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Now in its tenth edition, Egan’s THE SKILLED HELPER has taught thousands of students a proven, step-by-step counseling process that teaches them how to become more confident and competent helpers. Internationally recognized for its successful problem-management and opportunity development approach to effective helping, the text emphasizes the collaborative nature of the therapist-client relationship and uses a practical, three-stage model that drives client problem-managing and opportunity-developing action. As they read, students also gain a feeling for the complexity inherent in any helping relationship. In this tenth edition, Egan now makes use of his version of the “common factors” approach, which gives new meaning and vitality to the book’s themes, as well as to the use of the problem-management model to organize and give coherence to those themes. Available with InfoTrac® Student Collections

Gerard Egan, Professor Emeritus, Loyola University of Chicago

Gerard Egan, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Organizational Studies at Loyola University of Chicago. He has written over a dozen books and currently writes in the areas of communication, counseling, business and organization effectiveness, management development, the management of innovation and change, leadership and organization politics and culture. He also conducts workshops in these areas both in the United States and abroad and is a consultant at a variety of companies and institutions worldwide.
  • The tenth edition’s new approach revolves around Egan’s version of the “common factors” approach, which he calls the “ingredients of successful therapy.” These themes are explained in the totally redone first chapter and then permeate the rest of the book.
  • The clinical use of research findings demonstrates that therapists do not have to choose between evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence. The problem-management process is used as a “browser” to find therapeutic methods that help clients manage problem situations more effectively.
  • This edition offers an increased focus on invitations to clients to engage in self-challenge. In addition, the concept of helper self-challenge is introduced; therapy is presented as a positive challenge in itself.
  • The impact of the “non-scientific character” of the belief-values-norms-ethics-morality package and its relationship to decision making is highlighted.
  • In order to keep the text and its coverage of key themes thoroughly up to date, the tenth edition features over 200 new citations sifted from hundreds of books and articles.
  • In order to reflect the adjustments to the book’s new approach, the book has been extensively reorganized and restructured, and most chapters have been rewritten for clarity and cohesion. Part I deals with the new approach, the importance of the helping relationship, and the values that drive the entire helping process. Part II focuses exclusively on the communication skills therapists need to engage in a collaborative outcome-focused dialogue with clients. Part III deals in detail with the problem-management and opportunity-development approach.
  • Egan’s new approach underscores the importance of the client-directed, outcome-informed (CDOI) movement in the helping professions. Thus, the book has a heightened emphasis on clients and all that they bring with them to the therapeutic encounter, as well as the importance of “keeping the client in the driver’s seat” throughout the helping process.
  • InfoTrac® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTrac® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at:
  • Egan’s version of what he refers to as the Standard Problem Management Model--which is found directly or indirectly in practically every form of therapy--now organizes all the skills, methods, and themes of successful helping.
  • Egan has heightened the book’s focus on two-way feedback between client and helper, thus emphasizing the importance of feedback as one of the key ingredients of successful therapy.
  • Effective decision making (and its shadow side) in therapy is now presented as one of the key ingredients of successful therapy. The role of decision making at the heart of problem management and opportunity development is explicated.
  • The problem-management process is presented as a valid treatment approach in itself. It is now presented, broadly speaking, as an experience-cognitive-behavioral-emotive approach to therapy and a tool of psychotherapy integration.
  • The essential uncertainties associated with human behavior are named, and Egan shows that these require helping approaches that are both rigorous and flexible. Both client-focused rigor and client-focused flexibility in the use of models, methods, and skills permeate the book.
  • The book further promotes the concept of “personal culture” and names the beliefs-values-norms-ethics-morality package that underlies culture as one of the key ingredients of successful therapy. Diversity in all its forms takes precedence over any particular form of diversity, such as multicultural diversity. The personal culture of each individual client includes his or her incorporation and expression of ethnic and cultural themes together with all the other forms of diversity in his or her makeup. An N=1 research approach to evaluation of therapy provides rigor and respects the personal culture of each client.
  • THE SKILLED HELPER focuses on “positive psychology” and includes material on problems as opportunities, an emphasis on hope and optimism, a self-healing approach to client-helper collaboration, the place of “motivational interviewing” and encouragement in helping, and a section on client resilience.
  • The author introduces his practical three-stage model in Chapters 1 and 3, which outline the nature and goals of helping, the helping model, and the values that drive helping.
  • THE SKILLED HELPER emphasizes the collaborative nature by focusing on the client and the counselor in the relationship, with vivid examples that show helping skills in action in a vast array of possible relationships and settings, from correctional institutes and hospitals to private practice.
  • Egan integrates the most relevant aspects of different theoretical orientations (humanistic, cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, and solution-focused) into a pragmatic approach to helping.
  • Skill-building and progressive exercises provide students with the opportunity to apply the concepts they have learned throughout the text. For additional study help, you may offer your students the companion book, EXERCISES IN HELPING SKILLS, which is aligned with the text chapters and includes self-development items.
1. The Ingredients of Successful Helping.
2. The Helping Relationship and the Values That Drive It.
3. Empathic Presence: Tuning In and Listening.
4. Empathic Responding: Working at Mutual Understanding.
5. The Art of Probing and Summarizing.
6. Facilitating Client Self-Challenge: From New Perspectives to New Behavior.
7. Helper Self-Challenge.
8. An Introduction to the Problem-Management Process.
9. Help Clients Tell Their Stories: Stage I, Task I-A.
10. The Real Story and The Right Story: Stage I, Task I-B and Task I-C.
11. Designing for the Future: Stage II, Task II-A.
12. Goals, Outcomes, Impact: Stage II, Task II-B and Task II-C.
13. Planning the Way Forward: Stage III, Task III-A, Task III-B, and Task III-C.
14. Implementation: Making It All Happen.

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • ISBN-10: 128560394X
  • ISBN-13: 9781285603940
  • STARTING AT $16.49

  • STARTING AT $76.48

  • ISBN-10: 1285065719
  • ISBN-13: 9781285065717
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $107.50
  • RETAIL $142.95

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank

ISBN: 9781285067100
Access PowerPoint® slides and a chapter-by-chapter Test Bank through

Student Workbook Exercises

ISBN: 9781285067537
Paralleling Egan’s THE SKILLED HELPER, this manual allows students to complete self-development exercises as well as practice communication skills and each of the steps of the model in private before using them in actual face-to-face helping interactions with others.


Student Workbook Exercises

ISBN: 9781285067537
This manual parallels the main text, THE SKILLED HELPER. The manual allows you to complete self-development exercises as well as practice communication skills and each of the steps of the model in private before using them in actual face-to-face helping interactions with others.