Counselling Skills 1
Run by School of Psychology
10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Prof Fay Short
Overall aims and purpose
This module provides you with an opportunity to form and develop professional relationships. You will learn about the most important communication skills and begin to integrate these skills into your work as a counsellor. You will work in small groups to develop ten crucial keys to communication: 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. You will work in a round-robin system to ensure that you adopt every role, and sessions will be recorded to allow personal reflection on your interactions. This important activity gives you a valuable opportunity to practice your counselling skills before working with real clients, and the development of these skills is an essential part of your development as a counsellor.
Topics covered in this module include: • Group Roles (Managing Roles) • Conflict (Managing Conflict) • Performance Anxiety (Managing Anxiety) • Reflective Writing Skills (Counselling Skills Sessions) • Communication Keys (Opening and Closing Therapy Sessions) • Other Focus and Attendance Indicators (Evidencing Attention in Therapy) • Confirming Understanding and Considered Questions (Questions in Therapy) • Sensitive Challenges and Selective Self-Disclosure (Self as the Therapist) • Non-Judgmental Approach and Maintaining Boundaries (Boundary Breaches in Therapy) • Signposting and Informing and Modelling (Beginnings and Endings in Therapeutic Relationships) • Professional Communication (Creating Presentations) • Stress Management (Managing Stress) Please note that these topics are subject to change dependent on staff availability and the assessed needs of the students
• Honest and insightful reflection resulting in positive development of communication skills (safe practice) • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of communication 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 communication skills (safe practice) • Strong knowledge of communication 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 communication skills (safe practice) • Some knowledge of communication 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
Metacognitively reflect on own role and manage interactions within a group
Synthesise and apply the ten keys in order to communicate with others in a counselling setting
Analyse own communication skills with honest critique and insight into the generation of reflective professional development action plans
Evidence of engagement with the counselling skills sessions through Observation and Reflection forms for at least two sessions Recording of assessed session (with consent form for recording) Transcript of 20mins of the assessed session plus a 1000wd annotation of the transcript
Evidence of ongoing journaling checked throughout the semester. Summative reflective journal of 1500wds critically evaluating the development of your own communication skills.
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 the ten keys to communication: one speaker will share their thoughts, one listener will demonstrate active listening, 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
- 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.
- 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.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/ppc-4003.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-4006: Mental Health & Wellbeing
- PPC-4008: Approaches & Therapies 2
- PPC-4005: Research Methods & Statistics
- PPC-4007: Counselling Skills 2
- PPC-4009: Research and Counselling Pract
- PPC-4002: Therapeutic Process & Context
- PPC-4004: Approaches and Therapies 1
- PPC-4001: Research Skills
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C8DX: MSc Counselling year 1 (MSC/CNSL)