|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews| Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAlready FreeAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBecoming MyselfBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBody SenseBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessExistential PsychotherapyExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsGod & TherapyHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?How People ChangeHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOutsider Art and Art TherapyOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPlato, Not Prozac!Process-Based CBTPsychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy East and WestPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Compassionate ConnectionThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?Yoga Therapy
by Alex Howard
Review by Elson H. Bihm on Apr 1st 2001
Philosophy for Counseling and Psychotherapy: Pythagoras to Postmodernism is a unique blend of philosophy and psychology. As a text, it should be of interest to psychology and counseling students wanting to apply philosophical ideas to their subject matter. To philosophy students it proposes practical applications of age-old principles. The book will also appeal to practitioners in the helping professions interested in philosophical issues, for many counselors and therapists are interested in exploring the broader implications of their work. Few scholarly or trade books attempt to integrate such a broad range of philosophical ideas and psychological issues, and the book is, therefore, sui generis.
In 380 pages, the book examines more than 32 major philosophers. The author is adept at presenting on-target summaries of the basic concepts of each philosopher. The "greats" are here: Plato, Augustine, Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger. To his credit, Howard does not neglect some of the lesser-knowns who have something important to say -- for example, Heraclitus and Bentham. Each chapter is well organized, proceeding from a list of key points to suggestions for applications. Following the traditional exposition, there is a list of questions and exercises that require the reader or student to consider the possible role of philosophical concepts in counseling and psychotherapy. Following the conclusion of each chapter, the author provides a list of relevant web sites (an excellent resource) and a bibliography of suggested readings. Howard displays a sure grasp of philosophy and an impressive ability to get to the heart of the matter in each chapter.
In psychology, theorists should reconsider many of the issues suggested by philosophy. Although many university programs in psychology require a course in the History of Psychology, which is traditionally more about old philosophers than old psychologists, contemporary psychology has forgotten its debt to philosophy. There is even less emphasis on philosophy in counseling programs. However, a reconstruction of psychology and counseling from the perspective of philosophy is needed, and this text offers many tools and materials for such an endeavor.
Within the profession of philosophy there is a movement to develop "philosophical counseling." Alex Howard appears to be part of this movement, and he provides many resources, web pages, and organizational contacts in this regard (e.g., the Society of Consultant Philosophers, the American Philosophical Practitioners Association, and the International Society for Philosophical Practice). One would hope that such organizations make use of the vast practical literature from psychology, psychotherapy, and counseling and acknowledge the many empirically-validated treatments these professions have developed. These professions are not as intellectually bankrupt nor as trivial as he might suggest. Further, one would hope that philosophers do not neglect the many ethical and legal issues that are at the foundation of the helping professions.
Philosophy for Counselling and Psychotherapy has a few other shortcomings that may appear as deformities to some (particularly academic psychologists and counselors). Howard slights the many successes of counselors and psychotherapists, and he only mentions two approaches, the client-centered approach of Carl Rogers and cognitive therapy. For example, he does not acknowledge the existential therapy movement of Boss and Binswanger. He repeats again and again the shibboleth that counseling and psychotherapy are vastly inferior to approaches based solely on the great works of philosophy. For this reason, many teachers of psychology or counseling may be hesitant to adopt this book, although programs in philosophical counseling may see this as a strength. Some of the chapters are a bit rambling, and some of the essay questions and exercises are a bit contrived. Finally, there was no section on the American Philosophical movement, pragmatism, the philosophy of Peirce, James, and Dewey. Pragmatists did not neglect philosophical issues, and their approach has the potential to integrate disparate approaches and content. Recent pragmatists such as Rorty and Quine deserve mention.
The book, whether read for learning or for pleasure (it is capable of facilitating both), makes a unique contribution to psychotherapy, counseling, and philosophical counseling. One hopes that books like this encourage the scholar in philosophy and the scholar in psychology (or counseling) to consider the perspective of the other.
© Elson Bihm, 2001.
Elson M. Bihm is an associate professor at the University of Central Arkansas. He received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Texas Tech University (TTU) in 1982 and has been employed at the Research and Training Center in Mental Retardation at TTU, the Acadiana Mental Health Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, and the Conway Human Development Center in Conway, Arkansas. Among his published papers are those in the Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, and the American Journal on Mental Retardation. His professional interests are in the fields of counseling psychology, pragmatism, and behavior analysis.
Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk
``See the UK publisher's page for this book.