• The Existential Counselling Primer: a concise introduction

The Existential Counselling Primer: a concise introduction

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ISBN 978 1 906254 51 3 (2012)
Cover Price: £12.99
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This bestselling series presents unparalleled, comprehensive descriptions of key counselling approaches in the twenty-first century. Ideal for students requiring a theory bridge between introductory, intermediate and diploma courses or focused input for comparative essays and integrative theory assignments. Individual volumes are perfect supplements to the Steps in Counselling series as students progress in their training.

In The Existential Counselling Primer Mick Cooper clearly explains the philosophical origins of existentialist therapy, existentialist understandings of what it is to be human, and how both inform the theory and practice of existential counselling. A case study helps give the reader and example of what existential therapy might look like. 


1. The Origins of Existential Therapy

2. Key Existential Therapies

3. Human Being: An Existential Understanding

4. Chronic Psychological Distress

5. The Therapeutic Process

6. Therapeutic Methods

7. The Process of Change

8. Issues and Applications

9. Research

10. Client Study: A Personal Existential Study

Resources for  Learning




Read 5 five-star reviews on Amazon here

Coming from a mixed background of training and courses to maintain CPD, I found this book a breath of fresh air. As with P-C, Cooper 'offers' his own insights without preaching the benefits for working existentially. I have also read Yalom's work - but Cooper brings his own work and perceptions alive in his dialogue and reflections. Lorraine Hossack, MBACP, Director Space2learn.

Complexity made accessible. Informs my practice and expands my ideas. I've read it once, now I need to read it again. And again. Amazon reviewer.

This is a clear and well written exploration of counselling from the existential perspective. The character of the author shines through, making what could be a complicated subject both accessible and interesting. Highly recommended. Amazon reviewer.

Don't be put of by the size. Sometimes great things come in little packages! Amazon reviewer.

This primer, the eighth in PCCS's series, is aimed at students of psychotherapy and counselling. Its 10 brief chapters provide a clear and comprehensive introduction to the existential approach. …The book is well written, easy to read and clearly set out. The last chapter offers a case study for the author's own practice, which helpfully gives the reader a good indication of what existential therapy can look like. Els van Ooijen is a relational integrative psychotherapist, counsellor and supervisor, Therapy Today February 2013.

Cooper adopts a slightly more 'objective' stance to the field and offers an overview that I suspect would be particularly useful for those wanting to inform service managers of the place of existential therapy in the wider psychotherapeutic landscape … One perspective of Cooper's that I thought was incredibly useful is his understanding of the field as being understood as a spectrum of beliefs and practices rather than any single, rigid, prescriptive, manualised set of 'must do's'. Reviewed in Existential Analysis, Journal of The Society for Existential Analysis 24.2 (2013).

Mick Cooper

Mick Cooper is a Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton, and a practising counselling psychologist. Mick is author of a range of texts on person-centred, existential and pluralistic approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. His principal research interests are counselling in schools and the experience of relational depth.

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Mick Cooper