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Counselling Psychology Quarterly, September 2005; 18(3): 223–224


Ethically Challenged Professions: Enabling innovation and diversity in psychotherapy and counselling YVONNE BATES &RICHARD HOUSE Ross on Wye: PCCS Books, 2003 307 pp., ISBN 1 898059 61 6 Bates and House have gathered together 30 eloquent short chapters – as well as a Foreword by John Heron, an Afterword by IanParker, and their own ‘‘Final Reflections – in defence of pluralism and diversity in psychotherapy’’. In Part I: ‘‘Challenging the Ethics of Professionalised Therapy’’, several contributors argue thatthe US experience of compulsory registration has led to the fetishization of rules in fear of litigation (Lazarus), to the preference for short-term therapies with measurable outcomes (Bates) and to theattempt to replace creative diversity with ‘‘monocultures of the mind’’ (Totton, p. 125). Far from being ethical, ‘‘ethical guidelines’’ and codes of practice can be dehumanizing (Lazarus) andactually inimical to the genuine moral responsibility of therapists (Pattison). In this section I particularly appreciated the clarity of Burr and Butt’s chapter ‘‘Psychological Distress and PostmodernThought’’, which outlines the ‘‘pathologisation of everyday life’’. They draw on Foucault’s understanding of therapy as part of the ‘‘psy-complex’’: ‘‘fundamentally concerned with the supervision,monitoring and regulation of individual functioning’’ (p. 81). However, Burr and Butt do not conclude that psychotherapy and counselling should automatically be rejected or that all resistance to‘‘disciplinary power’’ is good. Instead, they take the pragmatic view that while both everyday life and therapy involve telling stories about our experiences, some perspectives are better than others – those thatassist clients to ‘‘produce self-narratives which allow them to live at peace with themselves’’ (p. 91). In Part II: ‘‘Enabling Innovation and Diversity’’, contributors suggest ways in which...
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