Contracts in Counselling & Psychotherapy, Second Edition is a practical guide to an essential area of professional knowledge and skills. It provides a unique and informative guide to the nature of counseling contracts, why they are needed and how they are made. For the Second Edition, the book has been thoroughly updated to take account of the BACP ethical framework. New chapters have been added covering legal aspects and making contracts with trainees.
Chapter 10: Contracts, Complexity and Challenge
Contracts, Complexity and Challenge
The matter of contracts and of contracting in therapy (psychotherapy and counselling) is complex. At best, the use of and reference to a contract can clarify the objectives of a therapeutic encounter or relationship for both parties. On the other hand, a therapist can use the letter of a contract, and associated professional codes, to betray the relationship and the client (see Heyward 1993). Equally, for his or her part, the client can use a contract to keep the therapy ‘safe’ and perhaps avoid genuine engagement with disputes, emerging difficulties and difference, and, at worst, as a basis of litigation. Moreover, as Rose (1997/2003) argues, the concept of a legal contract is not transferable to the field of ...