Applied Counselling Skills courses
(ACS-400) The Applied Counselling Skills courses
The Applied Counselling Skills courses (I, II, III) make up a three-part series designed to give students the opportunity to practice counseling skills and basic interviewing techniques. The interactive exercises simulate real life counseling situations. Students are required to conduct themselves as professionals, to apply appropriate ethics, set boundaries, use skills and techniques drawn from many models of counseling, and develop case management skills.
All models or theories of counseling and psychology are based on distinct views of human psychology which guide the therapeutic process. To greater or lesser degrees all models acknowledge that human functioning is based on thinking-feeling- doing. Some models place emphasis on “thinking” (eg Cognitive Therapy), others place emphasis on “doing” (e.g. Behavior Therapy), while others place emphasis on “feeling”(e.g. Person Centered Therapy).
All models comment on the process of client change in terms of the counsellor’s role and function. This can be conceptualized on a continuum from less counsellor directed (e.g. Person Centered) to more counselor directed (e.g. Behavior Therapy).
All models have assumptions about factors which influence the manifestation of client concerns. Some see that unresolved past issues are an integral component of presenting concerns (e.g. Psychodynamic approaches) while other models view the necessary components of change as occurring in the present (e.g. Reality therapy), while others are more focused on assisting clients towards a future orientation (e.g. Solution Focused).
The focus within each skill development course is to assist students in learning a variety of skills which can be incorporated and used in varying approaches to counselling. Skills related to assessing client needs, developing treatment plans, and assessing treatment outcome will be covered as these are components of all models. Within the counseling relationship skills of attending, empathic, reflective listening, asking questions, and managing strong emotions will be examined, as these are fundamental to all theoretical models. Because of the increased diversity of client populations, students must include cultural factors in the assessment and treatment process, and factors related to these aspects will be a focus of all learning.
Additional Course ObjectiveS: Volunteer Placement
In addition to completing course assignments, DISTANCE EDUCATION students are required to volunteer for a minimum of 15 hours per month throughout the duration of the Diploma or Certificate program. Placement opportunities may be found with a local mental health agency, church, school, private clinic or other facility that provides counselling-related services. Experience gained in the volunteer placement gives students:
- a real-life professional context in which to observe and/or apply the theories and skills discussed in course assignments.
- valuable exposure to various employment options.
- opportunities to begin networking with other counsellors and community service providers.
Job duties performed by the student in the volunteer placement will be evaluated by the on-site supervisor quarterly, using the forms provided by KCPC. In addition, instructors are available to discuss, debrief, and process the student’s placement experience.
(NOTE: The skill sect you will learn in this series of courses comprise areas of core competence required for the practice of professional counselling).