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Counselling and Therapy Techniques

Counselling and Therapy Techniques
Theory & Practice

  • Augustine Meier - Ph.D., certified clinical psychologist, professor Emeritus, Faculty of Human Sciences, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario and Founder and President of the Ottawa Institute for Obj
  • Micheline Boivin - M.A., certified clinical psychologist, Psychological Services of the Family, Youth and Children's Program at the Centre for Health and Social Services, Gatineau, Quibec

October 2010 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This is the first book on counselling skills to look in detail at the practical interventions and tools used to establish the therapeutic relationship. Step-by-step, the text teaches the reader exactly how to use these skills with clients to address their concerns and achieve therapeutic change.

Integrative and pluralistic in approach, the text covers the key techniques from all the major therapeutic models, placing them in their historical and theoretical contexts. Techniques covered include empathic responding, experiential focusing, Gestalt, metaphors, task-directed imagery, ego state therapy, solution focused therapy, cognitive behvioral therapy, narrative therapy and self-in-relationship therapy. The book:

- presents each technique from the perspective of its underlying theory;

- gives practical instruction on how to deliver each intervention;

- provides extracts from counselling sessions to demonstrate the technique in action.

This book is crucial reading for all trainees on counselling and psychotherapy courses or preparing to use counselling techniques in a range of other professional settings. It is also helpful for professionals who wish to acquire additional skills.

Augustine Meier, certified clinical psychologist, professor Emeritus, Faculty of Human Sciences, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario and Founder and President of the Ottawa Institute for Object Relations Therapy.

Micheline Boivin, certified clinical psychologist, Psychological Services of the Family, Youth and Children's Program at the Centre for Health and Social Services, Gatineau, Québec.

Theoretical Bridges and the Psychotherapy Process

Epistemological Foundations

Psychotherapeutic Content - Client Experiences

Encoding Experiences

Psychic Organisations and Processes

Target of Change: Behaviour or Reworking and Rebuilding Psychic Organizations

Phases of the Change Process and Techniques

Techniques and the Therapeutic Relationship

Therapist - Client Collaboration

Discriminate Use of a Technique

Ethical Considerations and the Use of Techniques


Empathic Responses

Empathy: Origin and Definitions

Theoretical Aspects

Measuring Accurate Empathy

The Technique of Empathic Responding

Guidelines for Formulating and Communicating Empathic Responses

Common Problems and Empathic Inhibitors

Illustration: Tania


The Experiential Focusing Technique

Theoretical Aspects

The Practice of Experiential Focusing

Illustration: Simone


The Gestalt Empty-Chair and Two-Chair Techniques

Part 1: Personality Organization and Processes

Primary Motivating Factor

Contact and Contact Boundary

Stages of Personality Development

Subsystems of Personality

Processes of Personality Development

Organismic Self-Regulation

Boundary Disturbances

Therapeutic Goals, Role of Therapist and Techniques

Part 2: The Gestalt Empty-Chair Technique

Unfinished Business

The Gestalt Empty-Chair Technique in Action

Illustration: Robert

Part 3: The Gestalt Two-Chair Technique

Theoretical Aspects

Procedures Using the Gestalt Two-Chair Technique

Illustration: Rick



The Use of Metaphors in Therapy

Metaphor: Definition, Structure, and Power

Client-Generated Metaphors

Types of Client-Generated Metaphors

Techniques to Unravel Metaphors

Eliciting and Exploring Client-Generated Metaphors

Pitfalls in Using Metaphors

Ethical Considerations

Illustration: Karen


Task-Directed Imagery

Imagery in Context

Task-Directed Imagery

Illustration: Maylyn


Ego-State Therapy

Ego States: Major Concepts, Development, and Activation

The Practice of Ego-State Therapy

Illustration: Sonja


Solution-Focused Therapy

Theoretical Aspects

The Practice of Solution-Focused Therapy

Procedures for Doing Solution-Focused Therapy

Illustration: Colleen


Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Part 1: Theoretical Aspects

Theory of Personality

Theory of Psychopathology

Part 2: Psychotherapy Procedures and Techniques

Goal of Therapy

Fundamental Clinical Processes

Psychotherapeutic Techniques

Part 3: Working with Automatic Thoughts


Illustration: Sébastien

Part 4: Working with Schemas

Classification of Schemas

Schema Processes


Illustration: Sébastien


Narrative Therapy

Theoretical Influences

Theoretical Aspects

The Practice of Narrative Therapy

Method in Working with Narratives

Ethical Considerations

Illustration: Sonja


Self-in-Relationship Psychotherapy

Major Concepts and Processes

Therapeutic Process

Illustration: Sofía



This book has proved particularly useful for teaching skills work on integrative courses at all levels. Techniques are clearly explained and illustrated well enabling students to gain confidence in integrating theory into practice. This book in now included as recommended reading on Certificate and Foundation Degree Year 1 reading lists.

Mrs Maureen Slattery-Marsh
Counselor Education , Birmingham Adult Education Service
July 11, 2011

An excellent text providing a useful insight and examples of contempory practice applicable to a range of therapeutic applications and theoretical approaches across the field.
I hope my students will endevour to gain a constructice theoretical and fundermental appreciation of the many examples illustrated in the text.
well done

Mr Tony Ford
Division of Mental Health & Learning Disability, Northumbria University
December 16, 2010

Meier and Boivin have succeeded in providing a graduate/postgraduate level skills handbook, which will appeal to learners at higher academic levels. Particularly useful for our students are the linking of theory to practice, so that the reader is made fully cognizant of the rationale for specific techniques, rather than learning them as disembodied tools. Diagrams and case illustrations all enhance.

Mrs Valerie Sanders
Counselor Education , University of Greenwich
December 15, 2010

Not appropriate for course level

Ms Alexandra Cross
Psychology , London Metropolitan University
December 15, 2010

Comprehesive deatiling of a wide rnage of therapeutic technqiues really helpful for our BA students seeking to extend their technical repetoire for working with clients.

Mr Quentin Stimpson
Dept of Psychology & Counselling, Greenwich University
December 7, 2010

This book is well written but was not suitable for our course due to the substance of the content of the text not being at an appropriate level of complexity for our students. Our students are a mixture of 3rd year and postgraduate students studying a conversion course degree. However, the text would be well aimed at first or second year students gaining entry level to an undergraduate degree and would serve well as an introductory text. For this reason I have forwarded the details to my colleagues in the hope that they will find the text useful in the Social psychology and Health departments for their students.

Mr Gary McKenna
School of Computing, University of the West of Scotland
December 1, 2010

A useful book for students new to guidance and counselling

Ms Julie Burton
Psychology , Lincoln University
June 10, 2010

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ISBN: 9781847879585

ISBN: 9781847879578

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