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Professional Practice In Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course


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Professional Practice In Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: BPS207 CLD
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Professional Practice In Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course

Professional Practice in Counselling course online. Understand how to use your counselling skills professionally. Learn to develop your understanding of appropriate practices and procedures within the counselling profession. Also gain knowledge of the self, personality and emotions and their effect on the counselling process as well as being introduced to some of the most common disorders.

Pre-requisites:   Introduction to Psychology (or equivalent)


ACCPH logo This level 3 course is accredited by ACCPH and allows you to join as a professional member after completion. Membership allows you to add the letters MACCPH after your name (post-nominals).


CMA Logo


This course has been accredited by the CMA - The Complimentary Medical Association. On completion of any qualifying module, you can join as a "Fully Qualified Practitioner" and be entitled to use the post-nominal latters "MCMA" after your name. CMA Full Membership is a privileged position and the fact that you have been accepted for CMA Membership demonstrates that you have a clear commitment to standards and professionalism. CMA Members in all categories are recognised as the elite in their field.



Learning Goals:  Professional Practice In Counselling BPS207
  • Discuss some of the main personal qualities that counselling will draw upon and demonstrate an awareness of the types of issues that new counsellors will need to resolve within themselves.
  • Raise awareness of: the ethical issues that arise within the profession, legal requirements, informed consent, decision-making and other related topics.
  • Gain insight into how the self, and ones perception of the self influences both the client and the counsellor, and to understand the effect of the self upon relationships both within and outside the counselling process.
  • Enhance awareness of what is considered a healthy personality, to consider different types of personality tests, and to become aware of the application of different approaches to personality within the counselling process.
  • Explain how emotions arise, what they are, how they influence our bodies, minds and behaviour, and their role in the counselling process.
  • Understand the necessity for counsellors to have ongoing supervision throughout their professional career and to be constantly striving to upgrade their skills.
  • Delineate circumstances in which it is preferable to refer a client on to another health care professional, and to understand some of the main disorders that they may encounter.


Lesson Structure:    Professional Practice In Counselling BPS207

There are 7 lessons:

1.   Understanding Counselling:

  • The client-counsellor relationship;
  • Effective counselling;
  • Counselling the counsellor;
  • Counsellors values;
  • Multicultural counselling

2.   Ethics & Confidentiality:

  • Needs;
  • A code of ethics;
  • Informed consent;
  • Right to privacy;
  • Legal requirements;
  • Use of psychometric tests;
  • Ethics and multiple relationships;
  • Keeping records.

3.   Understanding the Self:

  • Self-awareness;
  • Self-monitoring;
  • Self-concept;
  • Social Perception;
  • Attribution theory;
  • Implicit personality theory;
  • Relationships;
  • Social exchange;
  • Love and intimacy.

4.   Personality:

  • What is a healthy personality?;
  • Trait approach;
  • Psychodynamic approach;
  • Humanistic approach;
  • Social learning and cognitive approaches.

5.   Emotions & Behaviour:

  • What are emotions?;
  • Emotions and Counselling;
  • Effect on communication,
  • Aspects of emotions, Emotional expression and counselling.

6.   Supervision:

  • Why supervision?;
  • Working with others;
  • Quantity and effectiveness of supervision;
  • Personal counselling;
  • Dependency;
  • Types of supervision.

7.   Referral Practice:

  • Counselling v mental health issues;
  • Secondary care counsellors;
  • Abnormal psychology;
  • Anxiety;
  • Depression;
  • Schizophrenia;
  • Personality disorders.


Practicals:    Professional Practice In Counselling BPS207
  • Explain why a counsellor needs to be open to personal growth.
  • Discuss personal qualities that are beneficial to a counsellor.
  • Discuss how the counselling of a counsellor can be of benefit to their personal effectiveness
  • Describe how a counsellor's own values can impose on the counselling process
  • Outline the importance of an ongoing education and an awareness of other cultures.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of other useful counselling qualities through role play.
  • Discuss the importance of having a code of ethics in counselling.
  • Describe what is meant by informed consent.
  • Discuss the extent to which the client has a right to privacy
  • Understand when and how psychometric tests may be used.
  • Describe how to keep client records.
  • Discuss how the counsellor's own sense of self-awareness can affect the counselling process.
  • Describe how self-perception can influence identity, roles and self-actualisation.
  • Define schemas, scripts, and attributions and their influence on social-perception.
  • Discuss the effect of attractiveness, closeness and similarity on relationships.
  • Discuss the effect of different levels of self-disclosure on the counselling relationship.
  • Describe symptoms of relationship breakdown.
  • Define a healthy personality.
  • Discuss the effect of nature and nurture on personality.
  • Describe the use of different personality tests.
  • Compare and contrast different approaches to personality and their application to the counselling process.
  • Discuss what is meant by emotions with other people.
  • Describe the effect of emotions on communications.
  • Define different aspects of emotions including: physiology, cognition and behaviour.
  • Demonstrate ways in which emotional expression can affect the counselling process.
  • Discuss different methods of supervision of counsellors.
  • Describe how dependency can evolve in the counselling process.
  • Discuss the importance of upgrading skills and ongoing supervision.
  • Outline methods of observation used in supervision.
  • Discuss the counsellor's responsibility to the client.
  • Explain what might be considered as abnormal.
  • Define symptoms of commonly encountered disorders.



Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Iona Lister and your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout. Here are Iona's credentials:

Iona Lister tutor CounsellingIona Lister
Licentiate, Speech and Language Therapy, UK, Diploma in Advanced Counselling Skills.

Iona has been a clinician and manager of health services for fifteen years, and a trainer for UK-based medical charities, focusing on psychosocial issues, mental health disorders, and also the promotion of communication skills for people in helping roles. She tutors and facilitates groups via workshops and teleconferences, and now specialises in Sight Loss. As a freelance writer, she contributes regular feature articles for magazines, has written five published books, as well as published courses relating to personal development and counselling skills.


Iona has also written published books, courses and articles across a wide range of subjects, mostly in the areas of health, counselling, psychology, crafts and wildlife.

She has drawn experience from clinical and managerial experience within the NHS as well as medical and humanitarian subjects. She has been a regular feature writer and expert panel member of a national magazine for six years.

Books include: A Guide to Living with Alzheimer's Disease (and associated dementias), The Psychology of Facial Disfigurement; a Guide for Health and Social Care Professionals, When a Medical Skin Condition Affects the Way you Look; A Guide to Managing Your Future, Facing Disfigurement with Confidence, Cross Stitch: A Guide to Creativity and Success for Beginners.
Courses written include: Mental Health and Social Work, Counselling Skills, Understanding and Responding to Substance Misuse, Journalling for Personal Development, Guided Imagery, Stress Management.


Current work includes: Tutor: Courses associated with Creative Writing, Counselling Skills, Psychology, Holistic Therapy, Certified Hypnotherapist and Hypnotension Practitioner. 

Facilitator of Teleconference Groups: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) 

Trainer (Skills for Seeing): Macular Society 

Reviewer of Books/Information: Macmillan Cancer Support 


Fundraiser: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Embroidery/Art Groups Facilitator, Board Member

Website Manager: The Strathcarron Project, Coordinator (Delaware & Tennessee) Human Writes



Excerpt from the Course


A Code of Ethics

As a practicing counsellor it is up to the individual to acquaint themselves with the ethical decisions of their member organization and the state or jurisdiction in which they reside.  It is ignorant not to do so.

Codes of ethics educate the public and the practitioners about what is acceptable within the profession.  They also define accountability and protect the clients from unethical practices.  These codes also provide a means for self- monitoring and hence improving one’s professional practice.  It should be pointed out that these codes normally reflect what is considered unacceptable so that it would not be considered good professional practice to simply adhere to these guidelines. The dedicated professional will strive at all times to achieve the highest of standards.

There are generally considered to be 2 types of professional ethics:

Mandatory ethics – the level of ethical functioning that conforms to the minimum standards required by the profession

Aspirational ethics – striving to attain the highest standards.

Legal issues are increasingly and rather sadly intertwined with ethical concerns, though they are two separate matters.  It is unfortunate but true that there are many people around today who wish to take out law suits against just about anyone or everyone.  Consequently, many counsellors are naturally concerned about being sued. This can affect their counselling practice, as some counsellors shift their focus from providing services that are beneficial to the client (which can require taking some initiative and making some difficult choices) to meeting minimum legal requirements so as to avoid risk of legal action.

However, counsellors should always be aware of legal parameters, and develop a personal and professional ethic that is within those parameters yet focused on the client.

Probably the best ways to maintain ethical requirements are to ensure that respect for the client is maintained at all times, that the client’s welfare is always of primary concern to the practitioner, and that the practitioner always works within the professional codes. Any code of ethics cannot be held as a strict doctrine that can be applied to all eventualities within a given profession. Rather, it should be treated as a guideline that offers some degree of flexibility.

Making ethical decisions

There are a number of points to be taken into consideration when attempting to make an ethical decision.

- What is the problem?  Seek out as much information as possible to define the problem, e.g. is it ethical, legal, moral, professional and so on?

- What are the issues involved?  Work out the rights and responsibilities of those involved.

- Check the ethical guidelines and how your own views compare with these.

- Check the relevant laws to ensure that they do not conflict with the ethical decision.

- Consult with other professionals who are knowledgeable in the area of concern.

- Brainstorm over possible courses of action, and include the client in the process.

- Consider the options and consequences of taking each one, and discuss with the client.

- Choose the best course of action and follow up to ensure that no further action is necessary.

As far as is possible, include the client during each step of the ethical decision- making process.

Informed consent

This refers to the principle that clients should be informed about their rights and obligations.  Informed consent not only helps to build a trusting relationship with the client, but also makes them feel empowered, and the policies associated with it should be explained in the preliminary counselling session.

In the counselling situation, informed consent includes informing the client of the goals of the counselling process, of the responsibilities of both client and counsellor, of legal and ethical parameters, of the counsellor’s qualifications, fees, anticipated length of the therapeutic process, benefits and risks, and the fact that the counsellor will probably discuss elements of the client’s case with their colleagues, among other things. It is preferable not to give the client too much or too little information, but rather to strike a balance.

Providing informed consent allows the client to take an active role in the counselling process.  It is also a good idea to have some basic points written down which can be handed to the client at the beginning of the counselling process. The client can take this away with them and raise any questions that it might evoke during the next session.

Right to privacy

Confidentiality is both a legal and an ethical issue.  It is the duty of the counsellor to inform the client of the degree of confidentiality that they can expect from the counsellor. This should be discussed early on in the process.

The client has a right to know that the counsellor may discuss certain details of their relationship with the counsellor’s supervisors or colleagues, but that this information will only be discussed with those related to the case.

Also, counsellors may have to break confidentiality from time to time.  This is particularly true when it becomes evident to the counsellor that the client is a danger to themselves or others. There is a legal requirement in the case of child abuse, abuse of the elderly, and danger to others to submit a client’s file if requested.  All mental health practitioners need to be aware of their duty to report such instances.

Legal requirements to report information

The counsellor must report information in the following situations:

- If clients are a danger to themselves and others

- Where there is suspicion of sexual interference with a child or adolescent client

- If the client requires hospitalization

- If the courts require the information

- If the client wishes his or her records to be released either to the client or to another party.

The therapist should not disclose any information about the client to friends or family without first getting the client’s permission.

Ethics and Culture

It is necessary for the counsellor to develop strategies that are relevant to a range of different cultures that are found within a multi- cultural environment, and that take into account the fact that many assumptions about mental health are not applicable to different cultures.  Many of the therapeutic models used in counselling have been developed to cater solely for white, middle- class Western societies. For example, many approaches focus on individualism, whereas many cultures focus on collectivism.  The counsellor needs to be aware how to adapt their own paradigms to suit the needs of his/her client.

Multi- cultural counsellors may seek to enable the client to change those factors that are affecting the individual’s social environment and causing them problems, rather than focusing on the individual. In any counselling diagnosis (psychodiagnosis), the counsellor needs to be aware of any ethnic and cultural patterns that could influence the diagnosis. Although many counsellors do not believe in a diagnosis as such, suggesting that it impedes the counselling process, it can be useful in discovering what the client hopes to achieve through their counselling sessions. However, it is to the benefit of the individual and society if they are assessed for risk of life- threatening problems.

Use of psychometric tests

Tests can be used in the counselling process to test various aptitudes, attitudes, values and so on.  Where they are incorporated there are certain guidelines to consider:

  • The testing should be a collaborative process.  The client should be allowed to select the tests themselves from those that the counsellor is able to administer.
  • The client’s reasons for wishing to take the tests should also be explored, as this in itself can provide valuable information about the client.
  • The intended purpose of the test should be clearly explained.
  • The test results should be discussed openly with the client. This does not simply mean providing them with a score, but involves interpreting the findings and explaining any relevance to the client’s problems or issues.
  • It should be emphasised to the client that the tests are merely a means of gleaning further information, that they are not terribly accurate, that they can only provide an indication of areas to explore, and that they will not in any way demean the client. 
  • It must be acknowledged that any test scores can be affected by gender, class, ethnicity, culture, environment and other factors.
  • Tests should not be administered if the client is expressing doubt, anxiety or other such feelings.  The client should be comfortable with the idea.

The word ‘test’ can instil fear in some people.  It may be better to use a word such as ‘measurement’. 

Ethics and Multiple relationships

Multiple roles can occur when the counsellor takes on two or more different roles with the same client (e.g. as counsellor and friend), either during the counsellor process or after the counselling has been completed.  These roles are not always harmful to either party, though sometimes they can be viewed as unethical and detrimental to the client. Current codes of ethics warn against entering into relationships that could impinge upon objectivity within the counselling process. They do not prohibit such relationships but tend to point out the risks involved, including legal and psychological risks.

There is not a great deal of consensus over ways of dealing with multiple relationships, except for agreement over the unethical nature of sexual liaisons with clients. It is impossible to over- rule the existence of multiple relationships, since relationship boundaries do not remain static. Sexual relationships, however, are particularly considered unprofessional and unethical because of the unequal power between counsellor and client, and the fact that clients are usually in a somewhat – or very – vulnerable state. However, the same applies to other kinds of relationships.

It is beneficial to consider ways in which risks can be minimized. To do so, before choosing a course of action, the counsellor should weigh up the potential benefits with the potential harm. Other tools for minimising the risk of multiple relationships are:

- Defining boundaries. These should be delineated at the onset of the counselling process. Informed consent needs to be addressed here.

- Keeping documented records of the counselling process

- Consulting with colleagues and supervisors

- Working under supervision where you feel there might be potential for misunderstanding or if you feel that the client is attempting to initiate a different relationship

- Referring clients on if you anticipate any potential for harm

- Continually monitoring yourself and asking whether you are meeting your own needs within the relationship, or those of your client.

Whenever possible, it is best to avoid a multiple relationship where it can be avoided. If it cannot be (for instance, if your client is also your neighbour or a business colleague or the friend of a friend), do your best to ensure professional and ethical practice, using the above tools or by clearly defining – and maintaining – your counsellor- client relationship from the beginning. Deal ethically and responsibly with each situation as it arises.

Whatever the situation, the risks (both legal risks to you and psychological risks to the client) ought to be recognised before entering you enter into an additional relationship with your client.  Use the above tools to help you minimise risk, if needed, and if in doubt, work under supervision for a while.


EBook to compliment this Course


Professional Practice For Consultants EBook

Learn how to turn your expertise and advice into a professional and successful business. This ebook covers how to be a consultant, how to sell your services, how to find work and much more. 

eBook cover various people as professional counsellingProfessional Practice For Consultants 
By The Staff Of ACS Distance Learning

Professional Practice for Consultants eBook course online. Explore becoming a consultant. This ebook contains chapters on how to be a consultant, packaging your services, delivering the services, building your resources, finding the work and getting the job, planning and ethics.

Whether you work for yourself or someone else, you need to be able to present what you have to offer in a way which attracts employers. As a consultant, you need to stand out from others in your field. Whilst to some degree your demand will be related to your relevant experience, years in the industry, and perhaps notoriety through media recognition, publications, word-of-mouth and so forth - the way that you sell yourself is also important.

It is important to consider:

■ What services am I going to offer?
■ How am I going to present my services?
■ What am I going to charge?


Chapter 1 - How to be a Consultant
  • Areas of operation
  • Who employs consultants?
  • Consultancy offshoots
  • Consultant resources
Chapter 2 - Packaging your services
  • Choosing your services
  • Presenting your services
  • Presenting yourself
  • Structuring fees
Chapter 3 - Delivering your services
  • Developing a contract pro forma
  • Time management
  • Group work
  • Outsourcing
  • Location
  • What to ask a client
Chapter 4 - Building your Resources
  • Networking
  • Collaboration
  • Developing relationships with clients
  • Developing relationships with employment agencies
  • Memberships
  • Physical resources

Chapter 5 - Finding the work, Getting the job
  • Where to look for work
  • Preparing for job interviews and meetings with potential clients
  • Creating a curriculum vitae or resume
  • Selling your expertise or your consultancy
  • New contracts
Chapter 6 Planning
  • The importance of planning
  • Situational analysis
  • Marketing strategy 
Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?Full time classroom based Further Education Courses - Approx. £5,000 per year - Part-time classroom based Adult Education Courses - Approx. £7.00 per hour - N.B. classroom tuition means you learn at the pace of the class. One-to-one private tuition - from £15.00 per hour - ADL one-to-one tution fees - From £340 per 100 Hour Course = Average of £3.40 per hour - N.B. one-to-one tuition is tailored to your own individual learning availability and pace.
Course StartBegin your learning at any time.
Course Prerequisite None - Our course levels are an indication of the depth of learning you should receive. They do not describe the level of difficulty.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Endorsed Qualification from TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation - Completed written assignments and final evaluation per course/module to be taken.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)Certificate of Attainment from ADL - Completed written assignments only - no final evaluation.
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
Course Duration and DeadlinesCourse hours given are a guide only. You will be encouraged to work at your own pace to learn as much as you can, with no assignment deadlines or end date by which you must complete your course by. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the Moodle online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed. They will also mark and grade your assignments, plus provide constructive and helpful feedback vital to your success.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Doing the job right using the correct knowledge and skills, leads to repeat business and referrals to friends, family and work colleagues. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to achieve this and grow your business.
Recognition of Your Course By EmployersWe aim to achieve the correct balance between your qualification being recognised and providing you with the in-depth learning, to empower you to succeed. If you can demonstrate that you have the level of knowledge and transferable skills necessary to an employer, you should stand out from someone who has only received a superficial understanding of what's required - Select study option A when enrolling, so an employer can check the status of the awarding organisation for your qualification on the Ofqual Register.
Recognition of Your Course By UniversitiesAs you will see on our Testimonials page, previous students have used their qualification from us to get into university. However each one will have its own entrance criteria and acceptance may also depend on your other qualifications and experience. We can approach up to three universities on your behalf with details of our course before you enrol, so you will know whether it will be accepted as part of their application process. Please complete our contact form and we will begin the process.
Designing Your Own QualificationBundle up your choice of related courses to form your own qualification. Our Advanced Certificates (4 courses), Diplomas (6 courses), Advanced Diplomas (8 courses) and Higher Advanced Diplomas (12 courses), are used to differentiate between the in-depth knowledge and skills you will acquire in your chosen area of study. e.g. Advanced Certificate in Turf Care Management, which includes individual courses: Turf Care, Sports Turf Care, Turf Repair and Renovation and Turf Grasses.
How Can I Enrol?Online by selecting your study option, learning materials, plus payment option and then clicking the Enrol Now button - By contacting us for an application form - By telephoning us on 01227 789 649 (International: 0044 1227 789 649). Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
How Can I Get a Pro-forma Invoice for my Employer?Contact us with details and we will email your employer an invoice. We will need: employer's name, address, telephone number, email address and contact name. We will also require your name, telephone number, email address, date of birth and the course and code you wish to enrol for.
ACCPH Professional AccreditationAccredited by ACCPH, which allows you to join as a professional member after completion. Membership means you can add the letters MACCPH after your name.
CMA Professional AccreditationAccredited by the CMA - The Complimentary Medical Association. On completion of any qualifying module, you can join as a Fully Qualified Practitioner and be entitled to use the post-nominal latters MCMA after your name. ​CMA Full Membership is a privileged position and the fact that you have been accepted for CMA Membership demonstrates that you have a clear commitment to standards and professionalism. CMA Members in all categories are recognised as the elite in their field.

                       Learn, Progress, Change, Achieve                                                     


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