Advanced Training Course in Counselling Techniques. Study this Counselling theory and techniques course by distance learning. Start at any time to suit you


  • An in depth study of the theory of counselling techniques.

  • Develop your understanding of the major theoretical approaches to counselling and their application to the counselling process. The course does not adopt a particular stance but provides an overview and awareness of different types of therapy.
  • Learn about the different types of therapy that can be used to help clients. If you are a counsellor or want to be one, this is an indispensable part of your training or professional development.

    Course Aim: "Explain the key principles and applications of different theoretical approaches to counselling and psychotherapy, including the theories of Freud, Erikson, Adler, Ellis, Rogers, Beck, and others."

Learn the Techniques of Counselling

Understand Counselling Processes

This is an in-depth study of counselling techniques, an ideal course of study for people who seek careers in psychology or counselling or jobs in psychology related areas.


The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

1.    Psychoanalytic psychotherapy l - Freud, Erikson, Jung

  • Value and relevance of psychotherapy
  • Emergence of psychoanalytical theory
  • Principles of psychoanalytical theory
  • Elements of the personality
  • The notion of conscious and unconscious
  • Anxiety and psychoanalysis
  • Inbuilt psychological coping and damage repair mechanisms
  • Defence mechanisms
  • Freud's psycho-sexual theory and Erikson's psychosocial theory
  • Jung's perspective on personality
  • Archetypes
  • Recent developments in psychoanalytical theory
  • Goals of psychoanalytical approach
  • Psychoanalytic techniques
  • Analytic framework
  • Free associations
  • Interpretation
  • Dream analysis
  • Resistance
  • Transference
  • Psychoanalytic approach and counselling
  • Personality disorders
  • Critique for psychoanalytic theory

2.    Psychoanalytical psychotherapy ll - Adler

  • Alfred Adler
  • Adler's key concepts
  • Inferiority vs superiority
  • What makes people self interested
  • Social interest and community feeling
  • Individual psychology
  • Psychological types: ruling type, leaning type, avoiding type
  • Sibling relationships
  • An "Only" child
  • First child, second child, youngest child
  • Use of Adlerian theory
  • Applications to counselling
  • Freud and Adler
  • Critique

3.    Humanistic/Existential approaches I - Gestalt Therapy; Fritz Perls 

  • Introduction 
  • Human nature 
  • Holistic approach 
  • Field theory 
  • Figure-formation process 
  • Organismic self-regulation 
  • Focus on the present 
  • Resolving dilemmas 
  • Personal maturity 
  • The effect of contact 
  • Effect of energy 
  • The experiment 
  • Confrontation 
  • Gestalt techniques: Internal dialogue, reversal, rehearsal, exaggeration, dream work, etc.
  • Critique

4. Humanistic/Existential approaches II - Person-Centred Counselling; Carl Rogers 

  • Humanistic therapy
  • Principles of person centred approach
  • Personal attitude of the counsellor
  • Goals of therapies
  • Assessment techniques
  • Areas of application
  • Critique

5.   Rational behavioural therapy - Albert Ellis

  • Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT)
  • Ellis's view of human nature
  • Personality theory
  • Goals and techniques of therapy
  • Therapeutic techniques
  • Cognitive techniques
  • Emotive techniques
  • Use of REBT
  • Critique

6.   Cognitive behavioural therapy - Aaron Beck

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and REBT
  • Premises of CBT
  • Cognitive distortions
  • Use of cognitive therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Modifications to CBT
  • Stress inoculation training program (SIT)
  • Stages of SIT
  • Constructivist modification

7.   Behavioural therapy

  • Contemporary behavioural therapy
  • Behavioural approach
  • Goals ant techniques
  • Goals of therapy
  • Use of behaviour therapy
  • Basic ID
  • Critique

8.   Solution-focused counselling

  • Introduction
  • Strategies in solution focussed counselling
  • Engaging the client
  • Constructing pathways for change
  • Generating creative solutions
  • Critique

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Duration: 100 Hours (you study at your own pace)

Examples of what you may do in this course

  • Explain the concept of dream analysis.
  • Differentiate between elements of traditional psychoanalytical theory in terms of its usefulness in modern day counselling.
  • Describe the modification to traditional psychoanalytical theory as prescribed by Erikson.
  • Explain an object-relations interpretation of the origin of ‘narcissistic’ and ‘borderline’ personality disorders.
  • Explain the difference between Freudian and Adlerian theory.
  • Define the key concepts of Adlerian theory including: personality, goals and lifestyle.
  • Explain the concept of superiority v inferiority.
  • Describe the 4 stages of the Adlerian counselling process, i.e. Developing the counselling relationship; Exploring the individual; Encouraging self-awareness; Re-education.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of Adlerian therapy as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define Gestalt therapy.
  • Explain the importance of elements of human nature to the Gestalt approach.
  • Discuss ways in which dilemmas can be resolved using the Gestalt approach.
  • Explain the ‘effect of contact’ and the ‘effect of energy’.
  • Discuss the use of confrontation.
  • Describe different techniques of Gestalt therapy.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of Gestalt therapy as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define person-centred counselling.
  • Outline the principles of the person-centred approach.
  • Discuss how the impact of the counselling process is assessed.
  • Discuss suitable areas of application.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of the person-centred approach as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define REBT.
  • Explain Ellis’ views on ‘human nature’.
  • Describe Ellis’ theory of personality.
  • Discuss the stages involved in developing a rational philosophy of life.
  • Describe different techniques used in REBT.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of REBT as applied to the counselling process.
  • Discuss the differences between CBT and REBT.
  • Outline the main ‘cognitive distortions’ as set out in CBT.
  • Discuss the goals of CBT.
  • Describe modifications to CBT (known as CBM).
  • Outline the 3 phases involved in CBT.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of CBT as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define the main characteristics of behavioural therapy.
  • Describe different techniques of behavioural therapy including: -relaxation training; -systematic desensitisation; -exposure therapies; -assertion training.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of behavioural therapy as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define solution-focused counselling.
  • Describe how to engage the client.
  • Describe how questions are used to construct pathways for change.
  • Discuss strategies used to generate creative solutions.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of solution-focused therapy to the counselling process.


Origins of Counselling

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) developed the most comprehensive theory of personality and psychotherapy to date. His basic principles have been used as the building blocks for many subsequent theories, and continue to be used. Other theories have emerged as a reaction against psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis has been thought to be difficult to prove and based on limited case studies.

Freud drew attention to the unconscious and its role in personality development. His theory of personality development is deterministic, emphasising the role of irrational forces, unconscious motivations, and drives on the individual’s psyche as they progress through psycho-sexual phases during the first 5 – 6 years of life.

Freud considered instincts to be central to personality development. He referred to libido (sex drive) to be the survival instinct. He later renamed it the ‘life instincts’, to illustrate the fact that he believed motivation went beyond sexual energy.

Contrarily, he believed that aggression was the primary death instinct.

Which theories have had a lasting affect on modern counselling and psychotherapy? Which techniques are best suited to different kinds of counselling situations?


Goals of the Psychoanalytical Approach 

Psychoanalysis seeks to make the unconscious conscious. It strives to probe into the deeper part of the psyche and get to those issues that were not resolved during cognitive development. It does not aim simply to uncover these issues, but rather to understand and experience them so that a change in character can occur.

The therapist will typically not engage in much self-disclosure and will therefore consider that most of what the client discloses will be related to significant others from the past.

The relationship relies on transference and the client making projections onto the counsellor.

They also seek to enable the client to deal with impulsive and irrational behaviour and to cope with anxiety, thus leading to a greater sense of self-awareness and hopefully more successful relationships.

The therapist also tunes in to the client’s resistances and interprets dreams and free-associations to get an overall picture of what the client’s problems may be. It is hoped that increasing the client’s awareness will encourage them to change, though it is up to the client to want to change. The therapist’s interpretation can therefore be seen as being not as important as the client’s willingness to change.

Typically, this form of therapy will last between 3 and 5 years, and the client will see the therapist several times a week. It is important that the therapist does not rush to interpret the information supplied by the client.

Transference is the key in the relationship between the therapist and the client. During the relationship the client uses transference to project their feelings and emotions toward significant others from their past onto the therapist. The therapist therefore acts as a replacement for these significant others and their client may project a whole range of feelings onto the therapist ranging from love to hate.

In order for the client to change they need to work through the unconscious material and defences that come to light during the therapy. In order for the client to achieve independence they need to free themselves from motivations that arose in their childhood.

Even during long-term therapy, not all childhood needs and traumas will be eradicated.

Counter-transference also occurs whereby the therapist becomes aware of their own unresolved conflicts. It also occurs when a therapist’s reactions within the relationship interferes with the therapeutic process, disrupting the therapist’s objectivity. Counter-transference can be incorporated into the process and be used as another means of helping the client.


Study Counselling Techniques

If you would like to expand your knowledge of counselling theory and techniques, this is the ideal course for you.

An advanced counselling course - professional training in counselling.


Enrol or Contact Us Today

You can start the course at any time and can enrol today

If you have any questions or need any further information about the course, you can contact us by - 

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

Email: [email protected]