Basic Counseling Techniques

Wayne Perry

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 344 Price: (paperback) $18.99 ISBN: 9781434355249 Reviewed: April, 2016 Author Website: Visit »

University professor and marriage and family therapist Wayne Perry brings practical wisdom gleaned from more than 40 combined years of learning, practicing, teaching, and supervising therapy to students and practitioners in this excellent textbook.

Perry focuses on the practical application and integration of different therapy skills in determining the best course of action for a client using the Metasystems Model, which regards the client as an individual in context with his/her family, culture, and social relationships. After explaining the Metasystems Model, the author covers the fundamentals of therapy: interviewing clients, structuring counseling sessions, mastering the processing and administrative skills needed for a counseling business.

Along the way, he explores a variety of theories and approaches—including cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, functional mapping, and interventions—their pros and cons, and, most importantly, how to practically apply them, since knowing what, when and how to integrate a therapy skill is based on each client’s individual makeup (as determined from the Metasystems Model).

Throughout, the author employs “Counselor Schmooze” as a sample therapist who engages in dialogues with clients to illustrate various points. The moniker adds a touch of humor to serious subjects.

Each of Perry’s chapters ends with “Living Into the Lesson”—a practicum that suggests homework designed to help readers master the material. For instance: “Discuss with at least one other person: What constitutes a ‘failure’ in therapy?”

Seldom does one find a textbook written in such an easy-to-read manner that’s applicable to both students and veteran therapists. In a clear, often humorous, writing style, Perry offers depth and practicality, with plentiful illustrations to underscore his points. (One small misstep: The excellent chapter on integrating technology overlooks the importance of including a Privacy Policy/Terms and Conditions page on a website—a very minor quibble in an otherwise outstanding book.)

Written for students and life-long learners, this book would be a valuable addition to the academic library of any therapist, counselor, life coach, or pastoral counselor.

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