At City Lit, we believe that counselling skills are fundamental human skills. They help us to understand ourselves. They increase our capacities to listen, articulate, and empathise; and they ultimately enable us to support, understand and help those around us.
Whether you are interested in studying counselling as a way to begin a rich and rewarding career or to develop your personal and human capacities, we have highlighted five ways our Counselling: an introduction course can help you to become ‘a better you’.
Counselling is all about listening to and truly hearing others. We live in an age where we’re compelled to express ourselves, but can be unsure whether we are being heard and understood. Whether through social media, where we often convert the complexity of our thoughts or experiences into a limited number of characters, images, or memes; or in everyday life where time and patience can often be short. As a result, some would argue that we have diminished our ability to listen and to hear each other, which can have a significant impact on our relationships and general wellbeing. Whilst being able to express and articulate our internal world, thoughts and emotions, equally important is our capacity to hear what is expressed by others. Learning skills in counselling enhances these listening abilities, helping others to be heard, and at the same time supporting us in being heard ourselves.
Whilst listening is essential as a skill in counselling and everyday life, dialogue and the capacity to encourage and prompt others to talk and articulate is also very important. Allowing and facilitating others to express and reflect relies on asking the right questions, as well as attentive listening. Whilst counselling training builds these capacities in a formal context, developing our abilities to talk and discuss openly, authentically, and caringly has huge benefits for our everyday relationships and encounters with others.
Awareness of others
Training in counselling helps build our awareness of others, and the huge diversity in identities, lives and experiences of people different to ourselves. Difficulties and conflicts between humans often arise from this inability to comprehend another’s experience, and our counselling courses support this recognition of different lives, helping build empathetic skills, to see others as they are, from their perspective. Building greater awareness of diversity and differences between people - whether in terms of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or race – is essential now more than ever. Greater empathy strengthens social relationships and helps nourish rich, diverse and strong friendships and communities. At the same time, recognising differences can also reveal the opposite – identifying that which we have in common - our shared perspectives, experiences, challenges and values.
Those pursuing counselling as a means to a career will generally do so with the deep desire to support others, however learning in the area of counselling also ensures that we engage in self-reflection, helping us to understand and articulate our own experiences, emotions and responses to others. Our emotions and behaviours - consciously and unconsciously - have a huge impact on those around us. Self-awareness - developed through talking, reflective skills, and journaling – can be one of the most challenging aspects of studying counselling, but inevitably leads to highly rewarding self-discovery and development. Greater self-awareness helps us to manage our impact on those with whom we share our lives in more positive ways and supports us in discovering a deeper, more authentic self.
Career progression and skills in the workplace
For us, counselling skills are essential skills that all of us should cultivate to enrich our personal and working lives. Our courses are designed to enable learners to progress from introductory level to our higher level Certificate in counselling skills and Diploma in therapeutic counselling: integrative pathway, leading to qualified status for those who wish to establish a professional career. At the same time, the skills and competencies acquired through learning provide huge benefits for any job or profession – whether in the helping industries or in other sectors. All workplaces rely on positive relationships between colleagues, and the skills outlined above contribute toward building those essential capacities. A Counselling: an introduction course is a great addition to any CV, and can help towards establishing a more healthy, more compassionate, and more collaborative workplace and working life.
If you are interested in learning more about a career in counselling, read our Q&A with Delrose Bowes.