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 Processes

Helping processes

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about various professional helping roles
  • Understand the differences between helping, counseling, therapy, and advocacy
  • Understand, very generally, what is helpful when working with others


Welcome to the world of professional helpers!

If you are reading this book, it is probably because you have an interest in working with others, even if you are not sure exactly what that might look like in the future. In this chapter, we will discuss various types of helping professions and review what the literature teaches us about what is helpful in working with others.

Helping Terms: Helping, Counseling, Psychotherapy, Therapy, and Advocacy


When we use the word helping as a noun, one definition is “a portion or serving of food.” Of course, in this book, we are not really ...

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