© 2017

Experiential Learning for Professional Helpers

A Residential Workshop Innovation

  • Records and illuminates the full process, theory and multisided outcomes of a major innovation in intensive developmental learning

  • Provides a retrospective viewpoint on the effects of a series of therapeutic group workshops

  • Gives valuable insights into the history of counselling and training


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. ‘As It Happened’: The Process Documented

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Godfrey T. Barrett-Lennard
      Pages 11-43
    3. Godfrey T. Barrett-Lennard
      Pages 45-95
    4. Godfrey T. Barrett-Lennard
      Pages 131-153
  3. Outcome Reports and Estimations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 155-155
    2. Godfrey T. Barrett-Lennard
      Pages 157-191
    3. Godfrey T. Barrett-Lennard
      Pages 193-209
    4. Godfrey T. Barrett-Lennard
      Pages 211-224
  4. Theory and Wider Application

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 271-271
    2. Godfrey T. Barrett-Lennard
      Pages 273-309
    3. Godfrey T. Barrett-Lennard
      Pages 311-329
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 331-352

About this book


This book describes a series of ground-breaking residential workshops in therapeutic counselling in the 1960s, for people working in mental health and social care disciplines seeking to expand and deepen their reach. The work is unique in the scope of its research into the process and outcomes of such active immersive enquiry in this area. Besides a wealth of more systematic features, the author invites us into the initial conversations in the meeting room, and then follows the group members back into their lives, allowing us to see both early outcomes and the impact of participation up to ten years later. Finally, Barrett-Lennard reflects on the extended history of the intensive workshops and the related group work in other contexts they led into. He makes a compelling argument that such an intensive participatory process is as powerful today as it was in the 1960s. The blend of rich qualitative and empirical data and theory is a unique strength. It will be a great resource for students and scholars in applied psychology and psychotherapy, as well as for practicing therapists and trainees committed to meaningful work with their client groups.


therapy helping mental health intensive groups professions

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Murdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

About the authors

Godfrey Barrett-Lennard is Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychology and Exercise Science and in the School of Health Professions at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. His research and writing has largely focused on relationships in therapy, groups and life systems, including family and community. This writing includes five previous single-authored books. 

Bibliographic information


“With this volume Goff Barrett-Lenard has made another important contribution to the literature of small therapeutic and training groups, with a particular focus on residential groups conducted within a Rogerian, person-centred framework.  He has researched the living experience of a group process in which he was both leader and participant half a century ago and which had a substantial impact on the introduction of Rogerian theory and practice in Australia. In doing so he provides extensive samples of the transcribed process (from two distinct groups), varied evidence of the impact in the short and long term, and an original significant expansion of the theory of experiential group behaviour.” (Bernie Neville, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)