Questions relating to personal identity are of central importance within counselling, which is often seen as an essentially (and perhaps excessively) 'me-focussed' activity. People often come to counsellors to find, reclaim, come to terms with, or control (aspects of) 'themselves.' They want to see how they have been shaped, helped or damaged by their circumstances. Yet there has been surprisingly little systematic examination of the conceptions of 'self' that are, could be, or should be available to counsellors.
This accessible book meets this need and more deeply than most other texts into the foundations and underlying presuppositions of the subject. Alex Howard takes a fresh look at counselling and psychotherapy and advocates greater philosophical and sociological awareness for trainees.
"Alex Howard has penned a masterpiece on identity and its relation to counselling. This book should be required reading for all who engage, philosophically or otherwise, with selves and others." - Lou Marinoff, author of Plato Not Prozac and Therapy for the Sane
"This wise and balanced book provides new resources for grasping the whole array of philosophical and sociological ideas that impinge on understanding self-identity. Howard has written a very practical treatise that will be a great gift for counsellors, therapists, and philosophers who want their work to matter." - Tom Morris, Author of True Success, If Aristotle Ran General Motors, and The Art of Achievement
"There's an unmistakable streak of passionate honesty and humanism in Howard's writing that provides more of a tonic than reading yet-another-counselling-book would. If you want the same old tame personal development, look elsewhere; if you dare risk a painful, intellectual, moral self-examination, try this." - Colin Feltham, Reader in Counselling, Sheffield Hallam University
"Alex Howard has tackled a most complex topic with consummate skill and has produced an extremely stimulating, wonderfully researched and much-needed alternative to the usual literature dealing with issues of identity and self." - Professor Ernesto Spinelli, School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, Regent's College, London UK
"Written with Alex Howard's customary erudition and clarity, [this] book is a vital corrective to the confusion and superficiality of so much of the writing in the counselling field; counsellors are extremely fortunate to have such a sympathetic critic and champion. But the book has much wider relevance and appeal: it is impossible to read without profiting from it." - Professor (Emeritus) David Smail, Clinical psychologist, Nottingham University