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The Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management and Opportunity-Development Approach to Helping

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  657 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Internationally recognized for its successful problem-management and opportunity development approach to effective helping, this is the "millennium edition" of Egan's classic book for helpers. Egan emphasizes the collaborative nature of the therapist-client relationship and uses a practical, three-stage model that drives client problem-managing and opportunity-developing a ...more
Hardcover, Seventh Edition, 404 pages
Published 2002 by Brooks Cole (first published 1975)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
A necessary read for college. Good info, but you must be fully alert when reading or you will most assuredly fall asleep.
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book paired with Ed Teyber's "Interpersonal Process in Therapy" stay close to me - almost like devotional reading! The Skilled Helper has been good from a novice counselor viewpoint.
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has a lot of good points but I find it very poorly presented. The case studies are contrived and feel condescending. After reading it, I feel like it could have been half the size.
Jan 20, 2012 marked it as part-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
As another reviewer has mentioned, this is very dry. In the couple of years leading up to the course which used this book, I'd read dozens of academic psychology books (plenty more technical re. neuroscience) and this was the dullest by a considerable margin.

Also was not very happy with some of the approaches: had found I leaned more towards a person-centred approach with psychodynamic elements, and also one somewhat critical of state-mandated uses of psychology to create lots of tidy little unc
Provides a great basis but is painfully repetitive. This entire book could have been effectively written in <100 pages... ...more
Talitha Kalago
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This book has a poor layout and dry writing. The ideas/theory is interesting, but the text itself leaves much to be desired.
Meghan Castro
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very important book for those who work in a helping profession, especially those who do not naturally have an empathic inclination, or those who struggle to truly listen to the patient, or client. The book also goes over what may happen during helping sessions on the end of the client, and how it can be ethically, and professionally responded too. A great read.
Denise Aitken
A set text for my counselling diploma.

Gerard Egan has a 3 step solution focused model for helping professionals, including counsellors.

The book is reasonably well laid out with lots of case studies from a wide variety of sources including relationships, people with serious psychiatric problems and the criminal justice system. To be honest I skipped past a lot of the case studies to get to the meat of the text. The case studies have an obviously American bias which means they can sound a bit odd
Nov 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the textbook for the Communications course at Athabasca University that is part of the Bachelor of Management program that I'm enrolled in.
Brian King
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
Egan's chapter on empathy should be mandatory reading for human beings...
Teri Temme
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. Applicable Positive Psychology always makes me smile.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Definitions are important. While I consider the framework of this book, I am aware that the title is The Skilled Helper. Not, “The Skilled Counselor,” nor, “The Skilled Therapist”. This is why many of the complaints about this book are focused from the perspective that this text should be exclusively about counseling or therapy. Although many aspects of these processes are incorporated into the text, it is not a stand-alone reference for either counseling or therapy. What it is about is “‘client

Simon Brotherton
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it
As someone currently studying counselling, I found this book a really useful insight into integrated therapy. Egan is perhaps the best-known integrative therapist, but there are lots of approaches with subtle differences. At its heart though, Egan's theory concerns applying a person-centred approach but one which is a lot more therapist-driven, with questioning and direction commonplace. The book is very detailed and there's a lot to get through - nobody can accuse Egan of not being thorough. Th ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
My husband read "The Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management and Opportunity-Development Approach to Helping - Standalone Book (HSE 123 Interviewing Techniques) 11th Edition" for his masters in counseling degree. He described the book as "a must read text for anyone who wants to build healthy relationships through communication." However, the book is specifically designed for counseling and therapy at home and in the business world. The strategies outlined should be delivered by anyone who is comfo ...more
Jo Jenner
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
If only I had read this whilst working through my level 2 counselling course. An excellent book that breaks down the helping process into easily understandable chunks with examples from real life through out. I would throughly recommend this book for anyone thinking or engaged in helping
Bob Munson
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pastoral-care
The 3-stage model for care is nice and fairly clear. The best thing about the book is the pattern throughout of counselled statement, counselor response and then discussion. This really helps make the book both more interesting and clearer.
A very dry book, with lot of pop psychology
Inge Slabbert
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-work
I had to read this as part of core reading for my Masters program. I found it helpful as introductory material. However, I feel like it could've gone more in depth.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pretty dense at parts, amd a little opinionated here and there, but overall, a very good snapshot of counseling.
Laura R
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
long but useful for general tips. probably a bit outdated but the gist is the same
Mr Peter
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this model that is primarily for counselling but has lots of great strategies for coaches and mentors too.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Very helpful. SOLER model introduced.
Emily Morgan
I had to read this for class and simply want it to count towards my 2020 challenge.
Megan McKenzie
Great information, but oh my god, this was the dullest, wordiest book I've ever read.
Sarah M.  Adly
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
First, i can't believe myself and say i finished this book as it is one of my biggest challenges in reading... i don't know but it was very hard on me and sometimes really i don't understand it. i am not sure is the problem in its english or component as english is not my native language. but it was hard...sometimes i feel it is dry...hard and boring and sometimes i enjoy it a lot. Also i believe it is not for beginners in counselling world at all... it is for more professional. it takes from me ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent practical textbook for helping people in life towards change and growth. going to be useful in ministry and overall relationships, helping me formulate better goals and strategies for myself, improving communication skills. tons of well integrated research, broad scope, and that really seemed to sharpen by the 9th ed. also found a lot of wisdom here -- and respect for the ambiguity and need for flexibility in counseling, with a lot of advice toward practice, the 'bias toward action.'
Rita Ramirez Terrell
Outstanding book for the counselor-in-training
Oct 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a must read for my course....dreary but with some good points in it!
Lisa Jones
Counseling Theory- great theory for organized people, but sometimes peoples problems are not always as organized.
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