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Basic Clinical and Observational Skills


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Assessment: a 3000-word written (take-away) examination (100%)

Module description

This module aims to develop observational skills through practical exercises in observing interactions between people both in non-counselling and counselling situations.

indicative module Syllabus

  • Introduction to clinical skills, including listening psychodynamically, forming a working alliance, managing clinical boundaries, making appropriate interventions etc.
  • Making observations (in the workplace, on placement) in order to learn how to take up the role of observer, how to understand interaction on both conscious and unconscious levels, how to apply this learning to the development of clinical skills.
  • Introduction to the basic ethical and professional  principles of psychodynamic counselling/therapy (with particular reference to the Ethical Framework of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy).

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • understand and use psychoanalytic and psychodynamic principles to increase knowledge of both theory and practice, of personality development, of the inner and outer worlds of the client and of the institutional and group influences on personal development
  • demonstrate skills in thinking psychodynamically about counselling/therapy issues, and making professional communications about counselling/therapy work
  • demonstrate the capacity for professional and ethical thinking in counselling/therapy.