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The Counsellor: Developing the Self


Jan 12, 13, 19, 26


$775, 15% discount for groups of 3 or more & for CityU Alumni

Delivery Mode

Synchronous online

Course Description

Being an effective counsellor requires therapists to have the personal capacity to engage in hard conversations hour after hour, year after year. This course is about more than self care, it’s about a journey towards therapeutic self-mastery. Students will begin with personal care needs and practices, but the course quickly expands to tackle emotional capacity, therapeutic neutrality and attachment, therapeutic discernment and choice, lived experience and self disclosure, and uncertainty and insecurity. Students will learn precisely how and why to orient themselves to the ordinary difficulties of counselling therapy in ways that are maximally effective. They will learn a process for navigating these personal tensions against the highest ideals of the job and our fiduciary relationship to the client.

Each course is composed of 4 sessions: two six hour workshops and two 3 hour clinical groups and debriefings. Sessions include lectures, hands-on activities, group work and discussions with the instructor. Students will receive introductory readings about the General Practice Approach, as well as a course specific reading from Nightingale. They will also receive an accessible multi-modal bibliography including podcasts, youtube videos, and short writings to amplify the teachings.


Shane Trudell

Shane Trudell is a Founding Director of Nightingale Counselling. Shane’s counselling practice is rooted in critical theory and an emancipatory ethic, and his aspirational vision of what private practice can and should be guides this introduction to the business of counselling therapy. Shane’s work and research in his role as Director are about elevating the potential of private practice counselling therapy, for the benefit of clients, other counsellors, and counselling therapy itself. He works as a mentor, consultant, and instructor on how to contribute to the mental health community through ethical, muscular counselling practice.

Hart Caplan fundamental orientation to counselling is existential. At its heart, this approach doesn’t distinguish between cognitions (thinking) and affect (emotions) and the somatic (body). Instead, it (and I) attempt to make contact with the whole of one’s being. After all, we don’t refer to ourselves as “human brains” or “human bodies” but as human beings. This is why talk therapy participates in healing the body, but it also explains why attention to the body can help heal what we generally call mental illness. And in the midst of it all, feelings are the endlessly rich source of information that help connect thinking to the body.

In this way, I don’t think of my practice as curative. Rather, I think of the movement that is achieved in therapy as-being-towards-authenticity: i.e., when one’s interior and exterior and thinking, feeling, and bodily experiences are in concert. The task of therapy, then, is simply to learn to speak in and with one’s own voice.One of the great therapists of the last 50 years, Irvin Yalom, wrote that “the relationship is the therapy.” This is the cornerstone of my own thinking and practice.

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