Counselling Skills I

Learn counselling methods, skills and techniques by Distance Learning. Study Counselling Skills, to understand human behaviour and counselling methodology. Study online or by correspondence. Start at any time.

Course Code: BPS109
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study Counselling Skills and learn about yourself and develop the capacity to help others?

  • Self Paced Correspondence Course for Counsellors.
  • Learn from a team of professional counsellors and psychologists in Australia and the UK.
  • ACS is a member of the Association of Coaching and the Complimentary Medical Association.
  • Upskill for volunteer work; or start training for a professional career

What Does a Counsellor Do?

The role of the counsellor is to facilitate the person’s resolution of these issues, whilst respect their values, personal resources, culture and capacity for choice. Counselling can provide people with a regular time and space to talk about their problems and explore difficult feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.

Counsellors do not usually offer advice, but instead give insight into the client’s feelings and behaviour and help the client change their behaviour if necessary. They do this by listening to what the client has to say and commenting on it from a professional perspective. Counselling covers a wide spectrum from the highly trained counsellor to someone who uses counselling skills as part of their role, for example, a nurse, youth leader, personal trainer or teacher.

Listening and Responding

"How we listen and respond to people in our daily lives is important. We may think we listen and pay attention, but do we really? Counselling skills is a useful course that considers the way we respond to others, looking at active listening, paraphrasing, feedback and more. A useful course for anyone who works or communicates with other people." 
ACS Tutor: Tracey Jones, B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Learning specific skills:
    • What is Counselling
    • Perceptions of Counselling
    • Differences between Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists
    • Counselling Theories
    • Empathy
    • Transference
    • Directiveness, non-directiveness
    • Behavioural Therapies
    • Systematic Desensitisation
    • Positive Reinforcement and Extinction
    • Goals of Psychoanalytical Approach
    • Defence Mechanisms (Repression, Displacement, Rationalisation, Projection, Reaction Formulation, Intellectualisation, Denial, Sublimation)
    • Use of Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy
    • Psychoanalytic Techniques
    • Analytic Framework
    • Free Associations
    • Interpretation
    • Dream Analysis
    • Resistance & Transference
    • Humanistic Therapy
    • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Therapies and Counsellors
    • Case Studies
    • Methods of Learning
    • Micro Skills
    • Triads
    • Modelling
    • Online and Telephone Counselling
    • Telemental Health
    • Clinical Considerations
  2. Listening & bonding:
    • Scope of Listening and Bonding
    • Meeting and greeting
    • Creating a Safe Environment
    • Location
    • Time and Duration of Sessions
    • Privacy in Telephone and online counselling
    • Showing warmth on the phone
    • The contract
    • Helping the client relax
    • Listening with intent
    • Minimal Responses
    • Non Verbal Behaviour
    • Use of Voice
    • Use of Silence
    • Case Studies
    • Active Listening
    • Dealing with Silent Phone Calls
  3. Reflection:
    • Non Directive Counselling
    • Paraphrasing
    • Feelings
    • Reflection of Feeling
    • Client Responses to Reflection of Feelings
    • Reflection of Content and Feeling
    • Case Studies
  4. Questioning:
    • Open & Closed Questions
    • Other types of Questions (Linear, Information seeking, Strategic, Reflective, Clarification, etc.)
    • Questions to Avoid
    • Goals of Questioning
    • Identification
    • Assessment
    • Intervention
    • Case Studies
  5. Interview techniques:
    • Summarising
    • Application
    • Confrontation
    • Reframing
    • Case Studies
    • Perspective
    • Summary
  6. Changing beliefs and normalising:
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
    • Changing Self-Destructive Beliefs
    • Irrational Beliefs
    • Normalising
    • Case Studies
    • Designing a Questionnaire
  7. Finding solutions:
    • Moving Forward
    • Choices (Reviewing, Creating, Making choices)
    • Facilitating Actions
    • Gestalt Awareness Circle
    • Psychological Blocks
    • Case Study
  8. Ending the counselling:
    • Terminating the session
    • Closure
    • Further Meetings
    • Dependency
    • Confronting Dependency
    • Chronic Callers
    • Terminating Silent Phone Calls
    • Silent Endings
    • Case Study
    • Other Services

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Explain the processes involved in the training of counsellors in micro skills.
  • Explain how to commence the counselling process and evaluation of non-verbal responses and minimal responses.
  • Discuss both content and feeling, and their appropriateness to the counselling process.
  • Demonstrate different questioning techniques and to understand risks involved with some types of questioning.
  • Demonstrate how to use various micro-skills including summarising, confrontation, and reframing.
  • Demonstrate self-destructive beliefs and show methods of challenging them, including normalising.
  • Explain how counselling a client can improve their psychological well-being through making choices, overcoming psychological blocks and facilitating actions.
  • Demonstrate effective ways of terminating a counselling session and to explain ways of addressing dependency.

What You Will Do

  • Report on an observed counselling session, simulated or real.
  • Identify the learning methods available to the trainee counsellor.
  • Demonstrate difficulties that might arise when first learning and applying micro skills.
  • Identify why trainee counsellors might be unwilling to disclose personal problems during training.
  • Identify risks that can arise for trainee counsellors not willing to disclose personal problems.
  • Discuss different approaches to modelling, as a form of counselling
  • Evaluate verbal and non-verbal communication in an observed interview.
  • Identify the counsellor’s primary role (in a generic sense).
  • Show how to use minimal responses as an important means of listening with intent.
  • Explain the importance of different types of non-verbal response in the counselling procedure.
  • Report on the discussion of a minor problem with an anonymous person experiencing that problem.
  • Identify an example of paraphrasing as a minimal response to reflect feelings.
  • Discuss the use of paraphrasing in counselling.
  • Differentiate catharsis from confused thoughts and feelings.
  • Identify an example of reflecting back both content (thought) and feeling in the same phrase.
  • Demonstrate/observe varying responses to a variety of closed and open questions in a simulated counselling situation.
  • Evaluate your use of open and closed questions in a counselling role play.
  • Identify the main risks involved in asking too many questions,
  • Explain the importance of avoiding questions beginning with ‘why’ in counselling.
  • Explain how the application of different micro-skills would be useful in counselling in observed communication (written or oral).
  • Give examples of situations when it would be appropriate for the counsellor to use confrontation
  • Discuss appropriate use of confrontation, in case studies.
  • Show how reframing can be used to change a client’s perspective on things.
  • Develop a method for identifying the existence of self-destructive beliefs (SDB’s).
  • Identify self-destructive beliefs (SDB’s) amongst individuals within a group.
  • List methods that can be used to challenge SDB’s.
  • Explain what is meant by normalising, in a case study.
  • Demonstrate precautions that should be observed when using normalizing.
  • Determine and evaluate optional responses to different dilemmas.
  • Explain how the ‘circle of awareness’ can be applied to assist a client, in a case study.
  • Explain why psychological blockages may arise, and how a counsellor might help a client overcome them.
  • Describe the process through which a counsellor would take a client to reach a desired goal, in a case study.
  • Identify inter-dependency in observed relationships.
  • Explain why good time management is an important part of the counselling process.
  • Compare terminating a session with terminating the counselling process.
  • Demonstrate dangers posed by client-counsellor inter-dependency, and how dependency can be addressed.
  • Explain any negative aspects of dependency in a case study.

Different Helping Professionals

Many people use counselling skills in their daily lives. However, sometimes it may be inappropriate for people to use their usual methods of support. They may not want to discuss their problems with a friend or family member. They may feel that the person is too close, that they don’t want them to know their confidential problems or the person they would usually confide in might be part of the problem. Counsellors are trained to be effective helpers in difficult or sensitive situations. They should be independent, neutral and professional, as well as respecting our privacy. Counselling can help people to clarify their problems, identify changes they would like to make, get a fresh perspective, consider other options and look at the impact that life events have made on their emotional well-being.

Counsellors provide guidance for clients and a support system, rather than working with the deeper levels of the psyche. However, there are other therapists who work with people with difficulties. A psychoanalyst is someone who has been trained in the theory and techniques of psychoanalysis. Initially they would be trained as a physician, psychiatric social worker or psychologist. Their training will involve personal analysis. Psychoanalysis is the term used for Freud’s set of theories about human behaviour and the form of treatment of mental disorders he devised. Although psychoanalysis has developed more since Freud’s time.

A psychotherapist is a practitioner of psychotherapy. They are usually a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist or a psychiatric social worker. Psychotherapy is the use of psychological techniques to treat psychological disturbances. The four main forms of psychotherapy are behavioural, cognitive, humanistic and psychoanalysis. There are many variations of the four approaches.

A clinical psychologist is a practitioner of clinical psychology. They may also be psychotherapists, but this is not essential. They may work in hospitals or clinics or may have a private practice. Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the application of psychological theory and research to the treatment and diagnosis of mental, emotional and behavioural problems.

A Psychiatrist is a person who specialises in psychiatry. Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that covers mental illness. The subject matter of psychiatry overlaps to a great extent with clinical psychology, the main difference being in the training of the psychiatrist and the clinical psychologist. A psychiatrist has no training in psychology, other than psychopathology and uses the medical model to deal with mental disorders. The clinical psychologist is not medically trained, cannot prescribe drugs and tends to view normal and abnormal behaviour as on the same continuum.

ACS Graduate comment: 

This course has been extremely valuable to me as throughout those 5 months my friends all seemed to go through some crisis or other. I have learned so much that I could put into practice and from the responses I have had, it's been very positive. Tutor feedback was fantastic. All individual answers were given a comment which helped me understand if I missed something."
Brenda Harvey - Counselling Skills I 

How This Course Could Help You

Counselling skills are the foundation to becoming a counsellor. Every counsellor needs to understand what the different micro-skills are and how to make the best use of them. From listening and attending skills through to challenging skills such as confrontation and influencing skills like reflection of meaning, this course provides a framework for assisting students to learn and practice along the way. Graduates will feel well versed in the appropriate use of tools in their armoury. 

This course is aimed at people interested in working in:

  • Counselling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Health professions
  • Caring roles

Would you like to improve your counselling skills? Would you like to work and communicate more effectively with people? Are you interested in people? Then why not take this course as a way to improve your people skills.

  • Develop your ability to support or counsel others through the processes of personal growth and change.
  • Gain skills and knowledge from this course to help you help others overcome limited thinking and replace feelings of helplessness with productive behaviours such as goal-setting.
ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

Principal John Mason is a member of the ANZMH. ACS Students are invited to join


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

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What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
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Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

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More information is here

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

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 (Psychologist)

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,

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





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

Tracey has over 20 years experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects.

She is a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work. Tracey has also written a text book on Psychology and has had several short stories published.

Nicola Stewart

BA(Hons); Dip.Pub; CIM Dip.Marketing; PGCE; Dip.Holistic Aromatherapy; Dip.Reflexology; Dip.Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Language Education; Masters in Education & Professional Studies/Research, PhD (underway)

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Davi Ponce

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