• In, Against and Beyond Therapy: Critical essays towards a post-professional era

In, Against and Beyond Therapy: Critical essays towards a post-professional era

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ISBN ISBN 978 1 906254 32 2 (2010)
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In, Against and Beyond Therapy assembles some 15 years of updated critical writings within the broad therapy field, with incisively provocative commentaries on the professionalisation process, the client voice, therapeutic education and training, and research. For practitioners who are highly sceptical about the beneficence of the state regulation of the psychological therapies, this book promises to be a rallying-point for the development of a 'post-professional' therapy culture. It will be indispensable reading for critical psychologists, and for therapists of all persuasions and modalities who value critical thinking and challenge, and who welcome the opportunity to step outside of therapy's conventional, taken-for-granted 'regimes of truth'.



Foreword by Denis Postle

Introduction: Mapping a journey towards a ‘post-therapy era’

Part I:  Intimation of disquiet about ‘Professionalised Therapy’

1. The Be-Coming of a Therapist: Experiential learning, self-education and the personal/professional nexus

2. The Unmasking of the Pathologising Mentality: A review essay

3. The Place of Psychotherapy and Counselling in a Healthy European Social Order: A commentary on      Tantam and van Deurzen

4. Therapy on the Couch? – A client scrutinises the therapy phenomenon: A review essay

5. Welcoming the Client-Voice Movement


Part II: Emergent Postmodern and ‘New Paradigm’ perspectives

6. Limits to Counselling and Therapy: Deconstructing a professional ideology

7. Deconstruction, Post-(?)-modernism and the Future of Psychotherapy: A review essay

8. Therapy and Postmodernist Thought: Martin Heidegger’s relevance

to therapy and traumatic experience: A review essay

9. Taking Therapy Beyond Modernity? The promise and limitations of a Levinasian understanding

10. ‘Psychopathology’, ‘Psychosis’ and the Kundalini: Postmodern perspectives on unusual subjective experience

11. Therapy’s Modernist ‘Regime of Truth’: From scientistic ‘theorymindedness’ towards the subtle and the mysterious

12. Towards a New Spiritual Psychology? Integrating Carl Jung and Rudolf Steiner: A review essay


Part III:  Direct Challenges to the professionalisation of Counselling and Psychotherapy

13. Mowbray Distilled: A summary of his The Case Against Psychotherapy Registration

14. Ahead of His Time: Carl Rogers on ‘professionalism’, 1973

15. Unconsciously Generating Inevitability? Workable accountability alternatives to the statutory regulation of the psychological therapies [with Denis Postle]

16. An Unqualified Good: The Independent Practitioners Network as a path through and beyond professionalization


Par IV: Radical ‘Trans Modern’ perspectives on Training and Research

17. The Future of Training in Therapy and Counselling: ‘Trans-modern’ Perspectives

18. Research in a New Key: Towards ‘new paradigm’ methodology: A review essay

19. Empirically Supported/Validated Treatments as Modernist Ideology: Alternative perspectives on research and practice [with Arthur C. Bohart]

20. Research Beyond Modernity? Deconstructing the very idea of ‘research’: An extended review essay


Part V: Making what we want: Towards Practionership in a Post-Therapy Era

21. Intimations Towards a ‘Post-Professional’ Era: The pioneering genius of Georg Groddeck, 1866–1934

22. From Professionalisation Towards a Post-Therapy Era

23.Transforming Commodified Supervision into Peer Support

24. Towards Post-Professional Practice: Principled non-compliant practitionership in a post-regulation era


CONCLUSION: Preparing the ground for cultivating a new post-therapy culture



Brilliant and passionate critique of contemporary 'professionised' therapy form, ie. counselling and psychotherapy as they are currently practiced in the mainstream. This is an intelligent and carefully-argued and fearless articulation of a vision of what might be possible in the future. It represents an attempt to re-claim healing work from the dead-hand of modernity. For me, it is a breath of fresh air and undoubtedly one of the most important works to emerge in the therapy literature for a very long time. It deserves to be taken very seriously by the therapy profession. Amazon reviewer, June 2013.

And this, it seems to me, is House's final message: there are other ways of working with ourselves and our clients than those currently being privileged by the medical model of therapy, and the proponents of credentialised regulation. It is incumbent on those of us who hold a questioning stance towards that paradigm that we open up other real spaces and possibilities in the world. And the reason it feels to me that this book is of genuine importance and urgency is that in reading it, I feel in the presence of a thoughtful and inspiring ally in the work of living as a practitioner committed to human potential and growth. Neill Thew, Self and Society, Winter 2010.

In conclusion, this book is a resource and a compendium of important issues. The central message is well summarised by C.G. Jung: 'learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul' (quoted by House p.279). Isabel Clarke, Network Review of the Scientific Network, January 2011.

Counselling and psychotherapy certainly need prophetic voices at this critical time if they are to remain beacons of hope in a frenetic world. Richard House has been an indefatigable prophet for many years and here we have some of his bravest and most provocative contributions. Brian Thorne, Emeritus Professor of Counselling, University of East Anglia and Co-founder of the Norwich Centre

In this panoramic view of the state of therapy today that, unusually, has a  view of the world outside therapy, Richard House writes with energy and purpose, providing us with arguments and reflections that are a delight to read. Professor Ian Parker, Discourse Unit, Manchester Metropolitan University

No-one personally located within a mainstream professional organisation, whether an umbrella body like UKCP or a smaller training body, should ignore this book. Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex

I recommend this book unreservedly to practitioners of every persuasion as an invigorating, transforming deconstruction of the prevailing assumptions of their role. John Heron, Co-initiator, South Pacific Centre for Human Inquiry

Personally I have to say that I find the book fascinating, and an excellent source of the required information that more than meets my personal requirements … There's a broad range of views included, and I feel that whether it be for someone with either a personal and/or professional interest in current CBT research and theory, or someone like myself who needs access to such information to incorporate into their academic pursuits, the book is well worth a purchase.



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