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Oil painting by John Heron (digital photo of large canvas)

Books by John Heron

For published articles, chapters, and unpublished pieces, see  Document Archive

Links to publishers’ points of sale:

Feeling and Personhood: Psychology in Another Key London: Sage, 1992. ISBN 0-8039-8729-3 (pbk); 0-8039-8728-5 (hbk)

Co-operative Inquiry: Research into the Human Condition London: Sage, 1996. ISBN 0-8039-7684-4 (pbk); 0-8039-7683-6 (hbk)

Sacred Science: Person-centred Inquiry into the Spiritual and the Subtle Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books, 1998. ISBN 1-898059-21-7 (pbk)

The Complete Facilitator’s Handbook London: Kogan Page, 1999. ISBN 0-7494-2798-1 (pbk); 0-7494-2792-0 (hbk)

Helping the Client: A Creative Practical Guide London: Sage, 2001, fifth edition. ISBN 0-8039-8729-3 (pbk); 0-8039-8728-5 (hbk).

Participatory Spirituality: A Farewell to Authoritarian Religion  Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1-84728-793-9 (pbk)

Living in Two Worlds  Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press, 2006, third edition. No ISBN (pbk)

Cosmic Psychology  Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press, 2006, eighth edition. No ISBN (pbk)

Uncharted Journey: Explorations in Imaginal Space, 2007. No ISBN (pbk)

John Heron,Helping the Client: A Creative, Practical Guide, London, Sage Publications, 2001

A wonderful book. John Heron’s writing is clear and his depth of counselling experience is evident. He tackles the immense and difficult issues of responsibility and power within a helping relationship with great sensitivity and insight. Clinical Psychology Forum

Those who claim to have counselling among their skills should read this book and reflect on their own practice. This would in itself be a growth experience for many. British Journal of Psychiatry

The author rewards one with a wealth of interventions which are, as the subtitle suggests, very creative but also very practicalNursing Times

Helping the Client is the bestselling text that has long been used as the basis of interpersonal skills training in a wide range of professions – from medicine to management. Based on John Heron’s well-known six category model, the book presents different forms of helping behaviour that can be adopted by any practitioner working face-to-face with a patient or client.

Drawing on his many years of experience as a therapist, consultant and teacher, the author explores the contexts and issues associated with these different forms of helping and, for each, describes a wide range of practical interventions for the practitioner to use. He examines the objectives of helping, states of personhood, the many ways in which helping can degenerate, the preparation and training of the practitioner, and examples of how the interventions can be used by different occupational groups.

This fifth edition of the book originally entitled Six Category Intervention Analysis has been revised and expanded throughout, with new chapters on training and on co-counselling. It remains essential reading for the development of interpersonal skills in counselling, management, health care, social work, youth and community work, education, and many other professions.


Introduction \ Preparation for helping \ Client categories and states \ Prescriptive interventions \ Informative interventions \ Confronting interventions \ Cathartic interventions \ Catharsis and transmutation \ Catalytic interventions \ Supportive interventions \ Basic interventions \ Phases and sequencing \ Degenerate and perverted interventions \ Six category training \ Teaching interpersonal skills \ Co-counselling \ References \ Index

John Heron, The Complete Facilitator’s Handbook, London, Kogan Page, 1999

The model presented in this book provides a key to successful facilitation. Originating at the Human Potential Research Project, University of Surrey, and rooted in the realities of facilitator training, this model has been continuously developed for over 25 years, and is committed to empowering whole people in highly flexible learning environments. Analytical and well structured, it relates six basic learning dimensions to three primary forms of decision-making, and within this framework offers an extensive repertoire for practical action. It provides essential support for facilitators to develop their own style and build effective skills relevant to the diverse situations they encounter. As well as practical guidance, there is strong theoretical content, covering group dynamics, facilitator authority, experiential and whole person learning, personal charisma, co-operative inquiry and social change. The appendix applies the whole model, in detail to the manager as facilitator.


Dimensions and modes of facilitation \ Authority, autonomy and holism \ Whole person learning \ The group dynamic \ The planning dimension \ The meaning dimension \ Co-operative inquiry \ Peer review audit \ Peer support groups \ The confronting dimension \ The feeling dimension \ Charismatic education and training \ The structuring dimension \ Varieties of the experiential learning cycle \ The valuing dimension \ Learning to be a whole person\ Approaches to social change \ The creation of a facilitator style \ Appendix: The manager as facilitator

John Heron, Sacred Science: Person-centred Inquiry into the Spiritual and the Subtle
 PCCS Books, 1998  

This cutting-edge book breaks new ground in transpersonal psychology. It argues for a people-based, person-centred religion which holds that spiritual authority is within each individual, and that spiritual initiation is a path of lived inquiry, for which all traditional systems are a secondary resource. Topics covered include:

� The emergence of a self-generating spiritual culture of independent pathfinders.
� An affirmation of the person as a real spiritual presence on the crest of divine becoming.
� The nature of long-term lived inquiry, and of short-term co-operative inquiry, into the spiritual and the subtle.
� A radical account of what happens when inner spiritual authority is projected outward on to traditions, texts and teachers, with an expose of the authoritarianism in spiritual traditions.
� A critique of the gender-laden theory of a perennial philosophy.
� A practical, working model of internal spiritual authority, to dialogue with the reader’s working model.
� An exploration of the issues involved in do-it-yourself subtle (psychical) research.
� A provisional new dipolar map of the spiritual and the subtle, and a critique of other maps.
� A new classification of methods of inner transformation, and a critique of a traditional Buddhist approach.
� Reports of eleven short-term co-operative inquiries into the spiritual and the subtle, showing how the method works.
� A presentation of a participatory worldview, with the paradigm of participatory inquiry and a sketch of a dipolar theology of embodiment.

Sacred Science will be of interest to all those who believe in the emergence of the self-determining human spirit within the field of religious belief and practice. It is written for the general reader, yet specialists in transpersonal studies will find that it addresses critical issues at a sophisticated level.


Part 1: Perspectives of lived inquiry \ Introduction and background \ Spiritual inquiry and projected authority \ Spiritual inquiry and the authority within \ Issues in subtle inquiry \ The challenge of cartography \ A dipolar map of the spiritual and the subtle \ Methods for the second form of spiritual transformation
Part 2: Co-operative inquiry reports \ Procedures \ Reports, adequacy and viability \ Spatiotemporal extensions \ Impressions of the other reality \ The bliss nature and transtemporal regression \ Knacks in entering altered states \ Charismatic expression \ Transpersonal activities in everyday life \ Transpersonal inquiry within a self-generating culture \ Ritual and interpersonal process \ Empowerment in everyday life and group life \ Co-creating \ Coming into being \ Epilogue to Part 2
Part 3: A participatory worldview \ Participatory research \ Participatory theology and cosmology
References \ Index

John Heron, Co-operative Inquiry: Research into the Human Condition, London, Sage Publications, 1996

This is a comprehensive tour of the theory and practice of co-operative inquiry, written by its inventor. It is clear and well-written, practically useful and theoretically solid….This is a stimulating and possibly life-changing book, as well as a practical manual on how to set up and operate a co-operative inquiry. Ian Alexander

This is the first book to give a comprehensive account of co-operative inquiry, a way of doing research with people, in which all those involved combine the roles of both researcher and subject. Co-operative inquiry is a wide-ranging and distinct form of participative research in which people use the full range of their sensibilities to inquire together into any aspect of the human condition.

The purpose of the book is twofold. First, to provide detailed practical guidance for any peer group wishing to use the method. The text covers:

  • Main ways of setting up inquiry groups.
  • Different types of co-operative inquiry.
  • A wide range of inquiry topics.
  • Four principal kinds of inquiry outcome.
  • Ways of enabling three strands of development in an inquiry group.
  • Main stages of the inquiry cycle, with the key issues for practice at each stage.
  • Special inquiry skills involved.
  • A set of procedures used to enhance the validity of the process.
  • The main parameters of research cycling.

The second purpose of the book is to provide a substantial theoretical background to the practice of co-operative inquiry. The topics include:

  • A history of the method, with precursors and a cultural genealogy.
  • The underlying participative paradigm.
  • Epistemic and political aspects of participation and research method.
  • The extended epistemology involved in co-operative inquiry.
  • The primacy of the practical, and the nature of participative knowing.
  • A revision of the concepts of truth and validity.
  • Integral and radical empiricism, and an account of the postconceptual worldview.
  • A critique of positivist science and of medical research.
  • Arguments for the use of co-operative inquiry.

Co-operative Inquiry will encourage and support the large number of people, at all levels, throughout academia, the helping professions and in the wider community, who are looking for a way of doing research, whether in social or natural science, that is both wide-ranging and has an authentic human face. It commends a form of inquiry which makes participative forms of knowing and decision-making central to its method


Introduction \ Research Method and Participation \ Overview of Co-operative Inquiry \ Initiating an Inquiry Group \ Stages of the Inquiry Cycle \ Inquiry Outcomes \ Radical Memory and Inquiry Skills \ Validity Procedures \ Validity and Beyond \ A Postconceptual Worldview \ Arguments for Co-operative Inquiry

John Heron, Feeling and Personhood: Psychology in Another Key, London, Sage Publications, 1992

Heron’s book is a refreshing ‘counter-text’ for introductory psychology courses. Most students will love it and voluntarily do many of the exercises; most professors will be troubled by it and resist doing the exercises. The book generates and welcomes dialogue. In short, a truly educational book! Will bring the course alive. Professor William R. Torbert, Boston College, Massachusetts

John Heron presents a radical new theory of the person, in which feeling differentiated from emotion, becomes the distinctive feature of personhood. The author explorers the application of his ideas to living and learning, and the text includes numerous experiential exercises.

Heron considers how the person develops through various states and stage and contrasts the restricted ego with integrated personhood. Central to his analysis are interrelationships between four basic psychological modes – affective, imaginal, conceptual and practical. In particular, feeling is seen as the ground and potential from which all other aspects of the psyche emerge – emotion, intuition, imaging of all kinds, reason, discrimination, intention and action. Heron also shows the fundamental relation of his ideas to theory and practice in transpersonal psychology and philosophy.

In the last part of the book the author examines the implications of his theory for understanding and enhancing both formal and life learning.

Feeling and Persoonbood will be essential reading for psychologists, educationalists, counsellors, psychotherapists and all those who believe it is time for a challenging alternative to traditional reason-centred and ego-bound psychology.


Theory of the Person: Preliminaries \ Theory of the Person: Overview \ States of Personhood \ The Ego \ The Affective Mode: Feeling \ The Aftective Mode: Emotion \ The lmaginal Mode \ The Psyche and its Worlds \ A One-Many Reality \ Jung, Kolb and Wilber \ Life Cycles and Learning Cycles \ A Brief Look at Learning \ Formal Learning Cycles \ The Reality-Creating Learning Cycle