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Basic Counselling Skills


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Table of Contents

Who are counsellors and helpers?
What are basic counselling skills?
Helpers and helpees as diverse persons
What you bring to counselling and helping
The helping relationship
The helping process
Specific counselling skills
Understanding the internal frame of reference
Showing attention and interest
Paraphrasing and reflecting feelings
Starting, structuring and summarizing
Asking questions
Offering challenges and feedback
Managing resistances and making referrals
Facilitating problem solving
Coaching, demonstrating and rehearsing
Improving helpees’ self-talk
Improving helpees’ rules
Improving helpees’ perceptions
Negotiating homework
Conducting middle sessions
Ending helping
Further considerations
Introduction to relaxation
Managing crises
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.

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