richard hallam

The Therapy Relationship: A Special Kind of Friendship
Richard Hallam, October 2015
Karnac Books | ISBN 9781782202523 | Paperback and eBook
Pages: 180 | Dimensions: 230 x 150


This book proposes that the age-old rules and virtues of friendship lie at the heart of all forms of psychotherapy and counselling. A therapist, however, is a special kind of friend. The unwritten moral code of friendship that governs reciprocity, trust, truth-telling, commitment, support, and advice is modified in unique ways according to a therapist’s theory, philosophy, values, and manner of self-presentation.

The book investigates how different forms of therapy deviate from the norms of friendship under the influence of professionalisation, medicalisation, commercialisation, politicisation, and the need for a therapy to brand itself as an applied technology. It is argued that psychotherapy and counselling will cease to exist if the underlying moral foundation of their practices is ignored and submerged under the pressures of cost-efficiency, government agendas, and the excesses of statutory regulation.



Book cover * Table of contents
1. Introduction to the issues
2. A brief historical survey of wise counsel and friendship
3. The humanistic approach
4. The psychodynamic approach
5. Applied science/technology
6. Can we compare different approaches to therapy
7. Therapy: Cracks in the foundations
8. The client’s perspective
9. Do-it yourself (DIY) therapy
10. Therapy as social regulation
11. Ethics, therapy and friendship

* Reviews and Endorsements

"The Therapy Relationship is a richly-detailed yet accessible exposition of the therapist-client relationship. This account will deepen debate leading to a more honest recognition of what therapy is, and a more nuanced approach to its regulation."
Lih-Mei Liao, PhD, FBPsS, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK

"Dr Hallam has written a highly readable book that effectively demystifies psychotherapy and clarifies contemporary issues and understandings in the field. Practitioners will benefit from its clear, thoughtful and up-to-date discussions of issues related to therapeutic effectiveness, therapeutic process, self-help programs, and professional ethics."
Glenn D. Shean, PhD, Professor of Psychology, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

"We think we know what a psychotherapist is, but what is he or she really? A healer or shaman, a storyteller, or a technician impartially applying scientific knowledge? Richard Hallam arrives at the surprising answer, “none of the above”. This book will be of interest to both beginning and advanced therapists, potential and long-time users of psychotherapy, and anyone interested in the important broader issues that form the context for the stimulating and engaging exploration Hallam provides."
Gary Brown, Senior Lecturer, Psychology Department, Royal Holloway University of London





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