Counsellors and psychotherapists often encounter difficult situations with clients for which they feel ill prepared. At any stage in the process a client may experience a crisis or set back in their progress or simply be unable to move beyond a certain point. Working through Setbacks in Psychotherapy is therefore intended to help therapists respond to such events which form major obstacles to the successful development and maintenance of the therapeutic relationship. The authors present a framework for understanding the problems that arise and offers effective guidance for working through difficult situations which test the skills of even the most experienced practitioners. Until now little has been written about the

Setbacks in the Developmental Process

Setbacks in the developmental process

A sense that things are falling apart; the apprehension that we are completely stuck in our lives; the feeling that, in spite of our best efforts, we are back to square one: these are the experiences that bring people in search of psychotherapy or counselling. We hope for growth and change – but these very obstacles often recur in the therapeutic relationship which was supposed to transform them. Therapy is difficult. For the therapist – as for the client – the process is often painful: alarming, overwhelming, disorienting, confusing, boring or disappointing. Too much writing on psychotherapy glosses over this, ignoring such experiences or placing a positive ‘spin’ on them. Of course, therapy is often rewarding, ...

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