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VINE VOICEon 19 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is titled counselling skills but actually it's more about listening skills. Teaching you how to be a listening helper rather than to counsel people. It's not intended to teach you how to be a professional counsellor but it very useful for those who use listening skills as part of their job or everyday life. I'm just embarking on working as a lay pastoral visitor and i've found this book really useful alongside the course that i've just taken. Would be good also for health visitors, nurses, carers, care home workers, prison visitors or indeed anyone who listens to others issues and problems. It also focuses on how to look after your own health, so that you can carry on this work effectively. Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 15 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am not a student or practitioner in this area but do have a personal interest. I have found this book to be ideal for anyone who wants a good basic understanding of counselling techniques but does not have a background in the subject.

As with all Dummies books, it takes you through the subject step by step in easy to understand language. It is full of tips and exercises to try out. Its main aim is to give a basic understanding of counselling in different circumstances and it does this very well. It is ideal for people with family or friends who may need a friendly shoulder or someone to confide in. It is not an in depth tutorial, nor is it meant to be, but more in depth counselling skills should probably be left to professionals.

I found the book to be interesting and easy to follow. Just don't read it through and assume that you have all the knowledge and expertise of a professional.
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VINE VOICEon 19 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Counselling Skills for Dummies initially looks as if it's going to trivialise a potentially complex subject, but in fact the author is blessed with the gift of simplicity in her writing style. The book is surprisingly meaty and will be of interest to qualified counsellors, rather than people just wanting to offer their friends some tea and sympathy.

There are chapters on establishing helping relationships, beginnings and endings, dealing with tricky issues ("You're being messed around", "Someone is being harmed", to name but two that are dealt with effectively) and taking care of yourself. There are some thought-provoking "Ten..." sections at the end of the book (Ten resources, Ten great counselling books...).

As I mentioned, the author avoids jargon as much as possible, so you won't find any setting out of stalls in terms of humanist, psychodynamic, person-centred etc. Instead there is a focus on listening skills and learning to appreciate different techniques. At the end of the book the writer invites those who are interested to 'investigate further' and suggests some ways in which we could do that.

In summary, the book knows its place and is a deeper introduction than one might expect from the title. It doesn't dig deeply into any single area - there are 'heavy' books for that - but even seasoned counsellors can find a fresh appreciation for techniques outside their usual palette.
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on 17 February 2015
This is a great reference book for anyone training in Counselling or using Counselling skills.
It is so good I also have it on kindle.
I love the Dummy range of books, they highlight key areas and are simple to understand and digest, but also encompass all the relevant information
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on 11 May 2014
Bought this book as I am currently studying Counselling but my Tutor can be a little off the mark with stuff so after some review reading and recommendations I bought this book and I can honestly say it does what it saying on the tin. Easy to read and I will defiantly be buying more of the "for dummies" books for my next courses. Quick delivery and a good price - cheaper than the usual high street book stores
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on 13 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am currently a student in the basic Level 2 Counselling Skills course, which I plan to continue on seeing through until I can qualify to practice counselling at a professional level. I decided to get this book because it would be an easy read, aimed at being suitable for the general public as a whole, and would hopefully supplement my course well. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised, as most of the factors and issues we have covered so far within the course (ethics, active listening skills, barriers to counselling etc.) are all covered here too and it seems to round everything up quite well. I wouldn't say this is a fantastic book that will allow you to become a fully fledged counsellor, but it is certainly enough to help you become a trained listener and begin developing many of the skills you would need if you wanted to go on to become a professional in the field. I personally recommend books such as those by Pete Sanders First Steps in Counselling: A Students' Companion for Introductory Courses (Steps in Counselling Series)and Tony Merry Learning and Being in Person-Centred Counselling for those wanting a more in depth look at the field. The Merry book is one that is more to do with the Person-Centred Counselling approach, but both give a good overview of counselling techniques in general.

However, if you just want a good, fairly comprehensive introduction to counselling skills and what may be required of you as the helper in a listening encounter (believe me, this can be a lot more than initially thought!) then this is a good place to start. There are thinking points and activities scattered throughout, to help reinforce the information, and it leads through some interesting points. Not necessarily one for those wanting to learn how to be a professional counsellor, but certainly a good starting point for those considering the career or who may find building better listening skills would be a great asset to them within their current line of work.
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VINE VOICEon 12 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As always, the "for dummies" books always explain things well and put things as simple as possible. In the start of this, it explains that it's audience is mostly those not professionally acquired but more those with an interest wanting to take it deeper. It's a big book that's a little wordy, but the structure makes it easy to pick a certain part and it's well indexed and referenced. As far as the actual content, as readers we are not treated as though we are stupid, and it's explained simply but included are real psychologist's techniques and other such things that are normally associated with what would be learned on a degree course, or in a professional environment. The book pretty much covers everything from simple feelings of sadness and relationship break ups, to severe depressive disorders and mental illnesses. It seems very geared towards you being the ok one and talking to someone who needs a bit of help, though i'm sure the skills could be used easily for dealing with your own problems - at times it's very 'american positive' and clinical, and sometimes the true way to learn and help someone is that human element which is somewhat not explained too well, but otherwise a very positive and informative read. This provides a well acknowledged and general overview of counselling, Overall i'd say it's an excellent starting book and recommend it if it's what you're looking for.
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VINE VOICEon 16 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is one of the deeper and more challenging For Dummies books I have read. The topic by its very nature is extremely complex and is probably beyond the scope of a single book.

Notwithstanding this, the book actually provides both the novice and those of us with some experience with some excellent advice, tips and techniques for either beginning in the field or developing our skills.

It begins by introducing the subject and moves straight on to the most important of counselling which is the fact that the counsellor needs to start with themselves. It then teaches the basics of good practice before moving on to listening. From here on things get quite involved with the area of developing relationships and understanding of people and problems before introducing ways of dealing with difficult situations and various skills the counsellor can employ. There is also a reading list for those who want to go deeper.

As I stated before, this is a huge subject which this book only begins to cover. However it does so in a logical and easy to understand way with plenty of tips, tricks and anecdotes to hold the interest. A good way to begin the journey.

Another winner in the For Dummies series.
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VINE VOICEon 20 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Loved this book!

I have a counselling skills Diploma and sometimes I need to refresh my memory on certain issues : confidentiality, burn-out, getting-into-a-muddle about how I feel about a client...

This book doesn't qualify you to BE a counsellor but it does highlight all the skills you need to have in regard to people feelings when you're in a caring profession.

You might be a volunteer for a charity or work as a psychic, clairvoyant, crystal therapist, astrologer, massage therapist or in a job that brings wounded souls into your orbit...

Well, you'll find everything and more that you need to know, clearly laid out in this wonderful book.

Loved it and I love the whole Dummies range as they make any subject crystal clear!!

Enjoy!
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VINE VOICEon 9 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My wife is a counsellor with the NHS so I got this mainly for her but have to say she has been less than impressed by it.

Her main complaints were that the information contained was too superficial and she told me that rather than 'A little knowledge being useful' it was more of a case that people would read something like this and think they could then offer real counselling advice which could end up doing much more damage than good.

Overall, as an assistance to someone who may be studying counselling for a formal qualification then this may be useful but for anything else your better off leaving well alone.
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