• Implausible Professions: Arguments for pluralism and autonomy in psychotherapy and counselling 2nd extended edition

Implausible Professions: Arguments for pluralism and autonomy in psychotherapy and counselling 2nd extended edition

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ISBN 978 1 906254 33 9 (2011)
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The first edition of Implausible Professions, published in 1997, foretold many of the core issues around therapy ‘professionalisation’ that have come to dominate the field in recent years as the shadow of possible state regulation has loomed ever larger over the psy landscape. In the current highly charged context, this new edition could not be better timed. The many and diverse chapters, written by a mix of well-known names and new arrivals, are as fresh and relevant today as they were in the 1990s.

The back cover of the first edition described how the contributors to Implausible Professions ‘throw into question many of the most taken-for-granted assumptions on which the “professionalisation” and commodification of psychotherapy and counselling are based. The essays display the creative pluralism and passionate vitality which typify the best aspects of therapeutic work.’

This edition contains a completely new editorial Introduction and Conclusion, updating the story to 2011. For those engaging with the politics of professionalisation for the first time, or wanting to refresh themselves about the reasons why counselling and psychotherapy are in principle  ‘implausible professions’, this text is even more indispensable than it was in 1997.


Introduction to 2nd extended edition
Introduction to 1st edition
• The politics of transference, John Heron
• In the shadow of accreditation, David Wasdell
• Too vulnerable to choose? Richard Mowbray
• Reflections on fear and love in accreditation, Robin Shohet
• The dynamics of counselling research: a critical view, Richard House
• 'Audit-mindedness' in counselling, Richard House
• A case to answer, Richard Mowbray
• The myth of therapist expertise, Katharine Mair
• Training: a guarantee of competence? Richard House
• Inputs and outcomes: the medical model and professionalisation, Nick Totton
• Challenging the core theoretical model, Colin Feltham
• Not just a job: psychotherapy as a spiritual and political practice, Nick Totton
• The accountable psychotherapist: standards, experts and poisoning the well, Brian Thorne
• Counselling in the UK: jungle, garden or monoculture? Denis Postle
• Psychotherapy and tragedy, David Smail
• The making of a therapist and the corruption of the training market, Guy Gladstone
• Uncovering the mirror: our evolving personal relationship with accreditation, Sue Hatfield & Cal Cannon
• Pluralism and psychotherapy: what is a good training? Andrew Samuels
• The teaching of psychotherapy, Peter Lomas
• Therapy in New Paradigm perspective: the phenomenon of Georg Groddeck, Richard House
• A self-generating practitioner community, John Heron
• Practitioner development through self-direction: The South West London College counselling courses, Val Blomfield
• Developing self-determination: self and peer assessment and accreditation at the Institute for the Development of Human Potential, Michael Eales
• The University of East Anglia Person-Centred Counselling training, Michael McMillan and Catherine Hayes
• Assessment tension on a university-based counselling training course course, Jill Davies
• The Independent Practitioners Network: a new model of accountability, Nick Totton
• Self and peer assessment: a personal story, Juliet Lamont & Annie Spencer
• Stepping off the 'Game-Board': a new practitioner's view of accreditation, Marion Hall
• Learning by mistake: client-practitioner conflict in a self-regulated network, Nick Totton
• Participatory ethics in a self-generating practitioner community, Richard House
Conclusion to 1st edition
Conclusion to 2nd extended edition

The price of this book is worth it for the wisdom of the introduction let alone the other thoughtful pieces on where and how we — who seek to understand people — have moved forward. Susie Orbach, author of 'Fat is a Feminist Issue (1982) and 'Bodies: Big Ideas' (2009)

An excellent book that shows the astonishing diversity of therapeutic practice and makes clear why the field cannot be regulated by the state without losing its soul. An invaluable book in toady's climate of control.
Paul Gordon, Chair of the Philadelphia Association and author of The Hope of Therapy and An Uneasy Dwelling

Definitely a must for fresh and seasoned practitioners and anyone who cares about the future of this field and who needs a grounded and reflective counter-balance to the prevailing contemporary discourse.
Suzanne Keys, trainer, supervisor and counsellor and editor of Idiosyncratic Person-Centred Therapy

This was, when first published, an invaluable conceptual and practical resource for working against the grain of the 'professionalisation' of our care for each other, and now, in this second edition, doubly so!
Prof Ian Parker, Discourse Unit, Manchester Metropolitan University, author of Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Subjectivity

Nick Totton

Nick Totton has been a body psychotherapist since 1981, and an ecopsychologist since 2004. He has previously authored 11 books, including Wild Therapy (now in its second edition), Body Psychotherapy for the 21st Century and Psychotherapy and Politics, and edited several others, including Vital Signs: Psychological responses to ecological crisis (with Mary-Jayne Rust). Nick has developed trainings in two new forms of therapy – Embodied-Relational Therapy and Wild Therapy, both of which are now being continued by other trainers. He has a grown-up daughter and two grandchildren, and lives in Sheffield with his partner.

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Nick Totton

Richard House

Richard House Ph.D., C.Psychol. is Senior Lecturer in Education Studies (Early Childhood) at the University of Winchester, and was previously Senior Lecturer in Psychotherapy and Counselling in the Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, University of Roehampton, between 2005 and 2012. A trained counsellor and psychotherapist and a therapy practitioner since 1990, his books include In, Against and Beyond Therapy (PCCS, 2010), Therapy Beyond Modernity (Karnac, 2003), Against and For CBT (co-editor Del Loewenthal, PCCS, 2008), Too Much, Too Soon? – Early Learning and the Erosion of Childhood (Hawthorn, 2012, editor) and Childhood, Well-being and a Therapeutic Ethos (co-editor Del Loewenthal, Karnac, 2009). Richard is a co-founder of the Independent Practitioners Network, in which he has participated since 1994, and of the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, which campaigned successfully against state regulation of counselling and psychotherapy by the UK Health Professions Council. Richard is also a trained Steiner Kindergarten and class teacher, co-founding the ‘Open EYE’ and Early Childhood Action campaigns in 2007 and 2012 respectively, and, with author Sue Palmer, co-orchestrating the three press Open Letters on ‘toxic childhood’,‘play’ and the ‘erosion of childhood’ in (respectively) 2006, 2007 and 2011, thus helping to precipitate a global media debate about the state of childhood in modern technological culture. Richard is co-editor of Self and Society, the journal of the Association of Humanistic Psychology (UK), Theory Editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, and Associate Editor of Psychotherapy and Politics International.

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Richard House