Study Counselling Skills by Distance Learning

Many people use counselling skills in their daily lives. However, sometimes it may be inappropriate for people to use their usual methods of support. They may discuss their problems with friends and family usually, but sometimes they may not want to. They may feel that the person is too close, that they don’t want them to know their confidential problems or the person they would usually confide in might be part of the problem. Counsellors are trained to be effective helpers in difficult or sensitive situations. They should be independent, neutral and professional, as well as respecting our privacy. Counselling can help people to clarify their problems, identify changes they would like to make, get a fresh perspective, consider other options and look at the impact that life events have made on their emotional well-being.


Explore the kinds of problems and issues a person might face in overcoming stresses and limiting attitudes. Learn about the counsellor's role, the counselling process, and gain basic practical counselling skills that can also be effectively applied to many situations. Also recommended for parents, teachers and others who want to communicate in a more supportive, empathetic manner.

Develop your ability to support or counsel others through the processes of personal growth and change.

Distance Education Counselling Course - learn to help others.


  • Learn to help people with problems through a counselling service.

  • Lay a foundation for further study, or learning on the job as a counsellor.

  • Understand the scope, nature; possibilities and limitations of helping people through effective counselling.

  • Extend your understanding of human behaviour and enhance your ability to work in counselling, management, welfare or any people focused job.


The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

1.  Learning Specific Skills

  • Methods of learning
  • learning micro-skills

2.  Listening and Bonding

  • Meeting and greeting

  • helping the client relax

  • listening with intent

3.  Reflection

  • Paraphrasing

  • Reflection of feeling

  • Client responses to reflection of feelings

  • Reflection of content and feeling

4.  Questioning

  • Open and closed questions

  • Other types of questions

  • Goals of questioning

5.  Interview Techniques

  • Summarising

  • Confrontation

  • Reframing

6.  Changing Beliefs and Normalising

  • Changing self-destructive beliefs

  • Irrational beliefs

  • Normalising

7.  Finding Solutions

  • Making choices

  • Facilitating actions

  • Gestalt awareness circle

  • Psychological blocks

8.  Ending the Counselling

  • Terminating the session

  • Closure

  • Further meetings

  • Dependency

  • Confronting dependency


Duration:  100 hours



  • The ability to explain the processes involved in the training of counsellors in micro skills. 

  • Demonstrate the skills involved in commencing the counselling process and evaluation of non-verbal responses and minimal responses.

  • Demonstrate reflection of content, feeling, both content and feeling, and its appropriateness to the counselling process.

  • Develop different questioning techniques and to understand risks involved with some types of questioning.

  • Show how to use various micro-skills including summarising, confrontation, and reframing.

  • To demonstrate self-destructive beliefs and show methods of challenging them, including normalising.

  • Explain how counselling a client can improve their psychological well-being through making choices, overcoming psychological blocks and facilitating actions.

  • Demonstrate effective ways of terminating a counselling session and to explain ways of addressing dependency.



  • Report on an observed counselling session, simulated or real.

  • Identify the learning methods available to the trainee counsellor.

  • Demonstrate difficulties that might arise when first learning and applying micro skills.

  • Identify why trainee counsellors might be unwilling to disclose personal problems during training.

  • Identify risks that can arise for trainee counsellors not willing to disclose personal problems.

  • Discuss different approaches to modelling, as a form of counselling

  • Evaluate verbal and non-verbal communication in an observed interview.

  • Identify the counsellor’s primary role (in a generic sense).

  • Show how to use minimal responses as an important means of listening with intent.

  • Explain the importance of different types of non-verbal response in the counselling procedure.

  • Report on the discussion of a minor problem with an anonymous person which that problem relates to.

  • Identify an example of paraphrasing as a minimal response to reflect feelings.

  • Discuss the use of paraphrasing in counselling.

  • Differentiate catharsis from confused thoughts and feelings.

  • Identify an example of reflecting back both content (thought) and feeling

  • Report on the discussion of a minor problem with an anonymous person which that problem relates to.

  • Identify an example of paraphrasing as a minimal response to reflect feelings.

  • Discuss the use of paraphrasing in counselling.

  • Differentiate catharsis from confused thoughts and feelings.

  • Identify an example of reflecting back both content (thought) and feeling

  • Demonstrate/observe varying responses to a variety of closed questions in a simulated counselling situation.

  • Demonstrate/observe varying responses to a variety of open questions in a simulated counselling situation.

  • Compare your use of open and closed questions in a counselling situation.

  • Identify the main risks involved in asking too many questions

  • Explain the importance of avoiding questions beginning with ‘why’ in counselling.

  • Identify in observed communication (written or oral), the application of different micro-skills which would be useful in counselling.

  • Demonstrate examples of when it would be appropriate for the counsellor to use confrontation

  • List the chief elements of good confrontation.

  • Discuss appropriate use of confrontation, in case studies.

  • Show how reframing can be used to change a client’s perspective on things.

  • Develop a method for identifying the existence of self-destructive beliefs (SDB’s).

  • Identify self-destructive beliefs (SDB’s) amongst individuals within a group.

  • Explain the existence of self destructive beliefs in an individual
    List methods that can be used to challenge SDB’s?
    Explain what is meant by normalising, in a case study.

  • Demonstrate precautions that should be observed when using normalizing.

  • Determine optional responses to different dilemmas.

  • Evaluate optional responses to different dilemmas.

  • Explain how the ‘circle of awareness’ can be applied to assist a client, in a case study.

  • Explain why psychological blockages may arise

  • Demonstrate how a counsellor might help a client to overcome psychological blockages.

  • Describe the steps a counsellor would take a client through to reach a desired goal, in a case study.

  • Identify inter-dependency in observed relationships.

  • Explain why good time management is an important part of the counselling process.

  • Compare terminating a session with terminating the counselling process.

  • Demonstrate dangers posed by client - counsellor inter-dependency

  • Explain how dependency can be addressed and potentially overcome.

  • Explain any negative aspects of dependency in a case study


What Does a Counsellor Do?

The role of the counsellor is to facilitate the person’s resolution of these issues, whilst respect their values, personal resources, culture and capacity for choice. Counselling can provide people with a regular time and space to talk about their problems and explore difficult feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.

Counsellors do not usually offer advice, but instead give insight into the client’s feelings and behaviour and help the client change their behaviour if necessary. They do this by listening to what the client has to say and commenting on it from a professional perspective. Counselling covers a wide spectrum from the highly trained counsellor to some one who uses counselling skills as part of their role, for example, a nurse or teacher. 


How to Cope with Grief

Everyone deals with grief in different ways; and some people do not cope very well at all. A grief counsellor can often help, by simply understanding the process that people need to go through, and the various coping strategies that might be employed; then revealing some of the ways that an individual may be able to reduce the pain they are suffering.

Gather information - the more information a person under stress accumulates the better they are able to understand their predicament. This helps them to see the conflict from a new perspective and enables them to make a careful and informed decision about what to do - which is usually a much better decision than the one they will make when they cannot see their situation clearly.

Manage time well - it is important to manage time better. By planning what to do over the hours, days, and weeks those in crisis spend less time going over old ground and can learn to use their time more effectively. Poor use of time is often a cause of stress.

Look to the long term - during the midst of a crisis, and in the aftermath, it is often difficult to see clearly. People cannot imagine life as it was before. However, although time is not a cure-all things do generally improve over time. It can be helpful for people to think ahead and take comfort in the fact that there will be improvements.

Solve problems - a good way to alleviate stress is to reconsider ways of doing things. If something causes anxiety each time there may be an alternative which is less distressing. 

Be positive - finding ways to be positive is very beneficial. If possible, retain a sense of humour. There is some evidence that negative emotions can suppress the immune system. Feeling positive can release endorphins in the brain which stimulate our immune systems. Some argue that laughter is beneficial in this way.

Be assertive - assertiveness helps to reduce stress levels because it means taking control. As we have seen, feeling you have little control over events can greatly increase stress. An assertive person will be able to refuse to do something and ask for what they want. This tends to raise self-esteem and improve self-satisfaction.      

Try to be more relaxed - when a person slows down; eats slowly, moves slowly, speaks slowly, they are able to reduce their physiological arousal and the feelings of stress which accompany that state.  

Relaxation techniques - there are other options that a person in crisis may use to help them control their feelings which focus on relaxation. Examples include aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, and meditation.  These methods allow the person to focus on particular thoughts rather than be at the mercy of unwanted anxiety or repetitive maladaptive thoughts. 

Biofeedback - this is arguably a special kind of relaxation technique. It enables people to become aware of their physiological arousal responses to crisis and stress and to take some control over them. One of the more common methods is a pad which wraps around the finger and records galvanic skin responses to stress. As a person becomes more aroused a sound emitted from a box connected to the pad gets louder. The person is able to practice relaxation techniques to reduce their arousal level, and this is fed back to them through a reduction in the loudness of the tone. Each person can work out what techniques help them most effectively to reduce their arousal.  

Exercise - this works effectively in alleviating stress. Firstly, it removes the person from the cause of their problems, and secondly, it reduces the physiological needs of the body which are heightened by activation of the fight-or-flight response to stress.  


ACS Graduate comment

"This course has been extremely valuable to me as throughout those 5 months my friends all seemed to go through some crisis or other. I have learned so much that I could put into practice and from the responses I have had, it's been very positive. Tutor feedback was fantastic. All individual answers were given a comment which helped me understand if I missed something."

 Brenda Harvey, Counselling Skills I course.


Help others and communicate better

Would you like to help others?

Would you like to communicate in a more effective way?

Would you like to improve your knowledge of counselling skills?

Counselling Skills I will help you do just that.



This course is suitable for anyone wanting to help others -

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Foster Parents
  • Carers
  • Trainee Counsellors
  • Volunteer Counsellors
  • Help-Line Workers
  • H.R. Staff
  • Trainers, Coaches, and more.

In fact, anyone seeking to work with people in an empathetic and effective way.


You can enrol today

This course is available to start at any time, and you can enrol today - just go to Pricing and Enrol Now at the top of this page.

If you have any questions you can contact us now, by

Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]

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