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.



When in a state of distress, we are awash with all kinds of difficult feelings. While some burst to the surface, others we suppress, uncertain about their legitimacy or reasonableness. Should I be angry and irritable with my ageing and demanding mother? Is it understandable that I should resent my wife's close and intimate relationship with our new-born son? The feelings are real; they are there, though they may be denied, ignored or simply wished away. In order to understand and handle such feelings, first we have to admit them before they can be scrutinized. However, this will only happen if the therapist allows us to feel safe and admit such feelings and if she facilitates their expression.

If the counsellor or therapist simply acknowledges ...

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