Introduction to Counselling Theory and Skills


This module provides an introduction to counselling skills and theory.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with core counselling skills, theoretical knowledge, and opportunities for personal and professional development

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Be able to perform, and critically reflect on, core counselling skills.

2.  Demonstrate a critical understanding of the difference between counselling skills and counselling.

3.  Recognise and respond appropriately to individual and cultural difference within counselling situations

4.  Recognise and manage risk in helping situations, and be able to refer individuals to further help when appropriate.

5.  Understand and discuss the role of boundaries in counselling

6.  Appreciate the importance to a counsellor, and have experience of developing interpersonal self-awareness and responsiveness, and knowledge of theory and research

Indicative Content

1 Theory of counselling

Introductions to key theories in counselling including the pluralistic framework, person-centred, CBT and psychodynamic theories

2 Counselling skills

Practical training in skills including attending, active listening, reflection, and goal-setting

3 Personal and professional development

Personal and professional responsibility. Fitness for practice. The impact of the counsellor in helping relationships, counselling and embedded counselling. In addition the role of personal resilience, interpersonal feedback, and self-awareness.

4 Managing challenge and risk

Recognising and responding to risk - including harm to self and others, e.g self harm, suicide, neglect

5 Counselling process

Introduction to the stages of the counselling process, and aspects of client change within this process.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This module will involve a blend of lectures, group work, workshops and skills practice, followed by an opportunity to reflect on learning in facilitated groups. Practicals will involve 'live demonstrations', and triads with tutor and peer formative feedback Students will attend sessions one day per week, for four hours over 13 weeks.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 20
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 20
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 108

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.