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.

Listening and Basic Responding Skills in Helping Conversations

Listening and basic responding skills in helping conversations

Learning Objectives

  • Articulate the importance of and describe how to display attentive listening and empathy
  • Articulate the importance of and describe how to use reflections, paraphrases, and questions in helping conversations
  • Articulate the importance of and describe how to engage in broaching conversations


People do not typically seek help when things are going well. They need help when things are not working—when they are stuck, confused, sad, angry, or in need of direction. Sometimes, people ask for help when they don't really seem to want it, and sometimes they seek help when they really don't want to change. Some people appear to have the expectation that helpers will solve their problems for them—as ...

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