The dynamics of power in counselling and psychotherapy

6.23  ·  2,477 ratings  ·  688 reviews
the dynamics of power in counselling and psychotherapy

The Dynamics of Power in Counselling and Psychotherapy: Ethics, Politics and Practice by Gillian Proctor

An incredible amount of food for thought, at once validating my preferred therapy approach (client-centred) while challenging some of my assumptions about the counsellor-client relationship. For example, while client-centred therapy (CCT) emphasises the clients internal power to effect change in their life through the concept of the actualising tendency, this does not fully deal with a persons limitations of exercising internal power in the face of external sources of oppression, such as interpersonal relationships and societal forces. Although these have been examined by others (Smail in respect hidden political power; Mearns and Thorne in respect of social mediation of the actualising tendency; Mearns and Cooper in respect of interpersonal relationships), Proctors examination of power dynamics has, more than the that of others, made me think about how I place myself with a client.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) takes a beating from Proctor, and Psychodynamic Therapy is given more than a few kicks - both for having ignored and/or made assumptions about power relations in therapy, at least in their original framing. CCT, having been developed as a reaction against the authoritarianism of psychoanalysis and behaviourism, has considerations of power dynamics built into its core formulation, but still has areas which Proctor argues need examining.

Im left with a long list of books I want to read about power relationships from Proctors reference list, though when Im going to find the time is an entirely different matter!

I have the feeling that many of the issues raised in this book will occupy my time in supervision and in self-reflection. This has been a powerful book for me (the pun only partially intended).
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Why Therapists May Misuse Their Power—and How to Avoid It

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Gillian Proctor

PCCS Books

This hard-hitting, impeccably referenced book draws on academic theories and analyses of power and the author's personal experience both as client and practitioner to critique power within the psychotherapeutic relationship and within the organisations where therapy takes place. Accessible, political and severely critical of her own profession, Proctor provides an essential reminder to student, practitioner and researcher of the imperative to remain always mindful of the values and ethics of justice and responsibility. In this revised second edition, Gillian Proctor extends her discussion to the more recent challenges presented by the IAPT programme. Dr Gillian Proctor is an independent clinical psychologist and person-centred psychotherapist, offering individual therapy and supervision. She is a lecturer in counselling at the University of Leeds and a research supervisor. She has a particular interest in ethics, politics and power and the importance for counselling of the insights from sociology and philosophy to broaden and deepen our understandings of relationships and ethics. Convert currency.

Add to basket Qty. This hard-hitting, impeccably referenced book draws on academic theories and analyses of power and the author's personal experience both as client and practitioner to critique power within the psychotherapeutic relationship and within the organisations where therapy takes place. Accessible, political and severely critical of her own profession, Proctor provides an essential reminder to student, practitioner and researcher of the imperative to remain always mindful of the values and ethics of justice and responsibility. In this revised second edition, Gillian Proctor extends her discussion to the more recent challenges presented by the IAPT programme. I can't praise this book highly enough. What struck me early in reading it is Proctor's deeply empathic position and her quiet yet incisive passion to right wrongs in our trade or profession, if you prefer. To me, this addressing of injustice is embedded in the skeleton of the book rather than in polemics.

Given that people who are distressed often choose to go for help in therapy, it is therapists' duty and responsibility to deconstruct practices and to be clear about the ethics, values and effects of the practices they use. This book is based on the values and ethics of justice and responsibility, to resist domination and totalising discourses. Read more HathiTrust Digital Library, Limited view search only. Please choose whether or not you want other users to be able to see on your profile that this library is a favorite of yours. Finding libraries that hold this item It is a useful rejoinder to those who, in their naivety claim that the therapeutic relationship is one of equality in which power does not exist, and as a useful reminder to those who acknowledge its presence yet need to be constantly ensuring that power in the therapist and in the therapeutic relationship does not become abusive.

The foundation of this book rests on the values and ethics of justice and responsibility, to resist domination and totalising discourses and to deconstruct the discourses behind models of therapy. Given that people who are distressed often choose to go for help in therapy, it is our duty and responsibility, as therapists, to deconstruct our practices and to be clear about the ethics, values and effects of the discourses and practices we use. It is a useful rejoinder to those who, in their naivety claim that the therapeutic relationship is one of equality in which power does not exist, and as a useful reminder to those who acknowledge its presence yet need to be constantly ensuring that power in the therapist and in the therapeutic relationship does not become abusive.
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