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 module provides the student with an opportunity to understand the various approaches to counselling and psychotherapy in order to establish a range of basic counselling skills. Students will be introduced to the concept of therapy with specific focus on issues relating to boundaries and ethics. Students will then consider the importance of communication skills and explore different therapeutic methods to develop a foundation of counselling skills for use in interpersonal interactions.

Course content

Topics covered in this module include: • What is Counselling and Psychotherapy? • Boundaries and Ethics • Communication Skills for Counselling • Person-Centred Therapy • Psychoanalytic Therapy • Behaviour Therapy • Cognitive Therapy • Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy • Transactional Analysis

Thinking of opting for this module?

It is important that you have a clear understanding about the available modules so that you can make an informed choice. Unfortunately, some people misunderstand counselling – they think that a module in counselling and psychotherapy will be very low on academic content and require little more than sitting around discussing your childhood and your dreams! In reality, this module has a huge amount of content and you will need to be able to understand some very difficult core theories in order to pass the course.

It is also important for you to understand the ways that you will be assessed on this course. This course uses a range of assessment methods in order to help you develop all of the skills relevant in psychotherapy. Firstly, you will be expected to work in small groups to demonstrate your communication skills. These sessions may be recorded and your ability to demonstrate appropriate interpersonal skills within these sessions will be assessed. Secondly, you will write a reflective essay about your own skill development. This essay must include academic research to support your points and you must demonstrate an understanding of therapeutic theories. Success in this module demands that you engage with all aspects of the course, and this will require you to attend different sessions every week. We will have a one hour lecture, one hour practical, and one hour discussion session every week. As counselling is a practical skill requiring you to be able to interact effectively with others, it is extremely important that you attend all of these sessions in order to understand the material and develop the relevant skills.

This module is ideal for those who are keen to pursue a career in counselling or psychotherapy - it will provide you with a foundation in both the theoretical and practical aspects of counselling, and it will give you specific career guidance in this area. This module is also ideal for those who are interested in the topic – it will provide you with a detailed understanding of this field and develop your general skills making you more employable in a wide range of other fields.

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. Reflect critically on own communication and counselling skills by demonstrating active research and progressive development.

  2. Consider the nature of the therapeutic counselling process by demonstrating an appreciation for the importance of boundaries and an understanding of the ethical principles.

  3. Recognise, identify, debate, and critically evaluate therapeutic approaches in action.

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

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ORAL Case Study Discussion Group

Oral discussion of an original case study. Discussion must demonstrate evidence of communication skills between participants and critical understanding of therapeutic theory and research.

30
ESSAY Reflective Journal

Reflective journal focusing on a selected aspect of skill development. Essay must demonstrate active research and engagement with therapeutic literature.

35
COURSEWORK Annotated Transcript

Transcript of a 10min segment of a counselling skills session annotated to identify the skills demonstrated in the session.

35

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Lectures

11
Workshop

Discussion Workshop

11
Workshop

Skills Workshop

11
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: