This course introduces students to the skills, theory, and practice of counselling interventions in persons experiencing mental health problems, as well as in mental health settings. It aims to develop peer-counselling skills and deepen self-awareness and interpersonal communication competencies. Basic counselling interventions such as empathic responding, exploration of client's affect and cognitions, and problem solving will be explored. The course emphasizes the therapeutic relationship as well as the importance of ethical and legal issues in the provision of therapy. The course will use a combination of video-based counselling techniques, to assist students in developing basic counselling skills and increase their conceptual understanding of theoretical perspectives of counselling through practice, including counselling processes and case conceptualizations. The instructor will also present cases, including using video-taped counselling sessions, in addition to extensive counselling simulation. Unique to this program, is a cohort model of learning, where participants build trust with one another and build on their in-class relationships and discussions. Through presentations, experiential learning, class discussion, group exercises, counselling practice and videotaping, participants will:
- gain personal awareness of their own values and views and how they impact on the counselling experience
- gain a broad understanding of counselling theories
- learn to assist clients to develop their personal potential for growth and change
- practice basic counselling, problem-solving, decision-making and communication skills, and
- learn communication and conflict resolution approaches.
In addition, there will be a 250-hour placement in an approved field setting.