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Person-Centred Counselling in Action

Person-Centred Counselling in Action

Fourth Edition

January 2013 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Audio book out now.

It is now 25 years since the first edition of Person-Centred Counselling in Action appeared, offering the definitive exposition of the theory and practice of the person-centred approach. Since then the book has supported and inspired hundreds of thousands of trainees and practitioners worldwide. This important Fourth Edition maintains the book's accessibility, clarity and verve whilst incorporating new developments in the approach. John McLeod joins authors Dave Mearns and Brian Thorne to contribute an exciting new chapter on research relevant to the person-centred field.

Person-Centred Counselling in Action, Fourth Edition will be an invaluable resource for those embarking on their first stages of training. Well-established practitioners and even seasoned scholars will continue to find much to interest and stimulate them.


Dave Mearns is professor of counselling and retired Director of the Counselling Unit of the University of Strathclyde. He has written seven books including Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (with Mick Cooper) and is co-editor of the international journal, Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies.


Brian Thorne is Emeritus Professor of Counselling at the University of East Anglia, Norwich where he was previously Director of Counselling and of the Centre for Counselling Studies. He is also a Co-founder of the Norwich Centre and continues to work there as a Professional Fellow.


John McLeod is Emeritus Professor of Counselling at the University of Abertay Dundee and adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Basic Theory of the Person-Centred Approach
Recent Developments in Person-Centred Theory
The Counsellor's Use of the Self
Unconditional Positive Regard
Research on Person-Centred Counselling
Appendix: Questions and Responses

‘This fourth edition has all the strengths of the previous editions but includes a new chapter on recent developments in person-centred theory and practice, as well as a chapter on developments in research by John McLeod. The chapter on research, which comes at the end of the book, is an excellent explanation of why person-centred practitioners must both be informed by and engage with research, which will totally convince the doubters (like me).

The book remains an invaluable introduction to person-centred concepts and can be used as both a reference and a reminder for those already familiar with the approach, to inform practice, enrich supervision or as a study aid for students.

It is a resounding riposte to those who continue to refuse to acknowledge the clinical relevance and proven efficacy of this approach.’

Val Simanowitz, Person-Centred BACP Accredited Counsellor and Supervisor
Therapy Today

'This book has influenced a generation of counsellors and the new edition continues to offer insight and wisdom' -
Janet Tolan, Psychotherapist and author of Skills in Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy

'This fourth edition has been a very worthwhile endeavour. If this is to be Mearns and Thorne's last work of this type then it will be a lasting legacy for all counsellors and psychotherapists for some time to come and not just person-centred practitioners,. The updates are seamless and form a coherent state of the art presentation of person-centred theory and practice. Both novice and experienced therapists will find much to gain from reading this book, even if they have read previous editions. The addition of John McCleod's chapter strengthens this edition even further. Research on Person Centred Counselling is a comprehensive and in-depth introduction to the reasons for research, approaches to research and research on person-centred counselling itself. A highly commendable book' -

Sheila Haugh, Senior Lecturer MSc Person Centred Contemporary Psychotherapy and Applications, Metanoia, London

'Person-Centred Counselling in Action continues to inform and inspire my doctoral students and lead them to a deeper, much more nuanced understanding of the Person-Centred approach. Moreover, the book has been invaluable in instilling many of the core principles that enable them to become skilled practitioners, mindful of what the therapeutic relationship really means' -
Dr. Susan Maise Strauss, Senior University Teacher in Counselling Psychology, City University London

Therapy Today

4th edition of a seminal work, brought up-to-date and invaluable for trainees in person-centred work/students of person-centred theory alike.

Ms Karen Ilott
counselling, Anglia Ruskin University
September 7, 2022

Clear accessible text which is embedded in practice. Students found the examples really useful and the use of terminology appropriate but accessible.

Ms Liz Henry
Faculty of Education and Society, Sunderland University
June 10, 2022

This is an excellent text which provides a concise update on person centred counselling and is very relevant for coaching which is my main interest. It provides trainee coaches with a succinct appreciation of the topic at a level of depth over and above short chapters in text books which I was otherwise using. Other texts are too wordy or out of date

Dr Adrian Myers
Business School, Oxford Brookes University
October 11, 2020

A detailed analysis of the person-centred approach to counselling which will enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding to a critical level. Key concepts are explained in depth and illustrated with appropriate examples.

Mrs Suzi Smale
Psychology, Petroc College
October 24, 2018

Jargon free and well written this is definitely an essential read for all our students and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Ms Kate Fronda
Counselling, Community Counsellor Training
August 17, 2016

Always an essential read

Mrs Julie K Wyman
Book Reviews, Devon Counselling College
May 17, 2016

This is an excellent book for learners wanting to find out more about Person-Centred Counselling.

Mrs Julie K Wyman
Book Reviews, Devon Counselling College
August 19, 2015

Always an essential read

Mrs Julie K Wyman
Book Reviews, Devon Counselling College
May 17, 2016

easy to read

Mrs Margaret Gough
CUC health and social care, Coventry University
April 23, 2015