This unit builds upon the essential elements of the counselling relationship learnt in the Introduction to Counselling unit by focusing on the skills required for counselling practice. The unit emphasises the role of counsellors in using skills to make contact with their individual clients, to help them feel understood, and to clarify the major issues that trouble clients who present themselves for counselling.
At the same time, the theories and assumptions including a Christian perspective, underlying different skills are explored and assessed. Students are given opportunities to practise, apply and integrate a range of skills and strategies at an introductory level and at different stages of counselling relationship with self-awareness and awareness of the counsellor-client dynamics of the relationship in stages.
1. Building on the foundational qualities: exploring problem stories while keeping an open mind to exceptions, hopeful ‘sparkling moments’ and what may be ‘absent but implicit’
2. Commonly used skills: affirmation-giving, encouragement, modelling, self-disclosure
3. Commonly used skills: silence and pause time; immediacy and spontaneity- being in the here-and-now
4. Commonly used skills: giving feedback and confrontation and challenge; challenging self-destructive beliefs
5. Spiritual conversations and integrating spiritual resources
6. Externalising and relational language making
7. Other strength-based skills and practices to inspire hope: skills for not-knowing; amplifying what the client wants; exploring for exceptions; remembering practices; re-authoring practices; definitional ceremonies
8. Skills for engaging with specific client concerns
9-12. Student practice either with recordings or observation and feedback