Written by Noel Due Reviewed By Steve Timmis

This is one of those rare and welcome books: it does exactly what it says on the front cover. In a sense, nothing more need be written to commend this book. It is short, concise and very helpful. I would recommend it to anyone who is beginning to develop an interest in the discipline of counseling. The book looks at different counseling models from the ‘secular’ world, along with a simple and insightful critique. In a summary comment at the end of the chapter entitled, ‘Where have the counsellors come from’ he writes: ‘Counselling practice is the expression of certain core assumptions about human beings … What is done in counselling is directly related to what we believe about human being’ (26). In chapter three, in an answer to the question, ‘What is happening in a counselling relationship?’. Due uses the theory and practice of Carl Rogers as a case in point. Once again, Due’s ability to explain complex models simply is evident. The author also covers the Christian response to the explosion of interest in counselling in the West. Any introduction is in danger of over-simplification and so misrepresentation. Certainly Due does not say all there is to say about any of the theories of counselling, secular or Christian. He does say enough to enable the discerning reader to follow his lead and to pursue the subject for him or herself. My one criticism of the book is attempt to categorise what it calls the ‘four identifiable broad bands’ using the terms ‘integration’, ‘isolation’, ‘appropriate separation’ and ‘sanctified adoption’. Words, like counselling, are not value free, and to label the so-called Nouthetic approach as isolationist is less than helpful, even if not intentionally so. In the final chapter Due moves from description to proposal, albeit with the caveat that his observations are no more than ‘makers in the landscape’. ‘Makers’ they maybe but they are important markers in an often confused and confusing landscape. I’ll allow Due to have the final word: ‘Just as each counselling methodology is built upon core theoretical models, we must insist on the core “model” of human beings as unfolded in the Bible’ (65).

Steve Timmis