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Basic Counselling Skills

Basic Counselling Skills
A Helper's Manual

Third Edition
  • Richard Nelson-Jones - Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This Third Edition of Basic Counselling Skills remains the most accessible and practical introduction to the basic counseling skills essential for the helping professions.

Steeped in vivid case examples, experimental activities and therapeutic dialogue, this multidisciplinary book provides a thorough, step-by-step guide to the subject, working through each stage of the helping process.

The key skills covered include:

  • Starting, structuring and summarizing the helping process
  • Active listening
  • Offering challenges and feedback
  • Facilitating problem solving
  • Improving clients' self-tale, rules and perceptions
  • Coaching, demonstrating and rehearsing
  • Managing resistance and changing referrals
  • Conducting and terminating help

Accessible, practical and concise, this bestselling book also discusses ethical issues and dilemmas, multicultural and gender aware helping, providing a master class for anyone using counseling skills in the course of their work.

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
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
Training Clients in Relaxation
Improving Clients' Self Talk
Improving Clients' Rules
Improving Clients' Perceptions
Negotiating Homework
Conducting Middle Sessions
Terminating Helping
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

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

Really useful text for counselling skills for non-counsellors

Miss Alison Woolf
School of Education and Community, Glyndwr University
February 24, 2015

Clear and readable for the learners in my class.

Mrs Janet Macfarlane
Higher Education, Accrington & Rossendale College
August 28, 2014

Good basic counselling skills

Professor Lynn Bachinski
community and justice services, Humber College Bookstore
December 17, 2013

An excellent book that addresses the basics for anyone working in a helping profession.

Mrs Maxine Pountney
Education (Charles Street), Sheffield Hallam University
November 19, 2013

Wanted to adopt the other book because it covered theories. But I do use this book for role plays.

Dr Andrea Mata
Psychology, The University of Findlay
November 13, 2013

As always, Nelson-Jones' book is full of useful knowledge, applications and activities.

Mr Peter Mounsey
Higher Education, Burnley College
June 7, 2013

This is an excellent introduction text and has actually been helpful in some managing boundaries development in my own work teaching skills.

Mr Russell Delderfield
Please select your department, Bradford University
October 5, 2012

Useful to dip into

Mrs Jan Roberts
Childcare, Herefordshire College of Technology
September 17, 2012

Good and easy reading

Mrs Nikki Whitehouse
Education Department, Compton Hospice Education centre
September 6, 2012

Richard Nelson-Jones

Also available as a South Asia Edition.