At ABC Coaching and Counselling
Services, we offer hundreds of pages of free information, and more than sixty free videos, on various models, theories and
aspects of counselling, coaching and psychotherapy.
We also offer professional counselling
and coaching services, in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire; and all over the world via the telephone and email services.
ABC Coaching and Counselling Services has two main divisions: the counselling division and
the coaching division. The counselling division is run by Dr Jim Byrne, the creator of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy
(CENT); and the coaching division is run by Renata Taylor-Byrne, who has created her own form of confidence building training
based on personal and public performance coaching.
CENT coaching and counselling systems are derived from a fusion of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT); Transactional
Analysis (TA); Narrative therapy; Zen Buddhist and Stoic philosophy; Attachment Theory; and Moral philosophy.
CENT coaching and counselling services
are available in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK. Both the counselling
and coaching divisions are committed to providing high quality free resources, including free counselling and coaching video
clips and information pages.
Welcome to the
home of CENT counselling and coaching: the system that integrates the best available philosophies
and psychologies of personal change, self improvement and transformation.
ABC Coaching and Counselling
Services has two main divisions:
run by Dr Jim Byrne:
Jim provides counselling services, face to face in Hebden Bridge; and
by telephone and email all over the world. He also provides free counselling information, including counselling
videos and descriptions of counselling models...
We offer hundreds
of pages of free information, and more than sixty free videos, on various models, theories and aspects of counselling, coaching
We also offer professional counselling and coaching services, in Hebden
Bridge, West Yorkshire; and all over the world via the telephone and email services.
and befriending are important aspects of counselling and therapy: "Ian Suttie ... regarded psychotherapy
as a quest for a ‘companionship' with the client. He drew attention to the embarrassed ‘taboo on tenderness'
which scares us all, especially ‘scientific' psychotherapists. There is no more effective barrier to treatment
(in counselling and therapy). Tenderness is akin to that of the loving relationship between the child and mother which
is formed ‘with the intention of severance'. The therapist needs to be a ‘mother' (and a ‘father'),
but s/he must move towards ‘friendship', a more equal personal relationship".
Robert F. Hobson, Forms
of Feeling: The heart of psychotherapy, Page 212. (31)
(1) Information about counselling services all over the world:
The main aim of this book is to spread happiness. Not just any old
hedonistic happiness, excitement, or thrill seeking; but rather pro-social, moral, sustainable happiness, in line with the
insights of Positive psychology, Buddhist psychology, Stoic philosophy and various forms of Rational and Narrative therapy,
and the two major systems of writing therapy (the scientific and the artistic).
In this book you will find a twelve week program which is designed to help you to manage your life in such
a way that you can reduce your unhappiness and increase your happiness. You will learn simple techniques that can produce
almost immediate improvements that will astound you.
good counsellor will remain vulnerable in their relations with clients: "If as counsellors we hide behind the
safety of our professional role, our clients will keep themselves hidden from us. If we become merely technical experts
and leave our own reactions, values, and self out of our work, the result will be sterile counseling".
Corey, Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, page 15. (32)
Third revised and expanded edition: 2012. The purpose of this book is to teach the reader what stress is, and
how to combat it. It contains eighteen techniques for reducing physical and mental strain, and to enhance environmental control.
It is written in the form of a self-help manual, with spaces for self-reflection exercises. However, it could also be used
by counsellors, counselling students, and interested others, as a means to learn, understand and present the CENT approach to Stress Management in counselling, coaching
and therapy contexts. If you need to control your stress, or you want to help others to do so, then this book will help
In this ebook, I want to do two things: (1) To present a
basic understanding of the Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT/CBT) approach to dealing with anxiety’; and (2) To provide a set of exercises for you to do
so that you can learn how to analyze your problems with anxiety; identify solutions; and implement those solutions so as to
eliminate your anxiety. In that way, you can become your own “counsellor”, in the area of anxiety and fear, because
you can learn to fix your own emotional and behavioural problems.
This is a popular introduction
to the theory and practice of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), which is a highly effective new philosophy of life,
and psychological system of counselling, therapy and self-help. CENT integrates some of the core concepts and models
of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Transactional Analysis (TA), Attachment theory; and several other systems.
If you want to know how to use CENT, on yourself or to help another person, then this is the best place to begin.
For an insight into the value and power of counselling systems and personal development work, see these two papers: My Story of Origins; and my Story of Relationship; in which I describe my own personal counselling and therapy journey over the course of my lifetime.
the video clip that follows, Dr Jim Byrne presents a brief outline of the eleven central principles of his Cognitive Emotive
Narrative Therapy (CENT) and counselling system. CENT is a fusion of REBT/CBT, Transactional Analysis and Object Relations,
Attachment Theory, Zen Buddhism, moral philosophy and other philosophical elements.
CENT is a holistic system of counselling which includes the care of the whole body/mind of
In CENT counselling, we do not agree with the Cartesian separation of mind and body. You are a walking mind and a thinking/feeling
body. You are a body that has a lifetime of objective/subjective experience mediated through your mind. You are
an experienced brain-mind-body, and your tomorrow is shaped by your subjectively experienced
yesterday. To change your life, you have to somehow change how your experience has wired up
your brain-mind-body. This could involve changing your diet, exercise, and/or your self-talk (which is the story you
keep telling yourself about your life); your location in space-time; your relationships; your attitudes. The changes
that we will work on together in CENT counselling depend upon what your goals are. Where are you trying to get to?
What suffering are you trying to eliminate or avoid?
enough counsellors provide a healing relationship for their counselling clients: How can counselling relationships
help the client to grow and have better relationships in the real world? "In the world according to Bowlby, our
lives, from the cradle to the grave, revolve around intimate attachments. Although our stance toward such attachments
is shaped most influentially by our first relationships, we are also malleable. If our early involvements have been
problematic, then subsequent relationships can offer second chances, perhaps affording us the potential to love, feel, and
reflect with the freedom that flows from secure attachment. (Counselling and) psychotherapy, at its best, provides just
such a healing relationship".
Dr David Wallin, Attachment in Psychotherapy, 2007, page 1 (3)
I hope you find the information on this web site interesting and useful.
There are more than forty video clips on counselling systems and processes on various pages. And there are dozens of
pages on different systems of counselling, and related subjects, like meditation, diet and exercise. And if you need
counselling help or support, please do contact me.
If you want to escape from the pain of depression and anxiety, or the self-inflicted
losses (of relationships, jobs, friends, careers, self respect, etc) resulting from uncontrolled anger, then you could
benefit from CENT counselling with me.
What I do best is to help you to
develop 'narrative competence', so you can re-write the story of your current and past life, which will create a better future
for you; one which does not contain the pain and distress of the present moment. We live our lives according to a non-conscious
script, and to change our lives we have to change that script. Furthermore, if you try to run away from your problems,
they will pursue you. To get rid of them, you have to learn how to 'complete your experience' of them, which 'digests
them', and allows them to go into the background of your life, harmlessly. The major developmental challenges for people who
are suffering with strong and disturbing negative emotions are: (1) to complete any undigested experiences from your past;
(2) to learn how to become securely attached to others; (3) to learn how to 'reframe' your experiences, so they show up in
a less disturbing light; and (4) to re-write the story or script that is driving your life in negative directions. I can show
you how to tackle those challenges, and how to have a healthier, happier life.
If you like the content of this site, please share it with your social networking
friends (e.g. at Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).
A counsellor cannot promote the road less
travelled, unless he or she is on it themselves: "If counselors are to promote growth and change in their clients,
they must be willing to promote growth in their own lives by exploring their own choices and decisions and by striving to
become aware of the ways in which they have ignored their own potential for growth. This willingness to attempt to live
in accordance with what they teach and thus to be positive models for their clients is what makes counselors ‘therapeutic
Gerald Corey (2001), Theory and Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Sixth edition. (57)
Here are some video clips to help you to get a flavour of the ABC Coaching and Counselling Services approach
to counselling and therapy:
This first clip is a brief introduction to Dr Jim Byrne, ABC Coaching and Counselling Services,
and the counselling services on offer.
2. In this second clip, I describe the
importance of taking responsibility for your own life, as the essential foundation for any form of successful counselling
3. Here is a brief
introduction to Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), which is the form of counselling and therapy created and used
by Dr Jim Byrne. There are at least 16 videos on the 16 Counselling Videos page.
4. This is Part 2 of 'What is Counselling?' It was produced by
me to update my statements about the way I think of counselling. In particular, I mention the importance of Attachment
Theory, and the counsellor being emotionally available to the client.
on Counselling, plus Information on Counseling Systems
Defining, describing and illustrating counselling systems
I use the terms counselling, coaching and psychotherapy interchangeably, to mean processes
of helping my clients to develop a greater capacity to manage their thoughts, feelings, behaviours and action plans.
If you want a more formal definition, then here is Richard Nelson-Jones on the subject:
"Therapy is derived from the Greek word 'therapeia' meaning healing. Attempts to differentiate
between counselling and psychotherapy are never wholly successful. Because counselling and therapy represent diverse
rather than uniform knowledge and activities, it is more accurate to think of counselling approaches and psychological therapies".
Some commentators draw a distinction between counselling and therapy, but this distinction
is difficult to maintain, and I do not accept that it is valid. As Nelson-Jones says: "Attempts to distinguish
counselling from therapy include observations that therapy deals more with mental disorders than counselling, that therapy
is longer-term and deeper, and that therapy is predominantly associated with medical settings. However, matters are
not this clear-cut. Many counsellors work in medical settings, have clients with recognized mental disorders and do
longer-term work that is sometimes of a psychodynamic nature.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, developed a totally
new way of looking at human nature.
Only now, with the hindsight of the half-century since his death,
can we assess his true legacy to current thought.
As an experienced psychiatrist himself, Anthony Storr
offers a lucid and objective look at Freud's major theories, evaluating whether they have stood the test of time, and in the
process examines Freud himself in light of his own ideas.
An excellent introduction to Freud's work, this
book will appeal to all those broadly curious about psychoanalysis, psychology, and sociology.
brief, elegant, and interesting book coolly surveys what we might term the house of Freud and finds almost everything flawed...yet
he does not dispute that the builder of the shaky house was a genius."
D.M. Thomas, The Observer
Counselling and therapy are largely overlapping systems, and it
is probably better to see them as part of a common system of helping others: "Syme (2000) rightly suggests that there
is huge overlap between counselling and therapy. As an illustration of perceived overlap, the Psychotherapy and
Counselling Federation of Australia promulgates 'A definition of counselling and psychotherapy' as a single statement. (Psychotherapy
and Counselling Federation of Australia, 1997). Both counselling and therapy are psychological processes that use the
same theoretical models. Each stresses the need to value the client as a person, to listen carefully and sympathetically
to what they have to say, and to foster the capacity for self-help and personal responsibility". Pages 4-5, Essential
Counselling and Therapy Skills: The skilled client model. Richard Nelson-Jones, London, Sage Publications, 2002.
In the remainder of this section I will introduce a
number of ideas about counselling and psychotherapy, using video clips. My intention is to give you a rough idea of
what it is like to be counselled by counselors from several different disciplines, including the cognitive behavioural, the
psychodynamic (or emotive) approach, the narrative approach, Gestalt and TA, and so on. You will get a sense of some
of the differences of emphasis and the areas of overlap in these various schools of counselling.
addition (June 2011 onwards) I intend to add brief summary notes on all the systems of counselling and therapy in which I
have been trained, including mini-papers on Questions and Answers on Counselling Systems. This should be helpful for
individuals who are curious about the nature of counselling and therapy, including students on counselling and psychotherapy
'Theory and Practice of Counselling is a very thorough introduction
to the whole subject a knowledge of which is useful if not essential in the health, occupational family and personal development
sectors, as well as many other caring professions' - The Psychologist
'Richard Nelson-Jones' book has become
so much a part of the counselling theory literature; it is hard to imagine discussing the topic without reference to it. This
Third Edition gives testimony to its continued value.
It is hard to fault this book, its readability and
detailed referencing, alone, will mean that it will suit a wide readership? If you have to buy only one book on counselling
and therapy, this is it'.
Professor Philip Burnard, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
'Richard Nelson-Jones takes this complex subject and explains the whys and hows of each
different type of therapy about as well as it can be done. There is no better introduction' - Amazon Review
I shall begin today (28th June
2011) with a summary introduction to the process of creating counselling and therapy approaches, as described by Richard Nelson-Jones
(2001) Theory and Practice of Counselling and Therapy, Third Edition. London: Continuum.
"A theoretical approach represents a single position regarding the theory and
practice of counselling and therapy.
"A school of counselling and therapy is
a grouping of different theoretical approaches which ar similar to one another in terms of certain important
characteristics that distinguish them from approaches in other counselling and therapy schools.
the three main schools that influence contemporary individual counselling and therapy theory and practice
are the psychodynamic school, the humanistic-existential school, and the cognitive-behavioural
school". (Page 19).
I will now present a link to my first mini-paper in this series:
If you are already
familiar with counselling and therapy, then please skip the 'introduction to counselling' video that follows, and go to the video intro to Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT). If you would like an introduction to the subject of counselling, and to Dr Byrne's own Cognitive Emotive Narrative
Counselling, then please see the video clips and links that follow immediately. To view a vido clip, please Click > once on the on-screen arrow:
This definition of counselling
is further elaborated in the links that follow:
This book - which was created after the death of Dr Albert
Ellis - begins by enquiring into the case for integrating cognitive therapy and psychodynamic therapy. It is a scholarly
consideration and examination of the models that underlie the system of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), and the
ways this author gradually expanded that system by incorporating elements of Transactional Analysis, Gestalt Therapy, and,
later, attachment theory and object relations theory. That scholarly level of the book is underpinned by the personal
and professional experience of the author. This author uses his own difficult life history to investigate and explore
models of the human mind and theories of counselling and psychotherapy which are at the growing edge of counselling psychology.
However, underneath this academic and theoretical level, there is a painful, personal narrative of childhood suffering.
What you will gain from this book is a huge infusion of creative ideas about how to rethink counselling and therapy practice
post the narrative and the emotional revolutions.
So, I have now defined counselling; and
presented a brief introduction to CENT, which is an integration of ideas and techniques from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT),
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Transactional Analysis (TA), Object Relations, and Narrative Therapy. However,
before I present you with any more of my own video clips about Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), I want to break
that down into components that are easier to understand. So first I will present a video clip which features a National
Health Service (NHS) client who had Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for depression when her husband died. Her testimonial
should give you some good insights into what people get from cognitive type therapies:
"This book brought me back from the depths of suicidal thoughts
and anxiety, and taught me how to isolate those thinking patterns from my work life. It was crucial for me to read this book,
because I was wildly successful in my career, but floundering emotionally because of past pains that I couldn't identify.
This book has saved me thousands of dollars and years of therapy. I don't knock therapy at all, but this book will help you
actually know what to ask for help in when you actually see a therapist, and that has saved me lots of time and money. The
exercises in this book alone are worth more than anything else on the market. This book is a game-changer, and must have for
any personal library or friend who is struggling. Just put it in a emotional first aid kit!!! It should be required collegiate
reading for any person even considering the psychology profession or ministry." Name not provided.
'This book provides an ideal introduction in the area
of cognitive therapy (CT). Sanders and Wills remain true to their first edition's name of portraying with honesty the practice
of CT, and in this edition build on the first to inspiringly capture the developments of CT, as well as the broadening spectrum
of its practitioners. Good diagrams are provided throughout, modelling formulations and the different conceptualizations of
CT, as well as exercises for use with patients. The therapy is brought to life by scripts from sample cases. The appealing
yet cautionary frankness of the authors in reporting their own interactions and fallibility makes it ideal for a trainee practitioner'
- Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
'It is… particularly useful that main points are summarised in tables,
making this a very easy-to-read book. It is evident from the way the material is presented that the authors are experienced
therapists, who have a deep understanding of the cognitive therapy process per se and the applications of cognitive theory
in general. Case studies are presented throughout the book to illustrate the theory, offering valuable educational material
to the readers. The book has also been written with an open mind, providing a balanced overview of both the strengths and
limitations of an evidence-based therapeutic model. I believe that it will make a useful source for all those professionals
who wish to introduce themselves to cognitive therapy as well as an excellent introductory training textbook' - Accident and
And here is a brief academic paper on Cognitive Therapy (CT) which I wrote
for my Rusland Diploma course, in 2003; followed by a Question and Answer Mini-paper, also on CT:
All systems of CBT were inspired by the original form of cognitive behaviour counselling,
which was Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), developed by Dr Albert Ellis, in New York City, in the period 1953-1962,
and continually updated since that time, up to his death in 2007. See the following documents:
Although REBT was the original form of cognitive behaviour therapy: "Cognitive
therapy (as such) was initially developed in the early 1970s by Dr Aaron Beck of the University of Pennsylvania. The
theory postulates that during clients' cognitive development they learn incorrect habits of processing and interpreting information.
Cognitive therapists attempt to unravel clients' distortions and help them to learn different and more realistic ways of processing
and reality-testing information".
As a final illustration of the CBT approach to counselling,
here is a CBT role play from the Australian Institute of Professional Counselling (AIPC):
Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is not a purely intellectual approach to counseling, but strongly emphasizes the interplay
of feeling, behaviour and cognition (or thought)".
are very few really good video demonstrations of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy which can be shown freely on the internet.
There are some good demonstrations for sale, but not for free.
The adjacent demonstration, by a group of students at the University
of Texas, at Austin, seems to me to be a fairly good illustration of some of the key features of how REBT is often used by
some therapists. (There is probably a wide variety of approaches in use regarding how to implement the theory of REBT
in practice). Take a look at this demonstration and see what you think. They include some of the philosophical ideas
of Albert Ellis, presented by an actor delivering the lines.
addition, here is a video clip in which Dr Jeffrey Guterman presents a one minute excerpt from a telephone counselling
session he had with Dr Albert Ellis, the creator of REBT, back in the early 1980s. Jeffrey is on the telephone to the
Institute for RET in New York City. It nicely illustrates something about the ABC model of REBT:
Further down this page, I have posted a video clip in which I demonstrate
that REBT does not have to be delivered in hard-nosed, non-empathic ways, which has sometimes happened in the past.
REBT can be, and should be, as sensitive and caring as the most person-centred system of counselling and psychotherapy.
on the 'What is REBT?' page***, I have posted two video-based lectures and two PowerPoint presentations on REBT, which I recently delivered at the
University of Manchester.
The basic difference between general CBT and REBT is that, in CBT the counsellor will
be looking to identify your 'automatic thoughts ' - especially over-generalizations, ignoring positives, and producing
exaggerations - while in REBT the counsellor looks for what are called 'irrational beliefs', which include demanding
the unattainable; exaggerating the degree of badness of your situation; assuming you can
not tolerate your problems; and condemning and damning yourself, other people, and
the world. To find out more about REBT, try the 'What is REBT?' page.
So much for the cognitive approach. Now I want to show you a role play session illustrating a more emotive
counselling approach - the psycho-dynamic counselling model - in which the counsellor looks for the roots of current problems
in the childhood of the client:
Introduction to Freud's Psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud was the great-grandfather of all systems of counselling and psychotherapy.
In the 1890s he created a system called psychoanalysis, which set the pattern for one specialist to help one client to work
through their emotional distress with a view to making sense of it, and thereby resolve it.
Freud saw the human individual as being split between two major instincts: the life
urge (or Eros) and the death urge (or Thanatos). This distinction is preserved in the CENT distinction between our Good
Wolf and our Bad Wolf sides. When Freudians talk about 'libido' they are talking about manifestations
of the life urge.
The human mind is seen to be split three ways in psychoanalysis, between the individual
organism as born (which is called the 'it', or 'id); the internalized rules, attitudes and values of the mother/father (which
is called the 'over-I', or 'superego'); and the sense of self of the individual (which is called the 'ego', or 'the I'). The
psychic energy - or aliveness - of the individual is distributed between these three elements of mind, which may be in harmony
with each other, or in significant conflict.
The ego holds the tension between the innate urges of the
'it' and the socially-shaped constraining influence of the 'over-I' (or super-ego).
Most systems of counselling and psychotherapy involve
the counsellor in asking probing questions. (The exception is the Rogerian system of person-centred counselling,
which avoids using leading questions). The reason for probing questions is to allow the therapist to build up a diagnostic
picture of the client's problem(s). However, when this kind of questioning is done unskillfully - and sometimes when
it is not - the client may respond with irritability. Here is a psycho-dynamic consideration of this issue, which answers
the question 'Why put yourself through psychotherapy, given this probing question irritation?:
"Since the probing
aspect of psychotherapy is so often disliked, why should anyone want to put themselves through encounters of this sort?
of the reasons is that it is a dull sort of relief indeed to be shut off from one's inner life, which is what is achieved
by the excessive use of defenses (against probing questions). It is a greater relief to be able to open up even though
doing so is not easy. That is why Aeschylus ... spoke of the 'discipline of suffering' as a 'mercy of the gods'.
Psychotherapy at its best can help enlarge the mind, and illuminate its contents. Nor does it all have to be trial by
suffering. It is not always recognized that psychotherapy and psychoanalysis aim to increase common sense and a grasp
of reality, as well as opening one up to the nuances of emotional and imaginative life. There is an intrinsic pleasure
in coming to know what is going on inside oneself and in others, and to grasp more fully many aspects of life, both the practical
and the emotional. Moreover it can also be a revelation to recognise the impact of our inner worlds, our psychic reality,
upon our thinking, attitudes and perceptions of ourselves, since it is as influential, or even more influential, than the
effects of actual childhood events.
"Thus in all psychotherapy, although we need to take fully into account historical
facts, or the facts of an individual's day-to-day circumstances, it is important to recognize that we have a world within
us which powerfully affects how we operate and how we perceive things". Page 169 of 'Talking
Cure: Mind and method of the Tavistock Clinic'. David Taylor (editor). Duckworth: 1999.
A recent issue of Scientific American contains evidence that
psycho-dynamic counseling is highly effective for a range of issues, and that participants in the research not only improved
as a result of the counselling, but continued to improve on their own, many months after the counselling sessions ended.
psychodynamic approach to counselling and psychotherapy is also misunderstood because of public prejudices against Freud
and his theory of psychosexual stages of development. If you want to experience a review of the modern Freudian theory
in an academic context, then take a look at this debate at the University of Richmond:
You could also take a look at one of my Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy
papers - my CENT Paper No.9, - which integrates Freud and the cognitive-behavioural models of the mind, in a way that helps counsellors and therapists
to improve their understanding of the mind of the counselling client.
We have looked at examples
of cognitive and emotive approaches to counselling and psychotherapy, and now we will take a look at a role play demonstrating
what Narrative Therapy is like, as a process of counselling:
For counselling and psychotherapy
students: If you are a counselling student, then it is important to note that there are three preexisting approaches
to narrative counselling and therapy, as described by McLeod (2003), pages 227-238. These are: the psychodynamic approach; the cognitive/constructivist approach; and the social
(1) The psychodynamic
approachto the use of narratives in counseling and therapy focuses on the
ways that the client’s stories can reveal habitual ways of relating; and the counsellor can thus use those stories to
help the client to ‘re-author’ their lives: (Strupp and Binder, 1984; Luborsky and Crits-Christoph, 1990). The main emphasis in the psychodynamic approach to narrative use in counselling and psychotherapy is in helping to
identify the Core Conflictual Relationship Theme (CCRT). This CCRT then provides
the basic agenda for their work of counselling.
The cognitive/constructivist approach to the use of narratives in counselling
and therapy focuses on two strategies: (A) Identifying
stories that conflict with each other, which provides the possibility of using ‘cognitive dissonance’ to help
with the challenge of rewriting and integrating conflicted schemas (or frames, scripts, stories) in the client’s long-term
memory; and:(B) The use of metaphor.
For example: my use of the images of being a ‘little mouse’ and then ‘a big moral cat’, in my Story
of Origins. Metaphors can be depowering and empowering, and the therapist can help the client to develop more empowering
metaphors for their problem roles, themes, or characters in their most difficult stories.
social constructionist approachto narrative therapy and counseling is based
on the idea that we are social beings born into a story-telling culture; that we are surrounded by stories, myths, legends;
that these stories preceded our existence, and we take on some of the story roles and themes into which we are thrown at birth.
The main contributors to the development of this tradition were White and Epston, a couple of Australasian family therapists:
(White and Epston, 1990). Since people are seen as occupying a family- or community-generated narrative or story, the solution is to ‘externalize’
this story, and get the client to see it as not part of them, so they can step away from the roles specified in the story;
or they can re-author their story in various ways. Like CENT therapy, this form of therapy uses both spoken dialogue and written narratives to help the client to unearth their
dominant narratives and to change them.
CENT counseling and therapy does not fit comfortably
within any of the three narrative traditions outlined above. Neither was CENT directly inspired by the creators of any of those three traditions. Nevertheless, we can
easily see that CENTinvolves an integration
of traditions (1) and (3) – the psychodynamic and the social constructionist. But CENTis much more than that; and is a completely unique approach to narrative
use in psychotherapy and counseling, in that we utilize the psychodynamic approach, the cognitive approach, and the social
constructionist approach – plus Transactional Analysis and moral philosophy - to inform our understanding of human development
and individual functioning in the world. In Chapters 9 and 10, we will explore how the CENT model of the social nature of the individual
is constructed.” Extract from Chapter 7 of ‘Therapy After Ellis, Berne, Freud and the Buddha’,
by Dr Jim Byrne, in press.
 McLeod, J. (2003) An Introduction to Counselling.
Third edition. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Strupp, H.H. and Binder, J.L. (1984) Psychotherapy
in a New Key: A guide to time-limited dynamic psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.
Luborsky, L. and Crits-Christoph, P. (eds)
(1990) Understanding Transference: the CCRT method. New
York: Basic Books.
Russell, R.L. and van den Brock, P. (1992) Changing narrative schemas in psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy, 29: 344-354.
Gonçalves, O.F. (1995) Hermeneutics,
constructivism and cognitive-behavioural therapies: from the object to the project. In: R.A. Neimeyer and M.J. Mahoney
(eds) Constructivism in psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
White, M. and Epston, D. (1990) Narrative
Means to Therapeutic Ends. New York:
Obviously, there are lots of overlaps between these systems
of counseling and psychotherapy, and some obvious differences. These role plays are a little stilted, since they are not genuine
counselling sessions; but they should give you some sense of what would be involved in coming to see me, or another counsellor/therapist,
and working on your issues.
Before I move on to Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), I want you see a demonstration
of a form of counselling called Gestalt Therapy, developed by Dr Fritz Perls. Again this is a role play, and not a real
session, but it conveys the essence of how a Gestalt counsellor would work:
Another component of CENT counselling and therapy came from Transactional
Analysis (TA), which was created by Dr Eric Berne in the post-war period in the mid-twentieth century.
Here's a little video clip of Mary Goulding MSW being interviewed about just what TA counsellors do in their sessions with
Cognitive Emotive Counselling and
Therapy (CENT) and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)
you have a better idea of what is meant by cognitive counselling; cognitive behavioural therapy; psycho-dynamic (or emotive)
counselling; Gestalt therapy; Transactional Analysis (TA), and narrative counselling and therapy; you are in a much better
position to cope with my presentations on Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy
(REBT). My next video clip, which follows below, describes some of the counselling models used in CENT. It begins with
the ABC model from REBT, and shows how the counsellor 'debates and disputes' some of the client's unhelpful beliefs and gets
them to change them to more rational beliefs. It then moves on to the EFR model of CENT counselling. The E is
the Event or Experience that the client has had, about which they are disturbed. The F is the Frame through
which they are viewing and interpreting the E. And the R is the Response, or the Result of the E times the F; the emotional
and behavioural response. The F in the EFR model differs significantly from the B in the ABC model in that much of the
material that makes up the Frame through which the client interpreted the Event is non-conscious! Finally,
I briefly introduce the Five Windows Model, and provide some detail on the first three 'windows'. This will be taken
further in the second video clip in this series:
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What follows is Part 2 of the video series on Counselling
Models used in CENT. This clip is designed to demonstrate the first three 'frames' of the Five
Windows Model in some detail, as applied to emotional upsets, and I use the teaching illustration of problems
arising out of the economic stresses of redundancy or business decline:
in Part 3 of the Models Used in CENT counselling, I explore the use of Windows 4 and 5 to reduce emotional upsets about the
same problems as before, arising out of the economic stress of job redundancy or business decline/failure. Please
take a look and see how you can apply this system to your own emotional, behavioural and/or relationship problems:
And since CENT originally came
out of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), you might also want to consult the following web-page:
Some people think that REBT counselling and
therapy is too insensitive to the client's needs, and I think that it is important to clarify this issue. Therefore,
I made the following video to show that I consider empathy towards the counselling client to be one of the most important
principles of good, effective counselling and therapy. This video models how to respond empathetically to a distressing
problem presented by a client. Here's the video on The Role of Empathy in REBT:
Counselling mind skills - No.1: Creating rules. "People's unrealistic
rules make irrational demands on them, others, and the environment. For instance, ‘I must always be happy', ‘Others
must look after me', and ‘My environment should not contain any suffering'. Instead they can develop realistic
rules. For instance, ‘I prefer to be happy much of the time, but it is unrealistic to expect this all the time'."
Nelson-Jones (2002) Essential Counselling and Therapy Skills: The skilled client model. Page 9. (12)
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ABC Coaching and
Counselling Services - Hebden Bridge - West Yorkshire - UK
27 Wood End, Keighley Road, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8HJ, UK
Telephone 01422 843 629 (or 44 1422 843 629 from outside the UK)
Services available by telephone and email all over the world. "Helping individuals to overcome
their emotional, behavioural and relationship problems; and to be more effective in their public performance roles".
Promoting happiness and personal effectiveness.
Unless otherwise stated on these pages, all material appearing on this website is copyright (c) Jim Byrne
and/or Renata Taylor-Byrne, 2003-2012
this site you will find lots of information about coaching, counselling and psychotherapy services to help with all kinds
of emotional, behavioural and relationship difficulties and problems; and public performance difficulties. Counselling,
coaching and psychotherapy in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK; and all over the world via the telephone system and by
ABC Coaching and Counselling services is the home of Cognitive
Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) - which is an integration of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Transactional Analysis
(TA), Narrative therapy, Attachment theory, Zen Buddhist philosophy, Stoic philosophy, Moral philosophy, and several other