The Practitioner's Handbook: A Guide for Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Counselling Psychologists


Edited by: Stephen Palmer & Robert Bor

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    To my mother and father.

    To my colleagues who have made this book possible.

    Stephen Palmer

    To all the professional colleagues with whom I have had the privilege to work who have enriched my practice, and to my family.

    Robert Bor

    The Editors


    Professor Stephen Palmer PhD is Founder Director of the Centre for Stress Management and the Centre for Coaching London. He is an honorary professor of psychology at City University and director of their Coaching Psychology Unit and Visiting Professor of Work Based Learning and Stress Management at NCWBLP, Middlesex University. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist, a UKCP registered psychotherapist and a certified supervisor of Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapy.

    Currently he is President of the Association for Coaching, Honorary Vice President of the Institute of Health Promotion and Education, Honorary Vice President of the International Stress Management Association (UK). He was the first Chair of the British Psychological Society Special Group in Coaching Psychology and former Chair of the Scientific Awards Committee of the British Psychological Society's Division of Counselling Psychology. He was an academic consultant for the Surrey Police Deepcut Investigation Final Report and was a specialist advisor to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee on the Duty of Care Inquiry 2004–2005.

    He is the UK Coordinating Editor of International Coaching Psychology Review, Editor of International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, Co-editor of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapist, Consultant Editor of Counselling Psychology Review and The Coaching Psychologist and former Co-editor of the Counselling Psychology Section of Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. He has authored or edited over 30 books, including Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy: The Essential Guide (Sage, 2000). The book series he edits includes Stress Counselling (Sage) and Brief Therapies (Sage).

    He received the Annual Counselling Psychology Award for outstanding professional and scientific contribution to counselling psychology in Britain for 2000 from the British Psychological Society, Division of Counselling Psychology. In 2004, he received an achievement award from the Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. His interests include jazz, astronomy, walking, writing and art.


    Professor Robert Bor is Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist in the Medical Specialities Directorate (Infectious Diseases) at the Royal Free Hospital, London. He is a Chartered Clinical, Counselling and Health Psychologist, a Chartered Scientist, as well as a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He is also a UKCP Registered Family Therapist.

    He completed his specialist systemic training at the Tavistock Clinic, London, and is a clinical member of the Institute of Family Therapy, London, and a member of the UK Association for Family Therapy, The American Association for Marital & Family Therapy, American Psychological Association and American Family Therapy Academy.

    He is extensively involved in the training and supervision of practitioner psychologists and psychotherapists, and has previously developed and also co-directed the postgraduate counselling psychology training programmes at City University and London Metropolitan University. He has published more than 20 books and 130 academic papers in peer-reviewed journals. He serves on the editorial board of numerous academic journals. He also serves on the Fellowships Committee of the British Psychological Society and is past Lead Assessor for Continuing Professional Development within the Division of Counselling Psychology.

    In his NHS and private practice, he works with individuals, couples and families using cognitive behavioural and systemic therapies within a time-limited framework. One of his specialisms is in helping people to cope with acute or chronic illness. In addition to his work with adults, he is a specialist in child, adolescent and family psychology and is the consultant psychologist to three schools, St. Paul's School, the Royal Ballet School and JFS. He also consults to the London Oncology Clinic as well as the London Clinic, both in Harley Street.

    He is an aviation clinical psychologist with expertise in passenger and crew behaviour. Robert provides a specialist consultation and assessment service to leading airlines for aircrew who suffer emotional problems at the Royal Free Travel Health Clinic in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, holds the Freedom of the City of London and is a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, and is also a Member of the Aerospace Medical Society.

    He is a past recipient of the BPS Division of Counselling Psychology Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement. Robert is a Churchill Fellow. His interests include flying (he has a pilot's licence), collecting Ndebele tribal art and travel.

    The Contributors

    Sarah Corrie is an Associate of the Professional Development Foundation and the University of London. She trained as a clinical psychologist and, in addition to running her own practice, is a member of British Actors Equity and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. She is also a freelance writer, trainer and lecturer.

    Berni Curwen works at the Primary Care Counselling and Psychology Department, Dartford, Kent, as a UKCP Registered and BABCP Accredited Psychotherapist (CBT). She is co-author of Brief Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (with Palmer and Ruddell).

    Alan Frankland is a Consultant Counselling Psychologist in independent practice (APSI in Nottingham), and with North East London Mental Health Trust. As part of his current work he contributes to the Counselling Psychology programmes at the Universities of Surrey, Wolverhampton and East London. He has been engaged in the world of counselling and psychotherapy for over 30 years having originally trained in marriage guidance in the 1970s at the beginning of an academic career in which he taught psychology to a wide variety of undergraduate and professional students before moving on to teach counselling and psychotherapy and heading up the Division of Counselling and Psychotherapy at Nottingham Trent University, developing with colleagues there a suite of courses from Foundation to Masters level when he was also accredited by BACP as a counsellor and trainer.

    Nicola Hurton (BSc, MSc) is an Occupational Psychologist who specialises in supporting individuals' career development. She has also worked on a large number of consultancy and research projects in areas such as organisation and management development, recruitment and leadership coaching. She is a project assessor for Professional Development Foundation/Middlesex University Masters Programmes, and also currently holds a part-time research post at Goldsmiths, University of London.

    Peter Jenkins is a Senior Lecturer in Counselling at Salford University, a BACP accredited counsellor trainer and member of the UKCP Ethics Committee. He has written widely on legal aspects of counselling and psychotherapy, including Therapy with Children, as co-author with Debbie Daniels (Sage, 2000), Legal Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy, as editor (Sage, 2002), and Counselling, Psychotherapy and the Law (Second edition, Sage, 2007).

    Colin Lago was Director of the Counselling Service at the University of Sheffield from 1987 to 2003. He now works as an independent counsellor, trainer, supervisor and consultant. Trained initially as an engineer, Colin went on to become a full-time youth worker in London and then a teacher in Jamaica. He is a Fellow of BACP, an accredited counsellor and trainer and UKRC registered practitioner. Deeply committed to ‘transcultural concerns’ he has had articles, videos and books published on the subject.

    Professor David A. Lane (PhD, C.Psychol, FBPsS, FCIPD) is Research Director of the International Centre for the Study of Coaching at Middlesex University and contributes to leading edge research in coaching as well as supervising leading coaches undertaking doctoral research with the centre. He is Chair of the British Psychological Society Register of Psychologists Specialising in Psychotherapy and convenes the Psychotherapy Group of the European Federation of Psychologists Associations. His work with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council has been concerned with codes of conduct and standards and kite marking of coach training. Working with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches he has researched and developed the standards for the Certified Master Business Coach award. He is a member of the steering group for the Global Convention on Coaching. His contributions to counselling psychology led to the senior award of the BPS for ‘outstanding scientific contribution’.

    Del Loewenthal is Professor of Psychotherapy and Counselling and Director of the Centre for Therapeutic Education at Roehampton University, UK, where he also convenes the Psych Ds in counselling psychology and psychotherapy. He is an existential-analytic psychotherapist and chartered counselling psychologist. He is editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling (Routledge).

    Dina B. Lubin is a therapist in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada. She specialises in working with addicted populations. Ms. Lubin holds an MA in Counselling Psychology from Boston College and a BA in Psychology from McGill University.

    Gladeana McMahon is Fellow and Vice President of the Association for Coaching, Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Institute of Management Studies and Royal Society of Arts. She is an Accredited Counsellor and cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist.

    Riva Miller is a UKCP Registered Systemic Family Therapist with a background in medical social work. She has worked for many years with people with a range of chronic and acute medical conditions. She trained as a family therapist at the Tavistock Clinic, the Institute of Family Therapy and with the Milan Associates in Italy. She has held positions as manager, practitioner, supervisor, teacher and consultant within several organisations. She currently works as a family therapist in the Haemophilia Centre at the Royal Free Hospital, London. She is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Royal Free and University College School of Medicine and has taught at the Metropolitan University. Since 1985 she has been a consultant to the National Blood and Tissue Service and has acted as an advisor for the World Health Organisation. She currently has a private practice dealing with a range of issues for individuals, couples and families. Supervision for others and herself has been integral to her practice over the years.

    Roy Moodley (PhD) is an Associate Professor in Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Research and publication interests include traditional and cultural healing; multicultural and diversity counselling; race, culture and ethnicity in psychotherapy; and masculinities. Roy co-edited Transforming Managers: Gendering Change in the Public Sector (UCL Press/Taylor and Francis, 1999), Carl Rogers Counsels a Black Client: Race and Culture in Person-Centred Counselling (PCCS Books, 2004), Integrating Traditional Healing Practices into Counseling and Psychotherapy (Sage: California, 2005) and Race, Culture and Psychotherapy: Critical Perspectives in Multicultural Practice (Routledge, 2006).

    Dr. David G. Purves is a Principal Lecturer in Counselling Psychology at London Metropolitan University. He is also a Consultant Psychologist in the Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service. Originally trained as a professional diver he spent many years in that industry before returning to Oxford University to receive a doctorate in experimental psychology followed by qualifications in counselling psychology and psychotherapy. He now divides his time between work in the NHS, private practice and lecturing and research. He has recently authored the electronic self-help programme Blues Begone for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Dr. Purves has spoken and run workshops on the treatment of PTSD both nationally and internationally.

    Dr. Neha Pandit (C.Psychol) is a Principal Lecturer in Psychology at London Metropolitan University, with a special interest in cognitive-behavioural theoryand multicultural issues in psychotherapy. She is currentlythe Course Leader for the MSc CBT programme, and is also in private practice. She holds a PhD in Counselling Psychology, and completed her clinical training in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    Peter Ruddell is the Clinical Director of the Centre for Stress Management and Training Director of the Centre for Coaching, London, UK. He is a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist (CBT and REBT) and a Director of the Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. He is co-author of Brief Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (with Curwen and Palmer) and Commissioning Editor of Stress News.

    Kasia Szymanska is a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and BABCP accredited psychotherapist. She is an Associate Director of the Centre for Stress Management where she runs training programmes in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is the Director of Distance Learning at the Centre for Coaching. Kasia also has a private practice in central and west London as a psychologist and a trainer.

    Annette Fillery-Travis is a coach, researcher and academic. After authoring a substantial number of research publications in the natural sciences she became fascinated by how such knowledge was then used by professionals in the development of their expertise. She has since supervised professional masters and doctorate students from a range of backgrounds and has a passion for practitioner research and enquiry.

    Yvonne Walsh is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist and works as a Consultant Counselling Psychologist in a large NHS mental health trust as Professional Lead for Counselling Psychology and providing a Clinical Lead for Complex Needs: Mental Health and Substance Misuse for the Trust. She has had the role of Lead for Practice on the Executive Committee of the Division of Counselling Psychology and is an examiner on the division's independent route for qualification as a counselling psychologist. Yvonne worked as a visiting lecturer at City University for over five years where she taught both psychology undergraduates and postgraduate students working towards their accreditation as Chartered Counselling Psychologists. She has written and co-authored a number of papers and has guest edited two issues of Counselling Psychology Review.

    Christine Wilding is a Chartered MCIPD human resource practitioner and a BACP accredited psychotherapist. She works as a CBT therapist and also as a professional coach and inter-personal skills trainer. She is co-author with Stephen Palmer of Moody to Mellow and Zero to Hero from Hodder's Get a Life! self-help series as well as Teach Yourself Emotional Intelligence, to be published in November 2007.

    David Winter is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Programme Director of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is Head of Clinical Psychology Services for Barnet in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust. His extensive publications on personal construct psychology and psychotherapy research include Personal Construct Psychology in Clinical Practice (Routledge, 1992), Personal Construct Psychotherapy (with Linda Viney, Whurr/Wiley, 2005), and What is Psychotherapeutic Research? (with Del Loewenthal, Karnac, 2006).


    Although professional training in counselling and psychotherapy have developed enormously over the past couple of decades, arming those in the psychological and talking therapies with outstanding professional skills, there is still a need for practitioners to develop the skills of running a business.

    This handbook for practitioners systematically helps to explore most of the issues confronted in the ‘business’ of working with clients. It highlights the importance of continued professional development (which in any case is now a requirement of many professional bodies), of understanding the variety of assessment measures and tools in the marketplace, of managing a client base, of dealing with issues in private practice, of being able to minimise the communication problems which can occur between professionals, of understanding the importance of research and how to conceptualise it and of being able to communicate through lectures and other media as part of your overall business. This is a practical guide which enables practitioners in the psychological therapies to access relevant skills from leading experts in their field.

    This book is a valuable supplement to our professional library, in our quest to help support and manage our professional practice in providing the best service to our clients.

    Cary L. Cooper, CBE, is Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University, and President of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

    Professor Cary L.Cooper, CBE


    The Practitioner's Handbook addresses issues and themes that relate to counsellors, psychotherapists and counselling psychologists once they have qualified and gained some experience. The handbook has 13 chapters in total and includes appendices of useful books and organisations. Major topics that are relevant to modern therapeutic practice are included, such as writing client reports, developing a private practice, working with multicultural and diversity clients, developing research interests and dealing with stress. This book will provide continuing professional development (CPD).

    This handbook forms part of a set of three books published by Sage Publications which are for aspiring beginners, those in training and experienced practitioners (Bor and Palmer, 2002; Bor and Watts, 2006; Palmer and Bor, 2008). We hope they provide a comprehensive collection of relevant topics focusing on the fields of counselling, psychotherapy and counselling psychology in the twenty-first century.

    Bor, R. and Palmer, S. (2002) A Beginner's Guide to Training in Counselling and Psychotherapy, London: Sage.
    Bor, R. and Watts, M. (2006) The Trainee Handbook, London: Sage.
    Palmer, S. and Bor, R. (2008) The Practitioner's Handbook: A Guide for Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Counselling Psychologists, London: Sage
    StephenPalmer and RobertBor


    As editors, we were privileged to work with such an enthusiastic and supportive range of contributors. All of them willingly accepted the invitation to contribute to this book, recognising the importance and value of sharing their own skills and experience with a broader audience of qualified practitioners. In addition, we thank all of our colleagues who discussed with us their ideas about what should be included in The Practitioner's Handbook.

    We appreciate the support and encouragement provided by Sage staff on this project, in particular, Alison Poyner, Rachel Burrows and Alice Oven. They are a great team to work with. Final thanks go to Jais K. Alphonse for project managing this book.

    Stephen Palmer and Robert Bor, London, 2007.

  • Suggested Further Reading

    Legal and Ethical Issues
    Bond, T. (2000) Standards and Ethics for Counselling in Action, Sage Publications: London.
    British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy: Warwickshire.
    Clayton, P. (2001) Law for the Small Business, Business Enterprise Guides, Kogan Page: London.
    Jenkins, P. (1997) Counselling, Psychotherapy and the Law, Sage Publications: London.
    Jenkins, P. (2002) Legal Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Sage Publications: London.
    Carroll, M. (1996) Counselling Supervision: Theory, Skills and Practice, Cassell: London.
    Inskipp, F. and Procter, B. (1994) Making the Most of Supervision, Cascade Publications: Twickenham.
    Professional Issues
    Bongar, B., Berman, A., Maris, R., Silverman, M., Harris, E. and Packman, W. (1998) Risk Management with Suicidal Patients, The Guilford Press: New York.
    Daines, B., Gask, L. and Usherwood, T. (1997) Medical and Psychiatric Issues for Counsellors, Sage Publications: London.
    Palmer, S. and McMahon, G. (1997) Client Assessment, Sage Publications: London.
    Sills, C. (1997) Contracts in Counselling, Sage Publications: London.
    Wilkins, P. (1997) Personal and Professional Development for Counsellors, Sage Publications: London.
    Private Practice
    Clark, J. (2002) Freelance Counselling and Psychotherapy, Brunner-Routledge: London.
    McMahon, G., Palmer, S. and Wilding, C. (2005) The Essential Skills for Setting Up a Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice, Routledge: London.
    Business Issues
    Harold, S. A. (2002) Marketing for Complementary Therapists, How to Books: Oxford.

    Useful Organisations

    Official Organisations

    Data Protection Registrar

    Wycliffe House

    Water Lane



    SK9 5AF

    01625 545 745 (enquiries)

    01625 535 711 (admin)

    Insurance Companies

    Howden Professionals

    1200 Centuary Way

    Thorpe Park Business Park



    LS15 8ZA

    0113 251 5011

    Towergate Professional Risks

    Towergate House

    Five Airport West

    Lancaster Way

    Yeadon, Leeds

    West Yorkshire

    LS19 7ZA

    0113 294 4000

    Professional Organisations

    Association for Coaching

    66 Church Road


    W7 1LB

    British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

    1 Regent Place



    CV21 2PJ

    0870 443 5252

    British Psychological Society (BPS)

    St Andrew's House

    48 Princess Road East


    LE1 7DR

    01162 549 568

    Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

    Membership Department

    The Grange

    Highfield Drive



    LE18 1NN, UK

    United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

    2nd Floor Edward House

    2 Wakley Street

    London EC1V 7LT

    020 7014 9955

    Confederation of Scottish Counselling Agencies (COSCA)

    18 Viewfield Street


    FK8 1UA

    Irish Association for Counselling and Therapy (IACT)

    8 Cumberland Street

    Dun Laoghaire

    Co. Dublin


    Training in Coaching

    Centre for Coaching

    Broadway House

    3 High Street


    BR1 1LF

    Tel: +44 (0) 20 8228 1185

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