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Skills in Person-Centred Counselling & Psychotherapy

Skills in Person-Centred Counselling & Psychotherapy

Third Edition

November 2016 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This bestselling classic has guided thousands of students and practitioners step-by-step through the skills and theory of the person-centred approach. Fully updated, this Third Edition includes numerous new exercises and case studies, a thoroughly-revised chapter on recent debates and developments, as well as two important new chapters on:


·         Politics, Prejudice, Power and Privilege

·         Client Perception


It remains an essential introduction for those beginning their training as well as more experienced practitioners keen to expand their range.

The Theoretical Framework
Empathic Understanding
Congruence in Practice
Unconditional Positive Regard
Psychological Contact – Basic and Cognitive Contact
Psychological Contact II – Subtle Contact
The Therapeutic Process
Politics, Prejudice, Power and Privilege
Client Perception
Beginnings and Endings
Management the Work in an Organisation
Professional Issues
Edgy and Ethical Issues
Debates and Developments in Practice

The new edition of Skills in Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy provides an invaluable introduction to the skills and awareness that are necessary in order to provide an effective helping relationship to individuals struggling to overcome problems in living. Janet Tolan clearly explains key concepts using vivid examples drawn from extensive professional experience. This book is essential reading for anyone setting out to become a counsellor or psychotherapist, or embarking on a career in social work, teaching or healthcare.

John McLeod
Professor of Counselling, Institute of Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, Dublin

This revised edition of a classic in person-centred therapy combines both an accessible introduction to becoming  a practitioner, and an up to date, socially situated, and academically rigorous essential guide.

It is rare to find a single volume that allows beginning students to reflect on their own experience, while remaining academically and theoretically  rigorous. A genuine must have for any serious student.

The reader can expect to be fully engaged with the ideas offered in the new chapter.  This book is an essential read for any new therapist.

Carol Wolter-Gustafson

This book is a wonderful resource, very well written, up to date and comprehensively researched. A 'must' for every person-centred course reading list.



Anja Rutten
Programme Director, Counselling, Keele University

A good companion book for trainee counsellors of all modalities. It highlights key aspects of the therapeutic relationship to help build the foundation for ethical practice.
Each chapter addresses key aspects of the therapeutic dyad and highlights the main points to consider with clear clinical vignettes.
Lots of useful exercises help solidify the learning from each chapter.

Mrs Ana Paula Wellbrook
Counselling and Psychology, City Lit
August 19, 2023

A classic. We used the previous edition and I have no reason to change to an alternative. Janet Tolan has inspired so many counselling trainees over the years.

Mrs Gaynor Avril Boileau
Health, Social Care & Early Years Dept, Warwickshire College
October 9, 2022

Profound, centered great resource for understanding person centered approach

Professor Maria del Carmen Montano
Psychology, Universidad Iberoamericana
June 23, 2022

Makes the link between counselling skills and person-centred theory very clear. Doesn't avoid the more complex aspects of Rogers theory of development, but makes this accessible and relevant to new readers.

Mr Malcolm McMillan
Department of Psychology, Strathclyde University
September 23, 2019

This is a good book, ideal for all counselling students and trainees alike. Grounded in person-centred principles, it provides a clear and concise overview of the approach and assists the reader develop their skills by demonstrating how these might be used effectively in a helping relationship.

Mrs Ana Paula Wellbrook
Counselling and Psychology, City Lit
September 6, 2019

highly relevant, useful and helpful for skills

Mrs Juliana Kate Hopkins
School of Health, University of St Mark And St John
May 1, 2020

This is an accessible text which explains some of the more challenging components of person-centred counselling in a clear and readable manner with appropriate case studies throughout. I would recommend this to Psychology undergraduates who are looking for a concise yet well-written introduction to both the theory and skills of the person-centred approach.

Mrs Suzi Smale
Psychology, Petroc College
August 12, 2018