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.

Counseling: Helping as a Professional Practice

Counseling: Helping as a Professional Practice

Counseling: Helping as a professional practice

Counseling—more than lending a helping hand


On more than one occasion, each of the authors has been politely challenged by a student who truly questions the need and value in having to take a course on the fundamentals of helping, or the requirement to read a text such as Becoming a Skilled Counselor. One such student, Lydia, presented the concern stating,

I hope this doesn't sound obstinate but I'm wondering why we need a course on the fundamentals of helping. I mean isn't helping just common sense? I mean hasn't everyone in the class provided help to someone at sometime? Helping seems to be something we all do naturally.

Lydia's question is not only valid, ...

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