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Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy


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Table of Contents

Introduction - Meg Barker, Andreas Vossler and Darren Langdridge PART ONE: COUNSELLING, PSYCHOTHERAPY AND 'MENTAL HEALTH' The Diagnosis of Mental-Health Problems - David Pilgrim Understanding Drug Treatments: A Biopsychosocial Approach - Frederick Toates Psychoanalysis: The 'Talking Cure' - Ian Parker PART TWO: INDIVIDUAL THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES Humanistic Approaches - Fiona Ballantine Dykes Existential Psychotherapy - Darren Langdridge Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - Paul M Salkovskis Mindfulness Approaches - Meg Barker PART THREE: BEYOND THE INDIVIDUAL Systemic Approaches - Andreas Vossler Sociocultural Issues - Meg Barker PART FOUR: PRACTISING AND EVALUATING COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY Context and Setting - Andreas Vossler The Therapeutic Relationship - Darren Langdridge, Meg Barker and Mick Cooper Outcomes Research - Michael Barkham and Meg Barker Process Research: Using Qualitative Methods to Explore Therapeutic Practice around Issues of Fear and Sadness - John McLeod Conclusions - Meg Barker, Andreas Vossler and Darren Langdridge

About the Author

Meg-John Barker is the author of a number of popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including Queer: A Graphic History, Gender: A Graphic Guide, How To Understand Your Gender, Life Isn't Binary, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and IF You Want To), Rewriting the Rules, The Psychology of Sex, and The Secrets of Enduring Love. They have also written a number of books for scholars and counsellors on these topics, drawing on their own research and therapeutic practice. Websites:, Twitter: @megjohnbarker, Instagram: @meg_john_barker. Andreas Vossler is Director of the Foundation Degree in Counselling and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the Open University. He is also a systemic trained couple and family psychotherapist. His current research activities focus on therapeutic work with couples and families, infidelity, Internet infidelity, and counselling and psychotherapy. Andreas is co-editor of the Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Handbook (2014) and Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy (2010; both Sage). He has authored three textbooks and published 17 book chapters and 19 articles in peer-reviewed papers on topics related to counselling and psychotherapy (family therapy, infidelity, online counselling, health psychology, psychiatry) and research methods. Andreas is on the editorial board of Counselling Psychology Quarterly and Forum Community-Psychology.


'I enjoyed reading this book, finding it stimulating, well written, and provocative. I thought it would make an excellent introductory read, especially if this was augmented by critical debate and discussion. For me it is an engaging read and provides both a clear and contextually relevant background to its subject' -
Journal of The Society for Existential Analysis 'This is probably one of the most useful books I am ever likely to own. It is the nearest thing to a complete Bible for all aspects of my work as a counsellor, trainer and supervisor that I have had the privilege to read...For those who cannot afford to invest in a whole library, [this] is the book to buy' -
Therapy Today

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