You are here

Working with Difference and Diversity in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Working with Difference and Diversity in Counselling and Psychotherapy

July 2020 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book guides you through the complexities of working with difference and diversity in counselling and psychotherapy. It introduces you to contemporary thinking on the construction of difference, social identity and culture, and applies the theory to therapy practice. With reflective exercises and case examples, it will help you to work more confidently and sensitively with difference.

Rose Cameron is a practitioner and a trainer in counselling and psychotherapy. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

Chapter 1: The Psychological Impact of Hostility
Chapter 2: The Social Construction of Difference: Race, Ethnicity, Nationality and Religion
Chapter 3: The Social Construction of Difference: Gender, Sex, Sexuality, Disability, Age and Class
Chapter 4: Reclaiming Identity in the 1970s and 1980s
Chapter 5: Contemporary Identities
Chapter 6: Cultural Arrogance
Chapter 7: Cultural Humility
Chapter 8: Demonising and Romanticising the ‘Other’
Chapter 9: Power and Prejudice
Chapter 10: Power and Privilege
Chapter 11: Challenges to Communication
Conclusion: The Therapeutic Relationship

Each chapter points us towards how difference and diversity in the therapy room can challenge us to be better therapists. The author does not lecture but makes us aware of ourselves in relation to ourselves, social history, the client’s self and the space in the therapy room where differences sit. This short book is not a quick read; nor is it of small impact. It is without doubt one to revisit and be refreshed by when needed. 

Gavin Conn
Therapy Today

A fantastic book. My students love it.

Ms Edna Ogundare
Counselling and Psychology, City Lit
April 26, 2023

Really useful exploration of working with difference and diversity for trainee and experienced counsellors alike

Mrs Julie Wyman
Book Reviews, Devon Counselling College
October 13, 2021

A very good book which covers a wide range of topics with regards to diversity in therapeutic practice. The case discussions are very relevant and clearly link to the theory presented. The content seems contemporary.

Dr Alex Kyriakopoulos
Department of Psychology, Teesside University
September 27, 2020

Good challenging text

Mr Keith Walmsley-Smith
Psychology, Sport, and Exercise, Staffordshire University
December 1, 2020
Key features

Need: a practical book on the core topic of working with difference and diversity

Feature: This book explores the key competencies needed to work ethically and in a culturally sensitive manner

Benefit: Students can feel confident and equipped to work with a range of clients and, crucially, with clients who have different identities or backgrounds from their own


N: Students need to identify and be aware of their own socio-cultural position and explore their own prejudices

F: The book is packed with experiential and reflective exercises to help readers reflect on their own 'blind spots, 'invisible norms' and  'unearned privilege'
B: Students develop reflexive awareness of their biases and assumptions and to help work with individuals from a range of backgrounds


N: There are a multitude of theoretically dense texts on this topic, and a confusing array of terms (anti-oppressive practice, cross-cultural counselling; multi-cultural counselling, etc.)

F: this book will unpick the key theories and terms through clear and accessible language

B: Students gain a strong foundation of knowledge, getting to grips with the key terms, concepts and theories


N: Many texts take an outmoded approach to the topic, listing areas of difference chapter-by-chapter (gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, disability, class, age, religion) which doesn't recognise the reality of the clients' lives

F: This book takes an intersectional approach to difference

B: The book helps students understand that individuals can be disadvantaged on the basis of more than one area of difference