Making Successful Decisions in Counselling and Psychotherapy

A practical guide

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April 1, 2012


Paperback, 208 pages


0335244343 / 9780335244348


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Main description

“It is commonly assumed that the ability to make decisions in therapy is acquired as a result of experience and for this reason the subject is more or less ignored in programmes of training. Lane and Corrie effectively challenge this position in a comprehensive account of the process by which information is acquired, interpreted and used. The book benefits from the comprehensive experience of the two authors both as clinicians and researchers and is illustrated by some excellent case material and interesting self-assessment exercises. There is something of value here for therapists of every modality at all stages of development.”
Ray Woolfe, Psychologist and Psychotherapist in independent practice, Bristol, UK

“In this well written, meticulously researched and timely book, Lane and Corrie propose that the art of decision making, like any art, requires discipline, training and continual practice. This book should be required reading on clinical and counselling psychology programmes and related fields. For those about to enter practice, this book provides you with much needed support for engaging with the realities of a complex and shifting political and professional landscape. For the more experienced practitioner, this book challenges you to become more explicit about, and to sharpen and widen, the assumptions, models and procedures that guide your everyday decision making. This is continuing professional development of the most relevant and needed kind. I will be recommending this text to my students, colleagues, peers, and, yes, managers, very strongly indeed!”
Dr Michael Worrell, Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Programme Director, CNWL Foundation Trust

“In this book Lane and Corrie have made an important contribution to the training of counsellors and therapists, and the practice of working in the helping professions – and they have managed to do this in a way that is engaging, accessible and practical. Whether you are just starting out in the helping professions, or are a seasoned therapist, this book will help you improve your practice. The case studies, illustrations and reflection questions bring to life the dynamics of decision making and provide the reader with useful pathways to more sophisticated and effective decision making in their work.”
Dr Michael Cavanagh, Coaching Psychology Unit, Sydney University, Australia and Visiting Professor, Institute of Work Based Learning, Middlesex University, UK

“Lane and Corrie draw upon their rich experience and understanding not just as clinicians and researchers but also as adult educators to provide a book which deepens our understanding of decision making. The insights and approach put forward go beyond the professional context which illustrates them to contribute to a broader understanding of what it is or what it might be to be a professional and to take professional decisions in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. When considering how good decision makers develop the key insight is to focus our attention upon the learning process rather than knowledge content. This change of viewpoint is profound.”
Professor Jonathan Garnett, Director Institute for Work Based Learning, Middlesex University, UK

"The book is organised well and an appealing aspect of this book is Lane and Corrie’s ability to combine their clinical expertise with their research and training experience to engage the reader on their own self reflective journey through the use of practical exercises. I would whole heartedly recommend this book to all clinicians whether to use as guidance when initially thinking about their decision making skills, or as part of continuing professional development."
Rita Woo,Clinical Psychologist, CNWL Foundation NHS Trust & Royal Holloway University of London, UK

Working with a client in order to bring about therapeutic change involves a constant stream of decisions. But how exactly do you decide? What influences your choices and how can you be sure that you are making the right ones?

This book examines some of the factors that are involved in making good decisions, the range of thinking skills we need in order to make effective choices and some of the factors that can prevent us from making sound decisions in our work with clients.

Drawing on both the existing literature and a range of practical exercises, Making Successful Decisions in Counselling and Psychotherapy provides invaluable guidance on how to tackle the task of decision-making in 'real world' counselling and psychotherapeutic settings in order to develop a systematic, effective and creative approach. The book includes:

  • A model to generate approaches to decision-making
  • Case studies across a wide range of situations in counselling and psychotherapy
  • Reflection points throughout the text to assist you in critiquing, refining and restructuring the tools you use to assist your clients to make successful decisions

    Table of contents

    The authors

    Part 1: What do we know about Decision-Making in Counselling and Psychotherapy?
    Decision-Making under the Microscope
    Beyond the Question of Accuracy: Decision-Making in the Real World
    Going Wider, Going Deeper; Decision-Making in States of Uncertainty

    Part 2: How do we Frame our Decision-Making in Practice?
    MAP: A Framework for Decision-Making in Practice
    Defining your Mission
    Identifying the Attitude that Informs your Decisions
    Devising a Process for Decision-Making

    Part 3: Decision-Making Contexts that require Special Consideration
    Decision-Making in Supervision
    Decision-Making in Teams
    Developing as a Critical Thinker: Some Final Recommendations

    Author comments

    David A. Lane is a chartered psychologist and Director of the Professional Development Foundation. He was chair of the British Psychological Society Register of Psychologists Specialising in Psychotherapy and of the psychotherapy group of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations.

    Sarah Corrie is a chartered psychologist and consultant clinical psychologist. She is Programme Director of the Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy offered by the Royal Holloway University of London and Central and North West London Foundation Trust, UK.

Copyright 2014 McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC


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