• The Handbook of Person-Centred Therapy and Mental Health: theory, research and practice

The Handbook of Person-Centred Therapy and Mental Health: theory, research and practice

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An expanded and updated second edition of Person-Centred Psychopathology

First published in 2005, and now extensively updated and with a new title, The Handbook of Person-Centred Therapy and Mental Health challenges the use of psychiatric diagnoses and makes a powerful case for the effectiveness of person-centred approaches as the alternative way to work with people who would otherwise be diagnosed with severe mental illnesses. This second edition captures the significant changes in recent years in how mental health and ill health is conceptualised and understood and how mental health care is delivered. It demonstrates how the person-centred approach can help occupy the space that is opening up as mental health professionals look for alternatives to the medical model and argues for collaborative working with these fellow mental health professionals. 

Contributors from across the fields of research, policy-making and practice discuss the tensions between the person-centred approach and the dominant medical model.

• They demonstrate how Rogers’ theories of personality and the actualising process are able to provide a model of human functioning that is relevant not just to counselling but to all mental health professions, and to the social sciences.
• They give examples of how the person-centred approach is being applied successfully in practice (and evaluated).
• They offer personal testament to the challenges of working in a person-centred way within mainstream contexts, and review the vibrant political and professional divisions and arguments that continue to inform thinking and practice today. 

New chapters examine the influence of the national Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme in England, and how researchers are successfully overcoming the challenge of evaluating the effectiveness of person-centred approaches to severe mental distress.

Section I: Introductions
Chapter 1. Mental health and the person-centred approach – Stephen Joseph
Chapter 2. Principled and strategic opposition to the medicalisation of distress and all its apparatus – Pete Sanders
Section II: Theory
Chapter 3. Person-centred theory and ‘mental illness’ – Paul Wilkins
Chapter 4. From self-objectification to self-affirmation: the ‘I-Me’ and ‘I-Self’ relation stances – Mick Cooper
Chapter 5. Authenticity and alienation: towards an understanding of the person beyond the categories of order and disorder – Peter F Schmid
Chapter 6. A person-centred view of human nature, wellness and psychopathology – Margaret S Warner
Chapter 7. The complementarity between client-centred therapy and psychiatry: the theory and the practice – Lisbeth Sommerbeck
Chapter 8. Assessment and ‘diagnosis’ in person-centred therapy – Paul Wilkins
Chapter 9. The concept of evil as a key to the therapist’s use of the self – Richard Worsley
Chapter 10. A person-centred perspective on diagnosis and psychopathology in relation to minority identity, culture and ethnicity – Colin Lago
Chapter 11.  Using attachment theory in person-centred therapy – Emma Tickle and Stephen Joseph
Section III Contexts
Chapter 12. Facing psychotic functioning: person-centred contact work in residential psychiatric care – Dion van Werde
Chapter 13. From patient to person: how person-centred theory values and understands unusual experiences – Kirshen Rundle
Chapter 14. Understanding post-traumatic stress from the person-centred perspective – Stephen Joseph
Chapter 15. Working with maternal depression: client-centred therapy as part of a multidisciplinary approach – Elaine Catterall
Chapter 16. Living with pain: mental health and the legacy of childhood abuse – Jan Hawkins
Chapter 17. Nine considerations concerning psychotherapy and the care for people ‘with special needs’ – Marlis Pörtner
Chapter 18. Children and the autism spectrum: person-centred approaches – Jacky Knibbs and Anja Rutten
Chapter 19. Clinical psychology and the person-centred approach: an uncomfortable fit? – Gillian Proctor
Chapter 20. Towards a person-centred psychiatry – Rachel Freeth
Chapter 21.  Person-centred therapy and the regulation of counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK – Andy Rogers and David Murphy
Section IV:  Research
Chapter 22.  Searching for the core: the interface of client-centered principles with other therapies – Jerold D Bozarth and Noriko Motomasa
Chapter 23. Client-centered values limit the application of research findings: an issue for discussion – Barbara T Brodley
Chapter 24. An evaluation of research, concepts and experiences pertaining to the universality of client-centred therapy and its application in psychiatric settings – Lisbeth Sommerbeck
Chapter 25. Small-scale research as personal development for mental health professionals – Richard Worsley
Chapter 26.  Assessing efficacy and effectiveness in person-centred therapy: challenges and opportunities – Tom G Patterson
Section V: Conclusion
Chapter 27. Taking stock of the person-centred approach and moving forward – Stephen Joseph

Second edition:

‘For the purist, the reformer, the pragmatist and all those working in psychiatric services, this book offers an illuminating path to the practice of a humane and truly person-centred approach to the problems so many people suffer from in the 21st century. This text is a must-have for the bookshelf of every therapist and mental health professional.’
Stephen Paul, psychotherapist, past Director of the Centre for Psychological Therapies, Leeds Metropolitan (now Beckett) University.  stephen-paul.co.uk

‘The person-centred point of view has something important and unique to offer to both the understanding of psychopathology and the practice of therapy... This book does a marvellous job of spelling this out and bringing person-centred theory up to date.’
Art Bohart, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Dominguez Hills

‘As we seem to slip more into a culture that pathogises every aspect of human experience, this book is not only welcome but essential... This is an incredibly invaluable handbook that helps us question what increasingly seems to be the unquestionable.’
Dr Andrew Reeves, counsellor/psychotherapist, senior lecturer and writer

The first edition of this book vigorously challenged mainstream perceptions of the person-centred approach by presenting detailed accounts of the application of person-centred theory, ethics and practice when working with people experiencing severe psychological distress within a range of contexts. In this substantially revised, expanded and updated second edition, Stephen Joseph and his contributing authors have paid close attention to maintaining its relevance as an inspiring, accessible and research-aware resource, not only for those already committed to this approach but also for those who are seeking an alternative to the dominant medical model. It is essential reading for practitioners and students in the counselling and psychotherapy arena, and those working in the wider mental health field.
Susan Stephen MSc, Diploma Courses Leader, University of Strathclyde

Praise for the first edition:

This important book goes a long way towards building a bridge between the worldview of the client-centred therapist and that of a practitioner grounded in the so-called ‘medical model’. From various conceptual frames to a novel way of seeing one’s collaborative role, Person-Centred Psychopathology uses both broad brush-strokes and detailed consideration of the multiple issues to paint a picture of a profession that can be both collaborative and mutually-respectful. Whether you are a practitioner who wishes to form a balanced ‘narrative’ about the profession’s shared goals or a sceptical observer who finds the ‘multiple perspectives’ worldview hard to swallow, this book is for you. Providing the reader with well-articulated conceptualisations of internationally-renowned person-centred thinkers, this multi-contributor reference gives a solid and balanced overview which is of increasing relevance to the profession. Max Eames, Psychotherapist and Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of East London’s School of Psychology, March 2016.

I had the sense upon beginning it [Person-Centred Psychopathology: a positive psychology of mental health] that this was an important book. Upon completing it, I am convinced ... To anyone who has not read this yet, I do encourage you to seek it out ... Brian E. Levitt, Psy.D., C.Psych. is a senior psychologist with Kaplan and Kaplan Psychologists in Hamilton, Ontario.

This is a ground-breaking book for the whole future of person-centred theory and practice ... I strongly recommend this book. Val Simanowitz, Counsellor & Supervisor. Therapy Today, December 2005.

This innovative and refreshing book examines the role of positive psychology and person-centred therapeutic approaches for people with wide-ranging mental health problems ... I would highly recommend this book to any professional currently providing therapeutic services in mental health... Helen Liebling, Lecturer-Practitioner in Clinical Psychology, Coventry University. JCPCP 5.4 2005.

Stephen Joseph

Stephen Joseph PhD is at the University of Nottingham, where he is Professor of Psychology, Health and Social Care and the Convenor of the Counselling and Psychotherapy Cluster in the School of Education. He is an HCPC-registered health and counselling psychologist and Senior Practitioner member of the British Psychological Society’s Register of Psychologists Specialising in Psychotherapy.

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Stephen Joseph