All counselling has a link to helping people overcome a psychological problem with the use of a safe and tested therapeutic process. There are many different models, defined and practiced by various theorists. Counsellors use models that they have specialised in and which they feel meets the needs of a particular client’s problems or to address a particular need. This requires specialised and specific skills. Specific attention will be given to psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and person-centred approaches in order to address the needs of children and adolescents.
This counselling course focuses on the integrated method of child counselling with significant reference to using narrative and imagery techniques. For adolescents who are struggling with the transition to adulthood, special counselling skills and approaches are required, together with proactive and creative strategies. In addition to the counselling approaches, various working models and theories specific to this field will be explored as well as behavioural, psychosocial strategies and reflective practice.
Module 1: Introduction, discussion and reappraisal of counselling skills
Counselling is defined, although it varies according to different working environments and specific needs. The skills needed generically and how they are defined specifically to meet the needs of children and adolescents in the modern society is discussed. It also looks in detail at the five theories which have been adopted as approaches in counselling. In this module the work of Freud, Rogers, Skinner, Ellis, Jung and Eagan will be looked at in brief, and the corresponding counselling approaches that define modern techniques used by therapists will be examined.
Module 2: The psychodynamic approach relevant to child and adolescent counselling
This module will look at how the psychodynamic approach works and is applied to the counselling situation. Specific examples and activities will provide particular set of client situations which might benefit most from this approach such as by analysing needs and planning a course of appropriate counselling. Particular terms will be examined such as defence mechanisms, attachment, transference and counter-transference.
Module 3: The cognitive behavioural approach relevant to child and adolescent counselling
An understanding and application of cognitive behavioural approach which recognises maladaptive thought patterns and consequential behavioural change will be discussed. This therapy aims to remove negative thoughts and to effect change using conditioning and social cognitive theories. This form of counselling is task-focused, challenges negative thoughts and how to change such thoughts and behaviour with children and adolescents will be addressed.
Module 4: The person-centred approach relevant to child and adolescent counselling
The key concepts relating to the person-centred approach often referred to as the humanist approach, will be discussed in order to see the role of inspiration, growth and choice in the recovery of children and adolescents needing psychological support. A key theorist, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs will be explored and applied to counselling aims. The benefits and limitations, such as this technique is considered as being very indulgent, are discussed in order to decide which situation and need this form of counselling best suits.
Module 5: Ethics, issues of consent, and the child/adolescent - counsellor relationship
The key aims of counselling together with confidentiality, what can and cannot be shared, moral and personal conduct and ethics will be addressed. The boundaries or limitations when working with minors will be looked at in order to recognise and deal with these short-comings. What types of consent and responsibilities the counsellor has to seek when working with children in order to increase insight, improve self-control and facilitate behaviour of change is discussed. This module also looks at how the counsellor builds up a trusting and communicative relationship with children and adolescents.
Module 6: Main concepts and counselling skills of child counselling
This module looks at different strategies needed to work with children and adolescents to effect change. Very clear goals are set and how, why and the need to do this is learned. How the process of child counselling works, necessary skills and how the counsellor applies the working models and techniques to facilitate change are explored. The relationship of child counselling within the context of family therapy is described. The counsellor will have to be experienced and flexible with questioning to build trust and encourage openness which will be practiced here.
Module7: The role of play and specific activities in child counselling
Children may not know how to communicate in the counselling environment, may be unable to share abuse or other negative content and so creative forms and methods of e.g. communication are needed. A well set-up play room might be necessary so how to set this is shown. This module looks at how to select and the use of storytelling, games and play using various toys and creative mediums to enhance exploration and facilitation in child counselling.
Module 8: Using worksheets for goal setting, exploration and expression in child counselling
This module examines the use of worksheets and gives some examples of how they might be used effectively in different situations and for different ages. Discussion about the relationship between the use of worksheets and concepts of building self-esteem, social skills training and protective behaviour education is done. Worksheets come in the form of quizzes, questionnaires, charts and diagrams such as that of a tree and where a child might place themselves with regard to feeling and emotion so how to best use an appropriate technique is explored.
Module 9: Adolescent counselling: understanding
This module starts by looking at who an adolescent is in terms of physical and psychological development and then looks at how the counsellor builds a relationship through understanding the adolescent's environmental influences, stresses and attachments. Particular skills, issues and techniques used to work with, build a relationship and address pertinent problems will be explored in terms of counselling this age group.
Module 10: Adolescent counselling: proactive practice and specific strategies
This module explores how the counsellor implements a range of strategies to work with adolescents and teenagers. A proactive approach, effective communicates and facilitation of behaviour change in the adolescent is necessary so this is covered. It also discusses some creative and psychosocial strategies which are specific to this field of counselling such as the use of Relaxation techniques, visualization or an exploration of dreams.
- Details of course accreditation by CIE Global.
- 2 assessments, 1 at the half way point and 1 at end.
- The grade is either pass or fail. Based on the student meeting the criteria and decided by the tutor.
- Recommended study hours 20 per unit.
The criteria for assessment are:
- Theoretical Knowledge/Understanding
- Practical Implications
- Integration of Theory and Practice