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.

Warm and Friendly

Warm and friendly

Clients tell us that it is deeply comforting to be accepted by another human being. It gives confidence, it bolsters self-esteem, it helps people feel valued. In the warmth of a secure relationship, emotions recover their strength. For many people in distress, the experience of ‘love’ is not only necessary, it can be sufficient.

However, for others who are feeling profoundly helpless or in pain, disturbed or not coping, there is also the need to regain control as well as to feel comforted. Life has to return to some kind of order. Events have to be seen in proportion. In these cases, a loving relationship is necessary but it may not be sufficient. There is ‘work’ to be done.

Feeling Secure

The opportunity to ...

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