Working with Goals in Psychotherapy and Counselling

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Mick Cooper, Duncan Law
Oxford University Press, 2018 - Psychology - 215 pages
Recent evidence has shown that the successful setting of goals brings about positive outcomes in psychological therapy. Goals help to focus and direct clients' and therapists' attention in therapeutic work. They also engender hope and help energise clients. No longer are clients victims of their circumstances, but through goal setting they become people who have the potential to act towards and achieve their desired futures. Through the discussing and setting of goals, clients develop a deeper insight into what it is that they really want in life: a crucial first step towards being able to get there.

Recent policies in both child and adult mental health services have supported the use of goals in therapy. However, the differing cultures, histories, psychologies, and philosophical assumptions of each form of therapy has brought about varying attitudes and approaches to goal setting.

Working with Goals in Counselling and Psychotherapy brings the attitudes of all the major therapeutic orientations together in one volume. With examples from cognitive behaviour therapy, psychodynamic therapy, humanistic therapy, interpersonal therapy, and systemic therapy Working with Goals in Counselling and Psychotherapy truly is the definitive guide for therapists seeking to work with goals in any of the psychological therapies.


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1 Introduction
2 Philosophical conceptual and ethical perspectives on working with goals in therapy
A practicefriendly review
The perspective of people with lived experience
5 Goals and psychotherapy research
6 Measuring outcomes using goals
Identifying good goals in psychotherapy and counselling

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About the author (2018)

Mick Cooper is Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton, where he is Director of the Centre for Research in Social and psychological Transformation (CREST). Mick is a chartered psychologist, a UKCP-registered psychotherapist, and a Fellow of the British Associationfor Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Mick is author and editor of a range of texts on person-centred, existential, and relational approaches to therapy; including Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2005, with Dave Mearns), Pluralistic Counselling andPsychotherapy (Sage, 2011, with John McLeod), and Existential Therapies (2nd ed., Sage, 2017). Mick has led a series of research studies exploring the processes and outcomes of humanistic counselling with young people. Mick is the father of four children and lives in Brighton, on the south coast ofEngland.Duncan Law is Consultant Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience working across the NHS, Local Authority and third sectors. He is Consultant Clinical Associate at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and previously Clinical Lead for Children and Young PeoplesImproving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) for the London and South East. Duncan is Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London and Royal Holloway University of London, a board member of ACAMH, MAC-UK, CORC, and Director of MindMonkey Associates. He is Former Chair of theBritish Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology's Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families and was Clinical Lead in Hertfordshire CAMHS.

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