The UBC Certificate in Peer Counselling is based on the concept that effective counselling requires a high degree of self-knowledge and awareness. The program focuses on various aspects of self-development while addressing the theory and practice of counselling. Based on an experiential learning model, participants are given opportunities to put what they have learned into practice.
The UBC Certificate in Peer Counselling is designed for participants who:
The program is also accessible to applicants who may not have the financial resources, time or educational background to access degree programs at local colleges and universities.
Open sections below to view program information or contact program staff at 604.822.8585 or email.
Next Offering: Oct 2013
Program Schedule: Generally 10am-4pm, but schedule varies. View 2013/2014 schedule
Location: UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (downtown Vancouver)
Program Fee: $3,250 (includes a $250 non-refundable deposit)
The UBC Certificate in Peer Counselling is comprised of courses in personal development, counselling skills and theory, and a practical skills component, where participants will be asked to practise what they have learned. Through presentations, class discussion, group exercises and video-taping, participants will:
Facilitator: RYPKEMA, Terri
The Counselling Skills component of the certificate program will help students develop a wide range of communication skills intended to elicit information, narrow focus, gain insight and promote personal growth. Students will develop an understanding of how and when to apply each skill with intention and to track progress. They will learn a range of counselling skills through modelling, role play exercises and videotape assignments. Students will have an opportunity to practise their skill development with student colleagues and through written exercises.
Facilitator: JONES-CALLAHAN, Margaret
Mindfulness offers a simple idea: awareness in the moment. Putting that into practice can be more challenging. Counsellors and therapists are being attracted to mindfulness as a practice and as a therapeutic tool, based on the premise that working with others begins with oneself. Drawing from Gestalt Therapy and Mindfulness practice, the instructor begins the conversation about using self-awareness in service of others by inviting participants to experience different zones of awareness and notice what comes up in the moment. The goal is to become more open to aspects of yourself that may be unfamiliar, in order to be more fully present with others.
Introduction to Group Dynamics
Learn some of the basic concepts of group dynamics and explore the fundamentals of group process through an experiential day of learning.
Facilitator: CURTIS, Susan
Anxiety and depression are created less by the specific events in our lives than by the ways we respond to them. This session shows how to cope and offers a way forward. Explore the impact of attitudes and thoughts on emotional states and actions and begin the challenging and powerful work of restructuring thought patterns in order to deal with negative thoughts in a more positive and realistic way.
Using pen and paper exercises, small group discussion and instructor presentation, participants work to restructure thought patterns that can lead to enhanced mood and behaviour, and consider ways to apply the learning in a peer counselling situation.
Facilitator: RICE, Ann
Assertiveness is the clear, honest, relevant and appropriate expression of your ideas, values, thoughts, feelings, wishes and beliefs. It increases your ability to be understood, confident and effective in and out of the workplace. Focus on key skills and how they support you in peer counselling:
Facilitator: SIGAL, Marilee
This participatory course will cover the basics of Bowen's Family Systems Theory. In the morning we will explore the major themes that affect the ways in which people relate to each other, such as pursuing and distancing, over and under-functioning, and the roles of anxiety, culture and birth order. The afternoon will be spent learning how to create our own genograms (emotional family tree) and to delve into multi-generational themes that continue to impact how we live our lives and the ways we manage relationships.
Facilitator: RICE, Anne
Your emotions are signals and data. They provide you with vital information about yourself and others. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to access and use that information to increase interpersonal skills, including peer counselling skills, and to navigate other aspects of your professional and personal lives. Build your understanding of EQ and critical EQ skills:
As its name implies, solution-focused therapy emphasizes finding solutions rather than dealing with problems. Through short lectures, reflective exercises and role plays, discover some of the fundamentals of the Solution Focused Therapy approach to helping clients. Develop the skill of identifying strengths and resources in any client situation, practise questioning skills to help identify and draw strengths into the counselling conversation, and practise particular SFT tools such reframing, scaling techniques and the miracle question.
Facilitator: HARPER, Gary
Conflict is inevitable whenever people work together. If not properly managed, it can become confrontational, personally stressful and unproductive. In this interactive workshop based on Gary's book by the same name, you will learn how to move beyond such confrontational stalemates and address conflict productively. Specifically, this workshop will allow you to:
Facilitator: HALLIDAY, Sally
Managers, team leaders and supervisors face unprecedented demands as they strive to adjust and thrive within rapidly changing work environments. The single most important factor that derails peoples' performance within organizations is poor interpersonal skills.
After completing a self score Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), participants will be encouraged to:
Students will leave the workshop with a better understanding and appreciation of their own unique Type. The overall goal is to be able to apply your increased self-awareness to communicate and interact more effectively with others.
Facilitator: REYNOLDS, Vikki
Diversity counselling is an emerging field of practice, but what does it mean to work across cultures? Themes of inclusion and exclusion, belonging and connection are explored through experiential learning. To understand difference, you need to begin by locating yourself first, as a person who belongs in a particular culture, or even several cultures. Vicki Reynolds draws from her experience and training as a therapist, clinical supervisor, educator and activist who works across domains of relationship, culture, race, and power to engage participants to challenge their own ideas about diversity, connection and belonging.
Facilitator: RYPKEMA, Terri
This session provides the context for those in a peer counselling role to recognize signs and symptoms of clients at risk in order to make an appropriate referral for professional support. Through lecture, discussion and case studies, students will learn to assess for safety issues, triggers and warning signs in relation to issues such as suicide, domestic violence and substance use.
Facilitator: MAIN, Carolyn
Our society does not cope well with death. We instinctively turn away from the reality that it will happen to all of us. Not surprisingly, then, when the loss of a loved one is experienced, the bereaved often find the journey through their grief to be a lonely one with few signposts and even fewer people around them who know what to say or do to help. In this class we will look at grief as a natural response to loss that does not need to be pathologized or "cured." We will examine several grief models that illustrate what can be expected on the road from pain and despair to reconciliation, hope and healing. And we will explore ways that will help you feel more comfortable walking beside or "companioning" others in grief.
Facilitator: ABDEL-MALEK, Alex
In this course, participants will learn about the differences between ethics and morality and how to address such issues as professional vs. personal boundaries, codes of ethics, dual relationships and note-keeping. Special attention will be given to issues of confidentiality and requirements for reporting concerns. Students will be exposed to a model of ethical decision-making to help them with future ethical dilemmas. This is an interactive class and case examples and small group discussion will be used to highlight various issues.
Facilitator: ABDEL-MALEK, Alex
Where does stress come from in our lives? Is it something that exists outside ourselves? During this day, participants will have the opportunity to consider the notion of stress through a completely new lens. No longer will stress be seen as a behaviour to be "managed" or "balanced." Rather, the focus will be on gaining familiarity with concepts and reflective processes that facilitate new levels of individual wellness in harmony with each participant's particular needs and values.
Facilitator: URQUHART, Cristine
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a method of communication that supports people to make behaviour changes related to a variety of health concerns, such as substance use, diabetes and eating disorders.
Health care and social service providers across disciplines and contexts note the benefits of working from an MI approach for both themselves and their clients. Research shows that working with clients in a non-confrontational way guided by the spirit of motivational interviewing is a predictor of outcomes. This one-day introductory course focuses on understanding basic MI theory and the effectiveness of using a guiding style with clients. Core MI counselling skills and strategies to assist clients in building motivation for change are shared using a combination of training methods such as lecture, role play and group discussion.
Participants will be able to:
Facilitator: RICE, Ann
This course focuses on creating momentum, authenticity and fulfillment in your work and life. In addition to helping you to move forward, it enables you, as a peer counsellor, to help others do the same. Exercises to assess where you are now, where you want to go and how to get there are integrated with opportunities to develop and practise peer counselling skills.
In this two-day course, identify:
Before applying to this program you must read and understand the terms and conditions in the Program Handbook.
Apply online or print and mail in the application form found in the handbook.
Applicants will be contacted to schedule a face-to-face meeting with the program manager. This is an opportunity for applicants to discuss their needs and how the program can meet them.
Free Information Session
Jun 18, 6-7pm
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Accepting Applications Now!
Next offering starts Oct 2013.
"The Peer Counselling Certificate program changed my life on many levels. It provided me with skills to facilitate greater awareness within myself and in those around me, and it took me on an amazing journey of self-exploration, giving me purpose and direction in my own life."
Annar, Graduate, UBC Certificate in Peer Counselling
“I am not overstating this when I say it, but this program has changed my life. The various classes have enabled me to feel more comfortable interacting with others, and has given me so many tools to use in helping others.”
Neil, Graduate, UBC Certificate in Peer Counselling