Professional counselling practice is full of complexities and subtleties, yet the author argues that the richness of clinical counselling still receives insufficient recognition in the literature and in public opinion. In the light of the late-1990s professionalization of counselling, this text examines the hypothesis that counselling theory and practice is altered by the specific organizational context in which it takes place - the consequence of which is that context is an important force for therapeutic change. It also argues that, with careful professionalization and a well-thought-out academic base, counselling can be a sophisticated activity which is not just the poor neighbour of psychotherapy.
John Lees lectures in counselling at the University of Greenwich. He is a UKRC registered independent counsellor and a member of the British Association for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Supervision.