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Counseling in Communication Disorders
A Wellness Perspective

Second Edition
Audrey L. Holland, Ryan L. Nelson
341 pages, Illustrated (B/W), Softcover, 6 x 9"
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Counseling in Communication Disorders: A Wellness Perspective, Second Edition is a highly regarded textbook for graduate counseling courses in speech-language pathology and audiology programs. The counseling skills introduced in this book are based on the model of positive psychology, a rapidly growing branch of psychology that focuses on mental health and well-being and how to achieve and maintain these states. By incorporating the key elements of positive psychology into clinical practice, speech pathologists and audiologists can more effectively help patients live productively and successfully with their communication problems.

The authors offer examples, exercises, and specific techniques for working with individuals and families who have communication disorders acquired in adulthood, for working with parents of children with catastrophic conditions that are present at birth, and for working both with children and families of those whose communication disorders are incurred in childhood or adolescence. In addition, they also feature one-on-one activities and model workshop examples for use with groups.

For the second edition, the authors have updated the literature on positive psychology and incorporated the importance of focusing on change into the text. In addition, they have:

  • Expanded the coverage of child and school issues to make the content more relevant to parents and teachers.
  • Devoted one chapter exclusively to addressing the unique needs of children or adolescents.
  • Expanded the adult section to include recent information and interest in adults with mild cognitive impairment.

With its updates and additions, Counseling in Communication Disorders: A Wellness Perspective, Second Edition, is destined to remain a popular resource and teaching tool for developing SLPs and audiologists.


  • Sherine Ramzy, American Psychological Association (2008):
    "What makes this book an informative and interesting read for even a layperson is Holland's goal to enhance the potential of positive psychology to change people's attitudes about how to deal with disorders by using her whole life experience in a simple manner that allows readers to use it as a reference. [This text refers to the first edition.]"

  • Lyn Turkstra, PhD, Department of Communicative Disorders and Neuroscience Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison:
    "Written by an expert on the life consequences of aphasia, this counseling text should be a staple in communication disorders courses. The author combines disorder-specific guidance with general principles of counseling, creating a text with broad application to individuals with communication disorders and the important people in their everyday lives, and the approachable writing style will appeal to audiences from undergraduate students to seasoned practitioners. [This text refers to the first edition.]"

  • Leonard LaPointe, Francis Eppes Professor of Communication Disorders, Florida State University, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology:
    "Audrey Holland's book on counseling is a most welcomed bit of navigation on this largely unblazed path... This book is a perfect example of the infusion and marinade of humanism into our craft. [This text refers to the first edition.]"

  • Anthony DeFeo, PhD, Director, University of Arizona Speech Language and Hearing Clinic:
    "This text on communication counseling is brilliantly conceived, organized, and written. I can't remember the last time I interacted with a text in our field wherein I was looking to the 'boxes' for the content. They made me realize how much I was glued to the text and the flow. It is obvious that, in terms of positive psychology, Holland has been walking the walk, becoming an expert by immersing herself as a student. What is impressive in this new book is that she’s been able to cull the critical information that will allow clinicians to embrace this perspective on counseling without feeling as if they must retreat to high altitudes and study under a guru in order to adopt these principles. And the exercises are wonderful. [This text refers to the first edition.]"

  • Martin Fujiki, Professor, Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Brigham Young University (2013):
    "This is an important text that should be required reading for speech language pathologists and audiologists."

  • Michael J. Flahive, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair, Department of Communicative Disorders, Saint Mary's College (2013):
    "I believe the second edition provides a stronger melding of principles of positive psychology and continues to deliver content replete with real life examples."

  • Nina Simmons-Mackie, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS, Professor & Scholar in Residence, Department of Health & Human Sciences, Southeastern Louisiana University (2013):
    "I absolutely love the revised Counseling in Communication Disorders: A Wellness Perspective. It is a lucid, practical and inspiring book -- a must-have for clinicians or students in the field of speech-language pathology. Instead of the traditional focus on 'what's wrong', the Holland and Ryan text helps clinician's focus on what is right... helping clients and their families build optimism and resilience, and move forward towards the goal of a life well lived. The book encourages, educates, and enlightens us to help deal with emotional and coping issues that invariably accompany communication disabilities, but are often faced with trepidation by clinicians. It is filled to the brim with thought provoking exercises and examples, and the orientation towards wellness and positive psychology is both valuable and refreshing. Counseling in Communication Disorders not only has information of critical relevance to clinicians, students and anyone who deals with communication disorders, but also the book has 'heart' -- it is pervaded with an essence of respect and hope. Every clinician in the field of communication disorders should read this book!"

  • Roberta J. Elman, Ph.D., F-CCC-SLP, Board Certified-ANCDS, President & Founder, Aphasia Center of California, Oakland, CA (2013):
    "Counseling in Communication Disorders: A Wellness Perspective, Second Edition is an absolutely essential text for speech-language pathologists and audiologists who are striving to help their clients live successfully with communication problems. Building on a positive psychology framework, the authors provide the specific clinical tools needed for counseling clients across the spectrum of communicative disorders, from infancy through end-of-life needs. Holland and Nelson's text is truly a gift—for students, clinicians, and ultimately for the millions of people who have been impacted by a communicative disorder."

  • Sandra Polding, Clinical Specialist SLT, National Child Psychiatric In-patient Unit Scotland, Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (2014):
    "Aimed at SLTs, this book advocates that we need to develop counselling skills to effectively help our clients and their families achieve optimal quality of life. The authors encourage the development of optimism and resilience in clients using normality and wellness, the underpinning tenets from positive psychology.

    Using clients’ stories is central to the work and the book includes many excellent examples. The authors are very skilled and present their ideas with passion. They provide detailed information of the skills required in an easy-to-read format. They also discuss the training required to take the SLT on the journey to become a communication counsellor.

    Chapter 8 is a highlight and provides a workshop format to develop optimism and resilience skills, which SLTs could use in their clinical work. I would recommend this book as a starting point to developing counselling skills."

  • Doody's (May 2018):
    "Named to Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences - Speech, Language & Hearing 2018 list."

1. Counseling in Clinical Practice: An Overview

2. Positive Psychology in Brief

3. Good Counselors: Knowledge, Skills, Characteristics and Attributes

4. Communication Counseling with Parents of Children with or at Risk for Disability

5. Counseling Issues with Children Who Have Communication Disorders

6. Communication Counseling for Adult Clients and Their Families for Whom Progression Is Toward Improvement

7. Communication Counseling with Adult Clients and Their Families for Whom Expected Progression Is Toward Deterioration

8. Teaching Resilience and Optimism to Families and Persons with Communications Disorders: Some Workshop Formats

9. There’s an Elephant in the Room: Issues in Death and Dying
Stan Goldberg, Ph.D.

About The Authors

Audrey L. Holland

Audrey L. Holland, PhD is Regents' Professor Emerita of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Arizona.

Ryan L. Nelson

Ryan L. Nelson, PhD, is a Doris B. Hawthorne-BORSF Endowed Professor at the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

Related Titles

Client Education

Client Education

Edited by: Kryss McKenna, Ph.D., Leigh Tooth, Ph.D.

368 pages, Illustrated (B/W), Softcover, 8.5 x 11"