The Heart of Counseling: Practical Counseling Skills Through Therapeutic Relationships, 3rd ed, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Heart of Counseling

Practical Counseling Skills Through Therapeutic Relationships, 3rd ed, 3rd Edition

By Jeff L. Cochran, Nancy H. Cochran


400 pages

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Paperback: 9780367343705
pub: 2020-07-29
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Hardback: 9780367335113
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Now in its third edition, The Heart of Counseling is a key resource helping students to understand the importance of therapeutic relationships and to develop the qualities that make the therapeutic relationships they build with clients the foundation of healing.

In these pages, students will learn how all skills arise from and are directly related to the counselor’s development and how they build therapeutic relationships. Student learning ranges from therapeutic listening and empathy to structuring sessions, from explaining counseling to clients and caregivers to providing wrap-around services, and ultimately to experiencing therapeutic relationships as the foundation of professional and personal growth.

Enhancing development with extensive online student and instructor materials, this new edition includes:

  • extensive case studies and discussions applying skills in school and agency settings
  • specific guidance on how to translate the abstract concepts of therapeutic relationships into concrete skill sets
  • exploration of counseling theories and tasks within and extending from core counseling skills
  • session videos that bring each chapter to life
  • test banks, an instructor’s guide, slides and lesson notes, syllabus, and video sessions index


"The latest research in the field demonstrates that the therapeutic relationship is vital for success in counseling and psychotherapy. Jeff and Nancy Cochran’s Heart of Counseling is the best available text on how to build and maintain the therapeutic relationship throughout the course of counseling. Its numerous examples and practical advice makes it a valuable resource for counseling students, practicing counselors, and counselor educators." — Howard Kirschenbaum, EdD, author of The Life and Work of Carl Rogers and Values Clarification in Counseling and Psychotherapy.

"An unparalleled resource for students learning counseling skills! Students love the conversational nature of the text, and I value Jeff and Nancy’s ability to challenge beginning students to think complexly while providing enough concrete examples to meet developmental needs. The newly added mindfulness and neurobiology sections only increase the text’s quality." — Katherine Purswell, PhD, assistant professor of professional counseling at Texas State University

"The Cochrans communicate what is truly important in the process of counseling in a way that beginning students are able to integrate deeply. They set a standard of self-awareness, depth, and relationships as the core of counseling. The authors provoke critical thinking while challenging students’ beliefs in a tactfully non-threatening way, an impressive feat in a text." — Hayley Stulmaker, PhD, clinical assistant professor of counseling at the University of Houston

Table of Contents

1. Twelve Concepts: Roots that Ground and Grow with the Heart of Counseling 2. The Rich and Subtle Skills of Therapeutic Listening 3. Striving for Empathy 4. Expressing Empathy 5. Striving For and Communicating Unconditional Positive Regard 6. The Delicate Balance of Providing Empathy and UPR in a Genuine Manner 7. Beginning with New Clients and Questions of Client Conceptualization 8. Structuring Therapeutic Relationships 9. When Clients Need Help Getting Started 10. Managing Client Crises with Therapeutic Relationship Skills 11. Ending Therapeutic Relationships 12. Therapeutic Relationships Across Cultures 13. Connecting Heart to Hand: Doing More, Going Beyond, Staying True 14. Heart and Mind: Major Counseling Theories and Therapeutic Relationships 15. Bringing Heart to All You Do

About the Authors

Jeff L. Cochran, PhD, is professor and department head for educational psychology and counseling at the University of Tennessee.

Nancy H. Cochran, MA, CAS, is an adjunct faculty member at University of Tennessee, the treatment coordinator of the UT REACH Project, and a consultant and trainer of child-centered play therapy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health