A Counseling Primer: An Introduction to the Profession, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Counseling Primer

An Introduction to the Profession, 1st Edition

By Mary H. Guindon


256 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415875356
pub: 2010-09-22
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pub: 2010-10-06
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pub: 2011-01-19
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A Counseling Primer presents an introduction to the counseling profession that provides students with a foundation for success. This engaging and accessible text covers the core CACREP Standard of Professional Orientation with a comprehensive overview of the field. It:

  • Anticipates the questions of beginning students with a series of chapters that ask who counselors (and clients) are, what counseling is, when and where it is practiced, and why counselors choose the profession.
  • Introduces students to the basics of essential attending and listening skills.
  • Challenges readers with case vignettes and discussion questions.
  • Encourages self-reflection and offers skills for observation of others.
  • Supports student learning with extensive pedagogical features and resources.
  • Enhances the reading experience with a robust online instructor’s manual.

This engaging textbook is full of useful features to enhance the learning experience. Each chapter includes "points to ponder", case examples, an "in practice: what would you do?" vignette with discussion questions, and a chapter summary. A self-reflection journaling exercise, termed the TFAC Chart (Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, Context) reinforces the material from each chapter and facilitates student growth.

A Counseling Primer: An Introduction to the Profession is accompanied by a rich array of supplementary materials that are made available to qualifying adopters and their students completely free of charge. Our online resources are hosted on the Moodle course management system.

Instructor Resources include:

  • A sample course syllabus
  • Chapter-by-chapter PowerPoint lecture slides
  • Chapter-by-chapter Instructor Notes, including chapter summary, learning objectives, and instructions for suggested in-class activities and assignments
  • An interactive test bank for each chapter (including multiple choice, true or false, and essay question formats).
  • The tests and notes are available for download by instructors in a variety of useful formats, to suit your needs.

Student Materials include:

  • TFAC (Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, and Context) Journaling forms for self-reflection
  • Class handouts for assigned and optional review activities


"This is the book you've been waiting for. This primer offers a carefully balanced presentation of essential knowledge, self-reflection, and basic attending skills. A welcome addition to counselor educators' bookshelves!" - Barbara Herlihy, University of New Orleans, USA

"In this beautifully written book, Mary Guindon takes the reader on an engaging journey into the hearts and minds of professional counselors. This much-needed book is an ideal text for introduction to counseling and pre-practicum counseling skills courses." - Mark S. Kiselica, The College of New Jersey, USA

"Finally, there is a basic but comprehensive text that is well organized, easily read, and up to the minute in both theory and practice. It will help beginning students navigate the field and understand what the profession of counseling is, was, and will be." - Lee J. Richmond, Loyola University, Maryland, USA

"This book has everything a beginning counseling students needs to know. It is written clearly and concisely in a friendly open tone that will motivate students and keep them reading…. I couldn't ask for more." - Francesca G. Giordano, The Family Institute at Northwestern University, USA

"No other book to my knowledge has encapsulated the foundational overview of the counseling profession for the nascent learner so aptly as this." - Eric Green, University of North Texas at Dallas, USA

Table of Contents

Part I: Orientation to the Profession. Introduction. Who? Answers About Counselors and Clients. What? Answers About the Definition of Counseling, Its Past, and Its Present. What? Answers About the Body of Knowledge: Ethics, Social and Cultural Diversity, Human Growth and Development, and Career Development. What? Answers About the Body of Knowledge: Helping Relationships, Group Work, Assessment, and Research and Program Evaluation. Where? Answers About Settings and Surroundings. When? Answers About Processes, Phases, and Procedures. Why? Answers About Caring and Social Justice. Part II: How? Basic Skills. Basic Attending Skills. Basic Responding Skills. Questioning Skills and Systematic Inquiry. Affect and Empathic Understanding Skills. Responding to Thoughts and Behaviors. Final Comment. Appendices A. Personal Journal. B. Internet Resources for Professional Counselors.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Education & Training
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health

Instructor Resources

Lecturers can use this page to gain access to the free supplementary resources. If you do not have a password yet, please complete the simple form and we will be in touch.

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Student Resources


Download these free resources to help you in your studies.