REVIEW – Listening, Learning, Caring & Counselling


Listening, Learning, Caring, & Counselling
by Cate Howell
Exile Publishing, 2016
Review by Tijuana L.Canders
Jun 18, 2017

At the centre of any caring role is listening attentively to the concerns, stories and needs of others. Author Dr. Cate Howell who has over thirty years’ in the health care field focuses on how professionals can assist clients as they work through the issues they commonly face – such as low mood, relationship issues, loss and grief.  Listening, Learning, Caring & Counselling: The Essential Manual for Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Counsellors and Other Healthcare Professionals on Caring for Their Clients is a comprehensive guide, full of ideas and techniques, to fill that role.

True healing requires carers to develop the skills of listening, learning, caring and counselling (LLCC), and to do that requires support and training. The book Listening, Learning, Caring & Counselling is an authoritative comprehensive guide full of ideas and techniques designed to fill that role.  Dr. Howell explains that the heart of LLCC is “caring or kindness,” and this work is designed “to be a guide, full of ideas, and to become an essential and faithful companion” to therapists. The book is divided into three parts which are Fundamentals of Counselling, Integrative Method, Crisis Intervention and Self care.

Part one covers the fundamentals of counseling, as well as what to include in a comprehensive intake evaluation. The intake is extensive and includes history, a genogram, mental status, goals, management planning, crisis planning, relapse prevention, and more. Dr. Howell emphasizes the therapeutic relationship, the part of the practice that can have the greatest impact on outcome, referencing that “the relationship is more important than the techniques!” Howell also outlines the integrative approach of LLCC, which she draws from her training using many types of therapies, including solution-focused therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, acceptance and commitment, hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy and more.

Part two is how to use the LLCC integrative method in a variety of problem areas , such as sleep issues, stress, anxiety, depression, anger, guilt and shame, and more. A chapter is devoted to each area and includes at least one case study including ways of using the various therapies, books and websites to recommend to clients on the problem area.

Part three addresses crisis intervention and self care which provides an appendix with tools for assessment, management, and for clients to track moods and more in their work to change. There are “LLCC Tips” given providing specific ways to focus on the topic, for example, tips on perfectionism, relationship issues, and addiction. The main emphasis of this highly accessible reference work is on how health and related professionals can assist clients as they work through those issues.

Listening, Learning, Caring & Counselling contributes knowledgeable, caring, and wise guidance. Numerous therapies and their related techniques are described and synthesized into the LLCC approach. The book imparts essential reading for counsellors, support workers, case managers, medical practitioners, health professionals, and serious life coaches as well as those in the fields of human resources. Case studies, skills and tips for everyday practice make it a practical and user-friendly resource.


© 2017 Tijuana L. Canders



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