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Building the Client's Relational Base


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Table of Contents

Introduction; Anchor points; Isolation and its accomplices; How are we getting along?; Questioning professional norms; The practitioner's context; Attitudes determine practice; Relationship-building skills; Learning to act well relationally; Being an agent of cultural change

About the Author

Mark Furlong, PhD., is a senior lecturer in the School of Heath and Social Development at Deakin University in Melbourne. Previously, he practiced in therapeutic and mental health settings where he specialized in consulting, training and practicing from a relationship-building perspective. He has published in numerous publications in the psychiatric, family therapy, family studies, psycho-therapeutic, social work and primary health fields.


"Mark Furlong has written a valuable sourcebook that will appeal to a wide range of practitioners who are seeking a new yet rigorous approach to their work with clients. It draws creatively on theories of individualism, isolation, inequality and exclusion to make a strong case for practice that supports clients to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones." --- Rona Woodward, University of Stirling. "Theoretically sophisticated and very practice oriented; Mark Furlong makes a significant contribution to promoting professional practices which aim to develop the client's 'relational self'. A very timely and engaging book." --- Nigel Parton, University of Huddersfield. "The importance of people - and their relationships - lies at the heart of this scholarly text. It offers fascinating coverage on how practitioners can strengthen the relational-base of clients - and achieves this brilliantly. Highly recommended." ---Pamela Trevithick, Visiting Professor in Social Work, Buckinghamshire New University. "This book is a vital source for the development of a truly new psychotherapy. Mark Furlong makes a thorough critique of the twentieth-century individualist bias of Maslow's "self-actualization," showing how its model of individual therapy has contributed to the alienation of our times. Instead, he presents this rich, sometimes playful and humorous book expressly for serious junior workers on the front lines, and their supervisors. For them, he shares his experience as a teacher and program innovator, drawing on a broad base in psychiatric epidemiology, anthropology, and outcome studies as well as feminist and critical theory. He takes up system dilemmas such as confidentiality and family consultation. His vignettes and model conversations show how to mobilize the imagination, curiosity and courage of even the most beleaguered clients, to explore and discover the latent power of their social supports." ---C. Christian Beels, MD, MS. "How can we notice the ways in which individualism may be inadvertently influencing our practice? How can we resist becoming an accomplice to isolation and instead become agents for connection? Not only does Mark Furlong pose important questions in this book, he also offers a wide range of practices to assist us to interrupt cycles of loneliness in contemporary Western culture." ---David Denborough, Dulwich Centre Foundation International. "This book is a refreshing re-examination of current practice and helpful in suggesting a variance in approach that might be effective in terms of outcomes for the client: it is well worth reading." --- British Journal of Social Work.

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