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The skilled helper



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    This is a 3 stage framework which has been developed by Gerard Egan. It is used to guide and assist the helping process and it works best on issues which have occurred recently or are currently present. This model adopts 3 main questions which helps the person think about their issue, these are: 1. What is going on?

    2. What do I want instead?
    3. How might I get to what I want?
    The skilled helper approach allows the talking therapist to build trust, honesty, empathy, courage and confrontation with the client in an environment in which they feel safe. This in turn enables the client to use their newly acquired skills to assess their issues and build appropriate goals to help them deal with their issues.

    Relation to practice

    I feel this skill is valuable to my nursing practice as I can implement this when I am in placement. The NICE guidelines recommend psychological or talking therapies for some people with mental health illness. Although it is not suitable for everyone, there appears to be good evidence to support talking therapies and improved rate of recovery. I feel that this talking therapy can be used in concordance with medication or merely on its own. This is extremely beneficial for our clients, as building skills which will help alter their perception on an issue that they have is a skill that hopefully they will remember for life. Therefore this skill can be used many times throughout their life time and should reduce their chance of a relapse. NICE guidelines, such as those for depression, recommend several psychological therapies for people who have mental health problems. However, many GPs have reported that they are unable to refer patients for psychological therapies because of a lack of availability or are able to refer patients but only with very long waiting times. (NICE, 2010).

    Being taught basic talking therapies such as the skilled helper allows me as a nurse to provide my clients with some talking therapy if they are not able to have access to the ones provided by the healthcare system. This will improve my client’s recovery rate, as well as building a rapport which consists of trust, with my client. I can also use this in practice when there is protected client time to gain an understanding of my client’s needs.

    According to the NMC (2008) I must deliver care according to the best available evidence or the best practice. Using the skills I have developed for the Skilled Helper, I will be able to deliver care to a certain extent which relates to the best available evidence. In semester 5 I will be going to the Bromley Adolescent team. Talking therapies such as the skilled helper are certainly more approved in the children and adolescent services according to NICE rather than medication.

    Relation to PAD
    In my PAD proficiency nine will allow me to demonstrate my newly acquired knowledge of the skilled helper. When using this with my clients, I will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the skills used and the clinical outcomes associated with its use. Hopefully this will be a suitable therapy for some of my clients, as it would be a positive outcome if this assists them in their recovery. Proficiency 12 asks me to demonstrate familiarity in the range of specific therapeutic interventions. Demonstrating the skilled helper can help form part of this proficiency as it is one intervention that I have learnt among many. Proficiency thirteen asks you to provide support and education in the development or maintenance of independent living skills. The skilled helper can facilitate this, as it can alter negative perceptions of issues that may be preventing the client from achieving their daily living task. It may also help the client create structured goals to help them achieve these daily living tasks.

    National institute for health and care excellence (2010) Campaign launched to improve access to NICE-approved talking therapies

    The skilled helper. (2016, Jun 28). Retrieved from

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