At the time of writing the original paper, Ian Townsend had been Senior Lecturer in the Division of Complementary Medicine at the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Health since 1998. A member of the multi-disciplinary team of homeopaths, herbalists, aromatherapists and massage therapists who comprised the Integrated Healthcare Unit, he had close links with the Division of Counselling and Psychological Therapies (he gained his postgraduate Diploma in Professional Counselling there in 2004); during the previous decade he focused on developing two undergraduate modules: Communication and Caring in the Patient-Practitioner Relationship and Developing the Therapeutic Relationship.
A lifelong teacher (he is a Fellow of the UKs’ Higher Education Academy), he was introduced to the person-centered approach in the 1960s. Becoming fascinated with the humanistic psychology movement, he trained with John Heron at the Institute for the Development of Human Potential, explored Assertiveness Training and sexuality with Anne Dixon, rebirthing with Frank Lake, and transpersonal approaches with Ian Gordon-Brown and Barbara Somers, and Diane Whitmore. He was introduced to the person-centred approach by Donald Anders-Richards, a pastoral counselor and educationist who in the late 1960s / early 1970s had been both a participant in and staff facilitator of encounter groups in California at the Institute where Carl Rogers was consultant.
A decade-long involvement in a radical countercultural psychiatric movement (co-counselling: Jackins, 1975) showed him the value of patience, of silence, of listening-without-interrupting; and of how humans could experience, manage, and survive in the face of the widest and wildest possible range of mental health pathologies. The 1980s saw him training as a homeopath, working for 25 years as an independent homeopath; along the way collecting certification in clinical supervision, person-centred counseling, person-centred group facilitation and person-centred supervision. For some of that time he was the profession’s first employed Professional Conduct Officer.
In 2011 he was granted a lifetime Honorary Fellowship of the Society of Homeopaths, an award made to recognize “. . . outstanding and positive contribution and service to homeopathy . . . positive impact on homeopathy teaching and practice” [http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/about-the-society/fellow.aspx]
Ian taught at many of the UK’s private Colleges and Schools of Homeopathy and course-led both BSc and MSc homeopathy programs at university level. Between 2005 and 2010 he concentrated on writing and delivering MSc modules on Therapeutic Relationships and Person-centred Supervision and exploring the links between the person-centred approach and homeopathy (Townsend 2002, 2004a, 2009, 2010). He retired from homeopathic teaching and practice in 2011, since which time he has taught person-centred practice on a foundation / BA (Hons) Degree in Counselling at Blackburn College, Lancashire. He is a member of the British Association for the Person-Centred Approach and the American-based Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach.