Improve Counselling Skills sample essay

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For this assignment you need to keep a journal for the first few weeks of the module. The aim of the journal is to reflect on various aspects of professional practice, study challenges, or any other feature of counselling work or study. You do not hand in the journal.

Using the information gathered during this process you will write the practice task reflecting on your professional practice that includes three professional practice goals.

It is recommended that you make a brief entry in your journal everyday in which you record events, situations, information and your insights related to counselling. Ensure that identities are protected and the focus is ultimately on you and not on others.

Journal Writing Guidelines:

Each daily entry should cover:

the events that occurred on that day which relate, whether directly or indirectly, to your professional practice and study of counselling how you felt about these events
what skills you observed that you demonstrated
what skills do you think require further attention and growth the element of professional practice or study that you most struggled with on that day the element of professional practice or study that you felt most comfortable with on that day

Your Reflective Practice Task requires you to examine the following aspects of your professional development:

1. Overview of 3 events from your journal
2. Your current knowledge base (this does not necessarily have to be in the counselling field. Most of you will be tapping into volunteer experience, work experience, lived experience – like relationship / parenting, or prior study experience in which your skills are transferrable to counselling).
3. Your breadth of experience to date and what you have learned from these experiences
4. Your professional practice strengths and weaknesses
5. Your professional aspirations
6. You will need to set three professional practice goals for yourself, with each goal statement demonstrating an adherence to the SMART process. You MUST apply the SMART MODEL when setting your goals.
7. How do your goals align with your values in relation to your practice
8. Lastly describe a goal for self-care protection in relation to counselling

Lecture notes, articles and other reference materials will be beneficial to this process, and your ability to build on and reflect on your professional practice.


In academic writing referencing is critical. Referencing is about ensuring that the sources you have used (authors, journal editors) are honoured. The ACAP manual or the Educator cannot be used as references as we are merely conveying information that others have published. It is NOT compulsory to reference and you will not be penalised for not referencing. I am just suggesting that it is an excellent study habit to get into. Although ACAP and other universities use the APA6 referencing style – I do not care what style you use – even if you put the author in brackets that’s great. See the VET 2012 Referencing Guide

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Structuring Your Reflective Practice Task

This task allows you to use 1st person writing – that is using pronouns like I, We, They, Us, Them etc. I suggest that you use the following headings or use the question numbers to help you focus and stay within the word limit:

Current knowledge base

This does not necessarily relate to direct counsellor experience. Reflect on the other ACAP subjects you have studied to date, other courses you have completed in the past, work experience, personal experiences (parenting, your own counselling experiences as a client, relationship, volunteer work, previous studies, etc). You are wise and bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the module and field. Breadth of experience to date and what you have learned from these experiences I expect that many of you will not be currently working in the counselling field so your professional breadth of experience may be fairly limited.

It is important to honour all the work and lived experience you bring to the course and field. It is okay to acknowledge that your experience to date may be professionally limited but identify areas in your current work environment or personal life where counselling experiences are present. Remembering that skilled conversations with others involve using counselling skills like active listening, empathy, unconditional positive regard, attending, etc.