Advanced Counselling Skills
Run by School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
10.000 Credits or 5.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Prof Fay Short
Overall aims and purpose
This module will provide you with an opportunity to further develop your counselling skills for in-person and remote therapy.
One of the greatest challenges in counselling is adapting to the needs of the client in the room. It can be difficult to predict these needs until you are working with that individual, and flexibility is key to success as a therapist. Understanding and being sensitive to diversity and difference is critical for working with a wide range of client cohorts and essential for driving social change towards acceptance of all people.
You will learn to adopt the professional role and responsibilities of a therapist to demonstrate autonomy and accountability by working with a client within a therapeutic framework. You will explore your own reflective process in more detail and gain a deeper understanding of managing risk, particularly in cases of suicidal ideation and self-harming behaviour. You will also develop a deeper appreciation of diversity issues and be encouraged to question your own assumptions, biases, and blindspots.
Alongside lectures to help you understand these key topics, you will also apply the skills that you gain in practice. You will work in small groups to run mock-counselling sessions: one speaker will share their thoughts in the role of client, one listener will demonstrate skills in the role of counsellor, and remaining observers will provide feedback on skills. These sessions are designed to provide a forum in which to develop more advanced counselling skills. This important activity gives you a valuable opportunity to practice your counselling skills as you begin working with real clients and try out new techniques or approaches within the relative safety of this mock-counselling setting. The continual development of these skills is an essential part of your development as a counsellor and the deeper insight gained through this module will enhance your practice and deepen your understanding of counselling.
Topics covered in this module may include: • Reflective Practice (Reflecting on Therapeutic Skills) • Collaborative Risk Assessment for Suicide and Self-Harm (Working with Risk) • Diversity and Difference (Recognition, Awareness, and Acceptance) • Decolonalisation (Decolonalising Our Practice) • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Working with Difference) • Older Adults by Dr Carolien Lamers (Counselling in Later Life) • Religion and Spirituality (Respect from a Place of Similarity and Difference) • Self in the Therapeutic Philosophy (Integration in Practice) • Therapy without the Couch (Integrating Alternative Therapeutic Methods) • Therapeutic Writing (Writing for Wellbeing) • Mindfulness (Practicing Mindfulness) Please note that these topics are subject to change dependent on staff availability, unexpected circumstances, and the assessed needs of the students
• Honest and insightful reflection resulting in positive development of counselling skills (safe practice) • Comprehensive knowledge of counselling skills • Detailed understanding with no factual errors • Critical analysis showing evaluation and synthesis of ideas • Originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Extensive independent research • Logically defended arguments with evidence for all claims • Highly focused and well structured • Excellent presentation with accurate and appropriate expression • Correct format in appropriate referencing style
• Honest and considered reflection resulting in positive development of counselling skills (safe practice) • Strong knowledge of counselling skills • Clear understanding and mostly free of factual errors • Some analysis showing critical evaluation and links between ideas • Some originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Some independent research • Coherent arguments with evidence for most claims • Focused and well structured • Good presentation with accurate and appropriate expression • Mostly correct format in appropriate referencing style
• Honest reflection resulting in some positive development of counselling skills (safe practice) • Some knowledge of counselling skills • Understanding of the main concepts, but with factual errors in non-core concepts • Limited analysis showing only obvious points of evaluation and links between ideas • Highly limited originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice • Highly limited evidence of independent research • Arguments presented but lack coherence with evidence for only some claims • Focused but with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure • Acceptable presentation with appropriate expression • Attempt at correct format in appropriate referencing style
Generate and maintain the therapeutic framework through the therapeutic process with critical appreciation of difference and diversity
Demonstrate professional and personal metacognition leading to positive self-management in therapeutic practice
Apply a theoretical orientation in practice with appropriate critical flexibility
Analyse own counselling skills with honest critique and insight into the generation of reflective professional development action plans
Metacognitively reflect on own role and manage interactions within a group
Evidence of engagement with the counselling skills practice sessions through Observation Forms, Session Reflections, and Client Notes for at least two practice sessions (uploaded to your OneDrive Course folder) Recording of assessed session (uploaded to your OneDrive Course folder) Consent form for recorded session (uploaded to your OneDrive Course folder) Client notes for recorded session (uploaded to your OneDrive Course folder) Transcript of 20mins of the assessed session plus a 1000wd annotation of the transcript (submitted through Turnitin on Blackboard)
Formative reflective journal excerpts (uploaded to your OneDrive Course folder). Summative reflective journal of 1500wds critically evaluating the development of your own counselling skills (submitted through Turnitin on Blackboard).
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Your lectures will focus on the core theories and concepts for each of the topics in the curriculum content.
|Practical classes and workshops||
Your practical workshops will give you an opportunity to practice and develop your counselling skills: one client will share their thoughts, one therapist will demonstrate counselling skills, and observers will provide feedback on communication skills. Your group will work in a round-robin system to ensure that they adopt every role each week, and sessions will be recorded to allow personal reflection on their interactions.
- 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
- 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.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- 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
- 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
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
- 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.
- Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
- Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
- Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/ppc-4007.html
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. (2016). Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. Leicestershire, UK: BACP. Egan, G. (1994). The skilled helper. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. Ellis, A. (2016). How to control your anxiety before it controls you. NY, US: Kensington Publishing Corp. Short, F. E., & Thomas, P. (2014). Core approaches in counselling and psychotherapy. UK: Routledge. Stedmon, J. & Dallos, R. (2009). Reflective practice in counselling and psychotherapy. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press. Sutton, J., & Stewart, W. (2008) Learning to counsel. Oxford, UK: How To Books Ltd.
Pre- and Co-requisite Modules
- PPC-4004: Therapeutic Process and Contex
- PPC-4002: Approaches and Therapies 1
- PPC-4003: Counselling Skills
- PPC-4001: Research Skills
- PPC-4006: Approaches and Therapies 2
- PPC-4008: Mental Health and Wellbeing
- PPC-4005: Research Methods & Statistics
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C8DX: MSc Counselling year 1 (MSC/CNSL)