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

Understanding Relapse

Understanding relapse
Rosemary Kent

‘Relapse’ – the word has depressing connotations: it implies not just a temporary setback, but a scenario of efforts having been all in vain, a sense of hopelessness. Its dictionary definitions refer to ‘backsliding’ and ‘failure following improvement’ and thus the sense that energy expended to achieve positive change was fruitless: it implies disappointment and weakness. For clients and therapists alike it may even suggest something worse than trying and failing – they may feel that if their efforts or interventions were at first successful, then it is not the approach that failed, but they themselves: they didn't ‘have what it takes’ to stick with it. In the world of psychiatry and general medicine, ‘relapse’ is used without implications of personal ...

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