Relating in Psychotherapy: The Application of a New Theory, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Relating in Psychotherapy

The Application of a New Theory, 1st Edition

By John Birtchnell


288 pages

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Paperback: 9781583912751
pub: 2002-05-02
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In John Birtchnell's last book How Humans Relate, he proposed a new theory as the basis for a science of relating. Relating in Psychotherapy explains how the relevance of this theory relates to the practice of psychotherapy. The theory cuts across all schools of therapy, and is a way of describing each school in terms of relating in both the client and the therapist.

The theory is constructed around two major axes; a horizontal one concerning the degree to which we need to become involved with or separated from others, and a vertical one concerning the degree to which we choose to exercise power over others or permit others to exercise their power over us. With numerous clinical examples, John Birtchnell explains how we need to be competet in all four relating positions (close, distant, upper and lower), and argues that people who seek therapy usually lack competence in one or more of them, but through the course of therapy, their relating capabilities can be improved.

Relating in Psychotherapy can have applications in psychotherapy and in couple and family therapy, and will be an invaluable resource for therapists, counsellors and other mental health professionals.


'Birtchnell has developed instruments for measuring incompetence in relating [ ] and gives instances of both research and clinical use of these in a lucid manner that draws the reader like a magnet.' - Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

Table of Contents

Relating and its Relevance for Psychotherapy. The Inner Brain and The Outer Brain. The Proximity Axis in Relating. The Proximity Axis in Psychotherapy. The Power Axis in Relating. The Power Axis in Psychotherapy. Interrelating. Interrelating in Psychotherapy. Measuring Relating and Interrelating in Psychotherapy. The Emergence of a New Approach to Psychotherapy.

About the Author

John Birtchnell is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry and Honorary Psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital, London. He is the author of How Humans Relate: A New Interpersonal Theory, (Psychology Press, 1996).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General