Monday, June 13, 2011

My next read: Counseling and Psychotherapy by Tan Siang Yang

Counseling and Psychotherapy
by Tan Siang Yang
Baker Academic, 2011

Alex recommended me this book as my next read. I managed to get a copy, an electronic copy no less, and have started on it. I have completed the first part on "Basic Issues in the Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy," which is brief and informative, though that not relevant to me.

I am looking forward to the second portion on "Major Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories and Techniques" which is quite extensive, covering Psychoanalytic Therapy (Sigmund Freud), Adlerian Therapy, Jungian Therapy (my center of interest), Existential Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Reality Therapy, Behavior Therapy (I suppose this is widely used in my HR circle), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (my other center of interest) and Marital and Family Therapy.

The book closes with a third part on "A Christian Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy".

In my search for an integration between Psychology and Christianity, this book is more than I bargained for. As a layman, I am getting an insight into the profession of a psychotherapist and counselor. It is ironical since in the days of my youth, we are being called "counselors" in church especially in evangelistic meeting settings, whilst I am reading here that counselors are serious business. I wonder if churches still call them counselors.



  1. In the United States where they like to legistrate things, a clinical psychologist will need a PhD, a counselor at least a Masters and a pastor counselor -certification by the American Association of Pastor Counselors (AAPC).

    While there is a place for formal training, personally I believe there is a role for personal gifts and talents. Lay people should be involved in counseling in the churches. I am influence by Siang Yang's book,Lay Counseling (1991) which is another recommended read.

  2. Thanks Alex for enlightening me. Being counsellors back in those days, I always feel unequipped to do much. With no idea what counselling actually entails and with a raw knowledge and experience of faith, I find that what seems to work mostly is just being there. And what Siang Yang brought up is true: "Research findings have shown that in general, therapeutic change in clients results from client and therapist factors more than from techniques." (p.14, 2011)

  3. Communication is the best medicine to solve the issues between two persons and for that a counseling Perth can help them well.