Counselling Victims of Warfare


person-centred dialogues

Richard Bryant-Jefferies

ISBN 1 85775 721 1

In the UK since 1987 38,000 people have been referred to The Medical Foundation for Specialist psychological treatment relating to warfare, and in the past 80 years 75,000 military personnel have received counselling from the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society.

The topic of warfare-induced psychological stress and trauma is a vast one. This book gives a unique person-centred insight into counselling victims of warfare (either civilian or military personnel) whose trauma is physical or psychological. It covers such topics as anger, death, nightmares, recovered memories, rape, emotional and physical pain, and alcohol use. It also contains a list of useful contacts for further support and helpful tips.

‘the Living Therapy series aims “to bring the reader a direct experience of the  counseling  process, an exposure to the thoughts and feelings of both client and counselor as they  encounter each other on the therapeutic journey”: these books do all of this and more.’ (Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal)

Counsellors, trainees and other health and social care professionals working within statutory and non-statutory agencies dealing with civilian or military victims of warfare will find this guide invaluable. Included in this volume is material to inform the training process not only of counselors, but of all those working within psychological therapies and yet is aimed as much for the trainee as for the experienced practitioner, providing a clear insight into the application of the therapeutic values of the person-centre approach in working with those affected by warfare.

‘What Richard has written is essentially an afirmation of the potential value of the person-centred approach in working with clients who have suffered inhumane actions. This book illustrates how a person's spirit, the essence of their uniqueness and individuality are, when given the space, time and attention, able to re-awaken.’

Menna Yarwood, person-centred counsellor working with asylum seekers and refugees

'For us as therapists we need to understand that the statutory services are not geared up to deliver a nationwide service to people in the UK who have experienced war first hand. How do we, then, work therapeutically with people whose experiences may be so diffrent from our own, whose culture, country of origin, religio or philosophy may shape so many different frames of reference? Richard refers to research which indicates that there is no specific "best" therapeutic approach, but that it is the relationship between the therapist and the client which is helpful to the client.'           

Miriam Hollis, Founder and Director, The Sankofa Foundation.

'My generation of servicemen would not have experienced, indeed would not have known about, counselling. For Graham (client) in Part 2 of this book, his first meeting with Oliver (the counsellor) is, using military terms, "a night encounter". He knows someone is there, but because it is dark, if not pitch black, is he friend or foe, and what are his intentions? Richard describes this encounter admirably, sensitive to the difficulty someone may have early on in establishing trust with a mental health professional. It is real and compelling. For me I felt I knew where Graham had been and now, having read this excellent book, I think I know where, with expert help, he will with luck be going.'            John Castle, Captain, Royal Navy (1958-95).

Purchase direct from the author (see contact details), from the publisher - Routledge, or all on-line booksellers.

Books published

Counselling the Person Beyond the Alcohol Problem

Living Therapy series

Problem Drinking

Couselling for Problem Gambling

Counselling for Eating Disorders in Women

Counselling for Eating Disorders in Men

Counselling Young People

Relationship Counselling: Sons and their Mothers

Responding to a Serious Mental Health Problem

Counselling for Progressive Disability

Counselling a Recovering Drug User

Counselling a Survivor of Childood Sexual Abuse

Counselling Victions of Warfare

Counselling for Obesity

Counselling Young Binge Drinkers

Counselling for Death and Dying

Time-limited Therapy in Primary Care

Workplace Counselling in the NHS

Person-centred Counselling Supervision

Models of Care for Drug Service Provision

A Little Book of Therapy



Alive and Cutting

The Jigsaw of Life

The Sevenfold Circle: Self Awareness in Dance (with Lynn Frances)