Basic viewpoint of the skilled helper model

In the first edition of "The Skilled Helper", published in 1975, Egan expounded a style of the aiding process with the target "to determine a training technology that pertains to helper training and also to the helping process itself". The subtitle of "The Skilled Helper" is " ISSUES Management and Opportunity Development Approach to Helping", which reflects Egan's focus on problem resolving and goal setting rather than dwelling on days gone by factors behind problems. It offers a structured approach to the supporting process rather than providing a theory of personality.

The Skilled Helper is currently in it's ninth edition, and with each model Egan has developed and enhanced the model, with differing emphasis after it's various phases. Egan does not state the model as"The Egan Model" but respect it as his own version of "the basic dynamics" of the condition management process (Interview 1995).

It is influenced by the Person Centred methodology of Carl Rogers and the Cognitive Behavioural ideas of Albert Ellis, amidst others. The Rogers Key Conditions help supply the basis of the client-helper marriage whilst the Cognitive Behavioural procedure of Albert Ellis can help with the challenge management phases of the model. The model is extremely flexible, and it's integrative style allows for the introduction of various psychotherapeutic techniques in to the supporting process. It's fluidity allows the procedure to readily circulation to any stage of the continuum to suit the client's current needs, whilst providing the helper with orientation on what level the process reaches.

It has turned out an enduring and successful approach to counselling and problem handling, and has readily crossed into other civilizations. Egan partly details it's success as due to "it's reasoning being embedded in humans". The trouble dealing with process is recognized by humans across the world almost as a "universal rule" and therefore the stages of the model are easily determined with.

The use of CBT techniques can introduce problems at under skilled helpers who might provide inappropriate direction through the challenge solving phases. The inexperienced helper could also view the model as a process of rigid phases which may lead the helper away from the individual centred relationship producing a poorer results for your client. From my very own experience in the abilities workshops there can be a propensity to rush through each level of the procedure alternatively than develop the partnership at the clients own tempo.

2. The key concepts and key points of the model

The model breaks the supporting process into three areas, each talking about a stage of the helping and problem-solving process. Each stage is further sub-divided into three tasks that help establish the level and the processes involved. Whilst theoretically the implementation of the stages is sequential, used they overlap, and the supporting process may move backwards and forwards freely between phases.

Stage 1: The Current Picture

This stage sets the scene and it is the clients chance to say what is taking place in their life also to "tell their story".

Task 1a: The Story

The customer is motivated to discuss and say why they attended to counselling and what is happening in their lives. The counsellor must attract upon Rogers Key Conditions and their dynamic being attentive skills to create a relationship that expresses their understanding and acceptance of your client. Such skills would include open questions, representation, paraphrasing and summarising The narrative should improve at the clients own rate.

Task 1b: Blind Places and New Perspectives

The reason for this is to help the client recognise the blind areas in their story that they may have overlooked or not accepted, and to help them have a new perspective to them. The counsellor can attract upon their skills of advanced empathy and immediacy to raise questions that obstacle the client's belief or understanding. Self-disclosure can be utilized with extreme care by the counsellor if it is felt appropriate, whilst the counsellor's use of immediacy may test the client to consider what is going on "here and now".

Task 1c: Leverage

As part of phases 1a and 1b your client may have brought up many issues that could be discussed. However, level 1a helps the client, through appropriate questioning, to target and identify one issue that would bring the higher benefit and change lives in their life. Often taking care of such an issue or opportunity may minimise or eliminate the other issues raised. Alternatively the large problems in a clients life may appear so unresolvable that they want reducing to smaller issues that will help the client cope with today's, and invite them to handle further issues one step at the same time. The problem chosen should be of sufficient gravity to continue working with, often clients will choose issues that they can take care of happily themselves. Additionally it is important that your client is able to take possession of the condition and show determination to resolving it before moving to stage 2 of the model.

Stage 2: The Preferred Picture

At level 2 your client is helped to envisage what their ideal end result would be, what they want their world to appear to be. From the future possibilities the counsellor can help your client focus on a range of objectives to work at.

Task 2a: Possibilities

The customer is helped to consider the options for an improved future also to explore what that future may be. This task often involves a level of brainstorming and creative thinking. Clients should be inspired to make use of their thoughts and suspend judgement. A typical question the counsellor may ask would be "In the event that you had a powerful wand what will you want?"

Task 2b: Change Agenda

From the range of possibilities determined in job 2a, workable goals can be recognized which constitute the client's change plan. The goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, possible, reasonable and time-based) and it is important that they are the client's goals.

Task 2c: Commitment

When a client leaves a counselling period and has to face the distractions of lifestyle, goals established at 2b are often forgotten. The counsellor can help by ensuring that the goals chosen are appealing to your client and the customers own. The client should be helped to adopt and take ownership of the goals

Stage 3 JUST HOW Forward

Without a strategy, your client may feel that the goals chosen at 2b remain unrealisable. This level helps formulate approaches for attaining the client's goals. From these strategies a plan can be attracted to help the client progress.

Task 3a: Possible Strategies

The client is encouraged to take into account the possible pathways that may be taken up to achieve their goals. Like at stage 2a, the client should be prompted to brainstorm and become imaginative. The counsellor may use their skills in probing and prompting to help your client give attention to different avenues.

Task 3b: Best-fit Strategies

There may be considered a quantity of possible strategies identified at level 3a, however not all may be suited to the client's circumstances. At this time the counsellor can help your client to find the most appropriate. Ultimately, the preferred strategies will be those that are likely to succeed and that your client has excitement for.

3. The Launch of Material From Two Other Therapeutic Schools

Transactional Research (TA)

TA is a theory of personality developed by Eric Berne (1910-1970), a Canadian psychologist that talks about the research of social relationships.

Berne stressed the importance of early life experiences on our personality and was inspired appearing humanist ideas that individuals are born Acceptable. The philosophy of TA is based upon 3 assumptions

People are created OK

We can all make our own decisions

Nobody can make us do, think or say anything without our consent.

TA comprises three key areas

A theory of personality comprising 3 ego state governments. Child, Adult, Father or mother that mirror our thoughts and behaviours

A style of communication or ventures. In particular Berne was enthusiastic about what ego talk about people were transacting from also to.

A developmental model discussing life scripts. Most of us develop a life script from an early time and live our life by it.

Both the Egan Model and Transactional Examination challenge clients to truly have a new perspective upon problems and both are influenced by Rogers Person Centred methodology and the central conditions.

However whilst TA is a theory of personality structured upon ego expresses, the Egan model does not dwelling address personality or interpersonal theory and framework for supporting into which components of other theories can be released.

TA therapy is normally over a much longer period than counselling under the Egan model which defines the specific goals of the counselling trainings much more plainly.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy is situated after the personality ideas of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and psychoanalytical psychotherapy.

Freud recognised a difference between the conscious and the unconscious, or repressed, mind. A middle way between the two is our pre-conscious where our unconscious filtration systems into our dreams or fantasies. Psychodynamic counselling aims to bring the unconscious to the mindful, enabling your client to construct a far more effective personality through their increased understanding.

Freud developed three components of personality

Id. Our basic, unconscious instincts. Our dog drives

Ego. " the ego signifies what may be called reason and good sense, in contrast to the id which provides the passions" (Freud 1923)

Superego. An internal moral, parental voice.

Freud believed our childhood influenced our later personality and that people later re-enacted the habits established at an early age. Psychodynamic counselling targets early development and experience to help your client understand the present.

Psychodynamic Counselling is insight orientated and tries to gain understanding by delving into our history. The Egan methodology is goal orientated, seeking to a better future created by the customers own actions.

Egan is built upon the Person Centred ideas of Rogers and it is therefore client centred. The very best person to solve the clients problem, is your client. In contrast Psychodynamic counselling is expert based mostly. The counsellor interprets the data provided by the client.

Egan looks to change current situations whilst Psychodynamic Counselling looks for understanding. However, the overall flexibility of the Egan framework allows psychodynamic, or other, ideas to be introduced if the counsellor believes this would be of great benefit.

5. Identification of Using Methods and Techniques Without Adequate Training

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