There is a growing interest on what clients have to say about their experiences in counseling and psychotherapy. Why do they say the things they say? In this powerful analysis, On Being a Client identifies a number of clear and potent messages that transcend the complexity of counseling thought and psychotherapeutic practice. Using clients' experiences as a framework, the author creates a general theory of counseling and psychotherapy. He proposes that the social and psychological structures which generate the clients' experiences underlie all psychotherapeutic encounters, and the self forms and reforms in social relationships--including those established in the therapeutic context. In this fascinating volume, the reader is invited to consider a number of thought-provoking claims about the universal qualities that characterize good and bad practice in all types of counseling and therapy. This distinctive and accessible analysis is invaluable reading for all counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals, whether they be in training or already established in practice.



People like to get things off their chest; a trouble shared is a trouble halved. The clients of counselling are in no doubt that one of the most valued aspects of counselling is the chance to talk. It was one of Breur's patients, Anna O., who baptized this type of treatment ‘the talking cure’. The simple act of giving voice to one's worries and concerns is in itself therapeutic. However, because it is such a common experience, the therapeutic effect of talking things through seems obvious; we take it for granted. But a second glance suggests that it is not at all obvious why talking to someone should make a person feel better. So why does talk cure?

A number of interesting answers have been ...

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