COUNSELLING SKILLS COURSE

(equivalent to Level 2)

6 months (total 90 hours)

26 x 3-hour Evening Sessions +
2 x 6-hour Day Sessions

The structure of all study will be:
♦ 1 hour Theoretical Lecture
♦ 1 hour Practical & Role Play
♦ 1 hour group discussion & group process

This course furthers your basic foundation skills to a Certificate Qualification that deepens your knowledge in the following areas:

• Boundaries & Confidentiality
• Core Principles of Active Listening & Reflecting

• Increased confidence when encountering someone in distress
• Understanding the neurological impact of distress
• Facilitating problem solving
• Clarity in areas of responsibility and limitation
• Identifying risk and signposting on

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Use counselling skills within an ethical framework
• Understand safe & ethical practice and why it is needed.
• Explore features of safe practice.

Work within personal limits of ability
• Understand what ‘limits of ability’ actually means.
• Develop and show awareness of own limitations in terms of knowledge and skills.
• Communicate limits of own ability during skills practice.

Enable the helpee to find additional sources of support where appropriate
• Understand where helping fits into a wider supportive network (e.g. careers advice, CAB, GP’s, therapeutic counselling).
• Identify a range of referral agencies along with the value and potential of appropriate referral.
• Practise using this intervention in skills practice.
• Candidates research, for discussion, a range of referral agencies relevant to specific areas of concern.

Establish boundaries as a helper in a particular setting and within the limits of time available
• Discover what boundaries are needed in different helping situations and why.
• Learn to work within a time boundary and why keeping to this is important.
• Show ability to work within a structured framework (beginning, middle, end) in skills practice.

Establish the nature and limits of confidentiality for helping work
• Understand the implications and limitations of confidentiality and apply in skills practice sessions.
• Explore what you would personally find difficult to keep confidential.

Maintain the boundaries of the helping role throughout the session
• Reflect on your understanding of the relevance of boundaries in the helping role (e.g. disclosure, relationship, ability).
• Rehearse, using role-play, the maintenance of those boundaries.

End the helping interaction appropriately
• Understand the importance of sensitivity around ending a helping session and write about the risks of not working with ending appropriately.
• Understand the value of summarising and demonstrate how to end a session appropriately.

Identify and explore differences between self and others
• Develop understanding and knowledge of self (e.g. beliefs, values and own responses to experiences).
• Explore how prejudices may have originated and the effect of some experiences on your own beliefs, feelings and responses.
• Show an understanding of the difference between your own perception of an experience or event and that of another person’s.

Explore and challenge personal issues, fears and prejudices
• Investigate a range of potential differences between helper and helpee (e.g. gender, race, age, social habits, capability, sexual orientation, physical ability).
• Understand why it’s important to be aware of difference between the helper and helpee.
• Explore stereotyping and prejudice. Identify your own beliefs, feelings and potential responses to certain people and situations.
• Reflect on assumptions you have made about people and review how your assumptions have impacted on relationship(s) concerned.
• Use skills practice to learn to work effectively with difference.

Communicate empathic understanding
• understand the difference between empathy and sympathy by exploring examples of each.
• Use skills to develop and communicate empathic understanding of another’s perspective.
• Identify how it felt to be listened to and empathically understood, as opposed to being given advice.
• Reflect on how you used your skills to communicate empathically.

Enable the helpee to identify and focus on their needs and concerns
• Explore the difficulties the helpee might have of verbalising concerns and prioritising them.
• Identify and practise the skills needed to assist the helpee to stay focused throughout.

Identify own feelings in order to set them aside and focus on the helpee
• Develop self-awareness of your own agenda and reactions to the helpee’s issues.
• Actively explore the consequences of not being aware.
• Consider ways of managing your own reactions.

Work with the helpee to meet their objectives
• Use a range of listening and responding skills to stay focused on the helpee’s needs and issues.
• Reflect on the challenges of doing this.

Describe how reflecting on own personality increases self-awareness
• Identify personal blocks to listening and write about them in your learning review.
• Explore aspects of your ‘self’ which contribute to patterns of thought and behaviour (e.g. social preferences, communication style and formative years).
• Allow your understanding of the relationship between your personality and helping work to grow – by asking yourself the question “why do I do this work and why do I do it here and in this way?”

Describe how reflecting on own personal history increases self-awareness
• Consider the ways in which your life history has impacted on your behaviour and life choices.
• Identify the insights gained and suggest the potential benefits in relation to your helping work.

Describe how reflecting on own patterns of relating increases self-awareness
• Discover and understand the meaning of ‘relationship’.
• Explore the ways in which you have developed relationships with other people.
• Reflect on the difficulties that you have experienced in developing and maintaining relationships with others.

Use self-awareness to inform helping work
• Identify your responses (thinking, feeling, sensing) that occur during a helping interaction.
• Develop, during skills practice, a greater awareness of yourself as an individual.
• Record what you noticed about yourself during a skills interaction.

Demonstrate appropriate use of a range of listening and responding skills to facilitate the helping interaction
• Identify, and appropriately use, skills which enable the helpee to experience being heard, understood and accepted (e.g. questioning, paraphrasing, reflecting, summarising) – in a way which enables closer understanding of another.
• Choose and use skills to move an interaction forward from beginning to middle stage and then to a conclusion.
• Find out about the dangers and benefits of self-disclosure.
• Increase your range of skills to support the helpee in finding ways to implement change.

Demonstrate appropriate use of questions
• Clarify the difference between open and closed questions and when to use them appropriately.
• Reflect on whose agenda – helper’s or helpee’s – we are focusing on when we ask questions.

Demonstrate sensitivity in timing responses and staying with silence
• Reflect on personal response to silence.
• How do you usually react to silence?
• Practise skills in role-play and reflect on the process.

Use reflection and feedback to assess personal progress and identify learning needs
• Keep a record of feedback received from peers and tutor observation – note and monitor your capacity to hear and work with constructive feedback.
• Record reflections on your personal development and competence as a helper.
• Identify your progress, any barriers to progress and any areas of skills or knowledge that need to be developed further.

Use feedback skills to provide constructive feedback to other learners
• Provide verbal and written feedback to other learners using a constructive and honest approach – e.g. the feedback sandwich – offering positive observations at the beginning and end of the feedback. Areas for growth are offered in a constructive manner.
• Identify personal areas of difficulty in feedback – e.g. are you overly critical or overly “nice”? Explore and reflect on this and write about it in your learning review.
• Practise this skill in the skills practice sessions.
• Look critically at your own responses to the process of giving feedback to others.

ASSESSMENT BY:

• Weekly journal  – 800 words
• Midterm essay – 1800 words
• Final essay – 1800 words
• 6 sessions of 1:1 therapy (student rate)

FEES FOR THIS COURSE

All fees must be paid in advance

• 1 instalment of £900
• 2 instalments £450
• 3 instalments of £300
• Deposit £180 then 6 x monthly payment of £120

PLEASE NOTE: If a student leaves within the first 3 months, then 50% of the course fees will still be chargeable. If a student leaves in the last 3 months, the full course fees will be chargeable.