Are you a public-facing professional? Do you work with patients or clients who may need additional support during your time with them, for example nervous expectant mothers, or patients who have been involved in potentially traumatic accidents? Does part of your role involve talking to the families and loved ones of your clients or patients to provide information and advice? Do you feel that you would like to enhance your communication skills with not just patients, but with colleagues and supervisors? Would you like to learn more about yourself, and challenge yourself to communicate more openly with others?
How can this course help me?
Counselling Skills for Public-Facing Professionals aims to give you the confidence to work more effectively with your patients and their families, creating a safe space where they feel comfortable talking about themselves; you will learn how to listen ‘actively’ and attentively, respond appropriately and helpfully, and gently find out information that may be vital to ensuring a positive outcome for your patient; you will gain the tools to empower your patient or their family to make the best decisions for the future, and help them to understand their situation.
This course has been created by the National Counselling Society in response to calls from various healthcare and other public-facing practitioners across the sector – midwives, nurses, domiciliary care workers, physiotherapists, social workers to name but a few – for access to low-cost, convenient, high-quality courses in Counselling Skills. In addition to meeting CPD requirements, we were asked to provide training that healthcare practitioners could use to feel more confident and prepared in their day-to-day role.
The importance of counselling skills in public-facing settings is becoming increasingly vital. An article in Nursing Times calls for more support around the mental health of mothers; studies linking mental health and physiotherapy are increasing and ongoing, with a study published in Clinical Obesity acknowledging a positive link between improving psychological well-being and management of other physical health issues leading to improved Self-Rated Health in obese patients; and CommunityCare have articles discussing how social care staff can improve their communication, and how you can teach compassion to social care staff.
What this tells us is that the sector acknowledges how important communication and basic counselling skills are to improve the experience and outcomes of service users.
Standards & Certification
This course is intended to be suitable for the target audience defined in Tier 1 of the Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework commissioned and funded by the Department of Health and developed in collaboration by Skills for Health, Skills for Care and Health Education England (HEE).
It will be valuable for support staff who may interact with those affected by mental health issues and therefore need to have an awareness and understanding of mental health issues. It can help with establishing positive relationships with individuals who have mental health problems.
The Framework can be found here: http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/services/item/525-mental-health-download
Learning Outcomes & Course Requirements
By the end of the course you will be able to:
1. Explain the term counselling skills
2. Review a range of communication skills used in counselling
3. Evaluate how these skills can be used in your professional healthcare context
4. Describe the main elements of a therapeutic relationship
5. Apply learning appropriately to your own CPD requirements
- What are counselling skills?
- Who uses counselling skills?
- Professional counselling
- Continuing Professional Development
- Active Listening
- Mindful Listening
- Communication Skills
- Non-Verbal Communication
- Minimal Encouragers
- Reflecting Meaning
- Reflecting Feelings
- Thoughts, beliefs, and feelings
- The importance of being tentative
- Using questions
- Mixing listening and questioning
- Types of Questions
- Managing Silence
- The therapeutic relationship
- Core conditions
- Unconditional positive regard
This course is aimed at healthcare and public-facing professionals from a range of backgrounds.
Topics covered by the course include, but are not limited to: listening, communication, and non-verbal communication skills; reflecting meaning and feelings; use of language; paraphrasing and summarising, and the core conditions.
The examples and activities given in the course are directly related to the healthcare and public-facing professions, and will guide participants to think about how best to use counselling skills within their roles.
The course requires self-directed learning, and contains activities that you will need to undertake with the help of a colleague or friend. You do not need to purchase any books or journals to complete this course, but there is a section on recommended reading at the end of the course should you wish to continue learning more about counselling skills.
Upon completion of this course you will be awarded a certificate for 15 CPD hours.
Please be aware that this course is not designed to train you to become a counsellor or the sole provider of mental health support for your patients, but to give you the skills and tools to support them within your existing role alongside a qualified mental health professional where required.
To find out more about becoming a professional Counsellor, please visit the National Counselling Society website, where you can find Accredited training courses in your area.