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Person-Centred Counselling Training

Person-Centred Counselling Training

January 1998 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Person-centered counseling requires more trainingùand a greater intensity of trainingùthan most other mainstream counseling approaches, but until now no one book has concentrated solely on the principles, practices, and requirements of training counselors within the person-centered approach. Author Dave Mearns, one of BritainÆs leading person-centered trainers and the co-author of the best-selling Person-Centered Counseling in Action, has expressly written this book for both trainees and trainers and has drawn on, and illustrated, the lived experiences of both. The book will also be useful for person-centered practitioners because it extends and develops current thinking within the approach. Accessible and practical, the material covered includes selecting and supporting trainers, selecting course members, skills development, supervision, and other professional issuesùall essential features of all counselor training, but of particular relevance to the person-centered approach.

What Does `Person-Centred' Mean?
Meeting the Client at Relational Depth
Central Dynamics in Person-Centred Counselling Training
Selecting and Supporting Trainers
Selecting Course Members
Counselling Experience Supported by Supervision
Personal Development during Training
Skill Development
Understanding Theory
The Large Group Meeting
Professional Issues
Variations for Counselling Skills Courses
Looking Back and Looking Forward

`When Mearns writes about how to help students develop into effective counsellors, such as aiding the growth of self-acceptance, congruency and self-assessment, and how trainers should be responsible to but not for that development, his ideas are sharp, thought-provoking and very relevant to today; and his concern to develop counsellors who are competent and open as people, and eager to continue that self-development to increase their professional competence, means that this book is very relevant for clinical psychology, its trainers and for psychologists when they train themselves and other professions' - Clinical Psychology Forum

`Mearns' book is accessible and readable... clearly grounded in person-centred theory... from the first sentence, the reader is invited into a relationship with the author, who communicates his experiences and ideas with a distinct personal style, humour and humility. Excellent use is made of experiences of training, from both trainers and trainees, which often illustrate opposite experiences of the same events, thus reminding the reader of the importance of phenomenological realities, one of the philosophical foundations of the PCA... it is to be hoped that this book will make the contribution to raising standards in counsellor training which it undoubtedly represents and deserves - especially of courses which presume a philosophical bond with the PCA. While it is predominantly of interest to person-centred practitioners.... I commend this book to trainers from other theoretical orientations as a rare example of an experienced, considered and reflective overview of all aspects of counsellor training' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling

`This excellent book... is the first to have been written on the subject of person-centred counselling training, and it combines a passionate commitment to the philosophy and therapeutic efficacy of the person-centred approach with a pragmatic and detailed account of how best to train future practitioners within the context of modern institutions, organizations and systems of accountability. It is an extremely honest and unpretentious work which raises as many questions as it provides answers, and it is enriched by lively illustrations and examples from Dave Mearns' own experience and that of his trainees... as a trainer I was inspired by the energy, enthusiasm and rigour that Mearns applies to his training work, and found this book a fertile ground for both the validation and questioning of my own practice' - Val Simanowitz, Self & Society

`The beauty of the book is that it puts into words those skills and passions that make up the approach. It also lays out clearly the crazy-paved path that leads one through the experience of gaining the required skills. Mearns... maintains a high degree of regard for students in training and for their innate wisdom. As a student myself, this encouraged me in my competence and skills' - Janine Cooper, Self & Society

`This thoughtful and thought-provoking book is essential reading not only for those involved in the training of counsellors within the person-centred approach, but also for individuals who may have simplistic, dismissive or otherwise ill-informed notions of the depth of self-awareness required of the person-centred practitioner and the far-reaching challenges offered by the approach. For counsellors who define themselves as "person-centred" but who have had no substantial training, it should be compulsory reading' - British Journal of Guidance and Counselling

`This new book fills a huge void in the counselling literature by considering, in a creative and systematic manner, how the training of person-centred counsellors can be consistent with the principles, philosophy, theory and practice of the person-centred approach in all respects. Dave Mearns never compromises the spirit or the letter of the PCA as he details how the training of person-centred counselling can respect the inner resources of individual trainees, nurture them and respect individual differences, yet help them gain the skills and confidence they need. The book has an added and welcome dimension when trainees are given the opportunity to speak for themselves. Their words... speak very openly of the struggles and achievements of going through a process that demands such personal commitment and, at times, great courage. Mearns is concerned to prepare people to work at what he calls "relational depth" with clients. Not for him the surface skimming of "skills training" alone that so often masquerades as counsellor training. Here is a consideration of the issues within person-centred counselling that demonstrates Dave's deep immersion in its philosophy and practice over many years, and his respect for its complexity... If you run a course of person-centred counselling training, or are thinking about it, or are a student on a person-centred course, you should buy this book. It is the first dedicated to person-centred training, and it is written by one of the very few people in the country who could have presented such complex material so comprehensively and with such clarity' - Person-Centred Practice

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