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Counseling Skills Development

The development of counseling skills is at the heart of the counseling program. While knowledge is required, it is that application of knowledge through effective use of skills that allows someone to be an effective counselor. This process follows a developmental path throughout the program. While skills are presented briefly in all courses, the systematic acquisition of them begins in this counseling skills class and continues through internship in the following way:

A. Counseling Skills (CO 630 Counseling Skills)

Beginning or Entry Level Skills, Attitudes, and Behaviors (to be mastered as a condition for placement in Practicum in Counseling)

  1. Attending behavior

  2. Open invitations to speak

  3. Genuineness

  4. Congruence

  5. Non-judgmental respect

  6. Concreteness

  7. Empathy

  8. Encouragers

  9. Paraphrasing content

  10. Reflection of feeling

  11. Summarization

  12. Probes and questions

  13. Immediacy

  14. Recognizing patterns

  15. Client awareness

  16. Focusing

  17. Advanced level empathy

  18. Encouragement

  19. Pointing out client conflicts

  20. Confrontation

  21. Self-disclosure

  22. Interpretation

B. Practicum in Counseling (CO 670 Counseling Practicum)

Intermediate Skills and Behaviors (to be mastered as a condition for placement in Internship in Counseling)

  1. Theoretical Orientation Development

  2. Strategy planning for behavior change & goal setting

  3. Contracting

  4. Reinforcement and support

  5. Demonstrate ethical behavior

  6. Theme awareness

  7. Role conflicts

  8. Conceptualization

  9. Child protection

  10. Crisis/emergency plans

  11. Focusing

C. Internship in Counseling (1st internship)

Development of expertise in a single model (e.g., Reality Therapy) or in several closely related models (e.g., R.E.T. - Adlerian) under the direction of a supervisor with the appropriate interest and skills. In addition, the student is expected to present case studies in the Group Supervision Seminar including written and tape recordings of the case. All previous skills are expected to be continually demonstrated and improved upon.

D. Internship in Counseling (subsequent internship(s))

Practical Experience in a field setting consistent with professional goals. This includes skills from all previous field experiences and case presentations in the Group Supervision Seminar which demonstrates the student’s level of integration of one’s program of study.

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