THE rapid growth of counseling the world over has produced different schools of counselling and many theoretical books on the subject. Learning to Counsel is the Indian reprint of a widely used book that has been in the market for more than a decade. It is structured around ten chapters. The first three deal with the concept of counselling, which is different from giving advice or providing guidance; its various kinds, such as psychodynamic or person-centred; the essential qualities of a counsellor; and the three key models that build their self awareness: Adolf Meyer’s “Life Chart,” Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Human Needs” and Luft and Ingram’s “The Johari-Window.”
Chapters 4-9 deal with the work of the counsellors: how they establish a healthy relationship with their clients and help them to explore their problems and solve them and terminate the relationship after completing their task. The chapters provide an elaborate discussion on the methodological apparatus that the counsellor requires for the job, with plenty of examples to illustrate each of the prescribed activities, and all the required precautions needed for dealing with his client. Chapter ten discusses the safety measures needed to ensure that counseling does not adversely affect the counselor’s physical and emotional health.
The book is well planned and written in a simple style. Each chapter discusses concepts and ideas with suitable illustrations and ends with a short summary of its content and a list of references. The book also includes a glossary of all the important terms and concepts, a list of relevant websites, and an exhaustive list of books for further reading. It is quite readable, and could be useful for both lay readers and professional counselors.
(Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2/10, Ansari Road, Darya Ganj, New Delhi 110 002)