Find out how to enhance the service you offer to your clients

Do you work in counselling or another therapy? Are you thinking of setting up your own professional practice? If so, then this course could be valuable for you. It will help you to develop your understanding of appropriate practices and procedures within the counselling profession to assist you in building stronger relationships with clients.

Students will also gain knowledge of psychological theories into the self, personality and emotions, and see how they can affect the counselling process. There is also an introduction to some of the more commonly seen psychological disorders and advice on when to refer clients to other professionals.

Recommended Pre-requisites: "Introduction to Psychology" (or equivalent)

Be the best you can be

There are many different types of people who work in counselling; providing a great diversity of different services, and operating at varying levels of expertise. They all have a place; but it is important for each one to recognise the scope and limitations of their own expertise; provide professional and responsible services where they are capable, and refer people on to another expert when appropriate.

Understanding yourself and your strengths and weaknesses is very important. So too is recognising the value of moral and ethical codes, multicultural awareness, the benefits of supervision, and knowing when to refer a client to another professional.


Consultant-practitioner training

Through studying this course:

  • Learn to effectively deal with clients in a consultancy or health service practice
  • Enhance your work as a counsellor or behavioural consultant
  • An ideal course to "fill in gaps" - designed to complement a psychology degree, counselling diploma, or other such course in behavioural studies

Course Structure and Contents

The course is divided into seven lessons as follows:

1. Understanding Counselling: The client-counsellor relationship; Effective counselling; Counselling the counsellor; Counsellor's values; Multicultural counselling

2. Ethics & Confidentiality: Needs; A code of ethics; Informed consent; Right to privacy; Legal requirements; Use of psychometric tests; Ethics and multiple relationships; Keeping records.

3. Understanding the Self: Self-awareness; Self-monitoring; Self-concept; Social Perception; Attribution theory; Implicit personality theory; Relationships; Social exchange; Love and intimacy.

4. Personality: What is a healthy personality?; Trait approach; Psychodynamic approach; Humanistic approach; Social learning and cognitive approaches.

5. Emotions & Behaviour: What are emotions?; Emotions and Counselling; Effect on communication, Aspects of emotions, Emotional expression and counselling.

6. Supervision: Why supervision?; Working with others; Quantity and effectiveness of supervision; Personal counselling; Dependency; Types of supervision.

7. Referral Practice: Counselling v mental health issues; Secondary care counsellors; Abnormal psychology; Anxiety; Depression; Schizophrenia; Personality disorders.

100 hours


  • Discuss some of the main personal qualities that counselling will draw upon and demonstrate an awareness of the types of issues that new counsellors will need to resolve within themselves.
  • Raise awareness of: the ethical issues that arise within the profession, legal requirements, informed consent, decision-making and other related topics.
  • Gain insight into how the self, and one's perception of the self influences both the client and the counsellor, and to understand the effect of the self upon relationships both within and outside the counselling process.
  • Enhance awareness of what is considered a healthy personality, to consider different types of personality tests, and to become aware of the application of different approaches to personality within the counselling process.
  • Explain how emotions arise, what they are, how they influence our bodies, minds and behaviour, and their role in the counselling process.
  • Understand the necessity for counsellors to have ongoing supervision throughout their professional career and to be constantly striving to upgrade their skills.
  • Delineate circumstances in which it is preferable to refer a client on to another health care professional, and to understand some of the main disorders that they may encounter.



  • Explain why a counsellor needs to be open to personal growth.
  • Discuss personal qualities that are beneficial to a counsellor.
  • Discuss how the counselling of a counsellor can be of benefit to their personal effectiveness'
  • Describe how a counsellor's own values can impose on the counselling process'
  • Outline the importance of an ongoing education and an awareness of other cultures.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of other useful counselling qualities through role play.
  • Discuss the importance of having a 'code of ethics' in counselling.
  • Describe what is meant by 'informed consent'.
  • Discuss the extent to which the client has a 'right to privacy'.
  • Understand when and how psychometric tests may be used.
  • Describe how to keep client records.
  • Discuss how the counsellor's own sense of self-awareness can affect the counselling process.
  • Describe how self-perception can influence identity, roles and self-actualisation.
  • Define schemas, scripts, and attributions and their influence on social-perception.
  • Discuss the effect of attractiveness, closeness and similarity on relationships.
  • Discuss the effect of different levels of self-disclosure on the counselling relationship.
  • Describe symptoms of relationship breakdown.
  • Define a 'healthy personality'.
  • Discuss the effect of nature and nurture on personality.
  • Describe the use of different personality tests.
  • Compare and contrast different approaches to personality and their application to the counselling process.
  • Discuss what is meant by emotions with other people.
  • Describe the effect of emotions on communications.
  • Define different aspects of emotions including: physiology, cognition and behaviour.
  • Demonstrate ways in which emotional expression can affect the counselling process.
  • Discuss different methods of supervision of counsellors.
  • Describe how dependency can evolve in the counselling process.
  • Discuss the importance of upgrading skills and ongoing supervision.
  • Outline methods of observation used in supervision.
  • Discuss the counsellor's responsibility to the client.
  • Explain what might be considered as abnormal.
  • Define symptoms of commonly encountered disorders

The Mental Health Team

Often a team approach is most appropriate when caring for people who need psychological support. The team may include various professionals, such as -

Grief Counsellors 

Grief counsellors, or bereavement counsellors, will be specifically trained in helping people to successfully find their way through the grieving process.  There are many different responses to grief, which are totally normal, and doctors, counsellors and psychiatrists may be reluctant to diagnose a person as mentally ill during a bereavement. These counsellors provide support to help the person grieve. 

A grief counsellor can help the mourning process by allowing a person to move through the stages of grief in a relationship that is supportive and confidential. The grief counsellor will try to help the person to accept their loss and talk about it. They may encourage them to identify and express their feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, helplessness and anxiety. 

The grief counsellor will also help the person live without the deceased, encouraging them to make decisions alone. They may need to separate emotionally from the deceased and form new relationships. The grief counsellor will also provide support and identify ways of coping with the bereavement. The grief counsellor will also help the person to realise that what they are experiencing is normal and a typical response to grief, that they are not “going mad”. 

There are organizations, such as Cruse and Compassionate Friends, who are able to offer grief counselling support, as well as counsellors who specialise in grief and loss counselling. 

 Trauma and Crisis Counsellors

Trauma and crisis counsellors will have similar experience to grief counsellors in that they deal with people who are dealing with a catastrophic event, but focus is more on dealing with the here and now with a view to alleviating long terms problems. 

Typically, a crisis counsellor will also be experienced in working with clients facing the grieving process since traumas and crises often involve death or significant losses. Similarly, a grief counsellor is also experienced in the traumas and crises that can arise after a death. However, the trauma and crisis counsellor will focus particularly on helping the person in the aftermath of the trauma/crisis. They may be more likely to help the person in the short term, immediately after the event, before another professional becomes involved to offer longer term support.


Although specialist grief or trauma counsellors are often needed, those with more general counselling kills may also be involved depending on who is available at the time, and who can cover the area in which the event has occurred (in the case of trauma). Counsellors may also offer short term or longer term support. 

Many counsellors who usually deal with other problem areas are trained to deal with these types of cases, so they do not have to have a specific title like 'grief counsellor', and so on. Caution should be exercised in asking volunteers or those who have not completed training to assist or take on too much responsibility when dealing with crisis situations. Not only can this result in exacerbating the victim's  or sufferer's problems but it can also traumatise the helper.


Psychologists may also be involved in helping the person to cope with their feelings of anxiety and distress following an event. Psychologists are fully trained to deal with a host of mental health conditions and can often offer specialist assessment tests and treatments options that counsellors may not be trained to provide.    

Psychologists are also able to deal with co-morbid mental health conditions which might make grief or trauma more complicated, and they are able to diagnose mental illnesses.

Like counsellors, psychologist may offer interventions lasting from several weeks to several months depending on the nature of the problem and the client's response to treatment.


A psychiatrist is involved in the assessment and diagnosis of mental health disorders. They may prescribe medication where it is deemed to be of benefit to the client.

The psychiatrist may be the first port of call in some cases, particularly where an individual is not responding to counselling, perhaps because they are experiencing an extreme reaction to a crisis or having a psychotic episode. Maybe they have been experiencing symptoms associated with long-term grief and this has triggered the onset of a depressive disorder. It may be that the person needs to be prescribed an antipsychotic or sedative medication in order that they can control overwhelming symptoms, by way of invasive thoughts and feelings, before they are able to engage in therapy and benefit from it.    

Social Workers

Social workers may be involve with the support and care of those affected by crises. Most crisis centres have a team of social workers who visit and assess individuals who contact the department. They typically work in conjunction with others such as psychiatrists and psychologists. In the event of someone coming to their notice a case file for that person is created and a record of  all visits, assessments, and follow-ups is maintained.

Social workers are also often involved in crisis situations concerning existing mental health patients. They may support patients or clients at their place of residence such as family homes, hospices, mental health wards, and so forth.


Psychiatric Nurses    

Nurses trained in mental health may be called upon to help those in crisis in a variety of settings from their homes to hospitals, private clinics, and residential care facilities. They are involved in the development of care plans with other professionals such as occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. As with other team members their objective is to help the patient or client to return to pre-crisis levels of functioning.

The nurse's focus is often on ensuring that the client has sufficient support systems in place (social, family, and care networks), and that their living environments are conducive to growth. They also respond to the client's physical and emotional needs, ensure they have and are taking adequate medication where needed, and diffuse conflicts.       

Other Professionals

The other professionals involved depend on the particular case and what specific skills are required. For example, any of the following professionals may be needed –

  • Alcohol and addictions counsellors
  • Rape and sexual assault counsellors
  • Youth workers
  • Child psychologists
  • Psychotherapists 
  • Child counsellors 
  • Social workers
  • Medical Doctors (General Practitioners)
  • Health workers
  • Nurses


How This Course Could Help You

This course provides the type of knowledge that all counsellors and therapists should have. It is of most value to people interested in:

  • Counselling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Social work
  • Nursing
  • Caring roles
  • Health professions



Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. 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]