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Basic Counselling Skills


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Table of Contents

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION Who Are Counsellors and Helpers? What Are Basic Counselling Skills? Helpers and Clients as Diverse Persons What You Bring to Counselling and Helping The Helping Relationship The Helping Process PART TWO: SPECIFIC COUNSELLING SKILLS Understanding the Internal Frame of Reference Showing Attention and Interest Paraphrasing and Reflecting Feelings Starting, Structuring and Summarizing Asking Questions Monitoring Offering Challenges and Feedback Self-Disclosing Managing Resistances and Making Referrals Facilitating Problem Solving Coaching, Demonstrating and Rehearsing Training Clients in Relaxation Improving Clients' Self Talk Improving Clients' Rules Improving Clients' Perceptions Negotiating Homework Conducting Middle Sessions Terminating Helping PART THREE: FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS Ethical Issues and Dilemmas Multicultural and Gender Aware Helping Getting Support and Being Supervised Becoming more Skilled Appendix 1: Annotated Bibliography Appendix 2: Professional Associations in Britain, Australia and America

About the Author

Richard Nelson-Jones was born in London in 1936. Having spent five years in California as a Second World War refugee, he returned in the 1960s to obtain a Masters and Ph.D from Stanford University. In 1970, he was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Aston to establish a Diploma in Counselling in Educational Settings, which started enrolling students in 1971. During the 1970s, he was helped by having three Fulbright Professors from the United States, each for a year, who both taught students and improved his skills. During this period he broadened out from a predominantly client-centred orientation to becoming much more cognitive-behavioural. He also wrote numerous articles and the first edition of what is now The Theory and Practice of Counselling and Therapy, which was published in 1982. In addition, he chaired the British Psychological Society's Working Party on Counselling and, in1982, became the first chairperson of the BPS Counselling Psychology Section. In 1984, he took up a position as a counselling and later counselling psychology trainer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, where he became an Associate Professor. He continued writing research articles, articles on professional issues and books, which were published in London and Sydney. As when he worked at Aston University, he also counselled clients to keep up his skills. In 1997, he retired from RMIT and moved to Chiang Mai in Thailand. There, as well as doing some counselling and teaching, he has continued as an author of counselling and counselling psychology textbooks. A British and Australian citizen, he now divides his time between Chiang Mai and London and regularly visits Australia.


Richard Nelson-Jones says his preface to the 3rd Edition is "concise and to the point". So is the rest of the book. This is a back-to-basics, down-to-earth, no-nonsense, concise and to the point summary of counselling skills. Theory, skills and practice blend together for a comprehensive overview of what skills underpin counselling, whether formal or informal.

The 3rd edition carries on the transitions of the previous books - how can we train in as simple and easy a way as possible while still retaining the depth and gravitas that is counselling? This book does that - it provides overviews of skills, provides lots of relevant examples, leads the reader systematically through the skills and provides exercises to embed them within the person.

All the hard work has been done. The vines have been cared for, the grapes have been harvested and now we are left to enjoy the wine. This book is the wine and Richard Nelson Jones had done all the hard work in making simple and basic what counselling skills are all about. Its simplicity belies the depth of background that has gone into researching and writing this book. Based on solid research evidence, sifted through the vast literature on counselling and counselling skills and grafted from the experience of teaching and training in counselling, Richard Nelson-Jones pulls it all together into a comprehensive review of the key, essential skills that go to make up a counsellor, formal or informal.

Approximately four years ago I wrote that the second edition of Basic Counselling Skills was a master class that brought its readers systematically through the full range of skills needed for counselling or helping. I am pleased to say that this new edition is an updated master class in the same subject. I am sure that the popularity of the two previous editions will be more than reflected in the helpfulness of the third.
Professor Michael Carroll
Visiting Industrial Professor, University or Bristol

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