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Hoag, L. (1992). Insight and Experience: A Manual of Training in the Technique and Theory of Psychodynamic Counselling and Therapy by Michael Jacobs. Published by Open University Press, Milton Keynes, 1991; 231 pages; £12.99.. Brit. J. Psychother., 9(1):104-106.
   

(1992). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 9(1):104-106

Insight and Experience: A Manual of Training in the Technique and Theory of Psychodynamic Counselling and Therapy by Michael Jacobs. Published by Open University Press, Milton Keynes, 1991; 231 pages; £12.99.

Review by:
Linda Hoag

This is a manual, comprised of eleven chapters, each of which contains a series of group exercises designed to address a particular theme or issue underlying the psychodynamic approach to counselling and therapy. The exercises have been developed by Jacobs and some of his colleagues as part of the counselling course run by the University of Leicester Department of Adult Education in Leicester and Northampton, and have been published in order to make this very useful material more widely available.

Each chapter of the manual is comprised of an introduction, group exercises and a final comment by the author. The introductions present the theoretical consideration underlying the development and use of the ensuing exercises, which are numbered, and therefore easily cross-referenced. Each exercise is described in terms of its purpose, duration, method, materials, and instructions, and is followed by suggestions for ‘debriefing’ the participants. The concluding comment at the end of each chapter contains suggestions for other useful and related exercises, some of which are found elsewhere in this volume, and also expands and/or reiterates theoretical points made in the introduction to the chapter.

The first three chapters address issues around revision of basic counselling skills, provision of a facilitating environment, and work both with and within groups, respectively.

With the fourth chapter, Jacobs moves from a focus on the acquisition or enhancement of technical skills to the task of acquiring insight ‘through the experience of the situations, thoughts and feelings which arise in the course of human development’ (p. 83).

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