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An Introduction to Helping Skills

An Introduction to Helping Skills
Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring

First Edition

January 2017 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Readers will be introduced to the three core approaches of counselling, coaching and mentoring, and shown how they work across a variety of settings, including therapy, teaching, social work and nursing.

Part 1 takes readers through the theory, approaches and skills needed for helping work, and includes chapters on:

  • The differences and similarities of counselling, coaching and mentoring
  • Foundational and advanced skills for effective helping
  • Supervision and reflective practice
  • Ethical helping and working with diversity

Part 2 shows how helping skills look in practice, in a variety of different helping professions. 10 specially-written case studies show you the intricacies of different settings and client groups, including work in schools, hospitals, telephone helplines and probation programs.

Part I: Theory, Approaches and Skills
Helping Roles and Professions: Defining the Terms
A Helping Model: Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring
Foundation Skills for Effective Helping
Advanced Skills for Effective Helping
Skills in Context
The Reflective and Reflexive Helper
The Ethical Dimension of Helping
Working with Diversity
Supervision and Continuing Professional Development for Helpers
Part II: Roles in the Helping Professions
Case Study 1: 'Annie', contributed by a learning support assistant in a mainstream secondary school
Case Study 2: 'Maggie', contributed by a life-coach in private practice
Case Study 3: 'Caller', contributed by a telephone helpline counsellor
Case Study 4: 'Diane', contributed by an NHS community drugs and alcohol worker
Case Study 5: 'Kane', contributed by a teacher in a children's hospital
Case Study 6: 'Letchme', contributed by a registered manager of a children's home
Case Study 7: 'Amy', contributed by a counsellor and coach therapist in private practice
Case Study 8: 'Joe', contributed by a trainee probation officer
Case Study 9: 'Megan', contributed by a care manager assistant
Case Study 10: 'Kanta', contributed by a surgical nurse specialist

In this engaging book, Jane Westergaard draws on her extensive knowledge and experience as a helper and educator. Those who are new to counselling, coaching and mentoring are in safe hands here; those who are already familiar with these disciplines will find much to stimulate and provoke fresh thinking.



David Britten
Senior Lecturer, Counselling, Coaching And Mentoring, School of Psychological and Social Sciences, York St John University

A highly engaging and comprehensive introduction to ‘helping’ and the skills needed to practice in this field. Accessible, practical and effective.

Amy Hill
Lecturer, Department of Educational and Professional Studies, Blackburn College

I feel it would have been useful to read this book during my foundation studies, or while I was considering training, as it provides an excellent overview. By far the most useful aspect of the book were the activities advocated within the text, which I found positioned certain issues differently to how I learned about them during my training, and coaxed me into examining things in a new way. I would firmly advocate giving this to people in the formative stages of their journey into a helping profession.

Ben Scanlan
Coaching Today

This book was excellent, it was pitched at just the right level for my students.

Ms Alison Taylor
Children Young People and Education, University of Suffolk
August 25, 2021

A useful guide to support professionals within roles that require coaching and mentoring.

HESC Office, Barnet And Southgate College
September 11, 2019

This text provides reassurance to students who are developing helping skills as well as contextualising for a broad range of practice settings, so ideal for generic care courses.

Mrs Ruth Thacker
Social Science, University of Suffolk
October 13, 2016

This book makes clear distinction of core concepts related to helping professions. Particularly useful all the provided case studies.

Dr Florbela Soares Teixeira
Education, Coventry University College
October 10, 2016

This book is a very useful insight in to helping relationships and helping skills. I particularly like the case studies.

Mrs Emma Mernagh
Department of Early Childhood, West Kent College
November 13, 2016

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.