Using Counselling Skills

Counselling skills are useful in all walks of life – we often counsel ourselves or a friend/family member who is going through a hard time. Maybe they need you to provide advice or to just be a good listener. Learning how to put these skills into practice could help change someone’s life as well as your own.

Maybe you’ve got first hand experience of mental health conditions and you’d like to help others, perhaps you’re a team leader or manager involved in helping people, or you run a support group which requires listening and helping others, or maybe you’re thinking of a career as a  counsellor.

This course can open many doors for you get on track to supporting people in everyday life or as a career.



Course requirements

You will need to be at least 19 years of age and have a good command of basic English. You will need to be able to make an audio recording of a helping dialogue, or be able to ask a witness to validate your helping conversation. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Duration of study

As a guideline, you should allow for around 30 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 6 months from the date of enrolment.


This course leads to Unit Accreditation towards the Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills, accredited by Training Qualifications UK (TQUK).


'Using Counselling Skills' units:
  • Topic 1: Helping relationships and communication skills
  • Topic 2: Essential counselling skills
  • Topic 3: Active listening
  • Topic 4: Reflecting, paraphrasing, summarising and responding to silence
  • Topic 5: Responding skills — questioning
  • Topic 6: Managing boundaries
  • Topic 7: Agreeing objectives for a helping
  • Topic 8: Endings and their impact


This course has:
  • 4 assignments

You will also be required to complete:
  • A recorded conversation

Set texts and resources

This course is entirely self-contained so no additional textbooks are required. However, you may find it helpful to purchase the following book for additional reading: "Counselling Skills in Everyday Life" by K Geldard and D Geldard, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. This is not included in your course fee.

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit

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