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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

HUMS 2531: Professional Communications and Helping Relationships

Participants develop the values, language, contextual speech, and skills required for the development of professional helping relationships. Utilizing critical reflection, participants examine relationship development with members of diverse populations, conduct relationship building activities for their peers, and learn the process of giving and receiving professional feedback and supervision.

Learning outcomes

  • Model the qualities and characteristics of an effective helper and of a helping relationship.
  • Identify the impact of self traits on clients and on the helping relationship using self-reflection and critical analysis.
  • Act intentionally and demonstrate cultural intentionality with clients in helping relationships.
  • Assess the impact of personal beliefs, values and ethics on professional interactions and relationships.
  • Analyze professional communication skills, attitudes, and professional ethics in helping relationships.

Course topics

  • Lesson 1: Preparing for Continuous Development in Professional Communication Skills
  • Lesson 2: Core Competencies in Professional Helping Relationships
  • Lesson 3: Ethics and Privilege for Socially Diverse Communication Competence
  • Lesson 4: Attending, Observing, and Listening
  • Lesson 5: Questioning for Understanding
  • Lesson 6: Encouraging, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
  • Lesson 7: Reflecting Feelings: Building Empathy
  • Lesson 8: Stages 1–3 of the Five-Stage Interview: Empathy, Strengths, and Goals
  • Lesson 9: Stages 4–5 of the Five-Stage Interview: Restoring Thinking, Feeling, and/or Behaviour to Achieve Goals and Change
  • Lesson 10: Focusing and Contextualizing the Interview
  • Lesson 11: Empathic and Supportive Confrontation and Change

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for this course:

  1. Ivey, A. E., Ivey, M. B., & Zalaquett, C. P. (2023). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society (10th ed.). Cengage
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-357-62279-7


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory project.



Quiz 15%
Assignment 1: Communication Session and Self-Evaluation 20%
Assignment 2: Application of Technical Skills 10%
Assignment 3: Five-Stage Interview and Self-Evaluation 25%
Final Project: Personal Reflection Paper 30%



Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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