Counselling Skills I

Course CodeBPS109
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Counselling Skills Training Course - Improve Your Counselling Skills Online or by Distance Learning

Counselling Skills are essential in many different walks of life, from the professional counsellor to people who use counselling skills as part of their daily work and life. Counselling skills I enables you to understand more about counselling skills, such as active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication and more.

Study Counselling Skills I by distance learning and learn more about -

  • Micro counselling skills.
  • Listening and Bonding.
  • Questioning - open and closed.
  • Reflection.
  • Changing beliefs.
  • Normalising.
  • Finding solutions.
  • Ending the counselling process.

This course is suitable for

  • People interested in improving their counselling skills.
  • Anyone who uses counselling skills in their daily role - volunteers, police staff, teachers, teaching assistants, support staff, retail staff, call centre staff, telephone staff, receptionists - well, almost anyone really.
  • By studying this course, you are learning more about counselling skills, but are also learning more about how to communicate effectively with other human beings. 

Course 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.


  • Acquire the ability to explain the processes involved in the training of counsellors in micro skills.
  • Demonstrate the skills involved in commencing the counselling process and evaluation of non-verbal responses and minimal responses.
  • Demonstrate reflection of content, feeling, both content and feeling, and its appropriateness to the counselling process.
  • Develop different questioning techniques and to understand risks involved with some types of questioning.
  • Show how to use various micro-skills including summarising, confrontation, and reframing.
  • To 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 which that problem relates to.
  • 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.
  • Report on the discussion of a minor problem with an anonymous person which that problem relates to.
  • 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 questions in a simulated counselling situation.
  • Demonstrate/observe varying responses to a variety of open questions in a simulated counselling situation.
  • Compare your use of open and closed questions in a counselling situation.
  • Identify the main risks involved in asking too many questions.
  • Explain the importance of avoiding questions beginning with ‘why’ in counselling.
  • Identify in observed communication (written or oral), the application of different micro-skills which would be useful in counselling.
  • Demonstrate examples of when it would be appropriate for the counsellor to use confrontation.
  • List the chief elements of good 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.
  • Explain the existence of self destructive beliefs in an individual.
  • 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 optional responses to different dilemmas.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate how a counsellor might help a client to overcome psychological blockages.
  • Describe the steps a counsellor would take a client through 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.
  • Explain how dependency can be addressed and potentially overcome.
  • Explain any negative aspects of dependency in a case study.

Sample Course Notes - Understanding the Theory Underpins the Practice!

Professional counsellors need to be aware of counselling theory AND counselling skills and techniques. Theory and practice should go hand-in-hand.  Many counsellors will focus on one theory to base their counselling on, whilst others will use a range of different theories and techniques.  Different clients may have different needs that don’t always fit specifically into the theory the counsellor practices.

Therefore, counsellors need to keep their minds flexible and receptive to change and learning. Counsellors and those using counselling techniques also need to understand the concept of individual differences – all humans are different, and should be treated as such.  Before, we move on, let’s consider individual differences in more detail. 

Individuals are all Different

The psychology of individual differences is also known as ‘differential psychology.’  Researchers in this area look at ways that individual people differ in their behaviour to other people.  In other areas of psychology, psychologists will study groups of people to look at how humans and animals behave. For example, if they want to see if a new therapy is effective, psychologists may gather two groups of people with depression together. Group one may receive therapy A, group two may receive no therapy at all.  They will then look at whether the people in group one improved more than the people in group two. If they did, this suggests that the therapy is useful. They will look, though, at the whole group, rather than individual people within the group.  So, whilst individuals are obviously studied, the results look at ALL of the people in the group. They will look at the average improvement of the group.

With individual differences psychology, they may look at how the individual responds to the new therapy.  The study of individual differences looks at individual variations that can be masked by averaging.  For example, researchers have looked at how many calories the AVERAGE woman and the AVERAGE man need to eat a day.  They may then say, a woman needs to eat 2000 calories a day to maintain her weight. A man needs to eat 2500 calories a day to maintain his weight. This is an average though. It doesn’t take account of person’s height, age, build and so on.  So, with the individual differences approach, they would work out the calorie intake required for the individual, rather than the average for that person.

The individual differences approach has looked at a range of psychological and counselling areas, such as intelligence and IQ, self-esteem, self-concept, developmental psychology and so on. Therefore, to think that all clients can be treated by one theory is unrealistic.  BUT it is not just the counselling theory that is important, but also the techniques used AND the experience the counsellor gains by working with different clients.

What do our students think about our psychology courses?

"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 course.

"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, UK (Online courses in Intro to Psych and Psych & Counselling)

"I have done several counselling courses in the past and the coaching course fitted in well with the learning experiences I had encountered previously. The reading material was detailed and interesting and the feedback was detailed and constructive." Sarah Nash, UK - Life Coaching course.

Compelling reasons to study Counselling Skills I -

  • If you would like to improve your communication with others.
  • If you would like to learn more about using counselling skills in your work and home.
  • If you want to be a better communicator.
  • If you want to improve your job and career prospects.
  • Then Counselling Skills I will provide you with the head start to do this.
  • Learn from our expert and friendly tutors.
Enrol today to learn more about using counselling skills in your daily life!

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