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Study Counselling Techniques in this course and improve your use of counselling techniques in the counselling situation.  
  • This course will help you to develop an understanding of the major theoretical approaches to counselling.
  • How to apply theories to the counselling process
  • And more on psychodynamic theory, rational behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and much more...
  • If you are interested in becoming a counsellor or developing your counselling skills, this course is an ideal starting point for your training and professional development.
  • You can study this 100 hour course in your own home and at your own pace.


There are eight lessons in the course. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment, which you submit to your tutor for marking. You can also contact your tutor with any queries during the course.

1.  Psychoanalytic psychotherapy l - Freud, Erikson, Jung

  • Value and relevance of psychotherapy
  • Emergence of psychoanalytical theory
  • Principles of psychoanalytical theory
  • Elements of the personality
  • The notion of conscious and unconscious
  • Anxiety and psychoanalysis
  • Inbuilt psychological coping and damage repair mechanisms
  • Defense mechanisms
  • Freuds psychosexual theory and Eriksons psychosocial theory
  • Jung's perspective on personality
  • Archetypes
  • Recent developments in psychoanalytical theory
  • Goals of psychoanalytical approach
  • Psychoanalytic techniques
  • Analytic framework
  • Free associations
  • Interpretation
  • Dream analysis
  • Resistance
  • Transference
  • Psychoanalytic approach and counselling
  • Personality disorders
  • Critique for psychoanalytic theory 

2.   Psychoanalytical psychotherapy ll - Adler

  • Alfred Adler
  • Adler's key concepts
  • Inferiority vs superiority
  • What makes people self interested
  • Social interest and community feeling
  • Individual psychology
  • Psychological types: ruling type, leaning type, avoiding type
  • Sibling relationships
  • Only child
  • First child, second child, youngest child
  • Use of adlerian theory
  • Applications to counselling
  • Freud and Adler
  • Critique

3.  Humanistic/Existential approaches I - Gestalt Therapy; Fritz Perls

  • Introduction
  • Human nature
  • Holistic approach
  • Field theory
  • Figure-formation process
  • Organismic self regulation
  • Focus on the present
  • Resolving dilemmas
  • Personal maturity
  • The effect of contact
  • Effect of energy
  • The experiment
  • Confrontation
  • Gestalt techniques: Internal dialogue, reversal, rehersal, exaggeration, dream work, etc
  • Critique

4.  Humanistic/Existential approaches II - Person-Centred Counselling; Carl Rogers

  • Humanistic therapy
  • Principles of person centred approach
  • Personal attitude of the counsellor
  • Goals of therapt
  • Assessment techniques
  • Areas of application
  • Critique

5.  Rational behavioural therapy - Albert Ellis

  • Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT
  • Ellis's view of human nature
  • Personality theory
  • Goals and techniques of therapy
  • Therapeutic techniques
  • Cognitive techniques
  • Emotive techniques
  • Use of REBT
  • Critique

6.  Cognitive behavioural therapy - Aaron Beck

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and REBT
  • Premises of CBT
  • Cognitive distortions
  • Use of cognitive therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Modifications to CBT
  • Stress innoculation training program (SIT)
  • Stages of SIT
  • Constructivist modification

7.  Behavioural therapy

  • Contempory behavioural therapy
  • Behavioural approach
  • Goals ant techniques
  • Goals of therapy
  • Use of behaviour therapy
  • Basic ID
  • Critique

8.  Solution-focused counselling

  • Introduction
  • Strategies in solution focussed counselling
  • Engaging the client
  • Constructing pathways for change
  • Generating creative solutions
  • Critique

Examples of what you may do in this course

  • Explain the concept of dream analysis.
  • Differentiate between elements of traditional psychoanalytical theory in terms of its usefulness in modern day counselling.
  • Describe the modification to traditional psychoanalytical theory as prescribed by Erikson.
  • Explain an object-relations interpretation of the origin of ‘narcissistic’ and ‘borderline’ personality disorders.
  • Explain the difference between Freudian and Adlerian theory.
  • Define the key concepts of Adlerian theory including: personality, goals and lifestyle.
  • Explain the concept of superiority v inferiority.
  • Describe the 4 stages of the Adlerian counselling process, i.e: -developing the counselling relationship; -exploring the individual; -encouraging self-awareness; -re-education.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of Adlerian therapy as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define Gestalt therapy.
  • Explain the importance of elements of human nature to the Gestalt approach.
  • Discuss ways in which dilemmas can be resolved using the Gestalt approach.
  • Explain the ‘effect of contact’ and the ‘effect of energy’.
  • Discuss the use of confrontation.
  • Describe different techniques of Gestalt therapy.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of Gestalt therapy as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define person-centred counselling.
  • Outline the principles of the person-centred approach.
  • Discuss how the impact of the counselling process is assessed.
  • Discuss suitable areas of application.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of the person-centred approach as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define REBT.
  • Explain Ellis’ views on ‘human nature’.
  • Describe Ellis’ theory of personality.
  • Discuss the stages involved in developing a rational philosophy of life.
  • Describe different techniques used in REBT.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of REBT as applied to the counselling process.
  • Discuss the differences between CBT and REBT.
  • Outline the main ‘cognitive distortions’ as set out in CBT.
  • Discuss the goals of CBT.
  • Describe modifications to CBT (known as CBM).
  • Outline the 3 phases involved in CBT.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of CBT as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define the main characteristics of behavioural therapy.
  • Describe different techniques of behavioural therapy including: -relaxation training; -systematic desensitisation; -exposure therapies; -assertion training.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of behavioural therapy as applied to the counselling process.
  • Define solution-focused counselling.
  • Describe how to engage the client.
  • Describe how questions are used to construct pathways for change.
  • Discuss strategies used to generate creative solutions.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of solution-focused therapy to the counselling process.
What do our students think of the course? 

Student testimonial:  "The online courses are very easy to use and follow. Prompt friendly replies from tutor to any queries. Course structure flows freely. Very satisfied with course and results..."- Diana (completed ACS Online course in Intro to Psych and Psych & Counselling)

If you are interesting in learning more about the important theories and techniques in counselling, then this is the course for you!
Enrol today and find out more

Take this Counselling Techniques course and improve your knowledge of the major theoretical approaches to counselling, the application of theory in the counselling process and how to improve your counselling skills.

Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Miriam ter BorgPsychologist, Youth Worker, Teacher, Author and Natural Therapist. Miriam was previously an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, Youth Worker, Surfing College Program Coordinator, Massage Therapist, Business Owner/Manager. Miriam's qualifications include B.Sc.(Psych), DipRem.Massage, Cert Ourdoor Rec.
Gavin Cole Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. He has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Gavin has worked for ACS for over 10 years.

Check out our eBooks

Psychological ProfilingPsychological profiling is used to assess anyone from potential new staff and school children to serial killers. It helps you to determine someone’s personality, neuroses, mental health and career suitability. This book provides an excellent overview of psychological profiling techniques and pitfalls.
Psychology DictionaryThis book provides explanations for common terms used in Psychology.
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips
How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.