Published in BACP Private Practice June 2015
Authors: Pete Sanders, Andy Hill
Publisher: Sage, London, 2014.
At last a public document of evidence for all to see setting out the application of a person centred approach to working with the most commonly presenting mental ill health of them all, Depression, as described by NICE in their guidelines and Counselling for Depression fits into the IAPT services, or else where, using the person centred approach.
This well crafted book brings together the many strands you need to know about how evidence based research is obtained and analysed, how depression is defined by NICE, how a framework for counselling for depression has been constructed and how the experiential methods of person centred counselling can all fit together.
The authors skilfully work their way through all the elements including the tricky issues of brief therapy, dedicating and whole chapter, in person centred counselling and discuss the clients own ability to work at their own speed and direction through their depression. Another chapter uses helpful transcripts of experiential counselling sessions to give clear examples of the person centred counselling for depression in practice.
The book bravely pushes on and introduces a chapter about using “Auxiliary Techniques” in the therapeutic process. Not something that is usually mentioned when talking about the person centred counselling. This is what links the person centred approach and the ability to see psychological improvement in a client within the framework of counselling for depression. This chapter touches on areas such as collaboration, formulation of goals, creating meanings, and the different internal dialogues in construction of self and other ideas drawn from emotion-focused therapy. I found this chapter the most informative and enlightening introducing to me some new ideas in my own way of working.
The book concludes with a chapter on training, supervision and further research. This rounds up nicely current training needs and the need for specialised supervision when working within the framework of counselling for depression.
There is no denying this book is heavy on the academic side and full of abbreviations (there is an abbreviation directory), but as a whole presents things in a very clear manner of what at first glance might be thought of as an odd pairing. This book is a milestone for person centred practitioners, it is what we have been waiting for, and will allow almost any reader to be able to defend their practice of person centred counselling practice in the NHS and elsewhere. The book is full of very good, factual and evidence based information to rival any other publication supporting other modalities of counselling that already have strong evidence to support its work such as CBT.
Jayne Hale is a Person Centred Counsellor and Supervisor based in Hertfordshire.