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Applied Counselling Skills Training

Applied Counselling Skills IV ELECTIVE

Applied Counselling Skills IV

ACS-IV-400 Applied Counselling Skills

This course in a nutshell:

Discussion Topics: Is an elective course available to students for professional development. The course focuses on case management, documentation, professional collaboration, referrals, and case conferencing. Students will integrate a variety of counselling techniques into one approach which reflects the student’s personality style, values, and choice of therapeutic modality.
Skills: You’ll apply the assessment you developed in the third module of applied counselling skills, and concepts and procedures from the entire cycle of practice management to in-depth case studies.

Case Management in Applied Counselling Skills IV is an elective course available to students for professional development. This practicum course is specifically intended to refine the skills learned in ACS I, II, and III in the following areas of competence:

-records management, and documentation,

-professional collaboration, referrals, and case conferencing.

After integrating a variety of counselling techniques into one approach which reflects the student’s personality style, values, and choice of therapeutic modality, this course allows the student to practice using the assessment developed in the third skill development course, and to carry through the entire cycle of practice management.

This course will also focus on issues relevant to the personal development of the counsellor. Review of ethics, boundaries, and personal characteristics and counter-transference issues will be part of the discussion and self-awareness exercises during week one.


The focus in the ACS series is to assist students in learning a variety of skills which can be incorporated and used in varying counseling models. 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.


The rationale for conducting a thorough assessment and speculative diagnosis is to ensure that counsellors work only within their scope of practice . For an entry-level counsellor (practicing under the supervision of an experienced professional for a minimum of two years) this involves providing supportive counselling to clients who are at minimum considered to be marginally functional in all areas of life, but wish to enhance their personal growth, productivity or expand their life experiences. If a client is unable to function on a day-to-day basis for longer than two weeks, i.e. is unable to maintain normal family relationships, social relationships, employment, education, or emotional stability, or if the client is at a risk for suicide or homicide, immediate consultation with the supervisor regarding a referral to a physician, psychologist or social worker is advised.

Course Content (ACS IV-400)

On line delivery of ACS IV course assignments are structured to simulate a variety of responsibilities and thought processes required of entry level counselors working in a counselling agency. The assignments give students the opportunity to conduct themselves as professionals, to apply appropriate ethics, set boundaries, use assessment skills and a variety of techniques drawn from psychological theories. Students will receive feedback from the instructor in the following:

  • Ethical conduct. Adhere to ethics and standards of professional practice as set forth by guidelines developed by professional counselling associations. These include confidentiality, legal limits of confidentiality, orientation to client during first session regarding expectations for change.
  • Set appropriate boundaries with clients. This is essential to the development of a therapeutic alliance.
  • Conduct a thorough clinical assessment to screen for safety issues such as suicidal or homicidal risk factors. Recognize limits related to scope of practice and assess need for referral to other professionals or community resources.
  • Use of interview skills, reflective listening to promote trust and validate client’s cultural beliefs and values.
  • Set goals appropriate to the limits of brief term counselling.
  • Develop a treatment plan and apply counseling techniques which in the counsellor’s judgment will illicit positive therapeutic change.
  • Records management, including case notes, referrals, follow-up, professional collaboration, case conferencing, and treatment co-ordination.
  • Ethical decision making, outcome predictions, peer supervision, self-care.

Course Objective: Applied Skill Development

Case Management in Applied Counselling Skills IV gives students the opportunity to continue implementing their own style of counseling; drawing from previous skill development courses in order to improve and solidify therapeutic skills. Students are encouraged to formulate a counseling style that integrates the various theories they have learned throughout the program. Within a controlled counselling setting, and under supervision of the instructor, students follow their clients through the entire counselling process, from the initial assessment phase through to termination.

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