In these pages, an extraordinary conversation has been initiated. Dr. Hansen invites the reader to walk with him through the labyrinth of philosophy to reflect on four critical questions of the counseling profession that lie at the heart of the work he loves. Through exploring the intersection of history, culture, power, language, and theory, Dr. Hansen is able to weave a synthesis of logic that provides counselors, counselor educators, and counselors-in-training with a unified view of helping that transcends conventional epistemology. Rather than avoid these challenging issues, the reader is invited into Dr. Hansen's personal and professional journey that reveals the meaning-oriented soul of the quintessential humanist. This book is an intellectual and professional delight and will be on the required reading list for all my theories classes in the future.
(Colette Dollarhide, EdD, The Ohio State University)Dr. Hansen has written a rare book that will inspire novice helping professionals while also challenging and invigorating more seasoned practitioners. His wit and insight make for an engaging and edifying read—I strongly recommend this book as essential reading for all counselors, psychologists, and social workers!
(Matthew E. Lemberger-Truelove, PhD, University of New Mexico)Jim Hansen’s self-styled ‘unusual book’ brings philosophical questioning to life in a delightful read that is clear, erudite, and personally engaging with its delicately effective balance between the academic and the deeply personal. In making a compelling case for an ‘affirmative postmodern’ approach to therapy that eschews modernist notions of ‘truth’ and which offers an effective antidote to the increasing mechanization of therapy work, Hansen refreshingly questions the politics of professionalization—raising deep philosophical questions about the therapeutic process itself and arguing for a humanities-centred approach in the Nussbaum tradition. The book also makes a resounding case, if inadvertently, for the intellectual freedom of the Academy. Aspiring and thoughtful students of the human condition will benefit greatly from reading this fine book.
(Richard House, PhD, University of Winchester)
About the Author
James T. Hansen is a professor at Oakland University in the Department of Counseling. His primary scholarly interests are philosophical and theoretical issues in counseling and critical examination of contemporary mental health culture. Dr. Hansen has published about fifty refereed articles in leading counseling journals. He is also the co-editor of an award winning book on humanism. Dr. Hansen has over twenty-five years of experience as a practitioner, supervisor, and consultant.