Piloting the stream: the life cycle and counselling

Sugarman, Leonie and Woolfe, Ray (1997) Piloting the stream: the life cycle and counselling. In: McMahon, Gladeana and Palmer, Stephen, (eds.) Handbook of counselling, 2nd edition. Routledge / British Association for Counselling, Hove, UK, pp. 22-36. Full text not available from this repository.

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The life course of each of us can be thought of as a river. On occasions turbulent, but at other times calm, it flows in a particular general direction whilst deviating here and there from a straight and narrow path. It meets and departs from other rivers or streams along the way, having a momentum of its own whilst both influencing and being influenced by the environment through which it flows. In the counselling encounter the lives of client and counsellor touch each other at a particular point in the life cycle of each. Each will be working, both inside and outside the counselling relationship, implicitly and explicitly, and with varying degrees of ease and success, on his or her development tasks - that is, those 'physiological psychological, and social demands a person must satisfy in order to be judged by others and to judge himself or herself to be a reasonable happy and successful person' (Chickering and Havighurst 1981: 25). Each phase of the life course has its own developmental tasks, the successful achievement of which contributes to personal happiness and to the successful management of later tasks. Failure contributes to unhappiness, social disapproval and/or later difficulties. This view of the life cycle is like a glue which binds together the experience of the helper and the client, and of the disparate concerns raised by clients at different life stages. The client's developments tasks will often be the raison d'etre of counselling.

Chickering, A.W. and Havighurst, R.J. (1981) 'The life cycle' in A.W. Chickering et al (eds) The modern American college: responding to the new realities of diverse students and a changing society, San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Routledge / British Association for Counselling
ISBN: 9780415139526
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Applied Psychology and Social Studies
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2010 12:28
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 17:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/698
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