Emotions and Needs

Emotions and Needs

Emotions and Needs

Emotions and Needs


"Robertson and Freshwater explicitly use the development of a therapeutic relationship and, parallel with it, the development of an individual psyche, as a vehicle for their exploration of emotions and needs. The subtlety is that their exploration, like psychotherapy itself, begins with the complexity and ends with the simplicity." Self & Society

Through the centrality of the concepts of needs and emotions, this volume describes and discusses issues that are fundamental to psychotherapy. As an alternative to classifying modalities of psychotherapy (and the way in which they understand needs and emotions) by their author, era or underpinning philosophy, this book focuses instead on the emotional patterning of psychotherapy.

The book explores need and emotion in relation to what patients bring to therapy and what subsequently facilitates effective engagement. Examining ways of understanding the manifestation of needs and emotions, the authors bring differing therapeutic schools of thought together in contemporary models of integrative psychotherapy which draw upon the transpersonal, postmodern and poststructural. The book is illustrated throughout with clinical vignettes which help the reader ground the theoretical concepts in everyday practice.

The discussions in this volume not only add to the current body of knowledge surrounding the fundamental concepts of emotions and needs, but also make a long overdue contribution to the psychotherapeutic professions. Emotions and Needs will be of interest to students and practitioners in fields such as: counselling, psychotherapy, clinical psychology and social work.


A major aspect of intellectual and cultural life in the twentieth century has been the study of psychology - present of course for many centuries in practical form and expression in the wisdom and insight to be found in spirituality, in literature and in the dramatic arts, as well as in arts of healing and guidance, both in the East and West. In parallel with the deepening interest in the inner processes of character and relationships in the novel and theatre in the nineteenth century, psychiatry reformulated its understanding of the human mind, and encouraged, in those brave enough to challenge the myths of mental illness, new methods of exploration of psychological processes.

The second half of the twentieth century in particular witnessed an explosion of interest both in theories about personality, psychological development, cognition and behaviour, as well as in the practice of therapy, or perhaps more accurately, the therapies. It also saw, as is not uncommon in any intellectual discipline, battles between theories and therapists of different persuasions, particularly between psychoanalysis and behavioural psychology, and each in turn with humanistic and transpersonal therapies, as well as within the major schools themselves. Such arguments are not surprising, and indeed objectively can be seen as healthy - potentially promoting greater precision in research, alternative approaches to apparently intractable problems, and deeper understanding of the wellsprings of human thought, emotion and behaviour. It is nonetheless disturbing that for many decades there was such a degree of sniping and entrenchment of positions from therapists who should have been able to look more closely at their own responses and . . .

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