Politically incisive and iconoclastic, Gillian Proctor’s updated second edition of The Dynamics of Power in Counselling and Psychotherapy draws on her extensive research and personal experience as practitioner and client to scrutinise the balance of power in the therapy relationship. The book begins with the concept of power itself and its different meanings and manifestations, from Hobbes and Machiavelli to Foucault, before going on to explore power in the three main models of therapy: cognitive behavioural, person-centred and psychodynamic. Drawing on feminist and socialist theorists, she seeks answers to the fundamental question: are not counselling and psychotherapy in their very essence potentially abusive because of the inherent inequality between the practitioner as expert and the client in need of their expertise? This second edition has been updated to explore the impact of the increased presence of the NHS in the counselling arena, through IAPT, and how both therapist and client are affected when the state is a third presence in the counselling relationship. Accessible, political and critical of her own profession, Proctor’s book is an essential reminder to student, practitioner and researcher of the need to be ever-mindful of the values and ethics of social justice and accountability.
Proctor dares to take us into an honest, challenging and critically important debate around power and responsibility, helping us to think clearly about these aspects in our work, while equally pushing us to reflect on difficult areas, both as individual therapists and for the institution of therapy itself.’ Dr Andrew Reeves, senior lecturer at the University of Chester. Counsellor/ psychotherapist and writer.