The Therapeutic Use of Self : Counselling practice, research and supervision book cover
2nd Edition

The Therapeutic Use of Self
Counselling practice, research and supervision

ISBN 9780415831475
Published August 17, 2016 by Routledge
278 Pages

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Book Description

The Therapeutic Use of Self has continued, since its publication in 1999, to be considered a key text within integrative, humanistic and relational approaches for the training and development of therapists in the UK and abroad.


This long-awaited classic edition includes powerful case examples and extensive research findings, presenting the counsellor’s evaluation of their own practice as the main vehicle for the development of insight and awareness into individual ‘therapeutic’ characteristics. The book addresses many of the taboos and infrequently discussed aspects of therapy, such as:


  • The value of therapist failure


  • Breaking the rules of counselling


  • Working beyond the accepted boundaries of counselling.


The Therapeutic Use of Self will help professionals and trainees acknowledge, develop and value their own unique contribution to counselling and psychotherapy. The book remains a ground-breaking examination of the individual therapist’s contribution to process and outcome in counselling and supervision.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Preface Introduction 1 Towards an approach to counselling based on the use of self 2 The counsellor’s edge of awareness 3 The use of self in research 4 A research study into the use of self 5 The impaired therapist and the value of therapist failure 6 Breaking the rules in counselling 7 Working at the boundaries in counselling 8 The shadow side of the use of self in counselling 9 On the use of self in supervision Bibliography Index

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Val Wosket has worked as a therapist, supervisor and trainer in University and private practice settings for over 25 years. She is a past teaching faculty member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and author of Supervising the Counsellor and Psychotherapist: A Cyclical Model (with Steve Page: Routledge, 2015) and Egan's Skilled Helper Model: Developments and Applications in Counselling (Routledge, 2006).  


Praise for the first edition:

'The Therapeutic Use of Self is a remarkable achievement, bringing together careful scholarship, the findings of her own research with clients and counsellors, and a high degree of openness about her personal feelings and experiences in relation to clients.

This is a courageous and revealing book, in which the author draws on highly intimate and private areas of her personal life in exploring issues such as the 'impaired therapist', 'working at the boundaries', and 'unorthodox practice'. The book is consistently informative and interesting, and hopefully will be read not only by students and trainees seeking enlightenment around the concept of 'congruence', but by all practitioners open to challenge and creative renewal. Few people can have read as widely as Val Wosket, or be so able to combine scholarly and personal insights in such an accessible and stimulating way.' - Professor John McLeod, Professor of Psychology, University of Oslo and Emeritus Professor of Counselling, University of Abertay