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The Essential Counselor

The Essential Counselor
Process, Skills, and Techniques

Third Edition

June 2014 | 424 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written with a warm, engaging, and passionate spirit, the Third Edition of David R. Hutchinson’s The Essential Counselor comprehensively reveals the process of becoming a counselor from start to finish. Emphasizing the importance of the therapeutic alliance, this practical book provides budding and experienced counselors with real-world examples, reflection activities, and skill-building exercises that challenge and promote the critical thinking skills necessary to thrive in professional counseling environments. The fully updated Third Edition is rich with case studies and features video demonstrations of key skills needed when working with clients.

Learning Aids and Demonstration Videos
The Organization of This Book
Using the Lab Practice Activities in This Book
Lab Practice 1.1: Using Your Natural Skills

The Counselor Role in the Lab Practice Model

The Supervisor Role in the Lab Practice Model

The Role of Feedback in the Lab Practice Model

The Lab Practice Model With Audio- and Videotaping

The Essence of This Book—A Personal Note to Students
Integrating Skills and Theory
1. An Invitation to Counseling Work
Who Becomes a Counselor?

The Nature of the Work

Counseling, Psychotherapy, and the Range of Helping Roles

The Joys and Challenges of Counseling

Building Multicultural and Ethical Competence

The Effective Counselor

Concluding Thoughts: A Personal Perspective

For Further Thought


2. Getting Started: Skills and Tasks for Engaging a New Client
Personal Appearance: The Power of First Impressions

The Counseling Workspace

Getting Started

Finding a Good Supervisor

Planning for Your First Meeting

The First Contact

The Importance of Nonverbal Behavior

Using Questions for Fact-Finding and Engagement

Other Simple, Supportive Tools for Engagement

Concluding Thoughts: The Beginnings of an Alliance

For Further Thought


3. Skills for Developing the Relationship
The Empathic Foundation

Effectively Listening to Your Client

Effectively Responding to Your Client Using Reflection Skills

Working With Your Client’s Feelings

Concluding Thoughts: Listening With Head and Heart

For Further Thought


4. Skills for Deepening the Relationship

Personalizing to Promote Responsibility


Using Hunches

Affirming and Validating

Using Challenges

Observation of the Use of Hunches and Challenges on the Website

Tracking the Themes of Your Client’s Material

Danger Areas in Responding to New Clients

Giving and Receiving Constructive Feedback

Concluding Thoughts: Deepening the Relationship

For Further Thought


5. Assessment, Goal Setting, and Action Planning
The Importance of Good Assessment

Assessment of the Whole Person

Choosing Strategies for Action Based on Theoretical Orientation

Assessing Overall Level of Functioning

Goal Setting and Action Planning

The Effective Counseling Action Plan: Clear Goals and Ground Rules

Concluding Thoughts: Putting It All Together

For Further Thought


6. Essential Action Skills: Working Toward Goals
A Call to Action

Skills for Action with Clients at Level 1 and Level 2

Using the Relationship in Service of the Goals

Concluding Thoughts: Skills and Relationship, a Potent Combination

For Further Thought


7. Advanced Action Skills: Moving Beyond Stability

Working With Dreams

Poetry, Metaphors, Stories, and Humor

The Use of Expressive Arts as Counseling Strategies

Philosophical Counseling

Community Service as a Counseling Strategy

Concluding Thoughts: Appreciating Life’s Mystery

For Further Thought


8. Skills for Ending
About Endings

Ending the Counseling Relationship

Measuring Success

Concluding Thoughts: After Ending

For Further Thought


9. Skills for Managing Crisis Situations
Defining Crisis

Effective Crisis Counselors

The Immediate Crisis Response: What Needs to Happen?

Crisis Counseling: Implementing the Plan

Crisis Intervention and the Risk of Suicide

Crisis Counseling and Acute Grief

Concluding Thoughts: Crisis Counseling and Counselor Self-Care

For Further Thought


10. Exceptional Counseling Challenges
Challenging Adult Clients

Reluctant Clients

Drug or Alcohol Abusing Clients

Seriously, Persistently Mentally Ill Clients

Counseling Children and Adolescents

Concluding Thoughts: Every Client Is a Challenge

For Further Thought


11. Developing Ethical and Cultural Competency
Establishing the Ethical Foundation for Good Practice

Expanding Cultural Competency

Concluding Thoughts: Beyond Difference

For Further Thought


12. The Whole Counselor: Maintaining Health and Perspective
Maintaining a Sense of Aliveness and Personal Growth

The Counselor as a Whole Person

Nurturing the Whole Counselor and Avoiding Burnout

Concluding Thoughts: Staying Fresh

For Further Thought


About the Author

Examples in the chapters and skills covered.

Dr Linda Autry
School Of Education, Univ Of Houston-Victoria
September 13, 2015

It is up-to-date on DSM-5, and I like the order of the chapters.

Dr Linda Autry
School Of Education, Univ Of Houston-Victoria
January 19, 2015

Found a book which includes case conceptualization

Mrs Portia Turco
Counselor education , Suny College At Plattsburgh
January 18, 2015

Good into to counseling text. Like exercises.

Dr Robert Baker
Psychology Dept, St Andrews University
November 7, 2014

I am no longer teaching the course.

Dr Jo Hittner
Counselor Education Dept, Winona State University
September 30, 2014

I adopted this text for my Applied Counseling course, scheduled for Spring, 2015. I chose it because it focuses on very practical skills appropriate for undergraduate students interested in counseling as a career.

Dr Pamela Danker
Psychology, Blackburn College
September 30, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

David R. Hutchinson

David R. Hutchinson prepares both undergraduate and graduate students for careers in psychology and counseling. His areas of special focus are group work, addictions, and grieving. A former Peace Corps volunteer, David’s priorities include travel and maintaining an international perspective in his life and work. He has trained counselors in Grenada and established sister school relationships between five schools in Vermont and Grenada. In Vermont, David continues his emphasis on intensive, process-oriented coursework with long weekend retreats at an off-campus lodge near Caspian Lake in the woods of the... More About Author

Also available as a South Asia Edition.

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ISBN: 9781483333861
$ 116.00