Counselling Skills in Social Work Practice

Counselling Skills in Social Work Practice

Counselling Skills in Social Work Practice

Counselling Skills in Social Work Practice


middot; In what ways is counselling relevant to contemporary social work? middot; How do counselling skills integrate with social work roles and responsibilities?This book examines these skills and their applicability, drawing from social work and counselling theories and methods using clear, practical examples. Skills are discussed with reference to social work knowledge and values illustrating how, when used competently, contextually and sensitively they can appropriately underpin good social work practice. Questions and activities for self development are linked to the practices discussed. This new edition ofCounselling Skills in Social Work Practicehas been thoroughly revised to reflect the National Occupational Standards for social work which identify the importance of communication skills and a developmental understanding of people in their social contexts. The chapters are linked to the six key roles for social work practice. This book builds on the strengths of the first edition, as well as addressing the challenges of practice in relevant legislative and policy contexts. The book includes:middot; Evidence of how the competencies which underpin counselling practice are directly transferable to effective social work practice middot; Practical advice on communication skills middot; Examples of how to build effective working relationships; a whole chapter is now devoted to the specific skills required for working within inter-agency and multi-disciplinary teamsThis book is key reading on the subject of ethical and effective social work for those teaching, studying or practising in the field.


This book is one of a series that considers the relationship between counselling skills and the professional concerns of a specific group, in this case social workers. This second edition responds to changes in social work education as the requirements for the degree in social work bring a welcome emphasis on communication, human development and reflective practice as central to social workers' roles with people who use services. The key roles and standards, to which the discussion is linked, will become familiar to people on social work degrees and those teaching them, but perhaps not to others, so it is important to say that these categories build on knowledge, values and skills developed over time for social work practice.

Counselling and social work theory have shared a developmental pathway, drawing from the psychological and sociological theories that inform interpersonal work. Social work like counselling is concerned with the promotion of wellbeing and responds to what people say they want as far as possible. Unlike counselling, social work is concerned with combating social inequalities in the socio/political environment. Social workers also have legal responsibilities to certain groups of people defined by the social policy concerns of governments and this can involve compulsory interventions.

It is clear from research and consultation with people who use services that social workers need at least the basic counselling skills, and sometimes more advanced ones, to carry out the complex tasks they face. Exactly what is needed depends on where someone is employed but the failure to use the most fundamental listening and responding skills is often a contributory factor when things go wrong. These are skills that service users identify as important in social workers: the capacity to listen, hear and respond respectfully. This basic and core ability to hear the reality of others and respond reflexively cannot be emphasized enough.

This book examines counselling skills, starting with active listening and responding, and considers the ways these and other counselling skills can sensitively and appropriately contribute to good social work practice. Human beings communicate with each other all the time but social workers have to be sure that . . .

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