Certificate in Counselling (Care Professionals)

Work in care professions, learn counselling skills, understand human behaviour and providing support services for elderly, disabled and other people in need.

Course CodeVPS005
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

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This is an excellent foundation certificate, aimed at people working or looking to work in care or health care services. 

In the discipline of psychology, the term stress is defined as the state of psycho physiological arousal.

It is virtually impossible to discuss psychological stress without describing the psychological state that accompanies it.

The dynamics of stress demonstrate the close interaction between mind and the body in human behaviour. Thus, before we discuss stress, let us first briefly take to task the mind body problem.

During our everyday conversation, we tend to use the term body for all that is concrete and tangible about ourselves -the shape of our limbs, colour of hair etc.

The term mind on the other hand refers to the intangible part of our experience -the private storehouse of our emotions and thoughts. Thus, in our every day life, we tend to use these two terms as though they refer to entirely separate entities, which exist independent of each other. This is not the case though...they are interrelated & highly inseparable!


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Counselling (Care Professionals).
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Introduction to Psychology BPS101
 Psychology & Counselling BPS102
 Life Coaching BPS305
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 9 modules.
 Biopsychology I BPS108
 Counselling Skills II BPS110
 Stress Management VPS100
 Aged Care and Counselling BPS212
 Counselling Children BPS218
 Counselling Techniques BPS206
 Grief Counselling BPS209
 Crisis Counselling BPS304
 Horticultural Therapy BHT341

Note that each module in the Certificate in Counselling (Care Professionals) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Module 1. Introduction to Psychology
This course will help you to analyse aspects of a person's psychological state and apply derived knowledge to motivate that person. There are seven lessons in this course:
1. The Nature and Scope of Psychology
2. Neurological basis of behaviour
3. Environmental effects on behaviour
4. Consciousness and perception
5. Personality
6. Psychological development
7. Needs, drives and motivation

Module 2. Psychology and Counselling

A course that develops your ability to analyse psychological conditions and to apply that knowledge in counselling or advisory situations. There are seven lessons in this course:
1. Stress
2. Abnormal Behaviour
3. Individual Behaviour
4. Group Behaviour
5. Methods of Dealing with Abnormalities
6. Conflict Resolution
7. Interpersonal Communication Skills

Module 3 Counselling Skills I

  1. Learning Specific Skills - Learning methods; the counselling role
  2. Listening and Bonding - Meeting and greeting; helping the client relax; listening with intent
  3. Reflection: Paraphrasing - Reflection of feeling; client responses to reflection of feelings; reflection of content and feeling
  4. Questioning - Open and closed questions; other types of questions; goals of questioning
  5. Interview Techniques - Summarising; confrontation; reframing
  6. Changing Beliefs and Normalising - Changing self-destructive beliefs; irrational beliefs; normalising
  7. Finding Solutions - Making choices; facilitating actions; gestalt awareness; psychological blocks
  8. Ending the Counselling - Terminating the session; closure; further meetings; dependency, confronting dependency.

Module 4. Life Coaching
This course is aimed at students with experience or training in health, counselling, social work, natural therapies etc. It will develop your skills in setting and achieving goals, for yourself or for those who seek your assistance. There are ten lessons:
1. Introduction: Nature and scope of life coaching
2. Individual perceptions
3. A well-balanced life
4. Coaching skills
5. Coaching models
6. Coaching and physical well-being
7. Coaching and psychological well-being
8. Coaching success
9. Goal-setting
10. Review and adjustment
This course is recognised by the Association for Coaching in the UK. Graduates are encouraged to join this association, to further their career and opportunities in life coaching, and counselling more generally.

Modules 5 and 6. Choose any two (2) module from the following :

  • Biopsychology I
  • Stress Management
  • Counselling Skills II
  • Crisis Counselling
  • Counselling Techniques
  • Grief Counselling
  • Careers Counselling
  • Professional Practice in Counselling
  • Aged Care and Counselling
  • Family Counselling


Biopsychology I
Biopsychology studies the interaction between psychology and the physical body. It would benefit
anyone working in fields of fitness or health, and most areas of psychology.
1. Introduction - Types of external and internal stimuli, mind-body debate, introduction to the nervous system.
2. The Senses - Sensory input, sensory perception, description of the major senses.
3. The Nervous System - Description of the neurons, the central nervous system, peripheral nervous
system, including the autonomic nervous system.
4. The Endocrine System - Effect of hormones behaviour and physiology, association of endocrine
system and nervous system, connection between external and internal stimuli.
5. Stress- Types of stressors, physical affects of stress, personality and stress.
6. Emotions - Homeostasis, eating disorders, physiological responses to emotions, theories of
7. Consciousness - Degrees of consciousness, awareness and attention, altered states of

Stress Management
Anxiety, tension and mental and emotional strain are common problems in modern society. This course introduces you to some practical approaches to combating stress. It covers the following topics:
1. Body changes caused by stress.
2. Developing an easy going lifestyle.
3. Pills and alcohol abuse.
4. Building self esteem.
5. Career management and achieving work satisfaction.
6. Security and Decision Making.
7. Relaxation massage, meditation and diet.
8. Evaluating and developing your own personality.

Counselling Skills II

  1. The Counselling Session - how micro-skills come together
  2. Focus on the Present - present experiences; feedback; transference; projection; resistance
  3. Telephone Counselling - non-visual contact; preparation; initial contact; use of micro-skills; overall process; debriefing; types of problem callers
  4. Dealing with Crises - defining crisis; types of crisis; dangers of crisis; counsellor’s responses and intervention; post-traumatic stress
  5. Problem-Solving Techniques I: Aggression - expressing anger; encouraging change; role-play; externalising anger
  6. Problem-Solving Techniques II: Depression - blocked anger; referral practice; chronic depression; setting goals; promoting action
  7. Problem-Solving Techniques III: Grief and Loss - loss of relationships; children and grief; stages of grief
  8. Problem-Solving Techniques IV: Suicide - ethics; reasons for suicide; perceived risk; counselling strategies; alternative approach.



It's natural for people to use any of a range of different defence mechanisms to avoid dealing with underlying problems they encounter.
The skilled counsellor needs to understand and detect these mechanisms; then develop a range of ways to respond and hopefully diffuse these defence responses, ultimately enabling the real issues to be dealt with.


Memories that cause anxiety are kept out of our conscious awareness as a means of protecting ourselves. This is also called motivated forgetting. This involves repressing the chaotic desires of the id into the unconscious realm. Often these repressed desires will still find expression in dreams, slips of the tongue or psychopathological symptoms.


This involves displacement of a disturbing emotion such as anger, from one person to another. Displacement reduces anxiety produced by the unacceptable wish, but at the same time it partially gratifies that wish. The basic emotion of irrational anger toward a parent (for example) cannot be removed. The individual will instead direct this anger toward another less important, less threatening person.


This is when we pretend to have a socially acceptable reason for a form of behaviour that is actually rooted in irrational feelings.

Example: A person is angry with their mother and wants to avoid her. They then give a false reason for not going to visit her (eg. It is too far away).


This is a particular form of rationalisation. It involves projecting our own undesirable characteristics onto someone else.

Example: You feel an irrational hatred toward someone else, and then you go around telling people that the person concerned hates you.


This involves unconsciously covering up what you really feel by behaving in the opposite manner, without realising it.

Example: A woman, who could not obtain an abortion, might harbour a lot of hatred towards her child, and unconsciously still want to get rid of it. Instead she behaves lovingly and over protective to the child, to an excessive degree.


This involves detaching ones self from deep emotions about an issue, by dealing with it in abstract and intellectual terms.


This involves simply denying that a situation or emotion is real (simple but extreme!)

This is a defence most frequently employed by a person who has lost a loved one -they go through a period of refusing to believe that it is true.


This involves establishing a secondary socially acceptable goal that can be satisfied; instead of satisfying the primary (original) goal.Example: An excessively aggressive person might satisfy their desire to kill by joining the army where it can be socially acceptable to kill. Defence mechanisms all play the role of distorting reality to a greater or lesser degree, in order to get rid of anxiety producing feelings. Nevertheless, they are necessary to keep our psyches from being overloaded with the id's irrational feelings. They can however be over used by certain individuals so that reality becomes distorted to an unhealthy degree.The use of defence mechanisms is inevitable and necessary; however an individual can rely on them too much; resulting in personality problems.


How This Course Could Help You

Counselling is a rewarding area to work in. Many counsellors come from different walks in life and have different types of skills they can bring to the table. This certificate course provides a good opportunity for people to turn their interests, natural abilities and life skills into a study program. The course provides a solid foundation for getting involved as a counsellor or working in a similar role. It can also serve as a great stepping stone to further study and personal development.

This course is most likely to appeal to people working in, or hoping to work in: 

  • Counselling
  • Health professions
  • Caring roles
  • Aged care
  • Disability Services

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Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Jacinda Cole

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo
Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE. Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc. 25 years industry experience in writing,
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