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"Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy" focuses on common problems such as anxiety and depression, exploring how different therapeutic approaches understand and work with them. Counselling and psychotherapy are considered within the wider context of their history and the mental health systems in which they are often located. In addition to this, the book introduces key aspects of the theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy, and the increasing relevance of research in this area. Section 1 introduces counselling and psychotherapy and the history of these professions, considering how current understandings of 'mental health problems' have been influenced by psychiatric diagnosis, biomedical approaches and psychoanalysis. Section 2 covers four key therapeutic approaches - humanistic, existential, cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness - exploring how they work with problems relating to fear and sadness. Section 3 focuses on therapeutic perspectives that specifically address problems in a wider context, such as relationships, families, cultural groups and society. Section 4 considers practice and research issues in counselling and psychotherapy, including the different contexts and settings in which these take place, the therapeutic relationship, and outcome and process research. This accessible and stimulating text uses innovative activities and case illustrations to demonstrate how people experience common problems, and how counsellors and psychotherapists work with these.
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