The first edition of this established text was published by Penguin. Now, Peter Lomas has expanded and updated it, but without altering it's fundamental character. The book is essentially an introduction to psychotherapy based on the belief that therapy is best considered as a personal undertaking in which the way of being with a patient is paramount.
It is, therefore, a practice rather than a theory, and a moral pursuit rather than a technical one. Because the author has been deeply influenced by Freud the ideas of psychoanalysis have a prominent position in the text but the book is not about psychoanalysis or any other school of thought. It is an encouragement to readers to see professional work as an extension, in a particular setting, of how we try to help a troubled person in everyday life. Ordinary language is the best and most subtle way of describing what happens in a therapeutic encounter. Special language may be useful at certain points but should never dominate the picture as, unhappily, so often happens. In this second edition, amongst various changes, Dr. Lomas has focussed more on the needs of those who are in the process of learning psychotherapy.