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Critical Thinking in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Critical Thinking in Counselling and Psychotherapy

  • Colin Feltham - Emeritus Professor of Counselling & Psychotherapy, Sheffield Hallam University

July 2010 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Critical Thinking in Counselling and Psychotherapy examines the critical debates around key topics in counselling and psychotherapy. In nine sections including Everyday Counselling Practice, Training and Curriculum Issues, and Counselling, Society and Culture, Colin Feltham explores and cross-references 60 provocative questions central to counselling training and practice.

Ranging from more mainstream subjects like unconditional positive regard, ethics and supervision to broader social or philosophical issues such as employment concerns and the debate on assisted suicide, entries include:

  • Why have we focused on core theoretical models?
  • What are the pros and cons of short-term, time-limited counselling?
  • What's wrong with CBT?
  • Where is research taking us?
  • Is statutory regulation a good and inevitable development?
  • Are there limits to personal change in counselling?

Each section includes questions for reflection, case studies and student exercises. This comprehensive, student-friendly text is a useful resource for lecturers to stimulate seminar discussion, and for all trainees wishing to write essays or generally develop their critical thinking in counselling and psychotherapy.

Introduction: What Is Critical Thinking?
What Are the Pros and Cons of Unconditional Positive Regard?
How Important Are Boundaries in Counselling Practice?
What Form Should Assessment Take?
Is Eclecticism as Bad as the Bad Press It's Had?
What Are the Pros and Cons of Short-Term, Time-Limited Counselling?
What's Wrong with Counsellor Self-Disclosure?
How Crucial Are Counselling Ethics?
Can You Counsel Effectively When Affected by Illness or Personal Troubles?
Does It Matter if Empathy Is Not Matched by Personal Experience?
Is Training Necessary?
Who Is Suitable to Be a Counsellor?
Should Men Counsel?
How Important Is the Trainee's Own Personal Therapy?
Why Have We Focused on Core Theoretical Models?
How Much Is Theory Related to Practice?
Are Colleges and Universities the Best Places to Train Counsellors?
How Necessary Is Psychology to Counselling?
How Might Counselling Be Expanded as an Academic Subject?
Who Founds Schools of Counselling and Why?
Which Theories of Human Development Are Most Relevant in Counselling Training and Practice?
How Do Genes, Personality, Object Relations and Life Events Interact?
What Roles Do Chance, Destiny and Control Play in Our Lives?
What's Wrong with Psychoanalytic Therapy?
What Are the Limitations of the Person-centred Approach?
What's Wrong with CBT?
Who Owns Counselling?
Do We Need Supervision Forever?
Where Is Research Taking us?
Is Statutory Regulation a Good and Inevitable Development?
What Are the Differences between Counselling, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Clinical and Counselling Psychology?
How Buoyant or Otherwise Is the Job Market for Counsellors?
How Should We Respond to Clients' Views and Complaints?
How Important Are 'Social Contexts of Counselling' as a Component of Training?
Can Counselling be a Countercultural Activity?
How Much Should Counsellors Charge?
Whatever happened to Self-Analysis, Co-Counselling, Group and Social Therapy?
Are We Counselling on a Dying Planet?
Does Counselling Rest on Faith and Hope?
Are Life, Training and Counselling Part of a 'Journey'?
Can Counselling Make You Enlightened?
Whatever Happened to Free Will and Willpower?
Do we Need to Have a View about the World/Reality/Existence Itself?
Is Counselling Non-directive and Value-Free?
Is It All about the Relationship?
Does the Client Know Best?
Must Counselling Embrace an Optimistic View of Human Nature and Potential?
Can Counselling or Psychotherapy Help People with Serious Mental-Health Problems?
Are We All Neurotic?
Are There Limits to Personal Change in Counselling?
Which Undiscovered Diagnostic Categories Might There Be?
Is the Human Species Anthropathological?
How Much Depends on the Client?
Is Counselling Primarily a Heartfelt Activity?
Is Counselling Scientific?
What to Think about Suicide?
What Is the Future for Couple Counselling?
Why Has Counselling Had So Many Detractors?
To What Extent Is Counselling Reliant on Illusions?
Who Is the 'Person of Tomorrow'?
What Does the Writer Really Think?

This book covers many important areas, but we particularly value the appendix which is an exercise to facilitate critical thinking. We find it an excellent way to introduce critical thinking to our students, and so useful to have it from the perspective of counselling, making the task much more relevant and real for them.

Mrs Sarah Jones
Counselling, Gloucestershire College
November 17, 2017

A fantastic book to help gain an insight into critical thinking

Miss nicola lord
department of health, preston collage
February 19, 2016

This book has really helped those learners training to be counsellors who have done little or no previous formal learning.

Mrs Julie Wyman
Book Reviews, Devon Counselling College
August 9, 2013

This is a useful book for initiating debate in groups around current topical issues in counselling and psychotherapy. The author acknowledges that he has decided not to evidence his own viewpoints deliberately. I would have personally found the book more useful if the author had used supporting evidence. That said, this book seems able to engage the reader on an emotional level, which I gather is a key focus of the book.

Mr Graham Westwell
Applied Health and Social Care, Edge Hill University
September 20, 2012

An interesting collection of ideas and discourse for the trainee who is feeling the elephants in the room once they enter into their first placement. A good discussion starter.

Mr Pamela Gawler-Wright
Psychotherapy, BeeLeaf Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy
March 6, 2012

This book will be added to a newly validated module on Critical thinking and professional development. It was good to see a book specifically designed for critical thinking in a related field to community youth work.

Dr Tony Morgan
Youth & Community Work, Ulster University
February 27, 2012

An excellent book that will prompt much debate and discussion in contexts from Counsellor Education to Group CPD. Each subject is written to offer a range of perspectives and discussion around these, in a succinct way.

Mr Mike Bancroft
Counselling, Alton College
February 15, 2012

Provided an added dimension to our internship program not provided by other texts.

Dr Ed Decker
Religion Dept, Oral Roberts University
January 24, 2012

A really useful book that the students have already found essential to their study, practical and professional skills

Ms Deborah Gibson
Northern Programme for Art psychotherapy, Leeds Metropolitan University
January 7, 2012

Material could assist in a specialist psychosocial interventions unit currently part of the BSc/BSc(Hons) Mental Health programme and has been looked at by unit facilitator.

Mr Bruce Wallace
Faculty of Health & Social Science, University of Bedfordshire
October 27, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Everyday Counselling Practice