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This introductory course is a pre-requisite for all students in the diploma program. In this course we present the information and skills needed to provide individual counselling, including client interviewing, risk assessment, and referral. This course combines counselling theory and skills practice. Course content is built on humanistic theory developed by Carl Rogers, and uses The Egan Model (Gerard Egan) as its foundation. Each participant is required to demonstrate competency in empathizing, responding and assessing needs.

Participants learn the fundamentals of development related to children and youth. The course focuses on issues that impact healthy development and which may result in the onset of problematic behaviour in childhood and adolescence. The importance of developing rapport, mutual trust and respect when working with young clients is highlighted throughout the course.  

Family issues, peer culture, puberty, respect and responsibility, drug and alcohol issues, high-risk behaviour and aggression are considered. Therapeutic approaches for working with young people are addressed, and assessment and screening tools and their application will be examined.  Students will be provided with the tools necessary to assist youth to navigate the challenging path leading to adulthood and therefore assist them to become healthy, productive and contributing participants in the community.

This course builds on the theory taught during the Life Skills Counselling program.  It provides the students with the opportunity for one on one counselling sessions while under supervision from their instructors and staff members at Rhodes Wellness College.


This course provides students with the skills necessary to identify the addictive process and to counsel clients in various stages of the process of change. The many forms of addictions will be examined, and the skills needed to assist clients will be demonstrated and practiced. The focus of the course is the development of a thorough understanding of the Stages of Change Model.  The course will provide insight into the use and mis-use of psychoactive drugs in the human body including information on neurobiology and pharmacology. Students are asked to identify their own habits/addictions and asked to examine what effects they may have on their lives, keeping a journal of their personal experience of withdrawal. This course provides theory and practice in methods of counselling in the process of recovery and rehabilitation. Self-regulation Theory, reduction of enabling behaviour, and the appropriate/responsible use of intervention strategies will be examined.

Participants learn how to assess family systems and define problematic couple and family dynamics.  The course emphasizes and identifies various approaches and techniques of family therapy and teaches participants to develop an awareness of the verbal and nonverbal messages that tend to dominate patterns of family interaction. The course provides skill development opportunities for learning a variety of assessment and intervention techniques.

This course focuses on the effects of sexual abuse and other psychological traumas on individuals, families and communities. Participants will understand the nature of post-traumatic stress and assist clients to begin their recovery. Sexual abuse/assault, victimization of vulnerable populations including children exploited in residential schools and other forms of abuse resulting in the traumatization of victims will be examined, and specific skills including screening and assessment and referral procedures will be provided for working with survivors and their families.

This course provides students with knowledge related to assisting people in making decisions about their choice of employment. Students will explore some of the barriers to employment that the individual may encounter. Students will come to an understanding of some effective skills and strategies, as an outgrowth of the Egan model.