The sites or opportunities for counselling within our society include both formal counselling, usually provided by trained counsellors, psychotherapists and other mental health workers over a number of meetings, and informal episodes of counselling, provided by nurses, doctors, social workers, advice workers, teachers and other human service professionals. The provision of counselling by this latter group is typically described in terms of the use of "counselling skills", to differentiate it from formal, contracted, long-term counselling. Counselling skills interventions are usually delivered in the context of single episodes. This book is aimed at giving counselling skill to those who require a level of counselling for their chosen profession. The idea of counselling skill (as opposed to skills) reflects a new way of conceptualising this kind of work. This conceptual model is explained in the introduction, and operates as a framework for the book as a whole. The model is derived from two basic ideas: Firstly, it is assumed that most people are able to do the things that are necessary in order to offer an effective counselling relationship (listen carefully, be reliable and trustworthy, be aware of feelings, check things out, etc). These are not special skills - they are everyday human attributes. What is skilful, it is argued, is an ability to bring these competencies together for a specific purpose. Secondly, the person seeking help is assumed to be an active agent, who is attempting to use whatever resources are at his/her disposal in order to deal with the difficulties which he/she is confronted. From this perspective, the task of the counsellor or helper is not to offer solutions to the person's problem, but to create an arena within which they can work together to make use of whatever resources are available.Topics covered include: * A definition of counselling and exploration of counselling models and contexts Issues to consider in preparation for undertaking a counselling relationship * Trust * Confidentiality * Listening and responding * How to combine counselling with a professional roleThe book features summary boxes and a running case study throughout, to illustrate the key themes. It is essential reading for those who use counselling in their professional work in social and allied health services.