30 hours (3 hours x 10 weeks)

This short course introduces you to the basic concepts of productive communication in relationships. This will be useful in both your personal and professional roles. Whilst this course does not qualify you as a counsellor it will certainly enhance your current employment and will help you to decide whether to take your learning further.


• Understand the nature of helping work and how it differs from other support e.g. counselling, coaching, friendship
• Awareness and communication of the limits of your ability as a helper
• Establish clear boundaries for helping work
• Clarification of the helping interaction including the limits of confidentiality and time available
• End the helping interaction appropriately
• Differentiate between empathy and sympathy
• Demonstrate sensitivity to individual needs
• Identify the helpee’s needs and agenda
• Understand why it is important to identify and stay focused on what is most important to the helpee
• Explore the importance of developing self-awareness in helping work
• Learn how our own personality impacts on helping work
• Identify the significance of non verbal communication
• Demonstrate an open and attentive posture in helping work
• Demonstrate the listening and responding skills of paraphrasing, reflecting and summarising
• Understand the difference between open and closed questions and use these appropriately in helping work
• Use reflection and feedback to identify personal progress and learning needs
• Provide feedback to other learners


No previous training or experience is required.


• Journal
• Group discussion