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      Counselling Skills

This introductory course is for anyone who may want to help another person resolve a personal problem – particularly one that is affecting their ability to work effectively.

You may be a manager, a member of the Human Resources team, or simply someone who needs to help people from time to time.

Using counselling skills effectively can enable you to help an individual:

  • Make a decision
  • Adapt to change
  • Solve a problem
  • Come to terms with an event
  • Regain their self esteem
  • Accurately identify the cause of a problem
  • Understand their feelings or emotions

Course Structure

This course is interactive and provides the opportunity for you to practice using counselling skills in a safe environment, and to also receive constructive feedback.

We ask attendees to bring details of real life situations where counselling skills may have a role to play.

During the course we will also provide you with:

  • An action based workbook which will be your reference book on what you have learned, which can then be used after the course
  • A counselling skills “checklist”
  • A framework to develop your own action plan for use after the course
  • A copy of all the course slides

After the course, all delegates are also entitled to six months email support at no additional charge.

List of course sessions

This two day course is divided into 12 sessions:


Foundation skills

Managing your counselling work

Read on for more details on each session...

Detailed Course Schedule

Day 1

Session 1: What is Counselling?

There are many ways you can help other people. In this section we will help you understand:

  • The meaning of counselling
  • How counselling differs from giving advice, taking some form of action or ‘teaching’
  • Which situations are appropriate for counselling

Session 2: A three step approach to counselling

In order to help others to best effect, it is very useful to have a model based on proven techniques. A model is like a roadmap and shows the steps we can take.

Perhaps the best known model for counselling is the Egan three stage model. This has been used extensively by counsellors across the world.

It involves three stages:

    • Explore
    • Understand
    • Act

In this course we introduce you to this model. We also provide detailed guidance for each stage.

Session 3: Problem Solving, Goals and Targets

The main aim of counselling is to help the other person find their own solution to any problem or difficulty. However he or she may find it difficult to pinpoint exactly what their problem or difficulty is.

Using the Egan model as a framework we will help you gain skills in:

  • Problem analysis
  • Selecting the best course of action
  • Target setting

Session 4: Building Trust

This is an important aspect of counselling. People will only talk to you if they can trust you. In this section focus in particular on:

  • Conversation openers
  • Establishing rapport
  • Building empathy

Session 5: Responsive Listening

Not only do we need to listen, we need to demonstrate we are listening.

This section will help you understand more about:

  • Active listening
  • Acknowledgement responses
  • Reflective listening
  • Silence and why it should not be avoided
  • Clues from body language
  • Barriers to effective listening
  • Use of silence

Day 2

Session 6: Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis is a very practical approach to human relationships. From your early years you learn to communicate at different times in one of three main ways - “adult” mode, “parent” mode or “child” mode. By choosing the way you communicate with others you can:

  • Understand more about yourself and the way you communicate
  • More effectively help the person you are counselling

The trainers delivering this course are trained in Transactional Analysis. They will help you learn more about the choices you have in the way you communicate.

Session 7: The Counselling Contract

In many situations, counselling is not a “one-day wonder” – you’ll often work with someone over an extended period.

Through the counselling process the person you are helping may well have their own “action plan”. They will usually need to know from you:

  • The actions you plan to take (if any)
  • Where to go for additional resources
  • Where, when and how they might (or might not) be able to meet with you again

You also need to plan for the time when you will both feel comfortable that the counselling has come to and end. It is certainly not helpful to the other person if you become resentful at counselling help that seems to go on for ever.

We help you handle these issues effectively in a way that is good for you and the person you are counselling.

Session 8: Avoiding burnout

Burnout is a very real threat to people involved in intensive counselling work.

Anyone can become exhausted. Usually you can recover through adequate rest. Burnout often strikes people who are highly committed to their work: You can only "burn out" if you have been "alight" in the first place!

We help you see ways to protect yourself and remain able to provide positive refreshing assistance to those you want to help.

Session 9: Developing your skills further

You’ll probably want to further develop your newly gained counselling skills. We discuss a number of ways you can do this

Action Plan

During the course we provide a framework to develop your own action plan.

Reflective Journal

This course will give you many ideas about the best way to proceed in counselling.

However you will learn most by the exercises in the course, and by putting your new skills into practice after the course. Effective learning comes from decision, action and reflection. Reflection is the process of thinking about and documenting experiences, thoughts, questions that come to mind as you put the new skills into practice.

Documenting these in a reflective journal forces you to develop your skills. It is many people’s experience that once you have started a journal, you will find it an essential part of your skills development.


Adelphi Associates
© 2006