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Relationships & Communication Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course


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Relationships & Communication Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course

Price: £295.00Course Code: BPS208 CLD
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( Maria, 01/01/2019 ) Q:

Hi, I would like to know if there are any entry requirements for the relationships and counselling course. Thank you,

( 02/01/2019 ) A:

Hello Maria,

Thank you for your question. You do not require any qualifications or other requirements to take this course.

Best regards


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Relationships & Communication Counselling Level 3 Certificate Course

Understand communication problems in relationships. In this Level 3 accredited course, you will learn about the role communication plays in creating, maintaining or destroying relationships, and develop your ability to assist others to improve their communication in relationships.


Logo ACCPH This 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 letters "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.


Lesson Goals: Relationships & Communication Counselling BPS208
  • Explore the establishment of positive communication in emergent relationships and the various factors that influence relational processes;
  • Examine perceptions of ourselves and how this affects our communication and influences our communication goals;
  • To identify and examine patterns of communication in close relationships and consider the functions of thoughts, feelings and actions and how they inform our communication responses;
  • Recognise the role of third party influences when communicating in relationships and the changing needs in a persons lifetime that affect their communication;
  • Listen with improved empathy and respond accordingly;
  • To understand constructive and destructive methods of maintaining relationships.


Lesson Structure: Relationships & Communication Counselling BPS208

There are 6 lessons:

1  Communication in emerging relationships

  • Stages in relationships
  • The communication process
  • Some Basic Principles of Communication
  • Communication filtered through perceptions
  • Verbal or Non-Verbal Communication 
  • Classification of Non-Verbal Communication
  • Communication is Everyone’s Responsibility
  • Ineffective Communication – Relationship Breakdown
  • Case Study
  • Effective Communication

2  Self-awareness in emerging relationship

  • Negative Communication
  • Self-awareness
  • Setting the stage for change
  • Thoughtful communication
  • Recognising reative patterns
  • Relationship goals
  • Realistic relationship goals

3  Communication patterns in relationships

  • Negative patterns of communication
  • Aggresive patterns
  • Victim patterns
  • Avoidance patterns
  • The thought, feeling and action cycle
  • Emotions (feelings)
  • Patterns of thought
  • Behaviour (actions)
  • Communicative intent

4  Influences on relating behaviour

  • Influences on communication
  • Environmental influencies
  • Communicating changing interpersonal needs
  • Changing expectations and needs
  • Adult psychological development
  • Erikson’s psycho-social stages

5  Communication techniques and skills

  • Triads
  • Listening
  • Paraphrasing
  • Reflective responses (emotions)
  • Reflective responses (content)
  • Summarising
  • Guidelines to preventing inauthentic listening: Open questions, message statements/requests, self-discosure
  • Encouraging clients to learn communication skills

6  Maintaining relationships

  • Kinds and stages of relationship
  • Factors that help maintain relationships: Agreement/contracts, praise and gifts of service
  • Relationship-nurturing communication: Straight talk



  • Determine ways in which we consciously communicate in a relationship, and ways in which we unconsciously communicate.
  • Determine different negative messages that can damage relationships, and different positive messages that can nurture them.
  • Determine attitudes or expectations (thoughts and beliefs) that can result in destructive communication, and describe one likely negative outcome for each.
  • Identify common needs that we want to satisfy through our relationships.
  • Identify cultural or social influences that affect individual and family attitudes to happiness, self-expression, and relationships.
  • Explain psychological theories and terms such as attribution theory, implicit personality theory, Gestalt impression formation, inference processes, stereotyping.
  • List benefits and disadvantages of €˜self-disclosure€™ and €˜self-disguise or concealment€™ (lying).
  • Define effective communication.
  • Discuss the role that judgment plays in preventing a person from understanding and/or respecting another person€™s point of view and feelings.
  • Discuss strategies for replacing negative communication patterns in relationships for positive patterns.



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:

Tutor Iona ListerIona 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 aslo 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

When we enter or begin a relationship, we often bring to it our old patterns of perception, relating and communication, and these can affect the way that we begin and develop a new relationship and the nature of that relationship.

Communication patterns are modes of communication that are used frequently in certain situations or with certain people. Some patterns may be prevalent, that is, appearing in most communications regardless of the situation, while many are situation-specific, that is, used with certain people (friends, spouse, children, boss) or in certain situations (at work, in conflict, in fear).


Communication patterns (roadblocks) can include all of the following and much more:

  • Apologising frequently
  • Self-criticism (e.g. I’m such an idiot!)
  • Criticism of others
  • Complaining
  • Self-justification (e.g. I spoke rudely because she was rude to me.)
  • Blaming (e.g. If she hadn’t forgotten the book, I wouldn’t be angry.)
  • Peace-making (e.g. It’s alright. It didn’t matter anyway. She didn’t mean it.)
  • Praising (sincere or false)
  • Avoiding
  • Judging/labelling (usually begins with “You’re…” or “Why are you so …?” or “If only you weren’t so…”)
  • Lecturing
  • Listening
  • Questioning (really asking to learn, or interrogating)
  • Insulting or otherwise trying to intimidate or belittle
  • Supporting (e.g. You can do it. Of course you’re a kind man.)
  • Self-disclosing (explaining one’s own thoughts, motives, feelings, needs etc)
  • Self-concealing (hiding one’s true thoughts, feelings, needs, motives etc.)
  • Gossiping (talking about others)
  • Expressing emotion by yelling, crying, throwing things, banging doors etc.

Most of our communication patterns are learned. They may be learned by modelling our behaviour on the behaviour of significant persons in our lives. For instance, a person might use sarcasm in most conflict situations having learnt to unconsciously from a teacher who controlled unruly or hostile students with sarcasm. Another person might have learned from her father to use peace-making communications in disagreements, reflecting her father’s attempts to avoid unpleasant conflict.

Further dysfunctional ways of relating typically learnt by children include:

  • how to remain superficial
  • how to build facades
  • how to play interpersonal games
  • how to hide from ourselves and others
  • how to downplay vulnerability
  • how to manipulate others
  • how to hurt and punish others if necessary (from Gerard Egan, 1975).

Because the learning is often unconscious, we are often not aware of the ‘teachers’ in our lives until we begin analysing our patterns and recognising them in people who influenced us.

Some patterns develop out of situations, especially if those situations were traumatic or life-changing. A judgmental, critical man might come out of a near-death situation with new tolerance for others, and communicate more appreciation. A previously outgoing, tolerant and positive woman might become more negative, suspicious and self-concealing after being physically attacked.

Sometimes, the change results from the development of already latent tendencies (the woman may have previously avoided her inherent fearfulness) while other changes may result from fixation on the traumatic or critical incident and its associated emotions (the woman’s whole perspective is influenced by her terror of the attack). On the other hand, the changes may be a temporary strategy for coping as the person re-thinks their beliefs and values (the woman might have been too trusting and  chosen to see only the positives, so her new pattern might help her cope as she struggles to form a more realistic, balanced perspective).

Other patterns may be consciously developed. Humanistic psychologists emphasise the individual’s inherent drive to personal growth, and the importance of seeking fulfilment, in their theories of human behaviour. Even children can choose to make changes that bring them closer to their ideals, and much teenage angst can be explained as the young person’s search for personal meaning. A person might become more self-critical as a way of working towards an ideal, or might use praise as a way of communicating and nurturing an appreciative attitude to life and other people. The beauty of being human is our incredible capacity for purposeful, self-driven change.

Often we might feel that those around us will criticize us for making the attempt to change parts of who we are, however if we are able to prepare those closest to us and explain to them what we are wanting to do and why, and ask for their assistance and support, they may be more inclined to encourage us as we change, rather than feeling threatened by our use of new skills.

Aggressive patterns

If we have learned from parents or significant others to deal with conflict of disagreement aggressively, we will develop aggressive communication patterns.

These can involve any or all of the following:

  • Putting others down
  • Threatening or intimidating others
  • Assuming hostile intent from others and responding accordingly
  • Not allowing the other to express their thoughts or feelings
  • Diverting the topic from the real issue to an already contentious issue
  • Standing too close or above the other
  • Speaking louder than is necessary
  • Showing overt hostility to another’s communication
  • Belittling the other’s feelings or ideas
  • Insisting that a private disagreement be aired publicly or before an audience
  • Enlisting others to support your opinion
  • Becoming angry when the other expresses distress
  • Blaming others for your distress or anger
  • Speaking in general terms e.g. You always… you never…
  • Being defensive about your own thoughts, feelings or behaviour patterns
  • Avoiding responsibility for your faults or mistakes by bringing up the other person’s.

Victim patterns

Some of the aggressive behaviours listed above can also be part of a victim pattern. Others include:

  • Not communicating your thoughts or feelings
  • Focusing on your distress rather than issues
  • Placing responsibility for change or agreement on the other person
  • Blaming
  • Not listening to the whole story
  • Using mostly victim language e.g. You always… I never… I can’t….
  • Complaining to others instead of speaking openly with the relevant person
  • Bringing up past injuries instead of focusing on the issue
  • Not taking responsibility for your feelings (i.e.. The other person makes you unhappy..)

Avoidance patterns

As well as some of the above behaviours, avoidance behaviours can include:

  • Joking about issues that are of concern to others
  • Becoming distressed when criticised
  • Diverting the conversation onto a less problematic issue
  • Not expressing true feelings or concerns
  • Using mainly soothing or avoidance strategies in conflict situations
  • Including others to avoid speaking for yourself
  • Denying feelings or needs
  • Acting different to how you really feel
  • Expressing hopelessness about change
  • Only discussing problems when forced to do so
  • Not accepting responsibility for your own feelings or thoughts
  • Keeping up pretences to avoid dealing with real feelings.




Counselling Handbook by the Staff of ACS

Full of interesting case studies, this ebook is a wonderful introduction to the complex world of the human psyche. Expand your mind and learn about what makes people tick.

Are you a good listener? Hone your skills by learning popular counselling theories and techniques. 

You will learn about: 

  • Listening skills
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Influencing skills
  • Defense mechanisms
  • Our perception of others
  • Attributions
  • Convariance theory
  • Lay epistemology

(and many more such things that may not make sense now but will by the end of the book).


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.

8. Appendicies.

Extract from book:

We don’t know for sure how much of our communication is non-verbal. Estimates vary from 50% to the 80%. Non-verbal communication becomes more significant, the more mixed the messages are. So if a person is saying one thing, but their body is saying something else, we will tend to pay more attention to what their body is saying to us. Most of us are aware that this is a sign of attempted deception.
Meharabian (1971) carried out a study to see how people decide if they like each other. They looked at facial expressions and spoken words. Participants had to listen to a recording of a female saying one word “maybe” in three tones of voice – neutral, like and dislike. The subjects were then shown photographs of a female face with three expressions – neutral, like and dislike. They were asked to guess which emotion the person in the photograph, the person on the recording and both together were experiencing.

The participants were more accurate in guessing the emotion of the photographs than the voice at a ratio of 3:2. Meharabian also carried out another study where participants had to listen to nine words. Three showed liking (dear, thanks, honey), three showed disliking (brute, terrible, don’t) and three showed neutrality (oh, maybe, really). The words were spoken in different tones. The participants were asked to guess the emotions behind the words. They found that tone carried more meaning than the word.

They concluded that:

■Without seeing and hearing non-verbal messages, there can be more chance of misunderstanding.
■A lot of communication does come through non-verbal communication, but we are still unsure as to the exact amount.
■When we are not sure about a particular word, we pay more attention to non-verbal communication.
■When we do not trust a person, we pay more attention to non-verbal communication.

There are many myths about body language. For example, crossing your arm means defensiveness, covering your mouth means you are lying and so on. But we should rely more on other factors such as:

■Clusters of factors (showing more signs of non-verbal communication).
■Non-verbal behaviour at the time a question is asked, particularly if the question is embarrassing or difficult.
■Situations where the other person may not be trying to control their non-verbal behaviour.

As we said above, it is important to consider your own non-verbal communication. BUT not to such an extent that you try to control it all the time, which can make it appear false or give mixed messages from you.

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