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Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Mick Cooper University of Roehampton
John McLeod University of Abertay Dundee
© 2011   208 pages   SAGE Publications Ltd   
Lecturers
Inspection Copy
Individual Purchasers
Paperback ISBN: 9781847873453 £25.99
Hardcover ISBN: 9781847873446 £79.00
Ebook ISBN: 9781446248249

"The writing style is plain and clear. The structure of each chapter is evident, rather like a textbook with handy bullet points at the beginning indicating the chapter's content, a summary at the end, and questions and exercises to test the reader's critical understanding. There is recommended reading so that you can follow up on particular points, and no particularly difficult or obscure language to grapple with. I found the text totally accessible.

The authors call for service-providers to think carefully about the risks involved in only offering a limited range of therapeutic modalities / brands such as CBT, psychodynamic, person-centred, existentialism, and so forth, that is, to consider the risks of not providing the therapy that would be optimal for the client and the society around him" -Paula Smith, Journal of The Society for Existential Analysis


"Mick Cooper and John McLeod have produced a truly groundbreaking book in the field of counselling and psychotherapy which immediately ranks as one of the most significant in terms of influencing my own thinking and practice. The pluralistic approach is likely to resonate with many who have struggled to make sense of multiple approaches and practices which all seem potentially helpful, and the positioning of the collaborative relationship with the client at the centre of the approach fits very well with current thinking in mental health more widely. The book brings together a wealth of relevant theory and research, with illuminating examples. It is a valuable counter to the overly precious 'us and them' type thinking that can be so prevalent in the counselling and psychotherapy world, and gives us new and helpful ways of speaking our experiences of therapy." - Meg Barker, Open University, co-author of Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2010, SAGE


"This book comes at an opportune moment for practitioner training and practice. It will be an invaluable source text for trainees and experienced practitioners seeking support in developing their understanding of, and practice in, contemporary counselling and therapy." - Dr Lynne Gabriel, Reader in Counselling and Relational Ethics and Chair, BACP


"Fifteen years of research amongst therapy users has shown me that most of them know and care little what therapy modality they receive. They want a therapy that works, that helps them meet their own goals, and that treats them respectfully and responsively as customers of a service. This book describes an approach which is groundbreaking in meeting these criteria. It is packed with interesting ideas and research, beautifully written and gripping to read." - Nicky Forsythe, Mental Health Services Researcher

An engaging and stimulating book exploring a therapeutic approach based on what the individual client needs. Better suited to diploma students.

Ms Helene Baker

counse, City Lit

Jul 17 2014

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A really useful text highlighting similarity rather than difference, and the benifits of pluralist models

Mr Mark Hardy

Dept of Social Policy and Social Work, York University

Oct 21 2013

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This is a core text for anyone studying pluralistic counselling and highly recommended for anyone working or training in integrative counselling and psychotherapy

Kate Smith

Division of Psychology, University of Abertay, Dundee

Jun 07 2013

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An excellent approach to this subject which I recommend to my students as part of their reading list

Dr Christine Stevens

Extension Studies, St Johns College

Mar 24 2013

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Excellent book helping many therapists understand pluralism and how it works as a meta-model for their practice

Mrs Rebecca Southall

Counselling Training, GB Prohealth Ltd

Mar 11 2013

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An up to date book that is in my opinion essential reading for the counselling psychology trainee

Ms Jill Mytton

New School, New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling

Jun 19 2012

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An engaging and thought provoking text. Useful for anyone who wishes to extend their thinking about integrative approaches in counselling and psychotherapy as well as pluralism.

Mr John Dixon

Counselling, Cleveland & Redcar College

May 31 2012

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Excellent read for students. This book opens up theory and allows students to be creative in their thinking.

Ms Annetta Bowden

Counselor Education , Canterbury College

Apr 10 2012

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An up to date and authoritative contribution to a complex subject.

Mr Gerald Willmore

Health and Social Care, Bromley College of FE & HE

Mar 06 2012

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Certainly one of the current hot topics for discussion in Counselling today, this is a concise and targeted work which will further expand students thinking around the concepts of school or model specific practice.

Mr Mike Bancroft

Counselling, Alton College

Nov 09 2011

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A very very interesting book, useful for those in training and for more experienced practitioners. For anyone struggling to fit themselves into the term "integrative" this will be a helpful read. Trainees on Counselling Psychology courses who learn 2 or 3 core models will really benefit from this book as they attempt to undertstand how the models fit together within their practice.

Ms Jane Keeton

Psychology , Wolverhampton University

Aug 19 2011

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This is a useful text in respect of giving an idea about where the up-to-date thinking around counselling theory is heading, but it wouldn't be useful as a core text on our course. The core texts that we reccommend tend to be addiction-specific rather than generic.

Mr Trevor Smith

Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies, Bath University

Aug 03 2011

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An excellent readable account which addresses the issue of the mutiple approaches in counselling and psychotherapy. A flexible framework for counselling is suggested which acknowledges the strengths of different approaches. A recommended read for all students of counselling.

Mr Peter Beven

Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University

Jul 13 2011

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A highly recommended and timely text which challenges schoolisms in exchange for a more integrative and user-centred approach.

Mr Graham Bright

University Centre, Darlington College of Arts

Jul 07 2011

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Not the best fit integrative framework for our course - but recomemended as supplementary reading

Mrs Sarah Jones

Education and Training, Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology

Jun 06 2011

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A very timely book, explaining the current focus in counselling psychology. A welcome addition to the recommended reading list.

Mrs Sarah Baker

Division of Psychology, Bedfordshire University

Apr 20 2011

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As we move towards evidence based practice the importance of meeting client need, rather than theoretical purity increases. This book looks at the broad range of issues involved in a considered way, that allows for the art of human contact as well as the science.

Ms trudy Johnston

School of Social work and applied behavioural studies, University of Cumbria

Apr 20 2011

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Clear well written and comprehensive, easy to read and digest. Client illustrations + commentary very useful (e.g. page 61 and page 67). Verbatim extracts a bit stilled at times. Chapter 3 particularly useful to us as it links with or current teaching (Spinelli and Yalom). We intend to add the book to our Psychotherapy Year 2 booklist- students beginning in private practice very useful practical application sections will be helpful to them. Interesting philosophical basis – fits with out questioning of underlying assumptions of theory. Really innovative bibliography – including novels plays and films – very refreshing.

Mr Simon Smart

Training, BCPC

Apr 18 2011

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Excellent, well written, timely and an excellent resource for students in relation to strengths based solution focused interventions in counseling and social work

Ms rachel mcmanus

Faculty of Health & Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University

Apr 15 2011

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This is a hot topic in Counselling Psychology at the moment. In a climate in which certain specific "evidence-based therapies" are often unquestioningly accepted and pursued, Mick Cooper and John McLeod are offering important food for thought and guidance for action.

Dr Elaine Kasket

Department of Psychology, London Metropolitan University

Mar 29 2011

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As a lecturer on an integrative course of study I feel that I can recommend this book. It explores and give an understanding of the differeng approaches to therapy.

Mr Geoff Gordon

Social work and Counselling, Stockport College

Mar 16 2011

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This book explores the central debate currently facing counsllors and counselling traininers. We made this an essentail text because our trainees need to be are of the conclusions suggested by the authors whether they agree with them or not. We like the way it has been written, inviting the reader to consider their experience and allowing them to find their own position. It doesnt demand full agreement, but rather stimulates debate.

Louise Young

Schl of Education & Life Long Learning, University of East Anglia

Mar 14 2011

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Very useful text to provide a wider context for first year counselling students.

Mr Tony Moynihan

Health and Care, Colchester Institute

Mar 13 2011

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This is an important book in that it provides a very good discussion of how to think about and practice a pluralistic approach to counselling. The book offers a useful balance between a theoretical and philiosphical discussion and practical directions for pluralistic practice.

Dr Denis O'Hara

Tayside Institute for Health Studies, University of Abertay, Dundee

Mar 10 2011

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Will be invaluable to students on a humanistic-integrative course. Clear, accessible style and covering a wealth of research findings.

Ms Lynne Lacock

Dept of Counselling Studies, York St John University College

Mar 04 2011

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For 3rd year students wishing to extend their knowlegde and understanding.

Ms Elizabeth Lefroy

Institute for Health, Medical Sciences and Society, Glyndwr University

Mar 03 2011

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This is a very welcome text that is relevant to the nitty gritty of practice. Although I teach on a person-centred course the principles are sound and can be usefully incorporated into our model. I think it gives students a better understanding of the counselling process by considering different ways of responding to individual client need.

Ms Raje Suzanne Airey

Counselor Education , Colchester Institute

Feb 16 2011

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An excellent text to add to the reading list and the university library book shelves. Adds to the body of contemporary literature in the counselling and psychotherapy field and, as such. is highly placed to contribute to the development of students' critical thinking and their capacity for critical debate and argument.

Mrs Anne Smith

other, Liverpool John Moores University

Feb 16 2011

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A well-written, balanced and timely resource giving a clear structure to, and overview of, the art of integrative, collaborative working.

Mrs Jackie Chivers

Adult Continuing Education, University of Wales, Swansea

Feb 15 2011

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This text will make a very needed addition to a range of more focused and specific texts on counselling and therapy. It is great that at last more integrated approaches in counselling can be considered valuable and indeed appropriate. This text is very nicely laid out and indeed encourages more creative styles of thinking and working. The addition of a chapter focusing on research within this area is also very helpful within the current evidenced based climate. This is a refreshing read and can see it encouraging a wider range of treatment approaches.

Mr Simon Brewer

Dept of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University

Feb 15 2011

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An interesting systematic exploration of collaborative therapeutic work. The emphasis is on the client's conscious wishes and goals, and the therapist's ability to meet them. More attention could be given to the dynamics created by this emphasis, for example unconscious motivation on the part of both client and therapist and how this might be teased out, and the meaning that getting or not getting what you say you want may have for the client. This will not be a core text for our programme because these dynamic aspects are not explored fully, but the book has much to offer in challenging traditional notions of theoretical integration and as such will provide useful background reading.

Ms Jane Macaskie

School of Healthcare, Leeds University

Jan 13 2011

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An excellent text which will compliment the course reading list, which is under development. I would expect learners to access this text, because of the relevance of the contemporary depth of detail upon counselling today.

Mr Chris Hall

Higher Education, Darlington College

Jan 13 2011

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This excellent book clearly explains the Pluralistic Approach to counselling. Cooper and McLeod are, as always, a pleasure to read.

Ms Mhairi Thurston

Tayside Institute for Health Studies, University of Abertay, Dundee

Jan 12 2011

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This is an interesting text for additional reading on our degree program, accessible and providing opportunities for further research

Mrs Fiona Price

Health , Herefordshire College of Technology

Jan 12 2011

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Well written and a book that I will revist often

Ms Wendy Wood

School of Health (Kedleston Cps), Derby University

Jan 12 2011

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An interesting book that will be of some use to trainee counsellors. However, I did find the arguments being presented in favour of a new pluralism somewhat contradictory at times. Also, it was difficult to see what was new in the ideas being presented as it seems that the model being advocated was somewhere between a contemporary ecclecticism and what clinical psychologists have been doing for decades.

Dr David Murphy

School of Sociology and Social Policy, Nottingham University

Jan 12 2011

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This is a really excellent up to date text. This is a relevant and challenging look at what really makes therapy effective. As clients become more aware of therapies available it will become more and more important to accurately describe what therapy is on offer, why and how it works. This book lays down a challenge to practitioners to really understand their own strengths, preferences and areas for professional development whilst respecting adherence to different methodologies it also promotes respect and acceptance of other ways of being therapeutic. Overall the argument seems to be 'come together in difference and celebrate diversity' rather than either fight corners or integrate into new unitary integrations of therapy. The goals, tasks and methods framework can be interpreted in the language of different therapeutic orientations and provide a common language for comparison. This has the benefit of being potentially easier for clients to work with than therapeutic jargon - particulalry confusing when considering different approaches.

Mrs Madi Ruby

Dept of Social & Communication Studies, Chester University

Jan 06 2011

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A fascinating book which really 'gets under the skin' of Counselling techniques and approaches to psychotherapy. A sensible critique and a forward-looking pluralistic approach is explained well.

Mrs Rachel Harrison

Interprofessional Studies, Winchester University

Jan 05 2011

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whilst this book is not on our reading list I feel it is usful extra knowledge for trainee counsellors ( and qualified ones) Mick Cooper writes in a style which is in keeping with the ethos of counselling, and the reader feels drawn into the text.

Mrs margaret booth

counselling dept, Cleveland & Redcar College

Dec 31 2010

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A new and interesting book. A valuable tool for students beginning to think about their therapy approach.

Dr Catriona Davis-McCabe

the Psychological Therapies Clinic, University of Teesside

Dec 28 2010

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The content, structure and level of this text makes it an ideal addition for our course recommended reading list.

Ms Kirsten Amis

School of Social & Community Studies, Anniesland College

Dec 17 2010

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Wonderful book of great relevance to counselling psychology

Ms Alexandra Cross

Psychology , London Metropolitan University

Dec 15 2010

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This appraoch is provocatrive and interesting. This viewpoint is one that all students must acquaint themselves with as they consider their own clinical approach.

Mr Bill Stanley

Counselling, Newman College

Dec 13 2010

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