Modern counselling emphasises the importance of empathy and many therapists believe that this is possible with all clients. Since the psychological professions have once more become a wealthy middle class monoculture how can this possibly be the case? We have lost the theories and language of grassroots action that informed theorists like Rogers who understood the importance of authentic egalitarianism. Whether we like it or not, we have become – and the state is treating us as – experts in the lives of our clients.
How do we talk together about the hard realities of our professions? If we can’t talk together as equals, with curiosity and courage, daring to be vulnerable and truthful with each other, to listen with care and restraining the desire to alter each other, then perhaps we really are in more trouble than we care to admit.Read More
Jonathan begins the Psychotherapy & Global Transformation 2015 Conference with a presentation and conversation about the potential for Psychotherapy to contribute to global transformation.Read More
Catastrophe or Transformation? How Humanistic Practice Makes a Critical Difference to Humanity’s Future – Maureen O’Hara
It’s no news to anyone who reads a newspaper or peruses the Internet that there is no shortage of bad news. Sometimes it is hard to face just how bad things seem to be. But though I have dark days like everyone else and despite all the dire predictions, I believe the world can be better and I believe that psychotherapy and other social practices aimed at human growth and existential freedom has a role to play in creating a sustainable humane future.
I owe my faith in the future to my temperament, my working class Yorkshire family, a social system in postwar Britain that made it possible for me to get a first rate education for free and of course a lot of help and dumb luck. It was luck that brought Carl Rogers into my life and exposed me to the emancipatory philosophy and practice of humanistic psychology. I first experienced humanism in action in a person-centered encounter group. What I experienced convinced me that, as Carl Rogers said, given the right conditions all human beings have within them vast resources with which to face their threats and transform their circumstances.
Humanistic practice provides us with transformational approaches to providing these conditions. Let’s talk about how we can provide them on a cultural scale.Read More
In 2005 I became involved in organising workshops at person-centred conferences on the person-centred approach and social change. I was always struck by how many people attended these workshops and how passionate they were about this issue. It seemed that many people, like me, had come into the person-centred approach from left wing backgrounds and were looking to see how stronger links could be forged between the person-centred approach and a progressive political agenda.Read More
To say we are all unique does not really capture the complexity and true ‘one-of-a-kind’ we all are. Regardless of what theoretical orientation or orientations we all practice from, or our training background, all of us counsellors / psychotherapists / clinical psychologists are taught and deeply know the importance of our own self awareness, both for our therapeutic relationships and self-care.
Words such as difference and diversity, transference and counter transference, narratives, scripts and stories, authenticity and individualisation are regularly discussed. We are all trained and experienced in sitting with our clients differences, vulnerabilities and uniqueness, but it is inherently and understandably more difficult to sit with our own.Read More
Shifting Consciousness and Social Change – Peggy Natiello, Carol Wolter-Gustafson, Keemar Keemar, & John Wilson
Rogers predicted that ‘ persons of tomorrow’ would be “…at home in a world that consists only of vibrating energy, a world with no solid base, a world of process and change…..” Rogers optimistically welcomed change. ”I take pleasure in trying to discern the directions in which we are moving…we are going through a transformational crisis from which we and our world cannot emerge unchanged.”
The radical changes Rogers intuited are upon us, and we suspect they will call for a shift in consciousness. Going Global, November 2015 is designed as a person-centred community that will dwell together for 5 days, and attempt to envision ways of coping creatively with the already arriving challenges.Read More
Making a Difference: How to Realise Your Political Hopes and Ambitions – From Idealism to Realism – Andrew Samuels
I will look at things like people’s early political memories, the sources of their political ideas and commitments, the level and nature of their energy for social and political causes, the construction of a ‘political journal’, the shadow aspects of their idealism – and maybe other things.Read More
Transcultural Counselling as a Way to Contribute to Peace Reconstruction in Post Conflict Countries – Sandra Grieve & Lucia Berdondini
Sandra and Lucia talk about their experience facilitating counselling skills courses in Afghanistan, India and Angola. Describing their learning around building relationships with the organisations that will make the courses possible and how they approached the learning with the students.Read More