An Introduction to Counselling Skills
Counselling is a specialist vocation that requires professionals to train in a number of different ways. Modules and coursework are complemented by supervised learning and placements, and also include assessments. To gain an accredited Counselling qualification you must have a strong interest in the field and be open to furthering your understanding of self-awareness and self-development.
Counselling is an interesting subject matter that can be used to create, and foster, positive attitudes in many vocations and situations. It also provides a genuine understanding of the needs of others and offers an insight into your own personal issues.
The Bare EssentialsCounselling skills are taught on many different levels. To gain a broad background knowledge of the subject it is essential that students consider an Introductory course. This type of course is open to students of all backgrounds, and does not require that you have experience of working in the therapeutic field. A Certificate in Interpersonal Skills, which is a Level 1 course, provides students with all the sufficient material required to progress onto the next stage of their counselling career.
An introductory level of counselling explores counselling practice and aims to develop qualities of empathy, non-judgmental understanding and unconditional positive interaction. Active listening, reflection, restating and summarising are some of the additional skills students will be able to develop further.
What is Covered?An Introduction to Counselling course may cover subjects that include:
- What is Counselling?
- The essential qualities required for a helping interview.
- Ethical use of interpersonal skills.
- How to apply challenging skills.
- The identification, and use, of skills in an applied context.
HomeworkStudents may also take part in group discussions, role-play and small group work. Written coursework, outside of the classroom, are also required, so students need to be aware of the extra time required to complete all parts of their study. Assessments are usually carried out by observation of the student’s practical skills. Maintaining a candidate diary – where students record personal experiences – may also be a consideration.
Students are encouraged to use reflection as a basis for their work, and will be expected to share their work with others on the course. Feedback from tutors, and other students, will provide a useful method of additional learning and self-development, and all students are expected to help in the learning process of others.
Building a Solid FoundationAn Introduction to Counselling provides a well-informed foundation from which students can build a successful, and rewarding, counselling career. Counselling theories, themes and contexts are explored and students are able to develop skills they can then transfer to the workplace or personal relationships. Prospective students who are already working in a therapeutic profession, in health care, education, pastoral care or even human resources, will also benefit from a good grounding in counselling.
On completing an Introductory Counselling course, and developing their counselling knowledge further through a subsequent degree or diploma, many students will decide to work in a counselling profession. However, most of the students will simply use the knowledge gained from the course as a positive means of progression through their existing careers.