Time-Conscious Psychological Therapy: A Life Stage to Go Through

Time-Conscious Psychological Therapy: A Life Stage to Go Through

Time-Conscious Psychological Therapy: A Life Stage to Go Through

Time-Conscious Psychological Therapy: A Life Stage to Go Through

Synopsis

Counselors and psychotherapists are divided about the morality and efficacy of short-term psychotherapy and counseling. The model of therapy described Time-Conscious Psychological Therapy is based on flexible adjustment to the life pattern of the individual client's development, showing how a carefully structured, stage-based series of therapeutic relationships can be rewarding for both client and therapist.Illustrated throughout by case examples, this is a book for practitioners of all psychological therapies who are looking for a rigorous but flexible approach to empowering their clients.

Excerpt

The 'talking/listening cure' is considered by the public and many health professionals as an imprecise, expensive, self-indulgent and slow route to psychological health and welfare. Counsellors and psychotherapists are divided about the morality and the efficacy of short-term psychotherapy and counselling. The critics of psychotherapy and counselling increase as the issues of abuse of power, crude and subtle, are debated: 'Therapists have put us on the couch for long enough; it's time we put them in the dock' (Madeleine Bunting in the Guardian, 24 Feb. 1994).

This book offers a way through the controversy by giving the central position back to the consumers of psychotherapy. Although still a minority, some of the most vivid and popular descriptions of the psychotherapeutic experience are the first-hand accounts written by clients. These accounts are valuable and enlightening, whether written in grateful praise (Cardinale 1984) or in more critical scrutiny (Dinnage 1989), and go some way towards redirecting attention away from the therapy hour and towards the client's life. Nevertheless, as Peter Lomas (France 1988: back cover) has commented in his recommendation of Anne France's description of her experience as a consumer of psychotherapy, the preponderance of accounts are given from the point of view of the practitioner. Almost without exception, approaches to psychotherapy or counselling place the practitioner in the principal role. Therapeutic models are offered to the expert professional with the implicit message that it is their responsibility to provide the client with a life-changing experience. Even person-centred models fall into this error by placing the onus of change on the practitioner's ability to provide 'core conditions' for growth of 'unconditional positive regard', 'congruence' and 'empathic understanding' (Mearns and Thorne 1988:14-15).

Instead, this book views individual practitioners as secondary to the life pattern of an individual client's psychological development. To achieve psychological transformation, one client may use the services of a variety of professional helpers, as well as drawing upon the support of external resources and facing the common existential challenge of needing to 'cope constructively with the business of being human' (Gilmore 1973). Many

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