HUMS 1541
Interpersonal Communications and Helping Relationships

3.0 Credits


Self awareness is a foundation for the development of competent Human Service workers. By focusing on personal development, this course offers an opportunity to learn and use interpersonal communication skills effectively. You will also be introduced to knowledge and skills that increase effectiveness in helping relationships with client populations. Topics such as group dynamics, assertive behaviour, and conflict management will be covered.

Delivery Method

Online, self- paced.




HUMS 1540: Self and Interpersonal Communications and EDED 1340: Communication


After you have successfully completed the work in this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate and assess growth in the areas of personal awareness, self-understanding, and effective interpersonal communication by examining such concepts as motivations, emotions, values, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, learning styles, personal styles, self-concept, and how we affect others and how others affect us.
  • Explore relevant concepts and the major theoretical approaches associated with the study of interpersonal communication.
  • Identify and demonstrate the basic communication skills used in interpersonal and helping relationships.
  • Articulate the importance of relationship in the helping process, and demonstrate the core skills and conditions for relationship building.
  • Discuss basic concepts about group functioning and the roles within groups.
  • Begin to discuss the role of anger, assertiveness, and conflict resolution as it applies to interpersonal communication and group functioning.

Course Outline

The course is organized into the following lessons:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Interpersonal Communications and Helping Relationships
  • Lesson 2: Ethics, Values, and Beliefs
  • Lesson 3: Cultural Diversity
  • Lesson 4: Examining Your Values and Beliefs
  • Lesson 5: Relationship and the Helping Process
  • Lesson 6: Empathy and the Person-Centred Approach
  • Lesson 7: Active Listening
  • Lesson 8: The Skill of Questioning
  • Lesson 9: Brief Solution-Focused Model and Problem Solving
  • Lesson 10: Systems, Holistic, and Strengths-based Approaches
  • Lesson 11: Setting Goals and Changing Behaviours
  • Lesson 12: Personal Style in Professional Helping
  • Lesson 13: Anger and Conflict in Professional Helping
  • Lesson 14: Group Process

Maximum Completion

30 weeks

Required Text and Materials

Shebib, D. Choices: Interviewing and counselling skills for Canadians Plus MyHelpingLab. 6th ed. Toronto: Pearson Canada, 2017.
Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-0-13-400514-0

Additional Requirements

Computer and Internet access is required for this online course.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the "mail" tool in the Learning Environment or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the course. Students using this course to satisfy any TRU Social Service Worker Program requirements must achieve a minimum of 60% in this course overall.The following table illustrates how your final grade will be determined for this course.

Assignment 1: Values and Beliefs Critique 25%
Assignment 2: Application and Analysis of Active Listening Skills 25%
Quiz #1 20%
Quiz #2 30%
Total 100%