Module PPC-4007:
Counselling Skills 2

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Fay Short

Overall aims and purpose

This module provides the student with an opportunity to form and develop therapeutic relationships. Students will work in small groups to further develop the ten keys to communication through the therapeutic process: one speaker will share their thoughts in the role of client, one listener will demonstrate skills in the role of therapist, and observers will provide feedback on counselling skills. Students will work in a round-robin system to ensure that they adopt every role, and sessions will be recorded to allow personal reflection on their interactions. These sessions are designed to provide a forum in which to practice and develop counselling skills on a foundation of communication skills. Within these sessions, the student will need to adopt the professional role and responsibilities of a therapist to demonstrate autonomy and accountability by working with a client within a therapeutic framework.

Course content

Topics covered in this module include: • Wk22 Introduction • Wk23 Reflective Practice • Wk24 Professional Presentation • Wk25 Therapeutic Contracting • Wk26 Therapeutic Record-keeping • Wk27 Telephone Therapy • Wk28 Online Therapy • Wk29 Art Therapy • Wk30 Non-Verbal Therapy • Wk34 Language, Culture, and Diversity • Wk35 Religion and Spirituality • Wk36 Skills for Placement • Wk37 Continuous Professional Development • Wk38 Practitioner Self-Care

Assessment Criteria


• 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

Learning outcomes

  1. Generate and maintain the therapeutic framework through the therapeutic process with critical insight into client assessment, formulation, and intervention

  2. Synthesise and apply the ten keys of communication in therapy

  3. Metacognitively reflect on own role and manage interactions within a group

  4. Demonstrate professional and personal metacognition leading to positive self-management in therapeutic practice

  5. Apply a theoretical orientation in practice with appropriate critical flexibility

  6. Analyse own counselling skills with honest critique and insight into the generation of reflective professional development action plans

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Practice Evidence 50
Reflective Journal 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 58

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.


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
  • 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.

• Form and sustain intimate yet boundaried relationships in professional settings. • Demonstrate comprehensive verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills. • Assess clients using a range of methods to determine nature of difficulty, suitability of intervention, and risk factors. • Engage in the ongoing process of formulation by producing a comprehensive framework for the client's presentation and a therapeutic strategy for intervention. • Understand and apply a range of psychotherapeutic strategies and interventions, with critical awareness of their empirical evidence base and potential risks. • Maintain a high degree of self-awareness by reflecting on ongoing practice with clients, knowledge of current psychological and therapeutic interventions, personal issues, and professional development.


Talis Reading list

Reading list

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.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: