A group of colleagues in a conference

Pre-practicum Counseling Lab: Basic Interview Skills – COUN 8352

Course Length: 16 weeks

Counseling can take many forms, with just as many outcomes. In this course, you’ll explore approaches to systematic and individual interviewing. Special attention is given to the beginning stages of therapy and to common presenting concerns. You’ll also begin your laboratory preparation to begin your practicum.

Course Highlights

  • Online chats with instructors
  • Peer reviews for constructive feedback
  • Reflection paper to examine your personal and intellectual growth

Weekly Themes

Each week throughout the course will focus on a different theme. Coursework, assignments and discussions will align with that theme, as well as the course’s primary objective.

Week 1 – So You Want to be a Counselor?

What’s the difference between a professional counselor and a supportive, caring neighbor or friend? Professional training. This week you’ll begin the process of understanding how professional counselor training affects how we listen, react, plan and speak with our clients.

Week 2 – Becoming the Counselor You Envision

This week you’ll start building your counseling foundation on ethics, social justice, multicultural competence and wellness within the framework of strengths-based counseling.

Week 3 – I Feel Your Pain

Counselors are trained to attend to the needs of the client. You’re now ready to learn
how attending behaviors by the counselor can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful session. You’ll also examine the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Week 4 – Here’s Looking at You, Kid!

A counselor with good observation skills has the opportunity to glean much richer information in an interview than a counselor relying solely on verbal interaction. This week you’ll greatly enhance your interview capabilities just by watching!

Week 5 – Your Week. Your Time. Your Decision.

This week is yours. There will be no readings or assignments and you are encouraged to spend your time in a way that personally benefits you. Prior school counseling students have used it to spend time with family and friends, catch up on program assignments or job responsibilities and indulge in self-care activities such as a relaxing massage or invigorating walk.

Week 6 – The Art of the Question

Successful questioning gives the counselor a much better understanding of the client, their culture and their worldview. Counselors-in-training must learn the art of intentional, deliberate, carefully constructed questioning. You’ll explore examples of active listening skills, such as encouraging, paraphrasing and summarizing in interviewing.

Week 7 – Are You Feeling the Feeling?

This week you’ll discover the importance of accurately identifying and reflecting feelings back to clients. You’ll learn how to construct a sequentially appropriate session and how to employ the use of the basic listening sequence (BLS).

Week 8 – Tell Me What You Saw From Where You Were Standing

Through the skill of focusing, counselors create an opportunity for the client to participate in the process of resolving issues. This week you’ll examine the skill of focusing the counseling session. You’ll be shown how talented and experienced counselors understand that for every story, there are multiple perspectives.

Week 9 – Help Me Understand Where You Are Coming From…

The ability of a counselor to deliver empathic confrontation within the counseling relationship helps move a session from content to process. You’ll learn the importance of a counselor’s ability to join with clients across cultures in a deep and meaningful manner.

Week 10 – Your Week. Your Time. Your Decision.

This week is yours. There are no readings assigned, no exams to take and no assignments to post, so use this week to benefit YOU!

Week 11 – But What Does It All Mean?

It is a very rewarding experience to assist clients in the process of reflection to find meaning in their lives and to help with interpreting or redirecting them. This week you’ll learn how to engage the client through the use of reflection of meaning and the use of interpretation and reframing.

Week 11 – Let’s See What We Have in Our Toolbox

This week you’ll be exposed to a number of effective, concrete strategies that counselors employ, including logical consequences, psycho-education and stress management.

Week 13 – Where the Rubber Meets the Road!

You’re ready to demonstrate how you will integrate the micro skills you have learned so far into your theory or theories of choice. Through this integration, as your skills and theory or theories gel, your counseling will experience a synergistic effect in efficacy.

Week 14 – Where Do We Go From Here?

It’s now time for you to pull it all together to articulate your theory or theories of choice and define your personal style. You’ll be looking to insure that your theoretical foundation and your style will serve your students of many cultures and many issues.

Week 15 – Tying Up Loose Ends

This week is set aside to allow you to tie up any loose ends. It’s a time to confirm that you’ve completed discussion board questions, assignments, quizzes, papers and anything else that needs to be done to complete the course.

Week 16 – Final Exam Week

This week you can concentrate on finishing up your preparations for the Final Exam.

Get Started

To learn more about this course or others in the online Master of Education in School Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University, call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions adviser or request more information.