03 Nov 2020

Developing Your Counselling and Psychotherapy Skills with our Short Course

We recently spoke with John Hickey who lectures on the 10 Week Certificate in Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills & Practice short course. We asked him about how the course and how it may benefit students from a personal and professional perspective?  

For many who do the course, it can be to enhance their personal awareness, increase their professional skill set, or indeed a combination of both. Some students just do the course out of curiosity, wanting to know more about Human behaviour, communication skills, and theoretical concepts. Importantly, John also highlights how vital a role the group itself plays in and throughout the course and how essential confidentiality, trust, and safety are to the participants on course.  


Why do People take the Course?

Some people have a professional interest in learning more about counsellingsome have a very personal interest in learning human psychology and development. Some have a combination of both. That’s the beauty of the short course it’s delivered this balanced way. The 10-week certificate encourages you to increase personal awareness which enhances personal development and teaches you the skills to be a better communicator.  

Benefits Personally 

The theory that we deliver in the early stages focuses on your personal awareness that you need to develop as an individual in order to become a more effective carer or listener. There’s a heavy emphasis in the first three to four lectures around personal awareness and personal growth. This is reinforced through the group itself. Students develop through taking part in the group, they may be a little shy or reluctant to speak and we understand that but encourage people to share what’s appropriate in such a setting. (Here is a recent article written around the benefits of skills-based learning online).

short course

It also helps people become more aware of the positive aspects of themselves but also some of the blind spots that they might have. There’s no doubt that helps them as well.   

The thread of the course itself is ultimately around counselling skills and communication so part of the personal development aspect of the course is helping you to become a more effective communicator. We help people practice this within the group itself and also outside of the group (with friends and family). We’ve received good feedback from this due to the greater awareness of communication and new skills.  

Benefits Professionally  

The theoretical underpinning of the course will introduce some of the major theories in counselling and psychotherapy. Some may be aware of these theories and others may not. At the heart of the course from a professional perspective, we encourage people to align themselves with the person-centred approach. We believe that as a communicator we should: 

  • Always be genuine 
  • Demonstrate empathy  
  • Have a positive regard for the people we’re working with 

A lot of people in our groups sometimes might struggle with relationships, work issues, trying to be more assertive in their personal and professional lives. They want to enhance their skills from a personal and professional perspective. From the short time we have with people, we tend to find that people do try to improve themselves. They try to be more assertive and put themselves forward for promotions where they otherwise wouldn’t have. They try to use the skills they learn in a personal and indeed professional manner.   

So as you see it’s difficult to separate the professional from the personal because they’re so interlinked. There’s a balance to how we deliver the course from both perspectives.  


The Importance of the Group

The group itself also plays a key part in the success of the course. It’s the different backgrounds and life experiences people have that make such a contribution to the experience and learning. Their willingness to appropriately self disclose, it’s not a counselling session but sometimes people will disclose things about themselves. We do notice other members learn a lot from each other, we are just there to facilitate that process in a safe way. 

The group itself is embedded in confidentiality, safety, and trust. We know that helps people share, engage, talk, and listen more effectively. At the core of this course are the elements of confidentiality, trust, and safety. It’s a big big factor.  


Want to Learn More about the Short Course?

If you want to learn more about the certificate then check out the course page today. It is an ideal introduction to the world of counselling and psychotherapy and offers participants the opportunity to explore this growing profession. 

About John  

John has worked with ICHAS since 2010 and provides a range of services including Academic and Clinical Supervision whilst also lecturing on our Undergraduate Degree Programmes in conjunction with Griffith College. He also works with individuals who experience Depression and Anxiety related conditions.