This text is intended as a primary text for courses on helping skills. These courses are offered at the undergraduate level in departments of human services, social work, and psychology and focus on teaching students helping skills (as opposed to clinical skills). The book will focus on helping students understand the nature of helping relationships and the specific skills involved in initiating and maintaining a helping relationship. It is a brief, practice and skills based book for an undergraduate non-clinical audience. Part I will cover the following topics: self Awareness, the helping process, and ethics in helping. The second part will focus on skills such as listening and hearing, empathy, reflecting, paraphrasing, questioning, clarifying, exploring, offering feedback, encouragement and psycho-education. The last two chapters will focus on individuals in crisis, and helping in groups – two areas often encountered by helping professionals. The book is enhaced by brief video clips that demonstrate key skills.

Helping Theories for Working with Others

Helping theories for working with others

Learning Objective

  • Understand how the various conceptualizations of human development discussed in the previous chapter promote different orientations toward helping


In this chapter, we will be discussing helping theories. Again, helping theories are slightly different than human development theories because they are ideas about action—they direct what helpers do. So, in this chapter, we will explore how the ideas discussed in Chapter 2 inform the work of professional helpers. We will begin with two case examples that will be used throughout the chapter to illustrate the various helping theories presented. It is important to reiterate that the purpose of this chapter is to identify some of the helping approaches that are theoretically connected to the ...

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