An Introduction to Counseling: A Handbook

George D. Demos, PhD, ABPP and Richard "Buck" Marrs, EdD

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 389 Price: (paperback) $20.99 ISBN: 9781532006142 Reviewed: February, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

Dr. Richard “Buck” Marrs, a longtime practicing psychotherapist and professor in the field of education, collaborates with Dr. George Demos, clinical psychologist and professor of psychology, to co-author “an introductory learning tool for the counselor-in-training.” In this volume, Marrs and Demos differentiate between various types of counseling, explore the philosophy and ethics underlying their field and offer a basic toolkit for beginning counselors.

The book is divided into five sections: “Bases of Counseling,” “Functions of the Counselor and Other Guidance Specialists,” “The Art of Counseling,” The Science of Counseling,” “The Preparation of the Counselor.” Throughout, the authors briefly touch on a few (of many) foundational approaches to the counseling process, including a chart of “Personality Theories” summarizing viewpoints of the most well-known theorists in psychology. However, an empirical and historical context for the authors’ perspective on counseling remains vague, and bibliographical references are brief.

As a practical guide, this book skims the surface of a complex topic. The authors spend an exhaustive 16 pages on the semantics of psychotherapy versus counseling, which adds little to the book’s intent of “presenting the knowledge and skills that counselors should possess.” The section on “counseling strategies” is brief and includes only rudimentary explanations of the conversational interventions a counselor might utilize, such as “whenever the counselor is involved in presenting something, he/she is interpreting” and “evaluating means determining the strengths and weaknesses of something.” The “Three Styles of Conflict Resolution” offered in the conclusion are reminiscent of what might be found in a Human Resources binder, rather than a comprehensive textbook designed to train professional counselors.

This book is clearly written in an accessible format appropriate for beginners and could serve as a useful adjunct to a classroom environment. However, Demos and Marrs add little of substance to the wide range of literature currently available on counseling philosophy and technique.

Also available as an ebook.

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