11 Best Courses That You Can Take To Build Your Professional Counselling Skills

Counselling Courses

May 24th, 2020   |   Updated on June 28th, 2022

A counsellor’s job is not to sort out the problems of the client. He/she can neither get emotional nor can they be judgmental.

Counselling is about helping your client see things more clearly. Unlike a person who occasionally does some kind of counselling in a professional set up, a professional counsellor is a highly-trained individual who uses different approaches with their clients to get desired results.

Client gets many benefits from professional counselling as after such counselling they are able to bring many positive changes in their professional approach. Confidentiality is an important part of professional counselling.

Generally, counselling takes place in a confidential setting where a counsellor and a client sit together to explore a difficulty the client is having.

After figuring out the problems, the counsellor suggests his client ways to cope in specific situations and take decisions.

For a successful career in counselling you need to have these essential skills:

  • You must be able to give your full attention to your client
  • Have a non-judgmental approach
  • Respect for confidentiality
  • Patience and humility

A certification or course will help you become a successful counselor. It can be an ideal way to showcase your skills to your potential employers.

Here, we have listed 13 best counselling courses/certification programme that you can take to build your professional counselling skills:

1. Psychology And Counselling By University Of Oxford

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It introduces a range of theories, skills and techniques to help you understand the human mind and its functions, and to gain an appreciation of how we think, both collectively and as individuals.

There are options to progress your studies to postgraduate levels.

Course Content

Many of its courses can be studied for credit which means they can count towards a recognized qualification.
Following are the few upcoming courses that it will provide:

  • Psychology: An Introduction (Online)
  • Short Course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Research Skills
  • Short Course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Studies
  • Postgraduate Certificate n Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

2. Counselling Studies And Skills By University Of Derby

This online Counselling Studies and Skills University Diploma course is a one-year introduction to Counselling and an ideal starting point if you are interested in becoming a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist.

This course is a useful first step towards becoming an accredited counsellor with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

English language qualifications: You will normally need one of the following English language qualifications: GCE O-level English Language C, GCSE English C

The University Diploma in Counselling Studies and Skills is an open course, with few entry requirements

Course Content
  • Counselling in Context
  • Counselling Skills
  • Theories of Therapeutic Intervention

3. The Role Of Diagnosis In Counselling And Psychotherapy

This free course explores the role of diagnosis in the treatment of mental health problems.

It considers the history of our current understandings of ‘mental health’ and ‘illness’ with a focus on the concepts of anxiety and depression, and looks at potential gains and losses in using diagnostic labels in counselling and psychotherapy.

Course Content
  • Learning outcomes
  • The Complexities around diagnosing mental illness
  • Current western diagnostic systems and their history
  • Problems with diagnostic classifications
  • The survival of diagnosis
  • Focus on depression and anxiety
  • Losses and gains of diagnosis
  • Working without diagnosis
  • The politics of diagnosis and formulation
  • Mixed messages from psychotherapies

4. Introduction To Psychology By Yale University

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior.

It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams.

This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2007.

Course Content
  • Foundations: This Is Your Brain
  • Foundations: Freud
  • Foundations: Skinner
  • What Is It Like to Be a Baby: The Development of Thought
  • How Do We Communicate?: Language in the Brain, Mouth and the Hands
  • Conscious of the Present; Conscious of the Past: Language (cont.); Vision and Memory
  • Conscious of the Present; Conscious of the Past: Vision and Memory (cont.)
  • Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Love (Guest Lecture by Professor Peter Salovey)

…and more

5. Social Psychology By MIT

This course examines interpersonal and group dynamics, considers how the thoughts, feelings, and actions of individuals are influenced by (and influence) the beliefs, values, and practices of large and small groups.

Learning occurs through a combination of lectures, demonstrations and in-class activities complemented by participation in small study groups and completion of homework assignments.

Course Content
  • Social Psychology in Theory and Practice
  • Paradigms
  • Social Psychology in Action
  • Modern and Systematic Paradigms: Two Mostly Complementary, not Always Contradictory, Perspectives
  • Human Inquiry (Science)
  • Meaning and Power (Mens et Manus?)

6. Counselling and Psychology Course By International Career Institute

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This distance learning Counselling and Psychology course provides participants with the knowledge and skills required of a qualified counsellor.

With the opportunity to interact with and learn from industry-experienced, expert tutors, participants will receive a relevant, comprehensive education.

This course is available in the following three levels. The average time within which student complete studies is:

  • Certificate Level – 14 weeks
  • Diploma Level – 24 weeks
  • Advanced Diploma Level – 31 weeks
Course Content
  • Counselling Skills
  • The counselling Practice
  • Interview Techniques and Questioning
  • Facilitating Solutions
  • Problem Solving
  • Counselling Approaches
  • Psychology
  • Mental Health
  • Welfare Practice
  • Communications Techniques
  • Ethics and the Counselling Practice

7. Counseling Courses By edX

The American Psychological Association sets terms for practicing counselors and counseling psychologists through their network of standards.

One great way to begin your counseling journey is to take courses that provide overviews of the field. offers courses designed in partnership with leaders in the counseling field.

Course Content
  • KU Leuven University offers a fundamental course in counseling that can teach you to measure and increase your own well-being using principles from counseling and clinical psychology.
  • The University of Queensland offers an X series program, Introduction to Developmental, Clinical, and Social Psychology.
  • The University of British Columbia also offers AP-level courses on Psychology, including courses on the basics of brain anatomy, the latest research in health and well-being, and clinical answers to common issues.

8. Certificate In Counselling Skills Programme By Tata Institute Of Social Sciences

This certificate in Counselling Skills Programme is designed to give learners the underpinning knowledge, skills, and competencies to use counselling skills ethically and safely in a variety of contexts and roles.

The Certificate Course offers an appropriate starting point for students, as well as professionals working in other helping professions to apply these skills at their workplaces.

Course Content
  • Dialogues on Development
  • Introduction to counselling and other helping professions
  • Establishing boundaries for the helping role
  • introduction to interpersonal and counselling skills for helping professionals
  • Use of Self Awareness in a helping role
  • Learning Review journal

9. Psychology Courses By ACS Distance Education

These courses are suitable for personal or professional development. Flexible learning supported by industry experienced tutors.

Course Content
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Advanced Certificate in Behavioural Science
  • Advanced Certificate in Child & Youth Counselling
  • Advanced Certificate in Coaching
  • Advanced Certificate in Counselling & Psychology

…and more

10. Know Thyself – The Value And Limits Of Self-Knowledge: The Unconscious

This course is available on Coursera. This course was created by a partnership between The University of Edinburgh and Humility & Conviction and Public Life Project, an engaged research project based at the University of Connecticut and funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

This course will examine some of the most influential ideas about the unconscious starting with the work of Sigmund Freud, and follow the development of theories of the unconscious all the way to present research in experimental psychology.

Course Content
  • Gain an appreciation of the relation of methods of learning about oneself that do not depend on introspection.
  • Become familiar with contemporary research in experimental social psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience into the emotions and the unconscious.
  • Understand the role of affect in decision making, and self-deception.
  • Be able to identify and analyze unconscious mechanisms motivating own and other people’s actions.

There are many counselling programmes and certifications are available on Coursera. Click to find these courses. 

11. Free Counselling Training & Courses Online By Udemy

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Udemy offers counselling courses in Health & Fitness, Personal Development, Mental Health, Parenting & Relationships.

Whether you are interested in becoming a drug and alcohol, family, couples, or general counselor, Udemy offers a variety of courses to get you prepared. Click here to find these courses.