Although it is often said that social workers are not counsellors,
as this wonderful book shows social work uses counselling skills
all the time. The book is an absolute goldmine of theoretical and
practical insights into how to work with service users in skillful and
humane ways that can reduce suffering and help them to change.
It is essential reading for all social work students and experienced
practitioners who wish to keep up with new knowledge and
approaches to good practice.

– Harry Ferguson, Professor of Social Work,
University of Birmingham, UK

Counselling skills are rarely given the proper attention in social
work education and practice. This much needed text addresses
this gap by covering the three key social work counselling skills.
Bridging day to day communication skills with counselling skills
through case examples and reflective exercises, the reader is able
to assess their level of skill and practice building effective thera-
peutic relationships with service users in their social work practice.

– Barbra Teater, PhD, Professor of Social Work, College of
Staten Island, City University of New York, USA

Here is an extensive, detailed, in-depth exploration of core coun-
selling skills for social workers that also considers complexities set
in wide ranging social and professional contexts, discussed in a
thoughtful, thought provoking way and accompanied by illustra-
tive examples and exercises. There are also useful chapters on the
application of social work counselling skills to solution focused,
motivational interviewing and group work approaches.

– Stewart Collins, Honorary Research Fellow at the
University of Wales, Bangor, UK, Associate Lecturer

for the Open University

Counselling Skills for
Social Workers

Counselling skills are very powerful. Really listening and providing
compassionate empathy without judging is a core part of social
work practice with service users.

This book provides a theoretically informed understanding of the
core skills required to provide counselling interventions that work. It
provides detailed discussion of three core skills which are identified
as: talking and responding, listening and observing and thinking. Over
11 chapters these core skills are described in terms of what they mean,
how they can be learned and developed, how they can be used and
misused and, most importantly, how specific skills can be employed
in a coherent and evidence- informed counselling approach. Loughran
also looks in detail at the skills required to deliver interventions con-
sistent with three approaches:  Motivational Interviewing, Solution-
Focused Work and Group work.

Illustrative case examples and exercises offer further opportun-
ities for reflection and exploration of self- awareness as well as for
practising and enhancing skills development, thus making the book
required reading for all social work students, professionals looking
to develop their counsell

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