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Unit information: Psychological Dimensions of Interpersonal Communication in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Psychological Dimensions of Interpersonal Communication
Unit code ACHSD0010
Credit points 20
Level of study D/8
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Rob Green
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Central to the philosophy of the course programme, this unit aims to build upon students' present skills and professional strengths to highlight those qualities and competencies essential for effective professional practice as an applied educational psychologist. Trainees will be supported to develop and adapt their professional skills in relation to a range of professional contexts and clients, ranging from individuals to organisations. Using a range of approaches, including video recording and feedback, the unit will enhance students' counselling, groupwork, presentation, and communication skills, including the management of meetings. Areas covered include: consultation skills and problem-solving; interviewing skills; counselling strategies; assertiveness techniques; conflict resolution, professional judgement and decision-making; effective time management; group management skills; stress management.


To develop skills knowledge and awareness of effective communication strategies and the ability to promote constructive interpersonal relationships with all role partners

To consider personal, interactional, communicative skills (oral, written) demanded by a variety of professional work contexts. This will include work with individual families and children; group work with clients; advisory and consultative work with teachers and school managers; working with other professional agencies and establishing effective relationships at organizational level with LEA officers, service managers, multi-disciplinary and multi-professional teams. To develop awareness and sensitivity to the implications of cultural, social, gender and other individual difference for effective interpersonal communication.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, trainees will:

have a conceptual framework concerning the interactional and communication skills required for effective professional practice within educational, community and multi-professional contexts and organisations such as schools and colleges, be able to offer a range of professionally appropriate counselling and therapeutic skills in work with children, their families and other professionals, independently, as part of training or consultation, or through or with other professionals and incorporating appropriate review and evaluation ( e.g. solution focused work, consultation, problem solving, conciliation and negotiation), be able to make decisions, using a broad evidence and knowledge base, of how to assess, formulate and intervene psychologically, from a range of possible models and modes of intervention with clients, carers, teachers and service systems, be able to promote the psychological well-being of clients with particular regard to their emotional and social needs, be able to develop and maintain effective working relationships with key role partners including : children, young people, their carers, teachers and other professionals, be able to support children, young people and their carers in contributing to the assessment process and the planning and evaluation of interventions process, be able to demonstrate self-awareness and work as a reflective practitioner.

Teaching Information

Guided reading, lectures, seminars, presentations, practical experience, supervision and the use of interactive media formats across 15 contact hours in the University, supported by supervised practice in the field.

Assessment Information

Completion of a 4000 word assignment, satisfactory reports from fieldwork supervisors, and a range of professional activities reflected in the submission of a Professional Practice Portfolio.

Reading and References

  • Conoley,J.C., Conoley, C.W.(1992) School Consultation: practice and training. Boston Allyn and Bacon
  • De Shazer, S., (1994) Putting Difference to work. Norton
  • Dowie, J. and Elstein, A. (Eds) (1994) Professional Judgement : A reader in clinical decision making. Cambridge University Press
  • Egan, G. (2002) The Skilled Helper: a problem management and opportunity development approach to helping. California. Brooks Cole
  • Nelson-Jones, R. (2002) Essential Counselling and Therapy Skills: a skilled client model. London. Sage Publications
  • Sue, D.W. (1996) A Theory of Multi-Cultural Counselling and Therapy. Pacific Grove: Brooks Cole