Voices of the Voiceless
Person-Centred Approaches for People with Learning Difficulties
"Voices of the Voiceless" is an inspiring, passionate and comprehensive exploration that offers hope and encouragement to counsellors and practitioners working with people living with learning difficulties. Although the effects of learning difficulties and the effects of society's treatment of people with learning difficulties are lifelong and often severe, counselling and healing are possible. The author argues that even those people who have the most severe learning disabilities can benefit from counselling, and not simply from behaviour management or medication to manage and control them. Jan Hawkins integrates 15 years' experience of counselling and her 25 years' experience as a mother of a person with learning difficulties. The book contains many moving accounts of the healing process and detailed examples of interdisciplinary working and the power the Person-Centred Approach offers for those who are metaphorically and often literally voiceless.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
It is a long time since I have been so deeply moved by a book. In many ways, Jan Hawkins has produced in this extraordinary volume a kind of touchstone against which those of us who are person-centred practitioners can gauge our own integrity and test out anew the sincerity of our commitment to the therapeutic approach which we profess to embrace. At the same time the book holds up a mirror to some of the more sinister aspects of our society and compels us to acknowledge the powerful forces which operate to ensure the rejection of those who through their physical or mental impairment are condemned to live half a life or worse ... This book is a testimony to the glory of the human person, to the power of relationship and to the beauty of the person-centred approach which will not easily be refuted or surpassed. Professor Brian Thorne, University of East Anglia Through its powerful stories, the book challengse the very nature and purpose of 'the system' as it has emerged to support people with learning difficulties over many years. It encourages us to view the individual as a person with feelings, emotions and aspirations and not as a person with just a diagnosis or a condition that requires treatment. Gordon Smith, quality manager at Oaklands NHS Trust, Community Care, March 2003.