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The University of Southampton

PSYC6083 Fundamentals of Therapeutic Skills

Module Overview

This module teaches you the fundamental clinical skills needed to engage with adult clients, to help you assess their readiness to change, and to plan appropriate behavioural interventions. You will make use of these skills in workshop based teaching for other modules on the Programme and will learn how to adapt your approach when working with clients from diverse backgrounds. You will build on your skills to prepare clients for ending therapy and reduce the risk of relapse.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Develop basic counselling skills • Develop knowledge and understanding of the Stages of Change Model • Develop your ability to make use of basic motivational interviewing skills • Develop your knowledge and understanding of issues to do with race, culture and diversity which need to be considered when working with clients • Develop understanding of client's experience when facing the ending of therapy

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate and take a critical approach to the use of basic counselling skills
  • Make use of and take a critical approach to basic motivational interviewing skills
  • Describe, make use of and critique the cycle of change and consider interventions appropriate to expectations
  • Critically evaluate the delivery of psychological therapies such as CBT in a cross- cultural context.


Coverage is given to basic counselling skills for use in working with adults in a multi-cultural, diverse world. You will learn how to use interviewing and counselling skills to foster the client’s wish to change. Prochaska and DiClemente’s model of the Stages of Change is explored in the context of further training on Motivational Interviewing to enhance the client’s willingness and ability to change. You will learn skills to increase your effectiveness in working with clients who are resistant to changing unhealthy behavior. You will gain experience of changing an aspect of your own behaviour, using the skills you have learnt in class. You will progress to learning how to prepare clients for ending therapy and how to draw up a relapse prevention plan.

Special Features

The behaviour change assignment gives you the chance to experience the challenges which may face patients in trying to change their behaviour. You will be asked to keep a diary of your experience of behaviour change and use this as the basis for writing up a report showing the outcome of your behaviour change experiment. You do not have to be successful in changing your behaviour but need to demonstrate your learning from the process of trying to change. You will have the opportunity to take part in role play practice of counselling skills and will receive peer and programme team feedback on your skills. You will video a role play for summative assessment using Panopto and will receive feedback on this from the Programme team. You will have the opportunity to practise skills throughout teaching and will be encouraged to carry on practising with your study group. You will receive teaching from NHS clinicians and will learn from their case examples.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will involve a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars. You will take part in role-play exercises and small group presentations. You will be required to carry out directed reading and independent study.

Independent Study150
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Burnham, J. (2011). Developments in Social Graces: Visible-invisible and voiced-unvoiced. Culture and reflexivity in Systemic Psychotherapy: Mutual Perspectives. 

Hayes, S. (2004). A practical guide to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. 

Egan, G. (2014). The Skilled Helper: A client centred approach. 

Aldridge, S. and Rigby, S (Eds) (2001). Counselling skills in context. 

D’Ardenne, P. (2013). Counselling in Transcultural Settings. 

Miller, W.R. & Rollnick, S. (2002). Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change. 

Salkovskis, P.M. (1996). Frontiers of Cognitive Therapy: The State of the Art and Beyond. 

Palmer, S. (2002). Multicultural Counselling: A reader. 

Lago, C. (Ed) (2011). The Handbook of Transcultural Counselling and Psychotherapy. 

Westbrook, D., Kennerly, H. & Kirk, J. (2007). An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Skills and Applications. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (2500 words) 80%
Video 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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