Learning and Being in Person-Centred Counselling has inspired and guided thousands of counselling students since it was first published in 1999. Tony Merry died in 2004, and this third edition has been updated, with a new chapter on recent developments, by Sheila Haugh, a long-time colleague who knew him and his work well.
Learning and Being offers an in-depth exploration of all aspects of person-centred counselling, from its origins to current developments in theory and practice. It is written in clear and accessible language, with exercises and checklists to prompt the reader’s own thinking and learning. It brings theory to life with its suggestions for exploring and developing person-centred values, qualities, attitudes and skills. Chapter covers essential aspects of theory and practice, including working at relational depth, training issues and supervision, and a comprehensive resource list of other relevant texts.
Learning and Being in Person-Centred Counselling is recommended for:
• certificate and diploma counselling trainees and tutors
• undergraduate psychology students and lecturers
• nurses and social workers in training
• those on vocational and ‘helping professions’ related courses
• trainees on integrative, cognitive or psychodynamic courses
• people training to work in the voluntary sector
• anyone seeking specialist input on contemporary person-centred theory and practice
Foreword by Pete Sanders
Preface to the third edition by Sheila Haugh
Preface to the second edition by Tony Merry
1 Introducing person-centred counselling
2 Human nature, actualisation and the emerging self
3 Self and person
4 Towards a theory of person-centred counselling
5 Person-centred counselling in practice
6 Working at ‘relational depth’: the kid with the chips
7 Recent developments in person-centred counselling by Sheila Haugh
8 Developing person-centred values, skills, attitudes and personal qualities
9 Training issues: client work and personal development
Learning and Being in Person-Centred Counselling is a classic textbook that provides essential reading for all person-centred counselling students and experienced practitioners alike. Merry grounds person-centred counselling in its ontological foundations and shows how theory informs our practice and how the counsellor’s attitudes are essential to their practice. This book is one to which I return time and again to help me learn more about the practice of counselling, supervision and education. This latest edition is skilfully updated by Sheila Haugh to provide fresh updates on relevant research and explore some key recent developments in the field of person-centred theory and practice. There are no easy routes to becoming a person-centred counsellor, but this book is surely one of the best guides to anyone striving towards learning and being within this approach.
David Murphy, Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Nottingham
Learning and Being in Person-Centred Counselling is an important book for any student of counselling and psychotherapy. Each chapter provides the reader with clear explanations of fundamental person centred concepts. Despite being first published more than 20 years ago, this book remains relevant to contemporary person-centred counselling practice. It is highly accessible to students at any level of study and contains numerous practical exercises to help the reader gain a deeper understanding of person-centred theory. I would highly recommend it to counselling and psychotherapy students and to any readers who wish to acquire a comprehensive understanding of person-centred counselling.
Peter Blundell, Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Liverpool John Moores University
Tony Merry’s book is both a comprehensive introduction to the practice of person-centred counselling and a useful start point for understanding the development of the approach. He (with Sheila Haugh’s sympathetic updating) makes reference to the many theorists and practitioners who have influenced the approach, giving the reader an insight into the strands that make up the tapestry of person-centred therapy. It is one of those rare books that is both erudite and accessible. Students who want to understand how to practise person-centred counselling will find useful suggestions and insight into how to accompany a client on their individual journey. The development of the approach is covered with a light but extensive touch and further reading and research are well signposted. Students will find in this book a thorough grounding in person-centred theory and practice; for experienced practitioners, it will enhance their understanding and their abilities.
Janet Tolan, therapist, supervisor and educator
Tony Merry’s Learning and Being helped me to find my way into my own person-centred practice. I’ve returned many, many times to this book, feeling inspired and encouraged with every new read. The book invites readers to engage deeply with how they might honestly ‘live the theory’ of the person-centred approach. This process-focused reflexivity, so essential in person-centred practice, makes this newly revised version invaluable and important for readers of all backgrounds. Merry’s writing is very accessible without dumbing down the theory. He deftly conveys the philosophy of the person-centred approach with a sophisticated precision and a personal warmth. As a facilitator of person-centred learning groups for many years, I’ve experienced how Tony’s writing evokes passionate engagement, dialogue and encounter among participants. I would recommend Learning and Being as an essential read for all students of the person-centred approach. This is a rigorous, faithful and trustworthy book for those wanting to learn more about a person-centred way of being.
Graham Westwell, Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Edge Hill University, Lancashire