Introduction to Counselling Skills

The Introduction to Counselling Skills course (25 hrs) teaches you how to be with someone in a way that meets the Six Necessary and Sufficient Conditions of Therapeutic Personality Change as introduced by Carl Rogers, one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century.   You will learn how to provide someone with an environment of genuine non-judgmental understanding, so that they can find their own solutions.  To unconditionally accept someone in this way, you – as the listener – will first need to listen, understand and accept yourself.

Facilitator: Andrea Rippon

Venue: NR2

Cost: £270 or ‘Skills Swop’ (please enquire)

Course Codes and starting dates for the Introduction to Counselling Skills:

ICS170420, starting 20 April 2017 – THIS COURSE IS FULL
Thursday: 20 April (09.30-13.00)
Saturday: 22 April (10.00-16.00)
Thursdays: 27 April; 4, 11, 18, 25 May (09.30-13.00)

ICS171102: starting 2 November 2017
Thursday: 2 November (09.30-13.00)
Saturday: 4 November (10.00-16.00)
Thursdays: 9, 16, 23, 30 November; 7 December (09.30-13.00)

ICS180222, starting 22 February 2018
Thursday: 22 February (09.30-13.00)
Saturday: 24 February (10.00-16.00)
Thursdays: 1, 8, 15, 22 March (09.30-13.00)
Saturday: 24 March (09.30-13.00)

ICS180607: starting 7 June 2018
Thursday: 7 June (09.30-13.00)
Saturday: 9 June (10.00-16.00)
Thursdays: 14, 21, 28 June; 5, 12 July (09.30-13.00)

The focus of this course is on increasing your self awareness through personal development work.  By understanding who you are, you are more likely to be more fully yourself (genuine and authentic) with others.  This will make you more able to listen to someone else as a separate unique person.  You will be less inclined to see their problems through your own eyes (identification); and you’ll hold back on offering solutions or giving advice (taking responsibility for them). Counselling Skills (or active listening) is a non-directive approach, where you focus on understanding the speaker from their perspective; and where you allow them to find their own solutions.  The therapeutic value of talking is that the speaker hears themselves.  This is hugely beneficial because it encourages a greater sense of self acceptance and  trust, through knowing that they can make choices that feel right for them at the time.   They can begin to take responsibility for themselves and, as confidence grows, constructive change can occur.  Your work, as the listener, is to know how to consistently provide an environment that makes this journey possible.

Carl Rogers’ Person Centred Approach is regarded as being one of the most influential in humanistic psychology.  It is also an approach that uses ‘relationship’ as the means to change, grow and develop.  The Person Centred Approach is the primary approach recommended for those who have dementia; and can be found in the support/voluntary sector, in mental health,  for health and wellbeing, caring, parenting and in education.  Past students have included teachers, social workers, therapists, parents, health workers, HR, artists, musicians and those from the voluntary sector.

The course will include teaching and demonstration, group discussion, guided experiential listening exercises, learning from listening to and observing others, peer and tutor feedback and a Personal Development Day. You need to spend up to 2 hours a week in private study, which will include reflection, writing your learning journal and reading.

Due to the personal development work involved, this course may not be suitable for those who are emotionally stretched at the moment.  Please contact me if you’re concerned about whether you can meet the emotional demands of this course.

Progression: This 25 hour course, along with the 20 hour Introduction to Counselling Theory course, is approved by UEA as compulsory for those wanting to apply for the Part time Certificate in Person Centred Counselling Skills at UEA. It does not matter what order you take them in.

The Introduction to Counselling Skills is also compulsory to go on to study the UEA Part time Certificate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Skills.

Students who did this course said: 

  • I will definitely be using (and have already started to use) counselling skills at work.  I am now able to provide better emotional support by listening, instead of constantly offering advice.  I have also developed in my own confidence and this has impacted across all area of my life.
  • I feel that the course has taken my self awareness and personal development to another level.
  • I feel totally liberated in my thinking.  It is already having a direct impact both personally and in my professional role. I am really grateful for the experience and the personal development and growth.
  • I enjoyed the way the tutor made the learning personal and relevant.  It was great to be part of a group of people that were so open and real.

Medical Undergraduates (Y4), School of Medicine, UEA said:

  • Helped me realise/reinforce that giving advice is not the only point of the consultation. The patient’s experience of being heard is as important, if not more so. Also with a medical bent lots of work has been done on how this fosters a good relationship and thus increases compliance.
  • Person centred listening and positive regard provide a good background for treating the patient as a human rather than a disease.
  • It teaches the value of listening. How to be aware of ourselves and how to be more mindful of what we do and say.

Reflexologists/Therapists from Pathways School of Reflexology (Angela Sellens Drake), who did a 1 day version of this course said:

  • I’ve learnt that I don’t have to provide a solution for everybody’s problem
  • I came for tips and tools to help future clients. I have these and also go away with tools to help myself.
  • Very clear, ‘empathic’ teaching, helping students explore issues, mixing theory and practice almost invisibly
  • Andrea taught ‘active listening skills’ in an interactive and non-threatening way and all of us came away from the session with real tools to use in our relationships with clients.

Students who did the PG Certificate in Counselling Skills (120 hours) at UEA, when I was Course Director (2000 – 2010) said:

  • I just love your passion and enthusiasm for what you teach.  You are quite an inspiration.
  • Thank you for reminding me to let my talents shine.  Your encouragement to put myself out there will stay with me always.
  • Loved your clarity and straightness
  • You explained things well when I got stuck.
  • Appreciated your flexible approach to group requirements.

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