Counselling Short Course (2022)


This Counselling Short Course is aimed at providing a look at the fundamentals of counselling. The course will be of much interest to those who wish to enter the profession of counselling in the private sector or who are interested in working with others.

An in depth look at different problems the counsellor may encounter when dealing with others and gives a detailed overview of body language and business planning for those who are interested in entering into a private business will be provided. The course also offers the student the chance to analyse their own life and come to terms with their feelings on various subjects.

The course is divided into 10 units of study, you can read a detailed summary of each unit in the ‘Content’ section at the bottom of the page.

To help spread the cost of the course, you can opt to spread the course fees over an interest and credit check free instalment plan. To do this, select the option for instalment payment from the drop-down box above the ‘Enrol’ button.


Counselling Short Course Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enter into our Counselling Short Course Diploma (Level 3).

Short Course Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

200 hours in total. Or 20 hours per week over 10 weeks.


Written assessment at the end of each unit of study.


Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.

Counselling Short Course Content

Unit 1: Introduction to Counselling

This unit provides the foundations for the rest of the course and gives the student an idea of the kind of work they will be doing as a counsellor if they choose to work in the profession. This unit will also focus upon the qualities a counsellor must demonstrate to help their clients successfully and professionally. Confidentiality is discussed along with breaking confidentiality. Genuineness, unconditional regard, and empathy are examined along with the need for the counsellor to offer a non-judgemental atmosphere.


Unit 2: Individuals and Groups

This unit discusses how to build key client relationships, maintaining confidence and trust of clients, delivering quality services, and managing client expectations. It details the counsellor’s office and placement of furniture, how to use open questions and how to summarise the client’s answers to show a high level of understanding. It continues on to examine non-verbal communications, challenging, confronting, and the understanding of what a client may not be saying.

This unit will focus on how to build client relationships, maintaining confidence and trust of clients, delivering quality services, managing client expectations, and achieving value-added contribution raising client satisfaction.

Objectives of unit:

  • Building the client / consultant relationship
  • Understanding the client
  • Building trust and confidence
  • Phases of the relationship
  • Understanding problems
  • The meaning and importance of quality

Groups are very complex entities, requiring special skills and interactions. This unit will look at group behaviour in depth and study some of the most influential theories. Working as part of a group requires individuals to set aside their own personal desires and take on those of the whole group; within this there is room for a subsection of ‘personal goals’.

This unit will specifically examine cohesion and leadership. In any group, there has to be a leader, or ‘leaders’. This can pose problems of poor relationship building, lack of respect, hierarchical issues, and some basic clashes or resentments. In this unit these elements will be discussed and some strategies presented, which can be used to overcome these potentially difficult situations.


Unit 3: Reappraisal, Functions, and Theories; The Five Approaches

This unit looks in detail at the five theories which have been adopted as approaches in counselling. In this unit the work of Freud, Rogers, Skinner, Ellis, Jung and Eagan will be looked at in brief, and the corresponding counselling approaches examined.


Unit 4: The Psychodynamic Approach Relevant to Counselling

This unit will study the Psychodynamic approach to counselling will look at how it applies to the counselling situation. Specific examples will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach.


Unit 5: The Cognitive Behavioural  Approach relevant to Counselling

This unit will study the Cognitive Behavioural approach to counselling will look at how it applies to the counselling situation. Specific examples will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach.


Unit 6: The Person Centred Approach Relevant to Counselling

This unit will study the Person Centred approach to counselling will look at how it applies to the counselling situation. Specific examples will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach.


Unit 7: Various Outlines: Part 1

This unit of the course offers the student information highlighting various situations that they may come across in their work as a counsellor.  Being able to discuss different feelings and record signs is paramount to the effective counsellor. The signs and symptoms are discussed separately along with different ways to draw information out of the client.

Having a working understanding of different symptoms allows the counsellor to understand what the client may be feeling and guide them towards seeing their problem, understanding it, and working through the feelings.  Depression, Stress, and Suicide are all discussed in this unit.

Relationships may be the leading cause of a person’s loss of confidence and as a counsellor may come up against this problem with numerous clients, an understanding of how human beings relate to each other is crucial. This unit explores relationships, how important they may be in a person’s life, and what kinds of problems may occur.

As ‘sexuality’ describes the way in which a person expresses themselves as a sexual being, it is important that the counsellor understand sexuality and how important it is for a human to understand and be comfortable with theirs. This unit explores sexuality and the importance of a counsellor’s non-judgemental approach to their client.


Unit 8: Various Outlines: Part 2

Death and bereavement are explored here starting with the stages of dying and the tasks of mourning.

Those who are bereaved need their own time to pass through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The counsellor must understand these steps in order to counsel a bereaved client and gaining understanding aids in the counsellor’s ability to empathise. This unit also offers the student the ‘counselling principles and procedures’ when dealing with a client with these problems.

Drugs and alcohol are explored in this unit from their descriptions to the effects they have on humans. Long term and short term effects are discussed along with support counselling for drug dependency.

The student will absorb information on:

  • Alcohol
  • Inhalants
  • Cannabis
  • Depressants
  • Cocaine
  • Narcotics
  • Designer drugs

Financial problems can arise for a number of reasons and can be devastating for anyone. This part of the unit discusses the counsellor’s objectives and how the counsellor sets the client a series of homework objectives.


Unit 9: Counselling Ethics

A counsellor must adhere to a strict code of ethics when dealing with the vulnerable and the student will gain the knowledge of what is expected of them if they choose to take on this role.

This unit will discuss boundaries or limitations and will look at how to recognise and deal with these. It will also look at what types of consent and responsibilities the counsellor must seek when building up a trusting and communicative relationship with clients.


Unit 10: Counselling Administration and Personal Development

 The responsibilities of the Counsellor are many but can be broken down into sections for ease of understanding.  These stand as:

  • General Responsibilities and Obligations
  • Counsellor Support and Competence
  • Client Safety and Autonomy
  • Permissions and Boundaries
  • Confidentiality Requirements and Management

 The last part of this course is six modules based on the counsellor’s ‘Self Development’.  This part of the course is for the student alone, and the student will not be assessed on this information.  There is ‘Action Learning’ throughout the course which prompts the student to examine their own feelings and discuss what they believe to be their goals. Their present abilities are questioned, and they are asked to focus on their inner feeling and examine past situations in their lives. This coaching course is for the student personally and is a full course in its own merit.




This Counselling Short Course Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: