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ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

Counselling Skills

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Description

Counselling skills can help you gain insight into how to deal effectively and in a helpful manner with difficult or distressed people. On this course you will learn the basic counselling skills, such as how to accurately reflect back what the person is saying, summarizing, and asking open-ended questions. But you will also understand and practice the skill of 'active listening'. This is where you learn to be with the person, and yet at the same time are able to step back, rather than simply responding as you normally would. This involves what are sometimes called the 'core conditions'. Here you will develop the ability to be with the person without introducing your own agenda, to accept on their terms what they are saying, and at the same time to be genuine yourself.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Recognize the components of successful communication including effective listening, observation, interpersonal relations, and body language
  • Discuss the differences between helpers and counsellors, state the purpose of counselling and outline the reasons counsellors are needed in society, and discuss how counselling grew to be so popular
  • Discuss how to use, maintain, and develop helping skills and related skills; list the qualities of an effective counselor; discuss how participants in the helping process can be choosers; and identify the symptoms, primary causes, and ways to deal with burnout
  • Outline the main objectives of the initial helping sessions, state the nature of the helper-client relationship, identify the communication skills required in the helping process, and describe as well as determine how to demonstrate attending skill and the skill of developing rapport
  • Outline active listening skills and state how to apply active listening skills to various situations, describe the shadow side of listening to clients, and recognize the uses of sharing emphatic highlights in developing relationships and interacting with clients
  • Outline the process of goal setting, summarize the skill of helping clients to tell their stories, state the benefits of probing and list techniques that can be employed when working with reluctant and/or resistant clients
  • Recognize the targets of challenging and describe what needs to be challenged, discuss the skill of helping clients challenge themselves, identify the difficulties associated with confrontation, and state the benefits of confrontation;
  • Describe the methods for helping clients shape their goals and commit themselves, recognize the six requirements of a workable goal, determine how to undertake exercises that require you to turn possibilities into goals, and help clients set variable goals
  • State the various caseload management strategies used by counselling organizations, recognize the importance of keeping written records of the counselling sessions, outline the legal issues in terms of records management, and describe the time and stress management strategies for counsellors
  • Recognize how to help clients get what they want and need, determine how to select actions that are best for the client, discuss how to help clients develop action programs that work, and identify various exercises to assist in learning the strategies to help clients implement their goals and develop action plans
  • Recognize how to negotiate effective homework assignments for clients, outline ways of helping clients get along without the helper, and discuss ways of overcoming inertia and entropy
  • List ways of helping clients develop action and self-monitoring skills; describe the effective use of experiments, exercises, games and self-reward;
  • identify your own limitations in the counselling process; outline the process of referral and recognize the problems associated with referral; and state the methods adopted and the principles used by a variety of agencies
  • Discuss the importance of supervision in the counselling relationship and to avoid transference and counter transference, describe the role of the supervisor in the counselling process, outline the different methods of supervision that can be used; discuss the different practices used by counselling organizations in caseload management, and describe the role of the case manager when dealing with clients in community health
  • Discuss the reasons for and methods of evaluation that can be used to assess the effectiveness of counselling; recognize the benefits of post-counselling evaluation for both the client and the counsellor; determine the reasons for which reports are written in your own workplace; and describe how to prepare a case history report or a progress report on a client

Course Outline

  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Components of communication, defense mechanisms that act as barriers to effective communication; personal traits essential for successful interpersonal relations; components of oral communication; identification of prejudice, discrimination, or insensitivity in the workplace; role of body language in communications.
  • The Role of Counselling
  • Counselling defined; the purpose of counselling;
  • Why do we need counselling; how counselling grew.The Limits and Extent of Counselling
  • Varieties of counselling; qualities and attributes of an effective counselor; maintaining and developing helping skills; limits of client/counselor relationship.
  • The Initial Counselling Session The counselling process; overview of Egan’s helping model; attending; developing rapport; responsibility; relaxation.
  • Active Listening and Empathy
  • Active listening; shadow side of listening; empathy as a communication skill; the uses of empathy; empathy as a core condition.
  • Problem Exploration, Probing, and Questioning
  • Helping clients tell their stories; assessment and learning; reluctant and resistant clients; probing; questioning skills.
  • Challenging and Confronting
  • The goals of challenging; what needs challenging; helping clients challenge themselves; difficulties and benefits associated with confrontation.
  • Goal Setting
  • Developing programs for constructive change; helping clients create a better future; what do clients really want; what are clients willing to pay for what they want?
  • Management Aspects of Counselling
  • Caseload management; records management; time and stress management.
  • Action Planning
  • Helping clients develop strategies to get what they need and want; what’s best for the client? making plans.
  • Action Skills
  • Introduction; helping clients become effective tacticians; getting along without a helper: developing social networks for supportive change; the shadow side of implementing change.
  • Advanced Counselling Skills
  • Introduction; advanced counselling skills; when to refer a client; the process of referral; referral agencies.
  • Supervision of Caseload Management
  • Supervision methods; transference and counter transference; caseload management; caseload management concepts.
  • Assessment and Report Writing
  • Effective counselling; the value of experience; evaluating the effectiveness of counselling; observations; report writing.
  • Review and Final Assessment
  • Management aspects of counselling; action planning; assessment and report writing; program outcomes.

Course Methodology

A variety of methodologies will be used during the course that includes:

  • (30%) Based on Case Studies
  • (30%) Techniques
  • (30%) Role Play
  • (10%) Concepts
  • Pre-test and Post-test
  • Variety of Learning Methods
  • Lectures
  • Case Studies and Self Questionaires
  • Group Work
  • Discussion
  • Presentation

Who should attend

This is an introductory course, which is open to anyone who is interested in learning how to use counseling skills and who is also interested in learning about themselves. These are skills that can be used at work or in your own personal life.

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