|About the CENTRE|
|LINKS to related sites|
|SEARCH this site|
| Services to Business
In the past 12 months counselling and psychotherapy has received negative publicity on television, radio and in the press. In particular, the potential exploitation of clients by counsellors, psychotherapists and hypnotherapists has been widely reported. In the past 20 years this exploitation has been well documented and is not just media hype (e.g. Gabbard, 1989; Pope, 1990; Russell, 1990; Szymanska &: Palmer, 1993; Taylor & Wagner, 1976).
Most information that clients can obtain on finding a suitable counsellor concentrates on the different approaches to counselling, what they entail, the cost, choosing the right counsellor, and confidentiality. The issue of the possible problems that can occur in counselling and psychotherapy are seldom explicitly stated in the information sheets or booklets especially in Britain (e.g. BAC 1992, 1994). However, a slightly more enlightened approach is taken in North America.
To aid potential clients in asking their counsellor the right questions and to avoid any pitfalls, the authors have developed a brief checklist (see adjacent). This can be given to the client by the counsellor, health centre, or medical practitioner before the first counselling assessment session. Due to its brevity, the checklist is easy and cheap to photocopy. Since its first publication (Palmer & Szymanska, 1994a) it is now being used in health centres and has been recently revised (Palmer & Szymanska, 1994b). Although it can not stop exploitation from occurring it may alert clients to the more usual warning signs.
The authors are keen to receive feedback from REBT counsellors and psychotherapists on the content and wording of the checklist.
BAC, (1992). Information sheet 5. Rugby: British Association for Counselling.
BAC, (1994). Counselling and You. Rugby: British Association for Counselling.
Gabbard, G. O. (Ed), (1989). Sexual exploitation in professional relationships. Washington D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.
Palmer, S. and Szymanska, K. (1994a). How to avoid being exploited in counselling and psychotherapy. Counselling, Journal of the British Association for Counselling, 5, 1, 24.
Palmer, S. and Szymanska, K. (1994b). Referral guidance for participants attending stress management training courses. Stress News, Journal of the International Stress Management Association, 5, 4, 10- 11.
Pope, K.S. (1990). Therapist -Patient Sexual Involvement: A Review of the Research. Clinical Psychology Review, 10, 477-490.
Russell, J. (1990). Breaking Boundaries: A research note. Counselling, Journal of the British Association for Counselling, 1, 2.
Szymanska, K. and Palmer, S. (1993). Therapist-client sexual contact. Counselling Psychology Review, 8, 4, 22-33.
Taylor, J. and Wagner, N. N. (1976). Sex between therapists and Clients: A review and Analysis. Professional Psychology, 7, 593-601.
Correspondence: To either author at Centre for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, 156, Westcombe Hill, London, SE3 7DH
Issues For the Client To Consider
Here is a list of topics or questions you may wish to raise when attending your first (assessment) session:
Footnote: Counselling supervision is a formal arrangement where counsellors discuss their counselling in a confidential setting on a regular basis with one or more professional counsellors.
The New Zealand Centre for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy maintains a list of REBT practitioners throughout New Zealand who are available to take referrals. To find out about your nearest therapist, click here.