most professional bodies around the world are now easily accessed online. Below are listed a number of them that you may find useful.

    APPENDIX 2 Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Orientations

    This list is intended to give a brief overview to the current range and proliferation of psychotherapies. It must be acknowledged that no attempt has been made to ascertain just how current all these approaches are, although to the best of our knowledge they are all currently being practised. Some therapies listed here are merely variants of others (e.g. redecision therapy is a kind of transactional analysis) and might be better described as schools within a particular approach. On the other hand, we have not included, for example, creative novation therapy or other varieties of non-classical behaviour therapy, nor the different schools of Jungian or post-Jungian therapy. Family therapy (and its many variants), group and couple therapy, sex therapy, child psychotherapy, and so on, have all been omitted. We have not included the many forms of brief therapy, such as short-term anxiety-provoking psychotherapy, not to mention different approaches to crisis intervention. Not all humanistic therapies and complementary or alternative medicine approaches to psychological/emotional/holistic problems or concerns, have been included either. You may wish to add to the list any forms of therapy you find of interest to you.

    Acceptance and commitment therapyBioenergetics
    Adaptive psychotherapyBiofeedback
    Adlerian therapy (individual psychology)Biosynthesis
    Art therapyBody psychotherapy
    Attachment-based therapyBrief dynamic interpersonal therapy
    Behaviour therapyClinical theology
    Biodynamic therapyCognitive analytic therapy
    Cognitive behavioural therapyKleinian analysis
    Cognitive humanistic therapyLacanian analysis
    Cognitive-interpersonal therapyLifeskills counselling
    Cognitive therapyLogotherapy
    Communicative psychotherapyMentalization-based therapy
    Compassion focused therapyMicropsychoanalysis
    Contextual modular therapyMindfulness-based cognitive therapy


    Morita therapy
    Dialectical behaviour therapyMotivational interviewing
    Dialogical psychotherapyMulticultural counselling
    DramatherapyMultimodal therapy
    EcotherapyNarrative therapy
    Emotional freedom techniqueNarrative-constructivist therapy
    EncounterNeuro-linguistic programming
    Existential therapyObject relations therapy
    Experiential psychotherapyPast lives therapy
    Eye movement desensitization and reprocessingPersonal construct therapy
    Feminist therapyPluralistic counselling and psychotherapy
    Focused expressive psychotherapyPrimal integration
    FocusingPrimal therapy
    Gay affirmative therapyProcess-oriented psychotherapy
    Gestalt therapyPsychoanalysis
    Hakomi therapyPsychoanalytic energy psychotherapy
    Human givens therapyPsychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy
    Implosive therapyPsychosynthesis
    Integrative psychotherapy

    Rational behaviour therapy

    Rational emotive behaviour therapy

    Intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapyReality therapy
    Interpersonal psychotherapyRebirthing
    Jungian analysis (analytical psychology)Redecision therapy
    Re-evaluation counsellingStress inoculation training
    Reichian therapy (Orgone therapy)Systemic therapy
    Reminiscence therapyThought field therapy
    RolfingTransactional analysis
    Single-session therapyTranspersonal therapy
    Social therapyTwelve steps therapy
    Solution-focused therapyWill therapy

    APPENDIX 3 Issues for the Client to Consider in Counselling or Psychotherapy

    • Here is a list of topics or questions you may wish to raise when attending your first counselling or psychotherapy (assessment) session:
      • Check that your therapist* has relevant qualifications and experience in the field of counselling/psychotherapy.
      • Ask about the type of approach the therapist uses, and how it relates to your problem.
      • Ask if the therapist is in supervision (most professional bodies consider supervision to be mandatory; see endnote).
      • Ask whether the therapist or the counselling agency is a member of a professional body and abides by a code of ethics. If possible obtain a copy of the code.
      • Discuss your goals/expectations of therapy.
      • Ask about the fees if any (if your income is low, check if the counsellor operates on a sliding scale) and discuss the frequency and estimated duration of therapy.
      • Arrange regular review sessions with your counsellor to evaluate your progress.
      • Do not enter into a long-term counselling contract unless you are satisfied that this is necessary and beneficial to you.

    If you do not have a chance to discuss the above points during your first session, discuss them at the next possible opportunity.

    General issues
    • Therapist self-disclosure can sometimes be therapeutically useful. However, if the sessions are dominated by the therapist discussing his/her own problems at length, raise this issue in the therapy session.
    • If at any time you feel discounted, undermined or manipulated within the session, discuss this with the therapist. It is easier to resolve issues as and when they arise.
    • Do not accept significant gifts from your therapist. This does not apply to relevant therapeutic material.
    • Do not accept social invitations from your therapist – for example, dining in a restaurant or going for a drink. However, this does not apply to relevant therapeutic assignments such as being accompanied by your therapist into a situation to help you overcome a phobia.
    • If your therapist proposes a change in venue for the therapy sessions without good reason, do not agree. For example, from a centre to the therapist’s own home.
    • Research has shown that it is not beneficial for clients to have sexual contact with their therapist. Professional bodies in the field of counselling and psychotherapy consider that it is unethical for counsellors or therapists to engage in sexual activity with current clients.
    • If you have any doubts about the therapy you are receiving, then discuss them with your therapist. If you are still uncertain, seek advice, perhaps from a friend, your doctor, your local Citizens Advice Bureau, the professional body your therapist belongs to or the counselling or therapy agency that may employ your therapist.
    • You have the right to terminate therapy whenever you choose.

    Endnote: Counselling and psychotherapy supervision is a formal arrangement where therapists discuss their therapy practice in a confidential setting on a regular basis with one or more professional therapists.

    © 2014, Palmer and Szymanska

    * We use the term ‘therapist’ to represent counsellor or psychotherapist in this guide.


    Actualizing tendency

    is the fundamental capacity each person is born with and identifies the person-centred approach as a positive psychological and psychotherapeutic approach to change. Person-centred


    a term used variably to denote a component of the therapeutic relationship; a pan-theoretic framework for interpersonal change processes; or the whole therapeutic relationship (see working alliance). Therapeutic relationship

    Alternative stories

    also called counter-stories. Narrative therapists are interested in the unknown more than the accepted known. They will often act with purpose to undermine numerous so-called ‘factual’ and overwhelming thin conclusions of problem stories/orientations told by the people who come to see them in therapy. Narrative therapists are more interested in conversations that seek out alternative stories that are identified by the person in therapy as stories they would like to live their lives through. Narrative


    the process of connecting an internal response with an external trigger so that the internal response can be activated at will. Neuro-linguistic programming


    Anxiety experienced as an intense dread of life and doubt about oneself, typically felt in the face of rising energy when meeting (or avoiding) existential challenges. Existential


    modern psychology is based in individualism, narrative therapy is based in anti-individualism. Contemporary philosophy is dominated by anti-individualism, which holds that a subject’s thoughts, meaning and expression are a relational response to a discursive and a cultural context and not determined by what is a priori – inside her head. The fact that the utterances and thoughts of a person have a certain content and refer to certain things, states, or events in the world is determined not only by her brain state, but also by her relations to her linguistic community, dominant norms and her physical environment. Narrative


    universal and innate motifs/ideas that structure human perception of life experience. Transcending the personal, they come from the collective unconscious. They cannot be experienced directly but through their manifestations in dreams, myths, fairy-tales and legends and such universal experiences as birth, marriage, death and separation. By their very nature archetypal images are infinitely varied and exert a fascination and power. Jungian

    Attachment theory

    a theory that helps to explain how the relationship between parent and child emerges and influences later development. Interpersonal

    Automatic thoughts

    (also known as cognitions) and images reflect the client’s ‘internal dialogue’, i.e. what they are saying to themselves. Negative automatic thoughts (NATs) are unhelpful in their content and contribute to the individual’s moods, such as anxiety or depression. Underlying the client’s automatic thoughts are their intermediate beliefs and core beliefs. Cognitive behavioural


    that quality which is manifested by the release or recovery of three capacities – awareness, spontaneity and intimacy; any behaviour, thinking or feeling that is a response to here-and-now reality, rather than a response to script beliefs. Transactional analysis


    a term that has a particular meaning in behaviour therapy, and refers to a person with anxiety evading the object or situation which they fear. It prevents exposure and needs to be challenged in therapy. It is a major difficulty in phobias and obsessive–compulsive disorders. Behaviour


    the process of identifying and owning our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and actions. Gestalt

    BASIC I.D.

    an acronym and aide-memoire for the seven key modalities: Behaviour, Affect, Sensation, Imagery, Cognition, Interpersonal, Drugs/biology. Multimodal

    Behavioural analysis

    a detailed description of a person’s problem behaviour, including items that precede the unwanted behaviour and items that maintain it (through reinforcement). These ‘items’ may include thoughts, feelings, actions, body sensations and environmental circumstances. This analysis is used to finely tune the focus of therapy. Behaviour

    Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

    a personality disorder in the erratic/dramatic category, characterized by severe unstable emotional states. Dialectical behaviour


    a method that involves a therapist initially ‘keying into’ a client’s preferred modality and then taking an indirect route via a second (and occasionally third) modality and then finally arriving at the avoided modality. Multimodal


    the vigorous expression of feelings about experiences that had been previously unavailable to consciousness. This generally produces a purging or cleansing effect, which enables radical restructuring of consciousness to take place. Primal integration

    Client–therapist relationship

    the working alliance between the person who delivers therapy and the person who receives therapy Professional issues

    Cognitive or cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (CBH)

    the use of clinical hypnosis in a manner integrated with cognitive behavioural theories of psychopathology, treatment strategies and theories of hypnosis itself. It is therefore potentially more than just ‘hypnosis plus CBT’. Cognitive behavioural theories of hypnosis were developed decades before modern CBT, in the writings of influential researchers such as Ted Sarbin and T. X. Barber, and associates. Hypnosis


    the process of working together to accomplish a shared objective, based on an attitude of mutual respect. Pluralistic


    commonly defined as ‘a sensitivity to the suffering of self and others, with a deep commitment to try and alleviate this’. In compassion focused therapy (CFT) this definition holds two psychologies: (i) the ability to engage with, tolerate and move towards suffering (rather than avoid it), and (ii) the desire, motivation and wisdom to alleviate suffering and prevent if from returning. Compassion focused


    the network of emotionally charged associations that builds up around significant experiences and people and affects subsequent encounters with people or situations perceived to be similar. At the centre of the complex is an archetype. Jungian

    Complicated bereavement

    an interpersonal therapy focal area when there is unresolved or delayed grief, which has been postponed and then experienced long after the loss has occurred. Interpersonal

    Condition of worth

    can be many different things and describes a block a person has to feeling positive about themselves. Person-centred


    mental contents that are known and can be called upon at will (see also unconscious). Jungian

    Constructive alternativism

    this philosophy underpins the whole of personal construct theory. It states that there are always alternative ways of construing events, even though they may be hard to find. That means no one need be the victim of their past, although we can make ourselves a victim if we come to construe it that way. Personal construct


    part of the content of the Child or Parent ego-states that the individual mistakes for Adult content. Transactional analysis

    Contextual CBT

    a new generation of cognitive behavioural therapies that seek to alter the psychological context, or perspective, in which people approach difficult or challenging internal experiences. Acceptance and commitment


    an explicit bilateral commitment to a well-defined course of action; an Adult commitment to oneself and/or someone else to make a change. Transactional analysis

    Core beliefs

    deep-seated beliefs about ourselves, others and the world, such as ‘I’m worthless’, ‘Others are untrustworthy’ and ‘The world is a threatening place’. They are usually developed in childhood and are often inflexible and rigid. They are below the intermediate beliefs. Cognitive behavioural

    Core conditions

    the name given to the therapeutic conditions required for a client to move towards less emotional distress. Person-centred


    thoughts, feelings aroused in a therapist by the client’s material. Freudian


    the feelings and phantasies activated in the therapist/counsellor as a result of the client’s transference phantasies. Kleinian

    Creative adjustment

    children deal with the normal socializing process by doing the best they can in the circumstances in which they find themselves. Adaptation in a hostile environment is a means of survival in childhood but can lead to problems in later life. Gestalt

    Cultural resources

    potentially therapeutic activities, experiences, objects, places, individuals and institutions that are available to an individual within his or her everyday social world. Pluralistic

    DASIE model

    DASIE stands for lifeskills counselling’s five-stage model of counselling practice focused not just on managing current problems but on altering underlying problematic skills to prevent and manage future problems. Lifeskills


    a philosophy based on the idea that any concept or argument contains polar opposites, each of which has some validity, and it is these opposing forces that come together to make the whole. Dialectical behaviour


    counselling and psychotherapy may very broadly be divided into two approaches: directive and non-directive. Directive approaches assume that the therapist brings knowledge and skills about particular types of problems to the therapeutic encounter and, with these, directs the course of therapy with the client’s collaboration. Nondirective approaches assume that the client has within him or her the key to the resolution of his or her problems and the therapist therefore leaves the client to determine the direction of therapy. Behaviour

    Distress tolerance skills

    a set of acceptance skills that can be used when the stressor is unavoidable and there is no immediate solution to the problem. These skills make it easier to bear the distress. Dialectical behaviour


    the term diversity is currently used in place of multiculturalism. It is regarded as a more inclusive term since it includes other disadvantaged groups such as women, homosexuals, people with disabilities, social class categories and different religions. It is also a term that does not carry a single ideological philosophy of the subject (e.g. race, gender, etc.), but constructs the self as an integration of multiple identities. Diversity


    in counselling, eclecticism refers to the combining of techniques and/or approaches from different schools of therapy. Multimodal therapy is an example of an eclectic approach.


    a consistent pattern of feeling and experience directly related to a corresponding consistent pattern of behaviour. Transactional analysis

    Emotion regulation skills

    a set of change skills helping to either reduce the client’s vulnerability to labile emotions, or to down-regulate problematic emotions to a more manageable level. In some circumstances emotions need to be up-regulated if an appropriate emotion is not present, for example if the client is in a dissociative or numbed state. Dialectical behaviour

    Emotional compass

    instrument for understanding the way in which each emotion expresses a value and a meaning in life. Existential

    Emotional responsibility

    clients must accept emotional responsibility, i.e. your beliefs largely determine your emotional reactions to events. Rational emotive behaviour

    Empathic affirmation

    validating the client’s perspective. Therapeutic relationship

    Empathic evocation

    using evocative, probing yet tentative language to enliven the client’s experience. Therapeutic relationship

    Empathic explorations

    therapist attempts to identify and voice key underpinning themes. Therapeutic relationship

    Empathic understanding

    the therapist communicating understanding of the client’s experience. Therapeutic relationship


    is one of the six core conditions and is the capacity for a person to understand another person’s experience as if it were their own. Person-centred


    the emphasis on the positive in a person by the therapist. Clients are helped to appreciate the good things they have to offer. They learn to acknowledge that they have value as people. Adlerian


    the capacity for a person to immerse themselves in life and to reach out to projects and purposes that lead to productive action, which will in turn create meaning. Existential

    Evidence-based practice

    the use of current best evidence in making decisions in clinical practice. Research


    occasions when the problem unexpectedly does not happen at all or only happens in a diluted form. Solution-focused


    in personal construct theory our behaviour is the experiment we conduct to test out our construing predictions about each event that confronts us. Our subsequent behavioural experiment will be directly related to whether our last prediction proved right or wrong. Seeing behaviour as an experiment rather than as an end in itself is one of the unique features of personal construct theory. Personal construct

    Exposure or exposure therapy

    terms used in behaviour therapy. A person is encouraged to remain with the object, such as a spider, or situation, such as open spaces, which they fear. Initially, their anxiety increases, but will gradually lessen over time. This reduction in anxiety will become established if the exposure is regularly practised. The reduction of fear, in this way, is known as extinction (see also avoidance). Behaviour


    Narrative therapy uses a method of externalizing problems to bring forth possible re-descriptions and the chance for clients to reposition themselves with the problem. The identity of the described problem is viewed as separate from the identities of the person. Those problems that are considered to be inherent as well as those relatively fixed qualities that are attributed to persons and to relationships, are rendered less fixed and less restricting. Externalizing of the problem enables persons to separate from the dominant stories that have been shaping their lives and relationships. Externalizing is by no means a requirement of narrative therapy and represents one option within a range of narrative practices. Narrative

    Family constellation

    the pattern of positions that the children take in their family when they are young. The children unconsciously choose through trial and error what sort of children they will be and take up their own unique positions like stars in a constellation. Adlerian

    First, second and third positions

    different perspectives for looking at the same issue. First is seeing the issue through our own eyes, second involves stepping into someone else’s shoes and seeing the issue from their point of view, and third involves stepping right outside the whole situation to be able to gain an objective view of the whole situation. Neuro-linguistic programming


    this is a form of exposure to the worst-feared situation for a prolonged period of time, continuing until anxiety reduces. This may take place in reality or in imagination. Great care and professional guidance are recommended. Behaviour

    Fourfold world

    the four dimensions of human existence at which we live our lives: physical, social, personal and spiritual. Existential


    in goal-setting the acronym SMART helps clients focus on what they want to achieve. SMART refers to goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Cognitive behavioural

    Group of Seven

    the term used to include the seven major domains of identity; for example, race, gender, sexual orientation, class, disability, religion and age. It is often a zooming-in of the term diversity, so that specific issues related to each major disadvantaged identity group can be focused on within a wider foundation of multiple identities and intersectionality. Diversity

    Hamilton Depression Scale

    a clinician administered measure to ascertain the severity of depressive symptoms. Interpersonal

    Homework assignments

    are considered integral to cognitive and cognitive behavioural therapy. They can take the form of bibliotherapy, that is reading self-help books, or the practice of cognitive or behavioural techniques outside the therapy sessions on a regular basis in order to help clients overcome their problems quickly and effectively. Cognitive behavioural


    the state of mind of someone who has been hypnotized. Researchers traditionally disagree as to whether it is a special neurological or psychological state, or simply an unusual way of using ordinary cognitive processes, such as concentration, imagination and expectation. Sometimes also the process of hypnotizing. We speak of ‘self-hypnosis’, when it is self-induced, or ‘hetero-hypnosis’, when a hypnotist induces someone else. The word ‘hypnotism’ is not normally used for the state but only the study of hypnosis or the process of inducing it. Hypnosis


    the use of hypnosis as the main strategy for psychological therapy, or psychotherapy. Can be viewed as a highly technically eclectic form of therapy, which draws on strategies and procedure from many other approaches. Hypnosis

    Ideal compassionate other

    using creative imagery to develop an image (human or non-human), which personifies certain qualities such as caring-commitment, strength and wisdom. Once developed and practised, our ideal compassion other is then used as ‘another mind’ to help us deal with our distress, and help us to think through ways of alleviating our distress. Compassion-focused

    Ideal compassionate self

    the cultivation of certain qualities of mind (motivation, thinking, emotion, behaviour) and body (voice tone, body posture) through various imaginal, empathy and acting techniques that lead to a sense of an ‘ideal compassionate self’. This version of oneself is then used to engage with suffering and threat-based emotions and memories. Compassion-focused


    the experience of being authentically oneself. Psychosynthesis

    Ideo-motor reflex

    the original theory of hypnotic suggestion, developed by Carpenter and subsequently Braid, and adopted by Bernheim and other Victorian hypnotists. The theory basically holds that many ordinary psychological phenomena involve the natural tendency for our bodies and minds to react in a reflex-like manner to things we imagine, especially when these are accompanied by focused attention and expectation of the response occurring. Ideo-motor responses are responses in the voluntary (or ‘skeletal’) muscles, which control movement. Braid preferred the broader term ‘ideo-dynamic’, which he used to denote ‘the power of the mind over the body’ more generally, e.g., including salivation or increases in blood pressure, and other physiological responses. Braid wanted to replace the problematic term ‘hypnotism’, with its connotations of sleep or unconsciousness, with the technical term ‘mono-ideo-dynamics’, meaning the use of focused attention on a single expectant idea or image, suggested to the subject, in order to bring about automatic reactions in the mind and body. Hypnosis


    a form of prolonged flooding carried out in imagination, usually with a great deal of anxiety. Cognitive behavioural


    the process that goes on throughout life, but is particularly important in the second half, of becoming more fully and consciously oneself, facing both strengths and limitations. Paradoxically it involves recognizing both one’s uniqueness and ordinariness. Jungian

    Inner world

    our inner world is our own personal (three-dimensional and dynamic, changing) ‘map’ or construct which is made up of all the phantasies we have about ourselves and others, and which we use to understand the external world. The inner world is influenced by what happens in the external world, and vice versa. For example, we may relate to our partner as if he or she were the partner ‘in our head’, or in our internal world, rather than in the actual one. The partner in our internal world may be very similar to the one in the external world or may have important differences. Kleinian

    Intermediate beliefs

    consist of underlying assumptions that are normally articulated as ‘if … then’ or ‘unless … then’ statements (e.g. if I make a mistake then I’ll be a failure). Intermediate beliefs include rules (e.g. I must not make mistakes). Cognitive behavioural


    the process by which formative relational experience becomes part of the mental structures of the developing self. It describes how the ‘inter-psychological becomes intra-psychological’. Following Vygotsky this is understood to transform these structures resulting in a self that is different and culturally diverse, depending on formative relational and social experience. Cognitive analytic

    Interpersonal sensitivity/deficits

    an interpersonal therapy focal area when the client has a history of inadequate or unsupportive interpersonal relationships, which cause difficulties with developing and maintaining current relationships. Interpersonal

    Interpersonal and social rhythms therapy (IPSRT)

    a therapy for individuals with bipolar disorder that combines a focus on interpersonal relationships with techniques designed to regulate timing of daily routines. Interpersonal


    putting the unconscious processes into words. Freudian


    the ‘swallowing whole’ of the attitudes, values, beliefs and opinions of significant people in our lives. This process shapes the development of our attitudes to self, others and the world (our intrapsychic process). Gestalt

    Irrational beliefs

    are illogical, unrealistic and unhelpful and lead to unhealthy negative emotions. Rational emotive behaviour

    Levels of awareness

    personal construing can take place at different levels of awareness ranging from the clearly conscious level to the level of construing that we all evolve before we have acquired language. Personal construct


    a preconscious life-plan made in childhood, reinforced by the parents, ‘justified’ by subsequent events, and culminating in a chosen alternative. Transactional analysis


    sequences of choices affirming or negating psychological life that people make in specific skills areas. Lifeskills


    Adler’s term for the unique and consistent pattern of behaviour in people consisting of their short and long-term goals, their beliefs and feelings. People form their lifestyles in childhood. Adlerian

    Map of the world

    as humans we can never know reality, in the sense that we have to experience reality through our senses, and our senses are limited. A bee looking at this page would perceive it very differently because the way a bee perceives things is very different from the way a human perceives things. Our individual perception of how the world is, and what is important, forms our own unique ‘map of the world’. Neuro-linguistic programming

    MCC (Multicultural Counselling Competencies)

    MCCs are skills and knowledge that are required by a counsellor or psychologist to undertake therapy in a culturally effective way. Specifically, MCCs comprise a set of guidelines that are suggested by the major counselling and psychology associations for ethical practice with diverse and multicultural clients. When other disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, gay, etc.) are included then we refer to this as Diversity Counselling Competencies. Diversity


    an act of creating a space within the on-going flow of communication, to enable each participant to give an account of their reactions to, and understanding of, what has taken (or could take) place. Pluralistic


    the skill of bringing one’s attention into the current moment in a deliberate way, with full awareness. The skill of unhooking from judgements and interpretations to see the current moment as it is. Dialectical behaviour

    Miracle question

    an imaginative question that enables clients to get behind problems to describe what their preferred future would be. Solution-focused

    Mixed methods research

    research that employs and integrates both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. Research

    Modality profile

    this consists of an analysis of a client’s identified problems divided into the seven BASIC I.D. modalities with the specific interventions written adjacent to the problems. Multimodal


    young children are often observed to imitate adults’ behaviour, such as feeding themselves with a spoon. Not only children model the behaviour of others. In behaviour therapy, specific behaviours are demonstrated to the client who then models them. For example, an unassertive client may observe a therapist acting assertively by saying no to a request and be encouraged to replicate this behaviour. Behaviour

    Multicultural counselling

    the philosophy of multiculturalism underpins the definition of multicultural counselling. Traditionally, multicultural counselling was understood as therapy with individuals or groups who are black and ethnic minority. In recent years multicultural counselling has become more inclusive of other diverse or marginalized groups, such as race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion. Diversity

    Multimodal Life History Inventory

    a 15-page questionnaire used in multimodal therapy to assist in assessing the BASIC I.D. modalities, history-taking and client expectations of therapy. Multimodal


    taking the image of the self as the object of love; preventing the client from seeing others as they are. Freudian

    ‘Not your fault’

    a key understanding that emerges from psychoeducation is how so much of our sense of self, and experience of distress, is due to the interaction between problematic glitches in our evolved minds, genes and the social circumstances of our lives. A recognition of ‘not your fault’ can lead to a reduction in personalization and shame, increase a sense of common humanity and a willingness to take responsibility and learn what we can do to deal with our difficulties. Compassion-focused

    Organismic self-regulation

    the human organism is in constant interaction with the environment. In this process a person will be able to receive what is nourishing and reject what is toxic, thereby completing Gestalts. In an ideal world there would be no unfinished business (incomplete Gestalts). Gestalt


    the philosophical principle that allows us to grasp the polarities, contradictions, conflicts and dilemmas of life, in the realization that both ends of the spectrum are necessary to fully make sense of something. Existential

    Personal construct system

    this is the sum total of personal constructs we have created to make sense of (interpret, construe) events in our world as they take place and, in so doing, we are able to make predictions about their outcomes. Personal construct


    mental constructions we use to make sense of our experiences. They involve people and things phantasized as inside us or outside us, doing things to each other and ourselves. They are dynamic and constantly changing. They influence our understanding of the world around us as well as being influenced by it. Kleinian


    the idea that there is no single truth, and that the human condition consists of on-going dialogue between contrasting and incommensurable perspectives, beliefs and values. Pluralistic


    one of the most important features of narrative therapy is that mechanisms of power produce different types of knowledge which collate information on people’s activities and existence. The knowledge gathered in this way further reinforces exercises of power. The DSM and the use of client files are examples of these techniques as a form of social control. Foucault’s work cautions that what we may take to be knowledge, may instead be nothing more than powerful concepts perpetuated by authorities and those concepts may change our understanding of our selves and our world. Narrative

    Practice-based evidence

    research conducted in ‘real life’ settings, where real-life practice is investigated. Research

    Private logic

    the unconscious beliefs and ideas that people have about themselves and the world and how they will move through life. Adlerian

    Professional indemnity insurance

    an insurance for therapists to cover law suits or any other legal issues arising in the work setting. Professional issues


    process of throwing an image onto a person or thing in the present that really belongs to the past. Freudian

    Projective identification

    a phantasy whereby someone gets rid of into another person an emotional state they cannot bear in themselves. In reality, many subtle means are used to bring this phantasy to life. It is the most primitive means of communication between parent and infant or therapist and client. It may be used as a form of unconscious attack. Kleinian


    refers to the constantly changing aspect of the way we relate to others and ourselves; perceiving ourselves and others differently from moment to moment, according to our unconscious phantasies. Kleinian

    Psychological flexibility

    people’s ability to fully contact the present moment and pursue their meaningful life directions even when experiencing difficult or challenging internal experiences. Acceptance and commitment


    originally a psychiatric term referring to mental sickness or to an underlying personality problem, often classified into disorders such as depression, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, etc. Many counsellors dispute the reality behind or helpfulness of such labelling.


    a psychological term used to denote that there are always two levels of experience, the first psychological and the second more essential or ‘spiritual’. Psychosynthesis

    Qualitative research

    research that explores in depth an experience or phenomenon, commonly using interviews or focus groups as methods of data collection and analytic techniques that aim to summarize or categorize data into themes. Research

    Quantitative research

    research that involves the exploration of phenomena using mathematical or statistical methods. Research

    Rational beliefs

    are logical, realistic and helpful and lead to healthy negative emotions. Rational emotive behaviour

    Re-authoring conversations

    re-authoring conversations re-invigorates people’s efforts to understand what it is that is happening in their lives, what it is that has happened, how it has happened, and what it all means. In this way these conversations encourage a dramatic re-engagement with life and with history, and provide options for people to more fully inhabit their lives and their relationships. Questions are introduced that encourage people to generate new proposals for action, accounts of the circumstances likely to be favourable to these proposals for action, and predictions about the outcome of these proposals. Narrative

    Reciprocal role (RR)

    a CAT-specific term referring to a relational position between self and other. An internalized (formative) reciprocal role is understood to comprise both poles of that subjective experience (i.e. childhood-derived and parent/culture-derived). A reciprocal role comprises an implicit (often unconscious) relational memory (which may be traumatic) and also the emotions, cognitions (including cultural values and beliefs) and even body language associated with it. It may be associated with a clear dialogical ‘voice’. Cognitive analytic

    Reciprocal role procedure (RRP)

    CAT-specific term referring to an aim-directed coping or ‘responsive’ pattern of thoughts and behaviours arising out of the experience of formative reciprocal role(s). RRPs are usually long-standing, often unconscious and highly resistant to change. They may be highly maladaptive, symptomatic and self-reinforcing (as in ‘vicious circles’). RRPs may be enacted in both ‘external’ interpersonal situations and also in ‘internal’ self-management. Cognitive analytic


    replacement of a self-limiting early decision by a new decision that takes account of the individual’s full adult resources. Transactional analysis


    personal construct theory is reflexive in that the theory applies as much to the construing of the counsellor as it does to that of the client. Personal construct


    the collaborative creation early in therapy of an agreed description of presenting problems and their apparent origins, particularly in terms of formative relational and social experiences. Both a written narrative reformulation (in the form of a letter) and a sequential diagrammatic reformulation (SDR or ‘map’) will be constructed. Both attempt to describe in a non-judgemental manner the patterns of difficulties with which the client presents and their background origins along with ultimately possible ways of moving forward (aims or exits). These would serve as ‘route maps’ for therapy and also as a means of making sense of and repairing possible problematic interactions between client and therapist. Cognitive analytic


    offering an alternative meaning for similar constituent parts like a jigsaw which can be made into two different pictures. Examples of reframing would be ‘thinking about things differently’, ‘taking another point of view’, or ‘taking other factors into consideration’. Neuro-linguistic programming


    going back in time to an earlier part of one’s life. This means actually re-experiencing and reliving early life, not just remembering it. It is important to realize here that early experiences are registered in the cells and muscles of the body, not only in the brain. There is little benefit in regression in psychotherapy unless it is also accompanied by recession, that is, the move inward into the depths of one’s own inner world. Primal integration

    Re-membering conversations

    re-membering conversations are not about passive recollection, but about purposive engagements with the significant figures of one’s history, and with the identities of one’s present life who are significant or potentially significant. These figures and identities do not have to be directly known in order to be identified as significant to a person’s life. Narrative


    the therapeutic notion of re-storying creates the possibility that change is always possible. Therefore, any totalized description of a person’s past, present or future can be reconfigured, recollected and re-remembered differently. Narrative

    Relational frame theory

    modern theory of language and cognition that underpins ACT. Acceptance and commitment

    Repertory grid

    a technique for creating mathematical relationships between the personal constructs of an individual. George Kelly described it as a way of ‘getting beyond the words’. There are now many versions and many statistical and non-statistical ways of making sense of the data. Personal construct

    Response prevention

    clients often avoid further exposure to particular anxiety-provoking objects, situations or thoughts, collectively known as cues, by carrying out rituals that lessen the anxiety. In response prevention, the client is encouraged not to carry out the ritual that is usually triggered by the cue, so that continued exposure is allowed to take place. Behaviour


    in skills terms, taking a client’s problem and breaking it down into hypotheses about the component thinking skills and action skills deficits that maintain the problem and require addressing during and after counselling. Lifeskills

    Role dispute

    an interpersonal therapy focal area when the client and at least one other person are have differing expectations of their relationship. Interpersonal

    Role transition

    an interpersonal therapy focal area when a client has difficulty coping with life changes that require the development of new roles. Interpersonal


    common phenomena in therapy ranging from minor tensions to major disagreements between client and therapist characterized by a lack of collaboration on tasks and goals, or strain in the bond between therapist and client. Therapeutic relationship

    Safety behaviours

    a person may not avoid an activity or situation. However, they may take precautions in order to reduce their anxiety about facing them. Cognitive behavioural

    Secondary gain

    where a problem carries a benefit at another level, e.g. smoking may help someone relax. An unconscious secondary gain may override the conscious desire to change. Neuro-linguistic programming


    the recognition that you have worth just because you exist, imperfections and all. Rational emotive behaviour


    is a positive experience for any individual and enables a freeing up of various tensions that may have been causing distress. Person-centred


    is how a person believes they are and may involve beliefs about how they are seen and experienced by others. Person-centred

    Self-control training

    is aimed at helping the client with problem behaviour to change their behaviour by initially becoming more aware of the events that immediately precede it. Self-monitoring, such as keeping a daily record, is often used by the client. Eventually the client will be able to identify specific cues and exert self-control when these occur. Behaviour


    your worth is usually dependent on achievement and approval. Rational emotive behaviour


    is the life process by which individuals find meaning and purpose and by which they realize their potential and self. Psychosynthesis


    accounting for one’s own needs and taking the relevant action to meet them. This should not be equated with self-sufficiency since it includes the capacity to receive from others. Gestalt

    Sick role

    helping the client initially within therapy to acknowledge that they are ill and can accept support from others. Interpersonal

    Skills language

    consistently using the concept of skills to describe and analyse people’s behaviour. Conceptualizing and conversing about client’s problems in terms of lifeskills strengths and deficits. Lifeskills

    Social constructionism

    a theory of knowledge which states that the meaning of language is known only through social interaction and negotiation. Solution-focused

    Social interest

    the feeling of belonging as an equal and the willingness to cooperate and make a contribution to society. Adlerian

    SMART goals

    see goal-settingCognitive behavioural


    the sources of courage, skills, knowledge and capability that have sustained a person through the course of his or her life. Pluralistic


    are different parts of the individual with unique feelings, thoughts, behaviours and characteristics, each having its own voice and needs. Psychosynthesis


    in the field of hypnotism, ‘suggestion’ or ‘hypnotic suggestion’+ specifically refers to the use of related forms of suggestion. These take many forms. However, traditional hypnotism employs mainly direct verbal suggestions, which are actually best understood as implicit invitations for the subject to imagine the things being described by the hypnotist, rather than commands to their unconscious mind. Hypnosis


    client a person who is at risk of taking his or her own life. Professional issues


    a therapist who meets with another therapist to discuss his or her client workload and work issues Professional issues


    a therapist who supports another therapist with his or her work Professional issues


    the best possible way of describing or expressing something relatively unknown. Symbolic thinking is non-linear, complementary to conscious logical and concrete thought, and functions through metaphor, images, etc., which are pregnant with meaning if sometimes enigmatic, e.g. in dreams. Jungian

    Take-away sheets

    are used in lifeskills counselling during sessions for taking down learnings from the whiteboard. In addition they are used for recording mutually agreed homework assignments. Lifeskills

    Task responsibility

    clients must accept task responsibility, i.e. you are in charge of carrying out your goal-related tasks to overcome your emotional disturbance. Rational emotive behaviour

    Technical eclecticism

    a therapeutic approach that applies techniques taken from many different psychological theories and systems, without necessarily being concerned with the validity of the theoretical principles that underpin the different approaches from which it takes its techniques. Multimodal


    purposeful and goal-directed. Adlerians consider that all behaviour has a purpose and to understand behaviour the goal has to be identified. Adlerian

    Theoretical orientation

    (also known as approach, model, school, brand name) usually refers to any kind of clearly espoused therapeutic identity, such as Freudian, Jungian, TA, Gestalt, cognitive, eclectic, etc., but may also refer broadly to humanistic, psychoanalytic, etc. BAC require accredited courses to have an acceptable core theoretical model.

    Thinking errors

    (also known as ‘cognitive distortions’) are logical errors based on faulty information processing. These include jumping to conclusions, personalization and all-or-nothing thinking. Cognitive behavioural

    Thinking skills

    are the mental processes through which people can create and influence how they think: for example, perceiving, explaining cause, predicting and visualizing. Lifeskills


    when tracking, the ‘firing order’ of the different modalities is noted for a specific problem. Once assessed, the client is instructed to match the firing order of the modalities with a corresponding sequence of modality interventions. Multimodal


    thoughts, feelings, images transferred from the client’s past and replayed in the therapy. Freudian


    the way we relate to others is based on phantasies that were created as a result of our experiences of people (usually family members) in our past. We interpret every action of the therapist through our phantasies, which derive ultimately from our experiences (real and imaginary and coloured by our emotions, our desires, our wishes) in relation to our parents. Transference refers to this process. As the therapy activates and changes different phantasies about our parents, so the way we perceive a therapist will change (see also counter-transference). Kleinian


    going beyond the pre-personal and the personal into the realm of mystical experiences. There are a number of different levels of mystical experience, such as the Centaur, the Psychic, the Subtle, the Causal and the Nondual, which have been well explained and described by Ken Wilber. Primal integration


    the realm of human experience which is beyond the personal, everyday and existential awareness. Psychosynthesis


    is the infliction of pain on an organism. Frank Lake has distinguished between four levels of trauma. Each level of trauma produces different effects. The first level may be quite stimulating, and benefit the organism. The second level is harder to overcome, but can be handled effectively and healthily in most cases. The third level produces neurotic defences such as repression, dissociation and splitting. The fourth level is quite unendurable, and produces a turning against the self and a wish to die. Primal integration


    is used by psychodynamic counsellors to indicate all those processes of mind which occur outside of consciousness. The assumption that there is an unconscious with its own methods of processing information was imputed by Freud from the reports of his patients describing dreams or from observations of slips of the tongue or from disturbances of affect that were associated with the return of material that Freud proposed had been repressed as a result of trauma. While there is no difficulty in assuming that much of our processing occurs outside of awareness there are great philosophical problems that results from leaping from this to assume that there is a subdivision of mind with its own distinctive methods of processing that in some way knows what to repress. Freudian

    Unfinished business

    an unmet need does not go away but remains active and demands completion. An accumulation of unmet needs may seriously impair functioning in the present. Gestalt

    Working alliance

    reflects the quality of the negotiated and purposive partnership of client and therapist collaboratively and actively participating in working towards the client’s change goals. Therapeutic relationship

    Working through

    is the process of testing phantasies against reality, which has to be repeated again and again until we have changed our phantasies to bring them closer into line with reality. Kleinian

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