The Skilled Helper By Gerard Egan English Literature Essay

The full book is about the civilization of assisting, entwining the beliefs, values and norms that should drive the assisting procedure. Egan indicates that an apprehension of the diverseness of human nature and being cognizant of personal cultural values and prejudices is built-in for assistants to get the better of some of the unsighted musca volitanss they may meet when assisting a client. The book is divided into six parts with each portion aiming a specific country of the assisting theoretical account.

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I will be looking at the first five chapters in the book which encompasses portion one and portion two. Separate one has chapters one to three, and cover specifically with the nature and ends of assisting, it provides an overview of the assisting procedure and so the relationship nature of the assisting theoretical account. Part two dressed ores on the communicating accomplishments needed to be an effectual assistant. Egan cites Roberts ( 1998 ) who stated that duologue is indispensable because assisting is a collaborative enterprise ( p.64 )

Historically, given the appropriate status, people have been able to assist other people come to clasps with the twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours job of life utilizing a assortment of assisting professions. Although instructors teach English, math ‘s, societal scientific disciplines, physical instruction, etc. which are geared at developing the academic, physical, societal and emotional facet of pupils, they are in strategic places to steer pupils with the twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours job of turning up. Helping is considered a common human experience ; hence if you are able to work out your ain job so it should be human nature to be able to assist person work out theirs. Unfortunately this is non the instance as the mean individual on the street may non be able to assist efficaciously.

Harmonizing to Egan, the ground people seek guidance is chiefly because they are non able to happen the solution to their jobs on their ain, they are non managing a state of affairs good, they feel unrealized or a combination of all of the above. The emotional convulsion created tends to take to a deficiency of objectiveness and no unequivocal solution can be seen. The end of assisting is non to work out the clients ‘ jobs but to assist them to pull off the job and happen new chances in life. The aim is for the client to be able to happen effectual solutions with includes refocusing on lost chances and fresh potency and use the solutions to other facet within their lives which may mirror the current jobs. They would get down to concentrate on non what is traveling incorrect but what could be better, utilizing our full potency. Seligman and Csikzentmihalyi ( 2000 ) stated that intervention is non merely repairing what is broken but fostering what is best. An synergistic attack with treatment of good being, felicity, hope, and grasp of art and beauty, spiritualty, wisdom, etc. allows the assistant to better their service. However, it should be noted that designation and development of lost chances besides referred to as ‘positive psychological science ‘ is non an ‘everything is traveling to be alright ‘ procedure.

In the book, there are two chief ends of assisting identified and these are based on the demands of the client ;

Helping the client to efficaciously pull off their jobs and more to the full develop fresh resources and lost chances – it is of import to observe that the client has a portion to play in the assisting procedure. They have to perpetrate themselves to the plan and utilize what they have learnt to pull off their twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours lives.

Helping the client to go better at assisting themselves – when the traveling gets tough the tough get traveling. As the crisis acquire harder to work out and ability to work out the job disappears. Miller et Al ( 1960 ) stated that an ordinary individual about ne’er approaches a job consistently and thoroughly unless he or she has been specifically educated to make so. Problem work outing skill necessitate to be a portion of the school course of studies as these indispensable accomplishments are necessary to guarantee that kids are able to place jobs, make reasonable determination and place chances

But the inquiry is asked, “ How do we cognize that assisting assist? ” Enysenk ( 1952 ) questioned the cogency of the assisting profession. How do we cognize it is non a deceitful procedure designed to pull strings and rob clients? Or is it the purpose of the profession to devaluate people and enforce personal values on the client? Is it a sort of encephalon lavation which has no positive consequence? These are some of the concerns raised about the profession, nevertheless the profession got a positive encouragement when the sawbones general of the US issued a study on mental wellness ( Satcher 2000 ) . Four countries were identified as being relevant to the acknowledgment ;

Mental wellness is of import to physical or overall wellness

Mental upset are existent wellness issues

Mental upset intervention are good documented

A scope of intervention exists for mental upsets.

In add-on, clients claimed that they benefitted well from intervention but recognised that the therapy entirely did non differ in effectivity from the therapy plus medicine. Egan noted that it besides did non count the sort of assistant, or the signifier of assisting, but the length of therapy that made a difference and the client may experience better because they like their counselor or because they are less stressed, nevertheless this is non an indicant that they are pull offing their jobs better or are developing their fresh potency. The sort of therapy to be used depends on the efficaciousness surveies carried out which will find the method of assisting.

When a intervention has been proven to be effectual so a manual is normally created on how to present the intervention. Egan identified that there has been a batch of contention over the maualised intervention which include the followers ;

The linguistic communication was excessively strong

The recommendation were premature

It tends to idealize and falsify psychotherapeutics

The research base was non up to standard. It was mussy and uncategorised.

Egan emphasied that when seeking to find a client ‘s job it has to be understood that the client has job state of affairss and non needfully a particular job. It is besides recognised that there are good assistant, bad assistants and assistant that can hold a negative impact ( Mohr 1995 ) . To be more specific, some assistant are unqualified and clients go client because they want aid, therefore it is necessary to go competent and sturdy whilst staying self-critical and maintaining an oculus on the aim. Helping will work but it is non needfully for everyone. Assistants must be able to recognize the hard instances versus the impossible instances and cover efficaciously with them.

Another inquiry raised is “ Can we presume that assisting is for everyone? ” Whilst some individual will readily travel to a assistant there are those who do n’t travel because they are non able to entree the assistant, they are non ready for the alteration or they have an antipathy toward the assisting profession. The skilled Helper demand to cognize when to assist and how to assist, therefore the assisting session should stay focussed and to the point as the client will non be the client on a lasting footing. It is of import for the assistant to set the working cognition and the accomplishments together to be an effectual assistant. A strong cognition base of developmental, cognitive, unnatural psychological science in add-on to the kineticss of the assisting profession and the ability to use the principal in human behavior are critical accomplishments and cognition required by the assisting professional.

Egan farther recognises that there are up sides and down side of assisting and assisting professionals need to understand the restriction and the things which can impact the assisting procedure. All the things that can adversely impact the procedure are defined as the shadow side of assisting and these can be broken down into two groups ;

The downside, which highlight that some assistants are non competent and may hold a inclination to acquire into problem because of the abuse of their trade. The client may be disadvantaged because the assistant focuses on the incorrect issues. Pull offing the shadow side requires a great trade of unity, societal intelligence and competency

Whereas the top, focuses on the positive psychological science of assisting. This includes utilizing wisdom, sagaciousness, street smarts, and common sense in assisting. Assistants need to be wise and in bend impart some of their wisdom to the clients. Baltes and Staudinger ( 2000 ) define wisdom as ‘an expertness in the behavior and significance of life ‘ or ‘an expert cognition system refering the cardinal pragmatics of life ‘ ( p124,122 ) , and some of the basic feature of wisdom include, self-knowledge, understand cultural conditioning, holding the backbones to acknowledge errors, tolerance, avoiding stereotypes, the ability to take a long position of a job and religious apprehension. Although this list is non thorough it is of import to understand that wisdom is about the excellence in life and being prepared to concentrate on how to assist instead than what to assist.

The skilled Helper quotes that Yankelivich ( 1992 ) seven measure job work outing procedure of initial consciousness, urgency, initial hunt for redresss, appraisal of cost, deliberation, rational determination and rational-emotional determination may be logical in theory nevertheless they were frequently jumbled and intermingled with mundane existent life job direction state of affairss which could be derailed at any point during the procedure due to fiscal restraints. In add-on the determination doing ability during hard state of affairss was non every bit rational as the procedure intended as the procedure lacked the method for turning determinations into solution focused actions.

Another inquiry originating out of the book is, “ where should job work outing techniques get down? ” Some argue that it should get down in the place whilst others argue that it should get down in the school, but harmonizing to The Skilled Helper the belief is that life accomplishment are learned through experience and should be 2nd nature and hence there is no demand for any formal instruction in schools. It is of import to observe that life accomplishments and job work outing abilities should non be left to opportunity. The procedure offered by The Skilled Helper is flexible, humanistic, loosely based job work outing direction and an chance development theoretical account. The four cardinal inquiries asked within the theoretical account are ; what ‘s traveling on? What do I need or desire? What do I hold to make to acquire what I need or desire? and how do I acquire consequences? These inquiries provide the model for the assisting procedure.

Egan uses a client named Carlos to exemplify the assisting theoretical account. Carlos is a adult male in his mid mid-twentiess. He ne’er thought he had any jobs until he is told by a colleague that he was his ain worst enemy. Carlos was disturbed by this statement and sought aid from the company ‘s counselor. Carlos did hold a block the fact that the counselor was a adult female, Elena. The first measure for Elena in the assisting procedure is to acquire Carlos to speak and open up, so assist him interrupt through his blind topographic point which was the fact that he did non gain how egoistic he was and so assist him to take the issue to work on that would do a difference in his life. Carlos identified that he needed to go a better communicator and this led to the following phase of the assisting procedure. He was now ready to brainstorm with Elena to happen possible solutions maintaining in head that these solutions had to be realistic and ambitious and geared at repairing the cardinal issue. Carlos had to stay committed to the procedure or else he would neglect hence placing an inducement that would be the drive force behind him remaining committed was necessary. He had to maintain his oculus on his ultimate end, which was to go a better communicator.

The concluding procedure in his therapy involved him seeking different ways to accomplish his aim and chose the 1 that fits best using his endowment, resources, manner, disposition, environment and timetable. This enabled him to form the actions needed to accomplish the ends and now he was ready to implement. Implementation nevertheless is ne’er a smooth procedure and we see where Carlos had many hurdlings to get the better of. The alterations he had to implement were non easy and he finally he had to reset his plan.

This illustration of Carlos shows in a practical manner how the assisting theoretical account described in The Skilled Helper should work, nevertheless it is really of import to recognize that there must be some sum of flexibleness on the portion of the client and the assistant to accomplish the coveted consequences. There should be changeless reviewing and early sensing of what is traveling incorrect. Some clients are non cognizant of what they want until they start speaking and since the client can come in a plan at any point, the assistant should be ready to leap in and steer the client from that point on. The assistant constant will happen themselves traveling back and Forth over the assisting theoretical account.

Then we ask ourselves, “ How long should therapy take? ” Some argue that clip sensitive psychotherapeutics is more effectual, but how do we guarantee that the therapy is effectual and efficient when a timeline is topographic point on it. Egan ( 2002 ) stated that assisting can be ‘lean and average ‘ and still be human and that although sometimes merely partial consequences are achieved ( p.36 ) , the assisting theoretical account plants best when the whole is found in each of its parts. Just in the same manner that clients have to happen the best fit plan, assistants besides need to happen the best tantrum assisting theoretical account to efficaciously advocate clients. Whether the assistant decides to ‘borrow or sew ‘ assisting theoretical accounts together or merely trade with job direction as the implicit in procedure or utilize The Skilled Helper to happen utile procedures, it is of import to retrieve that the client deserves the best pattern no affair the beginning. Fads, utilizing no theoretical account, using stiff application of assisting theoretical accounts and virtuosity are in no manner good to the client. These unqualified methods will make more injury than good and will sabotage the aim of the assisting procedure which is about solutions, consequences, results, and impact.

In chapter three, Egan looks at the relationship between the assistant and the client and there are statements that arise on whether it is the relationship, the work or the results which play in built-in function in the relationship. Rogers ( 1951,1957 ) client centered attack give acceptance to the relationship being the most of import but Arknoff ( 1995 ) believes that the relationship is merely a agency to an terminal therefore if excessively much accent in placed on the relationship so there is a possibility that both parties may acquire distracted from their end. The relationship as a on the job confederation ( Greenson, 1967 ) is intended to convey all three facets together by integrating coaction, relearning and flexibleness. Assistants need to be cognizant of what the relationship means to each client. He besides makes a comparing on how facets of civilization affect clients. He states that ‘ shared premises and beliefs and interactions with shared values produce shared norms that drive shared forms of behavior ‘ ( p.45 )

Looking at the traditions of civilization and integrating them into the assisting theoretical account you will still be able to see a differentiation of a value system which farther establishes a set of norms. Within the assisting profession there are four major values which drive the plan, these are ; regard, empathy, genuineness and client authorization. All of these values are basically driven by the construct that the assisting profession is built on is respect. The assistant must be certain that they are at that place for the right grounds and non hold purposes to make any injury to the client. The assistant must be merely every bit committed to the plan as the client, ever looking out for the clients ‘ good will and non first-come-first-serve judgements or determination which would non profit the client. It is of import to ever maintain the client ‘s docket in focal point.

Pulling from several theoreticians ‘ statements Egan efforts to clear up and simplify the nature of empathy ;

Barret-Lennard ( 1981 ) – identified three stages ; empathic resonance, expressed empathy and received empathy.

Carl Rogers ( 1975 ) – being able to feel a clients interior universe

Kohut ( 1978 ) – it is a psychological food. The organic structure would non last without it

Covey ( 1989 ) – it is psychological air. We need it to take a breath.

Goleman ( 1995,1998 ) – it is the bosom of emotional intelligence and there is nil inactive about it.

To efficaciously sympathize with the client, the assistant needs to be able to understand what makes the client who they are utilizing all of the above theories as a base. This requires an apprehension of the client ‘s cultural background and how state of affairss affect them. For case, life endangering unwellness may non hold the same impact on a 60 twelvemonth old versus a 20 twelvemonth old, hence the assistant has to accommodate to the diverseness of the state of affairss.

Although Egan stresses that regard and empathy are critical in the assisting procedure, he farther expands on the demand for genuineness and client authorization in the whole assisting procedure. Assistants should be self-generated and unfastened, at the same clip non overemphasizing their function, and decidedly avoid being defensive. Additionally authorising the client makes it appear that they have control over the plan, hence the assistant works on the premiss that the client can alter if they want to, they are non to be seen as victims, and the stairss in the assisting procedure should be shared with the client.

In portion two of the book, Egan looks at the whole communicating procedure and the necessary accomplishments required to be an effectual assistant. He acknowledges that the conversation between the assistant and the client must be curative and he highlights four demands for true duologue. These are, taking bends in conversing, that is the conversation is synergistic ; connecting, the conversation between the assistant and client connects in some manner ; common influencing, which is conversation that is unfastened plenty to act upon the other party ; and cocreating results, which means the assistant is non stating the client what to make or what non to make. The assistant is at that place to help the client to happen his solutions. Egan stresses that communicating accomplishments must go 2nd nature if the purpose is to efficaciously function the assisting procedure and the client ‘s demands.

But how does the client know the assistant is interested in what they have to state? This can merely be conveyed to the client by actively taking portion in the duologue. Egan notes that assistants have to ‘tune in ‘ to their client and this includes carefully monitoring non-verbal communicating, viz. body linguistic communication. By taking careful note of bodily behavior, oculus behavior, facial look, tone of voice, infinite and general visual aspect non-verbal communicating can act upon the client in good ways and besides in bad ways, therefore it is of import to be sensitive to a client ‘s reaction to organic structure linguistic communication. Egan ‘s The Skilled Helper illustrates the usage of ‘SOLER ‘ , an acronym for Squarely, Open, Lean, Eye, and Relaxed, which is a guideline for efficaciously tuning in to the client. He states that by retrieving and utilizing this technique the assistant will be able to place when they have started to tune out the client. Egan farther points out that effectual communicating is a accomplishment that has to be honed and nurtured as non everyone will hold the communicating accomplishment to assist in the assisting profession.

After reading the first five chapters in this book, I can province that the best chapter for me is in fact chapter five. In this chapter, Egan clarifies what it means to efficaciously listen to a client. A affecting point he makes on page 88 is that “ To be an effectual assistant, you need to listen non merely to the client but besides to yourself ” . Listening to ourselves is non a natural human feature, but the assisting profession requires this and by utilizing instance illustrations to exemplify the usage of the accomplishment, Egan breaks down the adequatenesss and insufficiencies of listening. He reasonably much stated that to efficaciously listen, you must be prepared to set in the work required. Traveling through the gestures, listening merely partly, reiterating merely what he client says and holding rehearsed statements will make more injury than good as the client ‘s demands to experience that the assistant has tuned in to them. The same goes for listening sympathetically, it is non a accomplishment to be taken lightly as it excessively requires a great trade of being with, detecting, listening and understand the client ‘s universe. The instance used of Jennie, a colza victim and her counselor Denise, is a really rough world that colza victims face. Denise has the undertaking of interrupting through the barriers that Jennie has put up in defence of her jobs and seeking to acquire Jennie to see herself less of a victim and finally airting her energy to a more positive focal point.

Egan stresses that by listening to the client ‘s experiences, understanding their behavior in state of affairs and how the experiences affect their emotions – which can be expressed in non-verbal ways – are cardinal factors in the assisting procedure as this will do the state of affairs clearer to the assistant. In the same manner the client ‘s point of position should besides be taken into consideration and non be discounted as frivolous. The assistant may non be in entire understanding with the absolute statements made by the client but the assistant should be able to read in between the lines of the absolutes, with the purpose of steering the client to tap into their fresh potencies. Even when the client has 101 purpose, whether good or bad, the assistant has to listen and treat efficaciously and making this requires picking out the chief points, placing what experiences are most of import, what is of import to the client, what determinations are being implied, and what they are suggesting to make.

To accomplish effectual hearing accomplishments, Egan points out that assistants should besides listen to themselves and be cognizant of the inhibitors of effectual hearing. The natural human reaction when listening to people is that we form sentiments, biased and indifferent, or we become judgemental or we stereotype the person based on the state of affairs, or we ask excessively many inquiries without concentrating on the cardinal factors as to why the individual is speaking to us, or we identity excessively much with the state of affairs and go excessively sympathetic. When counselors fall quarry to these inhibitors they run the hazard of non efficaciously assisting the client to pull off their jobs, and the ultimate aim to go self sufficient is delayed.

In decision, these five chapters of The Skilled Helper give more that a general overview of a assisting theoretical account. Egan set out to specify the cardinal factors in the assisting procedure. He adequately covers the function of counselor and by utilizing instance examples to do the application of the theory more existent. Both Carlos and Jennie have jobs which affect non merely them but others around or associated with them. The manner in which Egan incorporates the assisting theoretical account into their therapy show that the theoretical account in non an absolute job influence peddler but the theoretical account can be tweaked and spun in a manner that the client will accomplish their aim.