• Sally Riggall1
  • 1 School of Health and Social Care, Universit of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS


This paper aims to assess the value of the Egan Skilled Helper model in helping social workers in training to develop their communication skills with service users. The model was taught to first year BSc Social Work students. During their subsequent first assessed practice placement fifteen volunteers participated in focus groups. Here they discussed how useful the Egan model was as a communication and problem management tool for working with service users. A key finding is that students were able to transfer their skills learning into practice. Further findings are that students improved their communication skills and were better able to place service users at the centre of decision making. The implications of these findings for social work training are discussed together with some of the challenges of working with the model.


  • communication skills
  • Egan model
  • service user empowerment
  • social work
  • teaching and learning

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Preview of Social work students’ experiences of using the Egan Skilled Helper model


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