Counselling and Helping

  • Barrie Hopson
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series


From a situation in the mid-1960s when ‘counselling’ was seen by many in education as a transatlantic transplant which hopefully would never ‘take’, we have today reached the position of being on board a band-wagon; ‘counsellors’ are everywhere: beauty counsellors, tax counsellors, investment counsellors, even carpet counsellors. There are ‘counsellors’ in schools, industry, hospitals, the social services. There is marriage counselling, divorce counselling, parent counselling, bereavement counselling, abortion counselling, retirement counselling, redundancy counselling, career counselling, psychosexual counselling, pastoral counselling, student counselling and even disciplinary counselling! Whatever the original purpose for coining the word ‘counselling’, the coinage has by now certainly been debased. One of the unfortunate consequences of the debasing has been that the word has become mysterious; we cannot always be sure just what ‘counselling’ involves. One of the results of the mystification of language is that we rely on others to tell us what it is: that is, we assume that we, the uninitiated, cannot know and understand what it is really about.


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Annotated reading

  1. Corey, G. (1977) Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Monterey, Ca: Brooks/Cole. This contains an excellent review of all the schools of counselling described in the chapter. There is an accompanying workbook designed for students and tutor which gives self-inventories to aid students in identifying their own attitudes and beliefs, overviews of each major theory of counselling, questions for discussion and evaluation, case studies, exercises designed to sharpen specific counselling skills, out-of-class projects, group exercises, examples of client problems, an overview comparision of all models, ethical issues and problems to consider, and issues basic to the therapist’s personal development.Google Scholar
  2. Corsini, R. (ed.) (1977) Current Psychotherapies (2nd edn). Itasca, Ill.: Peacock Publications. An excellent introduction to the main schools of psychotherapy by leading practitioners who have been bullied to stick to the same format. Covers psychoanalysis, Adlerian, client-centred, analytical, rational-emotive therapy, transactional analysis, Gestalt, behavioural, reality, encounter, experiential and eclectic. Contributors include Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis, William Glasser, Alan Goldstein, Will Schutz and Rudolf Dreikurs.Google Scholar
  3. Vaughan, T.D. (ed.) (1975) Concepts of Counselling. British Association for Counselling, London: Bedford Square Press. A guide to the plethora of definitions of counselling. Uneven, illuminating, with some useful descriptions of developments in the UK.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barrie Hopson

There are no affiliations available

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