In this volume, the contributors share the lessons they have learned over the course of their careers as practitioners. Their combined experience proves that "all" counsellors, no matter how expert or well-known, have made mistakes, or faced challenges and have had to learn from them aspects about the process of counselling - the hard way. Fifty "lessons" - five from each contributor - are related individually to the context of each counsellor's particular circumstances. A concluding section in each chapter links together the connecting themes that emerged throughout their learning process. Supportive and encouraging, these personal accounts of growth and development are representative of the problems that emerge in the practice of counselling.
`There is much to think about in this book... Many of the examples are not "mistakes" in the sense of saying or doing the `wrong' thing with the client; they are realisations of not only what counselling is all about but also who I am in relation to my work as a counsellor... the book requires us to continually reassess the way we use theory and the way in which we allow our personal and professional traditions to impact upon our practice. Our traditions will always predispose us to a particular set of strengths and weaknesses, to a particular way of thinking. By working things out for ourselves from first principles, we allow ourselves to rediscover our tradition within present experiences. This re-discovery is important since it is only with this sort of creativity that our own lives and our clients' lives can gain personal meaning' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling
`This is a very honest book and should be essential reading for anyone beginning training as a counsellor. It will also be useful for experienced therapists to stimulate reflections on their own practice... to examine their work and to learn from errors. It is refreshing to witness the honesty and openness of the writers - especially so in the present culture, where many therapists set themselves up as flawless experts... I would recommend this book... it provides an informed and open discussion on the problems encountered by therapists' - Clinical Psychology Forum
`The fallibility of our fellow eminent practitioners can be a curiously assuring reminder of our common human frailty. It is a comforting compensation for all of us that learning from our errors can improve our work... the contributors to this book are unified by genuine and explicit revelations of their failings and a commitment to recycle learning. I certainly can apply their lessons to some of my own dilemmas and am sure other practitioners can benefit likewise' - Self & Society
`stimulating... To write openly about one's questionable practices, if not mistakes, is a rarity in the psychotherapy growth industry and involves a high degree of self-disclosure and honesty. The contributors need to be commended on their courage to share the more fragile (though not at all unfamiliar!) moments of their professional careers... the many case examples pinpoint common clinical dilemmas with appropriate professional humility, thus demonstrating the value of learning from and through mistakes' - International Review of Psychiatry
`This book confirmed for me what a minefield counselling can be... I was very impressed with the levels of commitment shown by some counsellors and with some of the writers' painful honesty and willingness to change themselves and their techniques' - Changes
`most important to students/trainees of counselling and psychotherapy. It can alert them to the various pitfalls that lie ahead. Equally, experienced mental health profesionals will recognise many of the difficulties highlighted... the contributions demonstrate the value of counsellors receiving ongoing supervision in their work and the need for counsellors to be self-critical, to challenge their own observations and to strive never to become complacent' - International Journal of Social Psychiatry
Preface Petruska Clarkson Peggy Dalton Emmy van Deurzen-Smith Windy Dryden Michael Jacobs Dave Mearns Pat Milner John Rowan Robin Shohet Moira WalkerIndex