Counselling Diploma

Imran Manzoor     Level   4 Diploma in Counselling               Leeds City College


Unit Title: M/601/7633 Advanced Counselling Skills

1. Understand the process of a series of counselling sessions
1.1 Identify the stages of counselling sessions
A counselling relationship is likened to being on a journey - a beginning, middle and end (Smallwood, 2013). During the beginning phase the client develops sufficient trust in the counsellor and the relationship ‘to explore the previously feared edges of his awareness’ (Mearns and Thorne, 1988, p.126).
According to Mearns and Thorne (1988) the middle period is characterised by: intimacy, when the client experiences the counsellor as showing complete understanding, trust and valuing; What Buber describes as ‘I-Thou’, mutuality and reciprocity (Sykes and Rashid, undated). When the client moves from being ‘nourished’ by the counsellors acceptance to being able to replace that with their own developing self-acceptance (Mearns and Thorne, 1988, p.145).
The end of the process is characterised by action (Mearns and Thorne, 1988). Therapeutic movement has occurred leading to enhancement in the clients self-acceptance; the emotional factors preventing a more active life have been reduced; and there is recognition of a new freedom to make choices (Ibid. p.161).

1.2 Evaluate the importance of an appropriate opening of a series of sessions

At the beginning, an introduction and greeting is pivotal in putting the client at ease. An abrupt or insincere welcome might prevent or hinder the establishment of the relationship. The beginning should convey acceptance, valuing the client, a willingness to understand without judgement, openness and honesty, and a hope that “we shall be able to work together for as long as you feel it to be helpful and worthwhile" (Mearns and Thorne, 1999, p.126).
As a counsellor I am committed to empowering the client. To do this I make clear that she is in control of what...