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Difference and Diversity in Counselling

Difference and Diversity in Counselling

Sue Wheeler


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All counsellors are compelled to take account of the diverse society in which they practice and to inform themselves of best practice with all client groups. This book provides a contemporary psychodynamic perspective on difference and diversity to bring practitioners up to date with current thinking when faced with a client who is in some way 'different'. References to race, culture or disability in classical psychoanalytic literature are few. In a society that embraces diversity and seeks to afford equality for all, theories of male and female identity development need revisiting. Older people make up a large proportion of the population and religious beliefs make headline news, but psychodynamic perspectives on clinical work with such groups are limited. Indeed, the social context of the twenty first century, that provides the backdrop for the hopes, fears and aspirations of our clients, warrants attention, as people and organisations are shaped by the social systems that prevail.
In the past decade equal opportunities legislation and the need to be proactive in thinking about diversity has begun to make its mark. Complacency is no longer tolerated. This book is essential reading for counsellors and psychotherapists in training and for experienced practitioners whose continuous professional development will be enhanced by re-evaluating how diversity affects their practice.
SUE WHEELER has been a Counsellor and Psychotherapist in several settings over the last 30 years. She has also been training counsellors and psychotherapists for most of those years, and is now the Director of the Counselling Psychotherapy Programme at the University of Leicester, UK. She is the author of many articles in processional and refereed journals and has contributed to many chapters in books on counselling and supervision. She is the sole author of Training Counsellors: The Assessment of Competence, the joint author with Janice Birtle of Personal Tutoring in Higher Education and with David King of Supervising Counsellors: Issues of Responsibility. Her doctorate addressed the professionalization of counselling and the continuing professional development needs of counsellors and therapists. She has had numerous positions of BACP committees and remains committed to the development of counselling as a profession.

'[E]ssential reading for all experienced counsellors and psychotherapists, those in training and those who wish to increase their understanding of the major aspects of difference and diversity.' - Therapy Today

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover
Contents v
List of Figures and Tables ix
Notes on the Contributors x
Acknowledgements xiii
Introduction 1
1 Thinking Psychodynamically about Diversity 5
2 Psychodynamic Counselling, Knowledge and the Social Context 20
The need for illusions 20
Knowledge and the reproduction of society 21
The social unconscious 22
The rise and fall of the professions 26
A structuralist view: counselling as control 27
The ideology of counselling; counselling as ideology 28
The empirical: the epidemiology of mental health 30
From macro to micro 31
Conclusion 33
3 Psychodynamic Counselling and Gender 39
Introduction 39
Starting with the father: beginnings with Freud 39
Moving towards the mother: Melanie Klein 42
Two in one: the contrasexual archetype of Carl Jung 43
Taking it forward: object relations 46
The meaning of gender 47
Binary splits: language and gender 50
Conclusion 52
4 Psychodynamic Counselling and Sexual Orientation 57
Transference and countertransference 59
Neutrality vs affirmation 65
How can psychodynamic counselling help gay, lesbian and bisexual clients? 70
5 Female Counsellor, Male Client; Counselling across Gender 74
Introduction 74
Gender sensitive female therapists 75
Countertransference, power and authority 77
What brings men to therapy? 78
Absent fathers 79
Erotic countertransference 80
Countertransference issues with male envy and narcissism 82
Countertransference and male dependency 83
Conclusion 85
6 Counselling People with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses: a Psychodynamic Approach 91
Introduction 91
Provision of counselling services for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses 92
The effect of illness or disability on the counsellor 93
The effect of illness or disability on the client 100
Conclusion 103
7 No Words to Say It: Psychodynamic Counselling when Language Is Impaired 105
Introduction 105
On being an outsider 106
Impaired communication and the therapeutic relationship 106
Countertransference and the therapist's anxiety 107
The perception of the outsider as adolescent, in a transitional state 108
Adolescence as a transitional state 111
Confused identity 114
Conclusion 115
8 Psychodynamic Counselling with Older People 117
Introduction 117
Attitudes to older people, and their influence on older people's access to therapy 118
National Service Frameworks 121
Attachment and object relations theory and its application to working with older people 122
Research: dependency and attachment as continuing or returning difficulties from early life 123
Life review therapy 127
Therapeutic work with people with dementia 128
Psychodynamic psychotherapy for clients with dementia 129
Conclusion: Suggestions for good psychodynamic practice in therapeutic work with older people 130
9 Psychodynamic Counselling, 'Race' and Culture 137
Introduction 137
Concepts of race and culture 138
Race 138
A critique of the psychodynamic frame in addressing race and culture 144
Implications for practice 148
Conclusion 152
10 Psychodynamic Counselling and Class 156
Introduction 156
Politics in psychodynamic theory and practice 157
What is class? 159
Making a relationship between the inner and outer world 162
Power, class, transference and countertransference 165
Conclusion 167
11 Psychodynamic Counselling, Religion and Spirituality 171
Religion, spirituality and counselling: a research perspective 172
Religion, spirituality and psychodynamic counselling: an issue of difference 175
Religion, spirituality and psychodynamic counselling: future collaboration? 177
Conclusion 180
Index 184
A 184
B 184
C 184
D 185
E 185
F 185
G 186
H 186
I 186
J 186
K 187
L 187
M 187
N 187
O 187
P 188
R 188
S 188
T 189
U 189
V 189
W 189
Y 189