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

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


By (author) Gillian Proctor

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  • Publisher: Pccs Books
  • Format: Paperback | 156 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 228mm x 14mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Manchester
  • ISBN 10: 1898059403
  • ISBN 13: 9781898059400
  • Sales rank: 309,258

Product description

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.

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Author information

Gillian Proctor is a Doctor in Clinical Psychology, currently working as part of the mental health therapy team for North Bradford Primary Care Trust, an honorary lecturer with the Centre for Citizenship and Community Mental Health at Bradford University, West Yorkshire, UK and a trainer at Temenos, Sheffield UK. Her particular interests are in ethics and power, and her exploration of power in therapy resulted in The Dynamics of Power in Counselling and Therapy: Ethics, politics and practice. Whilst the Person-Centred Approach helps her to concentrate on the uniqueness and potential for growth and creativity of each individual, feminism brings her focus to the commonalities within dominant and marginalised groups and the effects of socially constructed positions and limitiations on people.

Review quote

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. - I enjoyed reading this book and being challenged by it and I recommend it to experienced practitioners as a reminder, and to new therapists and trainees as an essential aid, to developing ethical practice. Roger Casemore, HCPJ, October 2002. When we enter into therapy we give enormous power to the therapist because we want to see that person as someone who can take our pain away. Such power can be abused. Gillian Proctor's timely, thoughtful book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what goes on in that most dangerous of arenas, therapy. Dorothy Rowe, Clinical Psychologist and author. Gillian Proctor's book makes a significant contribution in bringing to the fore issues of power that have been grossly neglected in psychotherapy up to now. David Smail, Clinical Psychologist and author.

Table of contents

Why does power in counselling matter?; Isn't therapy always dangerous and abusive?; What is power? Structural theories; How does power work?; Post-structural theories; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: The obscuring of power in the name of science; Person-Centred Therapy: Equality in the therapy relationship?; The Psychodynamic Approach: Isn't the power all in the transference?; Conclusions: So what can we do about power?