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Relationships And Communication Counselling

Course CodeBPS208
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

This relationship and communication counselling course is essential training for anyone interested in working with people experiencing relationship and communication difficulties.

The course is suitable for - volunteers, parents, social workers, foster parents, teachers, counsellors, supervisors, managers, law enforcement staff, security guards, careers guidance workers, welfare workers and more.

With this course you will:
  • Learn why relationships deteriorate
  • Learn to help people involved in relationship breakdowns
  • Enhance your skills as a counsellor
  • Improve your career opportunities in counselling and psychology
  • Gain confidence in your ability to support families

If you want to learn more about relationships and communication counselling, this could be the course for you.

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Communication in Emerging Relationships
    • Introduction
    • Problems in relationships
    • Stages in relationships
    • Interpersonal communication
    • The communication process
    • Principles of communication
    • Communication filtered through perceptions
    • Verbal communication
    • Non verbal communication
    • Communication responsibility
    • Ineffective communication
    • Signs of relationship breakdownEffective communication
    • Abuse and violence in relationships
  2. Self-Awareness and Communication Goals
    • Introduction
    • Negative communication
    • Self awareness
    • Setting the stage for change
    • Good communication is thoughtful
    • Intent
    • Awareness
    • Recognising reactive patterns
    • Relationship goals
  3. Communication Patterns in Relationships
    • Negative patterns of communication
    • Aggressive patterns
    • Victim patterns
    • Avoidance patterns
    • Thought, feeling and action cycle
    • Thoughts and feelings differentiated
    • Emotions (feelings)
    • Patterns of thought
    • Behaviour (Actions)
    • Action skills
    • Communicating intent
  4. Influences on Relating Behaviour and PBL.
    • Influences on communication
    • Environmental influences; family, culture, social, other
    • Global factors
    • Communicating and changing interpersonal needs
    • Changing expectations and needs
    • Adult psychological development
    • Erikson's psycho social stages
    • PBL to create and plan a counselling intervention for a couple who are experiencing relationship difficulties.
  5. Communication Techniques and Skills
    • Introduction
    • Triads
    • Listening
    • Paraphrasing
    • Reflective responses; emotions
    • Reflective responses; content
    • Guidelines to prevent inauthentic listening
    • Open questions
    • Message statements or requests
    • Self disclosure
    • Encouraging clients to learn communication
  6. Maintaining Relationships
    • Introduction
    • Kinds of, and stages in relationships
    • Factors to help maintain relationships
    • Agreements or contracts
    • Praise and gifts for service
    • Relationship nurturing communication
    • Straight talk

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.

What You Will Do

  • Determine ways in which we consciously communicate in a relationship, and ways in which we unconsciously communicate.
  • Examine the thinking, behaviour, triangle and its role in establishing wholistic communications.
  • Determine different negative messages that can damage relationships, and different positive messages that can nurture them.
  • Define effective and inefective communication.
  • Determine attitudes or expectations (thoughts and beliefs) that can result in destructive communication, and describe one likely negative outcome for each.
  • Identify common needs and goals people wish to satisfy through relationships.
  • Identify cultural or social influences that affect individual and family attitudes to happiness, self-expression, and relationships.
  • Explain psychological theories and terms such as attribution theory, implicit personality theory, Gestalt impression formation, inference processes, stereotyping.
  • List benefits and disadvantages of ‘self-disclosure’ and ‘self-disguise or concealment’ (lying)
  • Discuss the role that judgment and other roadblocks plays in preventing a person from understanding and/or respecting another person’s point of view and feelings.
  • Consider the ‘stages of a relationship’ models.
  • Reflect on the languages of love and how praise and gifts can build a relationship.
  • Discuss strategies and techniques for replacing negative communication patterns in relationships with positive patterns.

Learn to Differentiate between What is Said, and What is Meant

People Often Don't Say What They Mean

A good relationships counsellor understands this.

Good communication skills have always been essential to have, but in our society today, they are even more vital.  There are so many competing factors for our time and attention that it is essential we learn to listen and speak effectively and accurately, for maximum impact. Imagine not having any communication skills.  Your world would deteriorate rapidly overnight. As many communication authors agree, if you have all the intellect in the world, all the technical knowledge in the world but no communication skills, you may as well be invisible.  

Communication occurs most of the time without complication. But it does not necessarily produce the positive relationships results that we expect. On the other hand, some people after having learnt communication skills may become legalistic about them and believe that a certain formula must be followed on every occasion.  Having the right attitude goes a long way to increasing the effectiveness of communication, even if the skills are not employed at all times. Positive attitude qualities include, being genuine, non-possessive (a person is always a unique individual before they are a husband, wife, mother, brother, etc.), and having empathy.    

In any communication, the message starts with an intended meaning, but when received is interpreted -and at that point, interpretation may or may not change from what was the original intent.

All relationships can be said to have intention. When we enter into relationship with someone, what we want or expect to gain or achieve is a positive interpersonal relationship (love, acceptance, affection). We intend to be loving. Surprisingly though, many of us do not give enough thought to our intentions.  We often, might express our intentions in terms of what we want from the other person, rather than what we want to achieve together e.g. “I want to be loved, I want to be....   Intentions are the pre-cursor to goals e.g. they are the thoughts that set in motion the desire to act in a certain way to achieve a goal or purpose.

How we go about achieving turning our intentions into actions is often the step that is missed along the way.  Hence, at times we have all said ‘I never meant to hurt you”. That statement might be quite true more often than not, but usually the point at which communication breaks down, is where we did nothing to consider the steps involved between intending to do something and then performing the appropriate actions to achieve the desired result.   

It is also helpful to accept that people may have different and unexpected reasons for beginning and building a relationship with another person. People enter relationships in response to four impulses: the impulse to receive stimulation, to express experience, to assert oneself, and to enhance enjoyment of certain activities. However, other theorists believe that human beings are more complex than this. Humanistic theory tells us that humans might enter relationships for altruistic reasons, in order to give to and serve others. They might enter relationships to meet social or family expectations or needs, or to avoid negative elements such as social disapproval. They might enter relationships out of fear (of aloneness, for example), or because they are acting out established patterns.

Identifying intention is vital in recognising behavioural and communication patterns. Patterns of behaviour and communication can provide insights that may not be consciously available from a person’s thinking, expectations and subconscious impulses, because repetition is itself a potent communication of deep seated belief and expectation.


Technology is replacing more and more jobs today. Office work, factory work, trades and much more are all being increasingly automated. With the rise of computers and robotics, many of the jobs we have today are predicted to disappear in the future. Most of those who are predicting such change, agree on one thing though. They all understand that there will always be need for effective communication between people; and they frequently comment that automation will never be able to replace empathy.

Developing your ability to communicate and empathise could be the most important thing you can do to enhance your long term employment prospects.


" The online courses are very easy to use and follow. Prompt friendly replies from tutor to any queries. Course structure flows freely. Very satisfied with course and results..."
- Diana (completed ACS Online course in Intro to Psych and Psych & Counselling)

 Study Relationship and Communication Counselling to develop the skills to help people through this difficult period in their life.

Improve your own job and career prospects
Learn while you work!
Enrol now and start on course to learning more about relationship and communication counselling.

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Meet some of our academics

Lyn QuirkM.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 for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.
Tracey JonesWidely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).
Gavin ColePsychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin is both a highly experienced Psychologist and tutor. Gavin has over 25 years experience in the Psychology industry, and has been working with ACS since 2001. He has worked in both Australia and England, and has been involved in writing numerous books and courses in Psychology and Counselling

Check out our eBooks

Counselling HandbookFull of interesting case studies, this ebook is a wonderful introduction to the complex world of the human psyche. Chapters include: Using Counselling, Seeing Behind the Mask, Emotions and Attitudes, Communicating Better, Theory vs Practice, Diffusing Difficult Situations and Golden Rules for Counselors. 43 pages
How Children ThinkLearn more about child psychology and how children think. Have you ever tried to make a child clean up their mess, stop throwing mud or stop drawing on the walls? Then you will know that children think differently to adults. This book is for parents or students of psychology. Seven chapters cover: developmental stages, the influence of nature and nurture, creating balance, changing behaviours, problems and solutions, and staying up to date. 73 pages 40 colour photos
How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.
Psychological ProfilingPsychological profiling is used to assess anyone from potential new staff and school children to serial killers. It helps you to determine someone’s personality, neuroses, mental health and career suitability. This book provides an excellent overview of psychological profiling techniques and pitfalls.