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youthwork links and ideas counseling

Introductory Session

Family and Values


Individual Counseling 1

Individual Counseling 2

Individual Counseling 3



checkmarkThese pages present a course designed to familiarize students with basic counseling skills. The objectives of the course are to develop self awareness, to develop an awareness of diversity and to learn communications skills.

If you are teaching a similar course, are responsible for staff or peer training or are interested in learning more about some basic communication and counseling skills, feel free to use any or all of this material. Please give credit where it applies.

This course was developed for the Adult and Community Education program in Auburn, Maine, US. It draws heavily on material developed by peer education curricula and by adventure based counseling programs. Youth Reaching Youth, a curricula designed to train peers as resources for alcohol and other drug abuse prevention is a source of many of the activities used. I have tried to credit authors and developers of material whenever possible. For full information see the Credits Page. If I have omitted credit for anything, it is because I was unable to find the original source. Please contact me if you have information about sources and I will include the material.

Please be aware that completing this course in no way qualifies one to become a counselor.

Some elements used in each session are:

Check In: Time is provided at the start of each class for students to talk about anything that is on their minds. This may be a question or issue relating to the class or it may be a personal concern. Providing this opportunity at the start of the class allows students to "dump any baggage" they bring with them and to be more focused on the material presented.

Warm Up Activity: An interactive experiential activity follows the Check In. This activity is framed and debriefed in terms of the goals for that session. The Warm Up provides an introduction to the material to be presented and sets the tone for active student involvement.

Role Plays and Experiential Activities: The learning in this course relies heavily on actual practice of the skills and concepts. When activities are used to illustrate concepts, I have usually given several suggestions along with ideas for presenting and processing the activity. I have also included some sample role plays, but I have found that role plays which are developed to meet the interests and needs of each group are most successful.

Break: A 15 minute break approximately half way through is essential in a three hour session. In addition, while developing ground rules in the first session, students are given explicit permission to leave the room at any time they need to, for any reason.

Challenge Follow-up assignments for this class are opportunities to practice in real life what has been learned in class. Each class has a structured assignment and students are asked to reflect on:
What I Did and How the Other Person Responded
How I Felt
What I Learned

The entire course consists of fifteen 3 hour sessions. Click on the session you are interested in on the left menu bar. I will eventually get all fifteen sessions posted.


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