Specialist Interpersonal Skills

VET Diploma Level Module

This subject describes the skills and knowledge required to use advanced and specialised communication skills in the client-counsellor relationship.

Throughout this subject you will become aware of the need for competent communication skills and their impact within a case management session.  The ‘micro-skills’, such as questioning, reflective and client focused listening, risk assessment and safety are some of the skills that you will practice.  You will also learn of the importance of being able to recognise and assess indicators within a client health status which could include risk factors and/or mental health issues.  You will also: extend the interpersonal communication skills developed in the first subject of this course, facilitate the counselling process, facilitate the client-counsellor relationship, and enhance client development and growth. 

By the end of this subject, you will be equipped with the essential skills to: assist clients to identify suitable services to meet their needs, identify risks to clients and others and respond appropriately and communicate effectively in working with clients and in counselling interviews with clients.

This subject applies to individuals whose job role involves working with clients on personal and psychological issues within established policies, procedures and guidelines.

Learning Elements

The unit of competency CHCCSL002 ‘Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills’ contains three elements or learning outcomes. You will learn to:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Use specialised counselling interviewing skills
  • Evaluate own communication

Content Areas

  • Components and characteristics of the communication process
  • Stages and sequence of a counselling session
  • Micro-skills in communication and counselling
  • Understanding and applying focusing skills in counselling
  • Advanced micro-skills; confrontation within a counselling interview
  • Life stages and developmental health issues, including the impact on individual development and their potential effects
  • Mental health issues and indicators of significant issues
  • Consulting with client carers, family or significant other/s to gain relevant information including also legal responsibility
  • Identify clients for referral. Identify issues arising in client interviews that require notification of authorities
  • Recording and reporting the counselling process
  • Working with other agencies and service providers and use of inclusiveness with stakeholders
  • Review of communication, counselling interview skills and interpersonal skills development

Subject Duration and Workload

This subject involves a total of 132 hours per term of study including course work component, teacher contact, research and related study activities, translating to approximately 11 hours of study per week. Students will need to allocate additional time for the completion of assessment activities related to the subject.