People are constituted by their relationships, past and present, inner and outer, conscious and unconscious. People are agents who experience, know and act on the world. At the heart of your agency is your self: positive, puzzling, and problematic. Colin Kirkwood explores these and other ideas of John Macmurray, Ian Suttie, Ronald Fairbairn, John D Sutherland and Paulo Freire, and shows how they apply in counselling and psychotherapy, adult education, community and society. In today's world, a set of ideas, attitudes and practices has taken hold, which emphasise the individual, self-centredness, pleasure-seeking, consumption, success and the accumulation of wealth and power. They are deeply harmful and need to be tackled. Colin demonstrates how these ideas affect us, and how they can be taken on and defeated, in a dialogical narrative of psychotherapy with a girl suffering from severe anorexia, written by the girl herself, her psychotherapist and one of her doctors. John Shemilt, Psychoanalyst and Consultant Psychiatrist, writes: Through his lucid, personalist account of the development of the Scottish tradition in psychoanalytic thinking, Colin Kirkwood provides an important 21st century commentary on the meaning of social context, the personal relationship and the experience of self in the process of counselling and psychotherapy. John McLeod, Emeritus Professor of Counselling, University of Abertay Dundee, writes: I highly recommend this book to all counsellors and psychotherapists who are interested in deepening their understanding of their work. Colin Kirkwood writes accessibly, with humour and grace, and draws on philosophical and cultural perspectives to offer a fresh appreciation of the meaning of adopting a relational approach to therapy. His work is grounded in everyday life experience, but at the same time views that experience as a microcosm of wider social and political currents. This book will be of interest to those involved in counselling, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis; psychiatry, psychology, nursing and general medical practice; social work and pastoral care; schooling, adult, community and higher education; ecology, theology and social geography; literature and philosophy; and politics, international and intercultural relations."