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Understanding Counselling skills

Understanding Counselling skills

Counselling skills

Understanding Counselling skills – Identify own personal skills and qualities which you feel are strengths in relation to a helping relationship.

Understanding Counselling skills. I would identify some of my own personal skills which I feel are strengths in relation to a helping relationship is being able to help and actively listen with a level of compassion without coming across as patronising. I feel my having the ability to use questioning skills to question beliefs and attitudes with compassion is a great strength. Feel I have a caring voice and use reflecting and paraphrasing at a time where they are most relevant within a helping relationship. Have practiced my skill of silence so as it does not feel uncomfortable for me or the speaker. 


For example when doing triad work I have found I can get to underlying issues by using these cores counselling skills. I find ‘silence’ allows the speaker to continue at their own pace and makes them reflect on what they have said. My use of paraphrasing lets the speaker know I am giving them my full attention and understanding of what they are saying, feel my personal skill of reflecting helps highlight words and makes the speaker go into more detail which all helps with the speaker finding an outcome. My self-awareness is a personal skill that I feel is strength as I accept and take on board feedback and have become more aware of how I come across to others

Acceptance – Understanding Counselling skills

A level of acceptance, empathy and understanding are all qualities I feel are my strengths in relation to a helping relationship. All of these qualities help the speaker to talk with ease. My acceptance and understanding of myself and others has come through my life experiences with a helping relationship it lets them know I am genuine, and have a positive regard for others. I feel I give respect by using the counselling skills I have learnt and have more insight into my ability to challenge moral attitudes and ethics as I have changed my moral attitudes and ethics as I have had issues arise through my life. I feel, through these experiences plus the course, I have developed good listening skills and self-awareness and a good insight into my moral attitude and ethics which has helped my personal development.

Counselling Skills – With regard to your skills and qualities in helping relationships, identify areas you would like to develop and highlight ways which you intend to achieve this.

With regard to my skills and qualities in helping relationships, the areas you would like to develop are being able to stop making assumptions and stereotyping.  I feel I have made assumptions and put people in groups in the past because of my own immaturity and insecurities which led me to be defensive. I have found this has been highlighted from  being on this counselling skills course that if you give someone time and ‘listen’ to what they have to say, you actually find a different person than what I thought they were in them. My assumptions had caused me to not be aware of whom they really were.
Listening skills; I would also like to actually listen to speakers more often as I feel this is a valuable quality that I have developed. We have covered a lot in the classroom work and now it’s time to practise more actually doing it in real life situations.

Listening – Understanding Counselling skills

The ways I intend to achieve this is by spending more time listening to speakers from my addiction helpline and not rushing the conversation which I have been guilty of in the past. Therefore to achieve this I will need to extend the time allocated for each caller. This will be easy for me to do as I normally get around five calls a day and very rarely are they all together. By giving the callers more time I will to continue listen to what people have to say and this will help me to not rush to stereotyping individuals or making assumptions about their lives. I also intend to make more time for friends and family who wish to talk, I will do this by arranging times to meet when I know I have more time and I can then also give them my full attention 

counselling Skills – Identify own support needs in order to contribute to a helping relationship and describe how you can access this support.

I would identify my own support needs in order to contribute to a helping relationship as being able to speak and gain support from the people I have been on this course with and gain support from them after this course has finished. This is so I can discuss how my observations went and also be supportive to and gain support from them if they had a problem they wanted to discuss.
I feel I would also like to have contact with trained counsellors  if for any reason I felt emotionally drained or stressed, and to help give me knowledge in difficult areas within my business, as well as to help my own personal development. If I had got out of my depth or into difficult areas, or was not happy with the way things were going with a speaker, to provide the best service I could, I would like to seek support to be able to discuss the reasons contributing to these issues.
How can I access this support: I intend to access the counselling support by joining the BACP or looking at the list of qualified counsellors that might specialise in my type of caller. I also feel after working with my class mates for several weeks there is no one I could not talk to and hope they would feel they could talk to me too. We have set up times to meet to continue with our support of each other. I have already researched via the internet which is always full of useful information, more specialised support within my industry and have built up a database.  I would now not hesitate to Access trained helpers for support and also aim to continue to maintain links with past contacts.

Outline how personal and/or professional support can be used to highlight issues arising from the use of counselling skills practise.

Personal and/or professional support can be used to highlight issues arising from the use of counselling skills practise in many ways. This type of support I believe it’s good for highlighting your own thoughts, feelings, attitudes and concerns and it allows examination of these issues within a safe space. Professional support such a supervision benefits personal and professional development and increases self-awareness and knowledge to improve counselling skills. It can highlight issues such as where I might be lacking in experience or knowledge of a certain type of speaker. Through this support it can help make me more knowledgeable to help these particular speakers.
Supervision can also help highlight where I might be over involved with a speaker’s situation and help guide me to be more aware of this and my boundaries.
I feel by connecting with more people within my profession might help support me more professionally and also then may highlight how to deal with issues that are more specific to my caller group.
 I also believe support from friends and family can be a great bonus to help highlight issues from my use of counselling skills. By running things past a partner, friend or peers to see their points and ideas and see where issues might need dealing with in a different way is of great importance.

Describe own observations, thoughts, feelings and concerns when using counselling skills. 

My own observations, thoughts and feelings when using counselling skills are the skills give me a positive regard to others. I observe when using counselling skills, that it allows respect and the ability to challenge to happen between me and the speaker. I observe through triad work that I have good listening skills, the ability to question beliefs and attitudes, and feel I have good reflection and self-awareness.  When using counselling skills it develops my moral attitudes and ethics and helps me to identify own skills and qualities. I also feel it is important for continuing development and learning Because, as I continue to use counselling skills I feel it is making me a much stronger and more understanding person and have also become more confident in using them.

My concerns – Understanding Counselling skills

My concerns when using counselling skills are whether I am working on the correct theory for the speaker I am listening to. I now have an understanding of CBT, Person-Centred, and Psychodynamic theories but need to develop this further. My other concerns are will the speaker think I am doing the correct listening for them. In triad work I would try to ask too many questions so may not have listened as effectively as I could. I believe this will all become much clearer as I become more experienced. Another concern is that I have always done my listening over the phone because of my Addiction Helpline. In triad work face to face has been a lot different and so I would like to gain more confidence in this area.

Explain the benefits of self-reflecting on your own personal development and in your use of counselling skills.

The benefits of self-reflecting on my own personal development and my use of counselling skills are it highlights my own thoughts, feeling, attitudes, and concerns and allows examination of these.. Self reflection  also increases my self-awareness, increases my knowledge, and improves my counselling skills by allowing me time to think. I feel it makes me become more accepting and empathetic of myself.

Self reflecting

So it also helps me to better empathise and support speakers. By self reflecting on my counselling skills it gives time to help me be able to put aside own feelings and take time so making me more knowledgeable to help speakers  through my thinking on how I could improve on these skills. Through feedback from my peersI believe that I have reflected and taken time to see myself as objectively as I can. I also have time to look at feelings that may arise and this helps my use of counselling skills as I am then able to decide how much the issue is to do with the speaker and or the listener.
One type of self-reflection has been in my writing my Reflective Journal.  This has allowed me to reflect on my personal development and counselling skills and in writing has got me to think about the issues more objectively. I have then been able to take my learning back to my triad work so has good effect on my skills.

Therapeutic Models

The Differences between the Therapeutic Models

Therapeutic Models – The diagram below was developed as part of this research project to summarise the key differences (and similarities) between the theories.



  • Long Term
  • Analyses Causes/Why?
  • Listener lead
  • Equal Relationship
  • Needs trust building

Person Centred

  • Takes time needed
  • Considers Causes
  • Speaker-Lead
  • Non-directive
  • Needs trust building

Cognitive-Behavioural Theory

  • Short-term
  • Does not consider causes
  • Listener-directed
  • Structures/guides a solution
  • Needs to become open and honest


Core counselling skills that may be used in a helping relationship and describe how they may be used.

The core counselling skills which can be used in a helping relationship are active listening, reflecting, paraphrasing, summarising and use of silence and questions. While not a skill as such, the core conditions needed in the helper are empathy and a commitment to increase levels of self-awareness of own motivations and values and how these can impact the helping relationship.

Al of these core counselling skills are helpful in all kinds of helping relationships and helping activities, regardless of whether it is a formal counselling environment. (e.g. another example of a helping activity is between a parent and troubled teenager who needs to talk about their problems).

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