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FOUNDATIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY

CHAPTERS

1. Helping Relationships: From Core Dimensions to Brief Approaches

2. Diversity and Social Justice Issues in Counseling and Psychotherapy

Counseling and psychotherapy encompass a number of relationship and personal and professional modalities in which the counselor or therapist needs to be proficient. These modalities include the creation of essential core conditions that are both foundational to the establishment of a helping relationship and prerequisite to change on the part of the client. In addition, because brief approaches to counseling and psychotherapy are a rapidly developing area and their development has been encouraged by managed care, and because counselor awareness of diversity and social justice issues are so important in the context of the counseling and psychotherapy process, these areas are also addressed in Part 1.

The helping relationship is the foundation on which the process of counseling and psychotherapy is based. It is not possible to use the concepts and associated interventions of a specific theory unless such applications are made in the context of a relationship that promotes trust, insight, and behavior change. Chapter 1, "Helping Relationships: From Core Dimensions to Brief Approaches," is designed to aid students in both the development and delivery of the helping relationship. To achieve this purpose, we present the helping relationship in terms of definitions and descriptions, stages, core conditions and personal characteristics, helping strategies, and their application with diverse populations. The chapter also introduces the reader to the importance of considering brief approaches to counseling and psychotherapy and how traditional theories can be adapted for briefer, more focused work in the counseling and psychotherapy process. Authors of Chapters 3 through 15 have provided follow-up information by discussing both traditional and brief interventions in the applications sections of their chapters.

To address the limitations of traditional counseling theories and practices, Chapter 2, "Diversity and Social Justice Issues in Counseling and Psychotherapy," enhances counselor awareness of the variety of diversity and social justice issues addressed in the context of the counseling and psychotherapy process. The chapter provides this context by clarifying key concepts and reviewing the history of diversity and social justice issues in counseling; increasing reader understanding of how diversity influences individual and group functioning; increasing reader awareness of how diversity may influence the counseling and psychotherapy process; providing several perspectives on diversity appropriate interventions; and making suggestions for how counselors and therapists can develop their self-awareness, knowledge of diverse populations, and diversity and social justice relevant counseling skills.

As these chapters indicate, practitioners must achieve high levels of competence, effectiveness, and expertise to create a helping relationship beneficial to clients. They must also become sensitive to diversity and social justice issues as they work with clients. We have made every attempt to introduce the readers to these topics in the chapters included in this section of the text. Readers are encouraged to do additional reading and follow-up course work and to commit to personal counseling or therapy to achieve the purposes we have outlined in these chapters.

 
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