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spike bullet January 2015 ~ Helpful Conversations - Part 3

Chapter 6: Psychological Approaches to Helping Conversations
Chapter 7: Your Communications Skills Toolkit

Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)
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color bulletJanuary 2015 ~ Helpful Conversations - Part 3

In November 2014, we are started a series called Helpful Conversations, based on the work of Regina Wright, a chartered psychologist in Europe.  This series of newsletter articles is based on a one-year university-accredited training program that Regina created for the National School of Government to teach reflective skills and individual feedback.  Her background work for the training is based on the work of John Heron, Carl Rogers and Gerard Egan.  Regina may be contacted at HelpfulConversations [at] or by phone in the UK at 0044 1293 518815 (from the US 011-44-1293-518815)

The training was originally created for counselors and has been adapted for our newsletter series.  Since good  communications skills are important for anyone in business, we are pleased to be able to offer this series for our readers with Regina's permission.  Your feedback is welcome. 

Regina is also offering to give feedback on those who would like to use the newsletter series as an online course and do the exercises in each chapter.  Send your results and comments directly to Regina via email to HelpfulConversations [at] using the chapter task list for each part (downloadable Word document).  Regina has graciously offered to review results at no charge to our readers.   

CHAPTER 6:  Psychological Approaches to Helping Conversations

We saw in the previous chapter that people have different preferences with regard to exploring their feelings, their thoughts, their behavior, the past (the unconscious) or the future (the spiritual or transpersonal).  These are the basic dimensions of life and living, and perhaps not surprisingly, major psychological schools of thought have evolved around each of them. Indeed, each of these preferences represents a mainstream of psychological and counseling theory.

Psychological theories

The purpose of a psychological theory is to both explain human distress and suggest ways of overcoming it. At present within psychology and counseling there are many competing theories of human existence.  This means that there is no one ‘right’ answer to a psychological or counseling issue.  Depending on one’s personal persuasion and the school of thought one favors, the explanation and resultant approach will be different.

This may sound confusing and scary.  Does that mean counselors and psychologists don’t know what they are doing? – Not quite!  We each hold a preferred view of what makes people tick, and there is evidence to support more than one view. 

What it comes down to is matching the psychological approach to the client, and to the kind of problem.  We will see below that some kinds of approaches are particularly appropriate to or successful with certain kinds of client issues.

I give a brief overview, and we consider the thorny problem of how to put it altogether after that.

  • Psychodynamic – the Past
  • Behavioral Approach / Actions, Behavior
  • Client-centered / Feelings
  • Cognitive / Thinking
  • Transpersonal approaches /the Superconscious
  • Contemporary approaches to counseling

Part 3 is continued in the full Chapter 6 and 7 for download (as a PDF file).  The Chapter 6-7 Task List (Word document) is available for download if you would like feedback from Regina (at no charge to you). 

November 2014 was Part 1 of the series and includes the Glossary. 

Helpful Conversations series ... to be continued ... 

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books   -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

  • Helping the Client: A Creative Practical Guide.  John Heron.  Sage Publications, 2001.  ISBN: 978-0761972884
  • On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy.  Carl Rogers.  Mariner Books, 1995.  ISBN: 978-0395755310
  • Client-Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and Theory.  Carl Rogers.  Robinson Publishing, 2003.  ISBN: 978-1841198408
  • The Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management and Opportunity-Development Approach to Helping.  Gerard Egan. Cengage Learning (2013). ISBN: 978-1285065717
  • Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck.  Michael Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor., 2008  ISBN-13: 978-0-557-00377-8.  Website:  Tap into your own creativity and use  your full potential.  Learn how to see opportunities that others miss.   

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter articles:
    August 1997 - Improving verbal communications
    April 2001 - Consulting Skills for Managers
    November 2007 - True Community
    March 2005 - Male/Female Communication at Work
    April 2000 - The Art of Listening

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.
―  Thich Nhat Hanh

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said.  The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.
― Shannon L. Alder

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.  The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
― Ralph G. Nichols

Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.
— Phillip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say 
― Bryant H. McGill

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
― Leo Buscaglia

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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