Interviewing and Counselling Skills

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
CSSW 1122
Interviewing and Counselling Skills
Community Social Service Work
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours: Lecture
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Supervised interview practice
  • Video
  • Instructor demonstrations
Course Description
This methods course emphasizes the development of versatility in working with individuals in social service settings. Students will explore and apply interviewing and counselling skills for information gathering, relationship development, goal setting, and problem solving. Students will reflect on their interactions with others and explore ways to promote self-determination and empowerment. Self-awareness will be emphasized as a critical prerequisite for effective helping. Understanding of culture, diversity, and worldview will be viewed as essential elements for understanding and responding to clients.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Social service workers need to understand issues of culture and diversity.
  • Reflection on one’s competence and the limits of one’s role are fundamental to professional practice.
  • Self-awareness is essential skilled communication and counselling.
  • Skill proficiency must be balanced with a caring attitude, acceptance of a wide range of behaviour and cultures, and respect for the rights of others including their right to self-determination.
  • Effective counselling work requires open discussion with clients regarding roles, purposes, and methods.
  • Effective social service workers are versatile and they utilize skills based on variables such as client need, culture, context, and the phase of work.
  • Establishing and sustaining professional relationships with clients is fundamental to competent practice.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, within the following content areas, the student will be able to:

  1. Professional Behaviour
    • demonstrate knowledge of professional ethics and values
    • identify strategies for resolving ethical dilemmas
    • demonstrate knowledge of the difference between personal and professional relationships
  2. Self-Awareness
    • describe the importance of self-awareness to the helping process
    • describe strategies for increasing self-awareness
    • identify skill strengths and limitations including awareness of the limits of one’s expertise
  3. Relationship Building Skills
    • define the characteristics of a counselling relationship
    • explain the importance of the core conditions of warmth, empathy, and genuineness
    • demonstrate the ability to negotiate  counselling contracts
    • define and demonstrate immediacy skills
  4. Counselling/Interviewing Process
  • list the phases involved in the helping process
  • describe essential worker tasks and skills for each phase of helping
  • Counselling/Interviewing Skills
    • describe the circumstances where the use of a particular skill or strategy may be appropriate
    • identify non-helping behaviours
    • demonstrate interviewing and counselling skills
    • demonstrate versatility with a range of skills and strategies
  • Empowerment Skills
    • demonstrate the skills  of empowering clients
    • demonstrate ability to identify and assess strengths
  • Culture and Diversity
    • define worldview and its importance to counseling
  • Means of Assessment

    This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.  Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

    • Examination
    • Research papers
    • Skills demonstration
    • Participation
    • Attendance

     This is a letter graded course

    Textbook Materials



    Which Prerequisite