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Using Counselling Skills

National Extension College


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What will I learn?

Many of us need to use counselling skills in our work - as managers, carers, administrators, instructors, volunteers and so many other professions - as well as in our everyday lives. But do we really know what we're doing when we try to help? We may be good listeners - that's probably why people tend to seek us out - but sometimes we just do our best when we could do so much more good (and avoid the pitfalls) by learning how to use these skills in the right way.

This course takes you through the basics of identifying the skills needed in different situations, the crucial ground rules of starting and ending a helping relationship and, with extensive use of case studies and examples, you learn how to use the skills confidently and in the most effective way.

Topics include:
Unit 1: Helping relationships and communication skills
Unit 2: Essential counselling skills
Unit 3: Active listening
Unit 4: Reflecting, paraphrasing, summarising and responding to silence
Unit 5: Responding skills — questioning
Unit 6: Managing boundaries
Unit 7: Agreeing objectives for a helping
Unit 8: Endings and their impact

Exams and assessment: Four assignments including a recorded conversation.

You will also receive a unit certificate to validate your learning.

What do I need to know?

You will need to be at least 19 years of age and have a good command of basic English. You will need to be able to make an audio recording of a helping dialogue, or be able to ask a witness to validate your helping conversation. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Course info


Certificate of Attendance/Completion/Achievement (no assessment element)

Study Hours

Variable - to suit the learner

Study mode




Total time for completion

No time limit

More info on price

Payment by instalments available.

Who runs this course?




About NEC The National Extension College (NEC) provides the opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to fit life-changing learning into their lives. Whether you’re looking to study in order to go onto further or higher education, change or advance your career or simply for enjoyment, NEC provides online distance learning courses which are of the very highest quality. Course materials are written by experts such as teachers and examiners and are available to you online 24/7 through learn@nec - our virtual learning environment and the gateway to the NEC community. You can study whenever and wherever you like. With tutor support from a qualified teacher and specialist in your chosen subject, NEC will make sure that you

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