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.
Part IV: Applying what we Know
What follows are three counseling sessions with verbatim interaction between counselor and client. In addition, the counselor in each case provides reflections on the decisions he or she made within the counseling session that led to the intentional employment of specific actions. While brief, it is hoped that in reviewing each case you will not only see the skills described within the previous chapters take form in an actual session, but also will understand the intention, the reflection, that served as the basis for the engagement of those skills.
This is the counseling process—an intentional process seeking to facilitate desired change.