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.



Dialogue is the third of the ‘talking’ methods we use to help recognize and rethink the meaning we give to personal experience. In this method, the counsellor is a much more active participant in the search for meaning. What the client says (and does not say) is subject to joint reflection and speculation, analysis and criticism. Vigorous dialogue and debate between counsellor and client lead to new understandings and better ways of coping. Dialogue works well because (1) it uses a social relationship as the ‘natural’ way to explore meaning, (2) it encourages the client to try to make sense of past and present experience, (3) it challenges the client to make better sense of future experience and (4) it enables the client to ...

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