SSW312 - Supportive Counselling

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-18 08:43:07.05
Last review date 2018-07-18 08:43:07.052

Subject Title
Supportive Counselling

Subject Description
This final course in the Social Service Methods series is a further development of SSW 101 and SSW 212. Emphasis is placed on needs assessment and intake skills, stages of the counselling process, and problem solving counselling interventions.
In SSW212, Helping Interview and Principles of Practice, students were introduced to the basic tools of direct intervention; specifically the informational and the empowerment based helping interview. In SSW312, students are introduced to the process of helping client's problem solve using the narrative approach.

Credit Status
One Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Distinguish personal character traits and counsellor attitudes that may enhance or compromise service to the client 
  2. Use reformulation technique in the counselling interview.
  3. Clearly state the client's presenting problems.
  4. Illustrate effective problem solving competencies with client. 
  5. Identify appropriate referrals for a Social Service Worker intervention with the client.
  6. Complete comprehensive psychosocial history documentation and accurate client activity records.
  7. Assess the presence of conditions conducive to client growth.
  8. Apply the stages of the counselling process in a professional manner.
  9. Relate in a professional manner with clients as consistent with the Ethical Guidelines and Standards of Practice outlined by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).

Aligned with Employability Skills
1 Communication
2 Numeracy
3 Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
4 Information Management
5 Interpersonal
6 Personal
Aligned with Vocational Outcomes SSW
1 Develop professional relationships that are respectful and collaborative, and adhere to professional, legal, and ethical standards aligned to social service work.
2 Record information accurately and communicate effectively in written, digital, verbal and non-verbal ways, in adherence to privacy and freedom of information legislation, and meets professional and workplace standards.
3 integrate a practice framework within a service delivery continuum, addressing the needs of individuals, families and communities at micro, macro and global levels, and assist them in achieving their goals
4 Plan and implement accessible and responsive programs and services, recognizing the diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities and meeting these needs.
5 Examine current social policy, relevant legislation, and political, social, historical, and/or economic systems and their impacts for individuals and communities when delivering services to the user/client
6 Develop strategies and approaches that support clients in building the capacity for self-advocacy, while affirming their dignity and self-worth.
7 work from a strengths-based practice, recognizing the capacity for resilience and growth of individuals and communities when responding to the diverse needs of vulnerable population
8  Develop strategies and approaches to implement and maintain self-care as a member of a human service profession
9 Work with individuals and communities to advocate for change strategies with service providers that promote social and economic justice, and challenge patterns of oppression and discrimination
10  Work with the Indigenous individual and their communities while respecting their inherent rights to self-determine, and to identify and address systemic barriers that produce ill-effects, developing appropriate responses using approaches such as trauma informed care practice.
[*select elements of each standard are met through SSW 312, but not all elements]

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

All Module 1 and 2 courses.

Topic Outline

  1. Introduction to Helping
  2. Overview of the Helping Model
  3. Goal Setting
  4. Active Listening Skills
  5. Communicating Empathy
  6. Probing and Summarizing Skills
  7. Helping Clients challenge themselves
  8. Challenging Skills
  9. Helping difficult clients move forward
  10. Helping clients tell their stories
  11. Introduction to Stages II and III
  12. Helping clients set viable goals
  13. Helping clients develop strategies and plans
  14. Helping clients implement change

All topics will focus on assisting students to develop specific skills essential to counselling practices.

Mode of Instruction
Lectures, class group discussions, role play, demonstration, case illustrations, assignments, etc.

Prescribed Texts
The Skilled Helper Paperback, Dr. Gerard Egan, Wilma Schroeder, Nelson College Indigenous, 11th edition - Canadian Edition, ISBN-13: 9781305865716

Reference Material
Standards of Practice as outlined by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
Mucchielli, R (2005) Face to Face Counselling
 In library 2 hour reserve.

Valentino, E. (2013) Handle with Care: Communicating in the Human Services Field in Canada. Nelson Education: Toronto, ON, Publisher: Nelson College Indigenous; 5 edition (Feb. 23 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0176504397

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week.  If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded.  Students must contact faculty in advance of due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using APA and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted.

If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.


Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable.  If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor.  Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty.

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy

Grading is based on the following marking scheme: 

Assignment 10%
Group Assignment/Presentation 30%
Mid-Term Exam 25%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class.  Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.

Approved by: Sandra Noble