For those seeking an honest appraisal of the activity and profession of counselling, the author of this rigorous examination of the talking therapies asks such key questions as: How has counselling evolved and why is it flourishing now in Western society? What are the limits on its applications? What social functions does it serve? Who benefits from it and who does not? What is its intellectual standing?
Colin Feltham brings contemporary counselling into focus by comparisons with other modern and historical helping services, religious and philosophical analyses of the human condition, and the present socio-economic context. He also discusses the topical issue of professionalization, and examines the arguments concerning the alleged differences between counselling and psychotherapy. He demonstrates that it is extremely difficult to define counselling in a way which fairly, unambiguously and accurately places it beyond misunderstanding and which reasonably distinguishes it from other similar activities.
`The text... flows comfortably and confidently, leading the reader by the hand through the problems associated with defining counselling, counselling's cousins to the emergence of contemporary counselling... and what a stimulating, enjoyable and challenging text it is. Having read the book I experienced the same sense of buoyant optimism with which I leave my supervision sessions... Unlike live supervision, the book will sit on my shelf and be available when I need the nurture. To other practitioners I would say "go on, treat yourself"... every word is relevant and necessary. I have enjoyed reading it, learned much from it and found little to disagree with' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy