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The Skilled Helper


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Table of Contents

Part 1 Laying the groundwork: formal and informal helpers; a very brief history; what helping is about; does helping help?; the good, the cautionary, and the bad news; is helping for everyone?; what this book is and what it is not; moving from smart to wise - managing the shadow side of helping; overview of the helping model; a natural problem-management process; the skilled-helper model; stage I - the current state of affairs - clarification of the key issues calling for change; stage II - the preferred scenario - helping clients determine what they need and want. Stage III: Strategies for action - helping clients discover how to get what they need and want; action - making it all happen - helping clients turn decisions into problem-managing action; ongoing evaluation of the helping process - how are we doing?; flexibility in the use of the model; developing a whole-process mentality - miniversions of the entire model; understanding and dealing with the shadow side of helping models; the helping relationship - values in action; the helping relationship; the working alliance; the culture of helping - values in action; the value of respect; the value of genuineness - beyond professionalism and phoniness; the value of client empowerment - helping clients develop self-responsibility; a working charter - the client-helper contract; shadow-side realities in the relationship. Part 2 Communication skills for helping: attending, listening, and understanding; attending - being visibly tuned in to clients; active listening; the shadow side of listening to clients; listening to oneself - the helper's shadow conversation; basic empathy; the three dimensions of responding skills - perceptiveness, know-how, and assertiveness; basic empathy - communicating understanding to clients; the key elements of basic empathy; principles to guide the use of basic empathy; poor substitutes for empathy; tactics for communicating empathy; a caution - the importance of empathic relationships; the art of probing and summarizing; principles in the use of probes; the art of summarizing - providing focus and direction; integrating communication skills - the seamless use of attending, listening, understanding, empathy, probing, and summarizing; becoming proficient at communication skills; the shadow side of communication skills. Part 3 Stage I of the helping model and advanced communication skills: step I-A - helping clients tell their stories; the goals of step I-A; helping clients explore problem situations and unexploited opportunities; step I-A and action; the shadow side of step I-A; evaluation questions for step I-A; reluctant and resistant clients; reluctance/misgivings about change; resistance/reacting to coercion/principles for managing reluctance and resistance; step I-B - the nature of challenging/helping clients challenge themselves; introduction to challenging - helping clients deal with their blind spots; the goals of challenging.


." . . Dr. Egan's inclusion of the "darker side" of counseling is an important contribution to a text for beginning therapists. These topics bring a balance and reality to the sometimes overly altruistic aims of those becoming helpers. Dr. Egan explains and illustrates all of the skills that a helper, regardless of training discipline (psychotherapist, minister, nurse), needs to become an effective counselor. This book attacks the topics that can make the helper successful or unsuccessful."
"I think that Egan has presented his overview of the model and the skills involved in the counseling process very clearly and convincingly, and his examples illustrate the concepts in a way that deepens our understanding. The sequencing is somewhat different [in this edition], yet flows even more logically, both between chapters and within each one."
"This book contains a cogent and lively presentation of a "generic" problem-solving approach to counseling. It is concretized by many excellent, easily understood examples, which are not only culturally diverse but also up-to-date in terms of world events. The concepts are offered in a logical (yet flexible) manner so that the counseling process can be understood by the students and the counseling skills can be experienced both in the classroom and in the students' personal lives."

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