Counselling and helping

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


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. That can be a first step to denying ourselves skills and knowledge we already possess or that we may have the potential to acquire.


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Annotated reading

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  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
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Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barrie Hopson

There are no affiliations available

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