The core text for counselor skill development, Becoming a Skilled Counselor prepares students with the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to be effective helpers. Authors Richard D. Parsons and Naijian Zhang explain the essentials of the counseling relationship, the dynamic and intentional nature of the helping process, the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate change and the theories and research guiding the selection and application of interventions. Uniquely focused on the process of counseling, the authors’ approach invites students to conceptualize clients using a fluid and dynamic model rather than a linear, step-by-step process. Each chapter is structured to reinforce concepts by first introducing the key constructs and empirical support, then providing application opportunities through detailed case illustrations with dialogue transcripts and guided practice exercises. The text emphasizes mindfulness, intentionality, ethics, and reflection to aid counselors in their journey of self-discovery and professional identity development.

Counselor Competence: An Ethical Precondition to Successful Intervention

Counselor Competence: An Ethical Precondition to Successful Intervention

Counselor competence: An ethical precondition to successful intervention

Counselors practice only within the boundaries of their competence

—American Counseling Association (2005, C.2.a)


As noted in the opening quote, the American Counseling Association's (2005) Code of Ethics, in the Boundaries of Competence section, directs counselors to “… practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, state and national professional credentials, and appropriate professional experience” (C.2.a). While education, training, and credentialing would appear to be fundamental to one's competence and are certainly a necessary condition for competency, they are not the sufficient condition.

Counseling is a young profession, one that continues to develop methods and standards of practice. Ethical, competent counselors are aware ...

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