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Counselling for Depression

Counselling for Depression
A Person-centred and Experiential Approach to Practice

Edited by:

April 2014 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Published in Association with British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

This groundbreaking book takes a humanistic – person-centred and experiential – approach to counselling the most commonly presenting client issue: depression. For the first time, it establishes humanistic counselling as an evidence-based psychological intervention.

Chapters cover:

  • Evidence-based practice and person-centred and experiential therapies
  • The Counselling for Depression (CfD) competence framework
  • The CfD therapeutic stance
  • Working briefly
  • In-depth case studies illustrating CfD in practice
  • Training, supervision and research. 

The book is vital reading for those taking CfD training or a broader counselling and psychotherapy course, and for researchers and NHS workers wishing to enhance their practice.

Evidence-based practice and person-centred and experiential therapies
Introducing the Counselling for Depression competence framework
Person-centred and experiential therapies
Conceptualising depression from a person-centred and experiential therapies perspective
Working briefly
The Counselling for Depression therapeutic stance
Counselling for Depression in practice
Training, Supervision and Research: Developing Counselling for Depression
Lists of CfD competences
Data from Elliott et al (2013) meta-analysis
List of sources used in developing the Humanistic Competence Framework

This book is both timely and unique: it bridges theory and clinical practice by setting out a clear therapeutic model, detailing the competences that are employed to deliver counselling for depression, and describing how these are applied when working with clients. Specifying what “counselling” means in practice represents an enormous contribution to the field, and one that will be welcomed not only by practitioners and trainers, but also by researchers who wish to explore the effectiveness of this approach.

Professor Tony Roth
Joint Course Director, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, UCL

This book is an essential guide to working with people who are depressed. It illuminates practice within the context of theory, research and NICE guidance. Although written primarily for counsellors and psychotherapists, others will find it invaluable; nurses, psychologists, mental health workers, GPs and more.

If you work with people who are depressed, read this book! It brings together practice, theory and research and links in to current NHS thinking and guidance without compromising the essential nature of therapy.


Janet Tolan
Consultant and Private Practitioner

Pete Sanders and Andy Hill provide an elegant and sensitive drawing together of person-centred and experiential theory and therapy that results in a landmark text for practitioners delivering Counselling for Depression (CfD). Whether new to the field or an experienced practitioner, the book is both essential reading and an invaluable resource.

Michael Barkham
Professor of Clinical Psychology; Director, Centre for Psychological Services Research, University of Sheffield

...the first book to explain the theory and practice of the person-centred/experiential approach to counselling clients with depression which is offered through the IAPT programme.

HEALTHCARE - Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

This book has a valuable role to play in the fight for recognition from the NHS of different modalities in counselling/psychotherapy. It will be particualarly helpful to those working in medical environments, to students and trainers on humanistic courses and to practitioners wanting to know how evidence-based practice can add learning and validity to their work.

Karen Minikin - Counseller and Psychotherapist
Therapy Today

This inspiring and informative book is essential reading for any professionals working with depressed clients. The authors have used their wealth of experience to explain the person centred and experiential theory and practice in a way I haven’t read before. This new integrative counselling offers clients a model of therapy different from that of CBT, it is seen as a highly intense treatment for depression in the IAPT services. The book uses case studies to illustrate CfD in practice; I found this to be very useful and will be adapting it to suit my own client’s needs. Overall, an interesting read, essential for those wanting to improve their own counselling techniques.

Martine Johnson, Child & Adolescent Wellbeing Mentor
Wellbeing Mentor

As a textbook, it covers the ground that would be expected: the idea of depression, the PCE therapeutic approach, how this approach conceptualises depression, how it works in practice and ways of learning and being trained. I found the fictionalised vignettes particularly useful in understanding the theory and how it might be applied...I found this an intense but inspiring read, provoking some detailed reflections on my own person-centred practice and promoting a renewed sense of confidence. 

Andy Wilson, counsellor
Counselling at Work

A milestone for person-centred practitioners, it is what we have been waiting for, and will enable us to defend the practice of person-centred counselling in the NHS and elsewhere. Packed full of data from evidence-based research, it more than adequately rivals publications supporting other modalities that already have a strong evidence base to support their work, such as CBT.  

Jayne Hale - person-centred counsellor and supervisor
Private Practice Journal

[This book is] as an invitation to understand and participate, offering strategies and suggestions which are always rooted in person-centred and emotion-focused therapy theory. Case vignettes are included giving helpful examples of the approach in practice. The research base and methodology is clearly explained, making it a valuable resource for researchers seeking to develop this area. While relevant to practitioners who have some training in the person-centred approach and/or emotion-focused therapy, it may also be helpful for commissioning services in understanding the effectiveness of non-CBT approaches, as well as for GPs where a counselling referral may be appropriate.

Madi Ruby, Glyndwr University, Division of Social Sciences and Education
Counselling & Psychotherapy Research

A very welcome addition to the field, especially relevant to therapists wanting a realistic alternative therapeutic model to CBT for clients with depression.

Peter Jenkins, University of Manchester
Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

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