Module PHP-3008:
Counselling Skills

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Fay Short

Overall aims and purpose

This Counselling Skills module is designed to provide you with an introduction to the field of counselling and psychotherapy, in order to support your broader understanding of Psychology. This module will also give you an insight into the work of a counsellor and psychotherapist so that you can make an informed decision about your future career path. You will be introduced to the concept of therapy with specific focus on critical issues relating to boundaries, contracts, and ethics. You will also be given an exciting opportunity to understand how counsellors and psychotherapists work in four key therapeutic approaches: Person-Centred, Psychoanalytic, Cognitive, and Behavioural. In addition, you will learn about the key skills required to work as a therapist, including communication skills, managing distress, and helping others. Most importantly, you will apply this knowledge by discussing a range of real-world case studies and practicing your communication skills in one-to-one helping sessions. If you choose to pursue a career in counselling or psychotherapy, the content, activities, and assessments on this module will support you in developing the skills needed to apply to train to be a professional therapist. However, even if you choose not to pursue a career in this field, the knowledge gained and skills developed on this module will be valuable across a wide range of helping professions. Furthermore, your enhanced understanding of human nature and the capacity for change through counselling and psychotherapy will have enormous potential benefits for your own self-awareness, development, and growth.

Course content

Topics that may be covered in this module include: • Counselling and Psychotherapy • Self and Others • Keys to Communication • Person Centred Therapy • Psychoanalytic Therapy • Cognitive Therapy and Behaviour Therapy • Integration and Eclecticism • Managing Stress and Anxiety • Managing Unhappiness and Dissatisfaction • Managing Worry and Fear o Case Study Discussion o Communication Skills

Assessment Criteria

threshold

• Adequate knowledge of key concepts in counselling and psychotherapy only. • Some basic understanding of theoretical issues with several factual errors. • Limited evidence of critical analysis and evaluation of theory, research, and practice. • Unclear, disrespectful, or judgemental written and oral communication and counselling skills. • Some recognition of communication and counselling skills with reference to own capabilities.

C- to C+

• Sufficient knowledge of key concepts in counselling and psychotherapy. • Basic understanding of theoretical issues with several factual errors. • Some evidence of critical analysis and evaluation of theory, research, and practice. • Clear, respectful, and non-judgemental written and oral communication and counselling skills. • Some consideration of communication and counselling skills with honest reflection on own capabilities.

good

• Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of key concepts in counselling and psychotherapy. • Solid understanding of theoretical issues with few factual errors. • Some evidence of critical analysis and evaluation of theory, research, and practice. • Well-structured, insightful, respectful, and non-judgemental written and oral communication and counselling skills. • Some insight into communication and counselling skills with honest reflection on own capabilities.

excellent

• Comprehensive and detailed knowledge and understanding of counselling and psychotherapy. • Excellent understanding and original interpretation of theoretical issues with no factual errors. • Clear evidence of critical analysis and insightful evaluation of theory, research, and practice. • Well-structured, insightful, appropriately challenging, respectful, and non-judgemental written and oral communication and counselling skills. • Depth of insight into communication and counselling skills with honest reflection on own capabilities.

Learning outcomes

  1. Describe and evaluate the four core therapies: Person-Centred Therapy, Psychoanalytic Therapy, Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Therapy.

  2. Critically reflect to show self-awareness and commitment to personal and professional development.

  3. Describe and evaluate integrative therapies, eclectic therapies, and helping models.

  4. Recognise, identify, debate, and critically evaluate therapeutic methods in case study examples.

  5. Demonstrate effective and appropriate communication skills in one-to-one therapeutic simulations and group discussion supervision simulations.

  6. Critically appreciate the nature of the therapeutic framework by demonstrating an understanding of boundaries and ethical principles.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Annotated Transcript

Transcript of a 10min segment of a communication skills session annotated with 1000wds identifying and evaluating the skills demonstrated in the session.

35
ESSAY Reflective Journal

Reflective journal of 1500wds critically evaluating the development of your own communication skills. Journal must demonstrate active research and engagement with therapeutic literature.

35
EXAM Case Study Discussion Group

Twenty-minute mock group supervision discussing an unseen case study. Discussion must demonstrate evidence of communication skills between participants and critical understanding of therapeutic theory and research.

30

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Lectures

22
Workshop

Case discussion sessions will require students to discuss a therapeutic case within their small group. These sessions will mimic the format of a group supervision session, with a hypothetical case in place of a real experience shared by an attendee.

5
Workshop

Communication skills sessions will give an opportunity to practice and develop communication skills. One student will share their thoughts on a topic of their choice, one student will demonstrate appropriate active listening skills, and observers will provide feedback on communication skills. The group will work in a round-robin system to ensure that they adopt every role each week and you will be asked to reflect on your interactions.

6
Private study 167

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.

Resources

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: