Advanced Counselling Skills (New!)

ACCT (Association of Co-operative Counselling Therapists) has added specific courses to their existing academic requirements for membership in their association. Accordingly, as an Associate School approved by ACCT, Orca Institute is now offering Advanced Counselling Courses to meet ACCT's new membership requirements. In addition to becoming a member of IACH, we recommend that our graduate students also become members of ACCT.  

Please note: Our Advanced Counselling Skills Distance Learning courses are electives, and a student is not required to take these courses to get their Diploma as a Counselling Hypnotherapist (Cand.) or their Basic Hypnotherapy Certificate. 
Advanced Counselling Skills courses can also be taken individually. The fee is CAD$398.00 per course except for Supervision (140 hrs.) which would be CAD$450.00. Students can also challenge specifically on Supervision and/or any of our other courses and if successful the fee will be pro-rated accordingly.

Advanced Counselling Skills Pre-requisites

  • Orca Institute’s Counselling Hypnotherapy Diploma Program

or the following:

  • Any counselling based program which includes a minimum of 200 hours of instruction, including 60 hours of live on-site or online classes, Basic Counselling Skills Training (60 hrs.) and Supervision (60 hrs.) Basic Counselling Training can also be taken through Orca Institute if needed.

ACCT logo

ACCT Membership Benefits

  1. Offers members low-cost liability insurance,
  2. Client coverage under many extended medical plans 
  3. Be well-positioned for possible Counsellor Regulation in BC and other non-regulated provinces.
  4. It can also possibly allow for easier entry into specific existing and potential Colleges of Counselling (Alberta being one)
  5. Qualifies members to advertise in Psychology Today and Counselling BC.


Advanced Counselling Skills 1

  1. Abnormal Psychology (30hrs.)
  2. Family Therapy (30hrs.)
  3. Ethics in Counselling (30hrs.)

Advanced Counselling Skills 2

  1. DSM V (30hrs.)
  2. Group Therapy (30hrs.)
  3. Supervision (140 Hrs.)

Advanced Counselling Skills 1 (Course Detail)

Fee: CAD$998.00 plus CAD$100.00 Administrative Fee = CAD$1098.00

Check out our Interest-Free Payment Plans

Students will read the required textbook or manual. for each section below and answer a series of essay type questions or True/False relating to the material in the textbook. They will submit their answers by uploading them to their individual folder on Google Drive. The Instructor will evaluate the answers and give the student a mark. 80% is a pass for each section.

A certificate will be given to a successful student. The Instructor will provide support if needed for the duration of the program. Prospective students can challenge the sections below based on prior learning.


Abnormal Psychology (30hrs.)

Course Outline: By the end of this course, students are introduced to a wide range of cases showing the intricacies of diagnosing and treating mental illness from multiple perspectives. This course will help a student understand how culture, family, and work factor into a person’s mental health. Through detailed case studies, the student will be introduced to the before, during, and after diagnosis, treatment and follow up of a client's individual experience with mental health disorders.

Learning Objectives

  • To be introduced to a wide range of cases including Schizophrenia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Depressive Personality Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Panic Disorder, borderline Personality Disorder, and Antisocial Personality disorder.
  • To highlight the intricacies of diagnosis and treatment. To deepen the students' understanding of specific disorders through the study of presenting problems, client descriptions, diagnosis, case formation, course of treatment, outcomes, prognosis, and treatment follow up. Client and Counsellor conversations are included to help the student appreciate the uniqueness of each client and their experiences influencing diagnosis and treatment.
  • Offer students a more in-depth understanding of the psychopathology and effects of treatment in the long term.

Required Book: Case studies in Abnormal Psychology by Kenneth N. Levy, Kristen M. Kelly, William J. Ray. 2018 Sage publications, Inc.

Family Therapy (30hrs.)

Course Outline

One of the tenants the authors of this book hold this is that they believe “clients are strengthened when the therapist can enlist family members in caring for each other.”

To offer practitioners and students the tools and educational skills to integrate family therapy into their practice. Using examples of multiple theories and techniques in the areas of conducting extensive assessments, creating treatment plans with and for the family, and counselling concerns. This book focus is on the family and the therapist. Offering case studies and up-to-date family therapy skills for beginners and those wishing to upgrade their family therapy skills.

Learning Objectives

  • The identification of new therapist concerns, including confidence and building their skills in multiple techniques as well as clinical issues.
  • Examples of the sequence of therapy, from the initial contact with clients through extensive assessment, treatment planning, and interventions.
  • By the end of this course, counsellors will have the tools to be in relationship with the family and their unique needs leading to a well thought out treatments.
  • Case studies are offered to deepen the study of working with families, children, adolescents, older adults, couples living with serious mental illness.
  • The study of common roadblocks all counsellors encounter and creative ideas to move through the blocks.

Areas covered:

  • Managing anxiety and confidence
  • Therapists development
  • Burnout
  • Before the Initial Interview – guidelines for the counsellor
  • The Initial Interview – developing connection, administrative issues, motivation, credibility.
  • Guidelines for Conducting Assessment – initial assessment, Potential issues of harm, assessing for substance abuse, psychological assessment, social assessment, spiritual assessment, assessing social systems, assessing larger systems: context, gender, and culture
  • Developing a Treatment Focus and Treatment Plan: Four obstacles to developing a treatment focus, building a conceptual map using theory and research, components of a treatment plan, evaluating the effectiveness of treatment.
  • Basic Treatment Skills and Interventions - The rush to intervention versus developing a relationship, basic counselling skills, skills unique to the Systemic/Relational therapist, becoming more sophisticated in using interventions.
  • Working with Families and Children - Assessment of children and adolescents, emerging resources for treating children and adolescents, the family life cycle revisited, variations and family development.
  • Working with Older Adults and Their Caregivers - Assessment and treatment of older adults, family caregiving.
  • Working with Couples - Keys to providing solid couple therapy, special topics, when couple therapy might not work.
  • When a family Member Has a Mental Illness - Individual and family concepts, Depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug abuse, impulsive disorders in neurodevelopmental disorders.  – It is important to remember counsellors are not able to diagnose.
  • Getting Unstuck in Therapy - Understanding clients ambivalence about change, therapist-client agenda and timing mismatch, matching levels of directness to the client, therapists reluctance to intervene, therapist’s lack of conceptual clarity, change an acceptance, countertransference how therapist issues interfere, dealing with cancellations and no shows, difficulty getting other family members to therapy, handling secrets, dealing with clients we dislike, how agencies contribute to being stuck, supervision, self-supervision questions, getting unstuck using research and literature.

Ethics in Counselling (30hrs.)

Course Outline

Upon completion of this course, the student will have demonstrated the ability to:
  • Recognize an ethical dilemma or issue in multiple counselling situations.
  • Broaden awareness, through a process of reflection and exploration, of one’s own personal and professional values, as well as ethical positions, on a variety of issues;
  • Know when and how to refer.
  • The student will have a clear framework for the exploration of issues.
  • Guidelines for defined boundaries and recognize boundary violations.
  • Learn questioning processes to bring clarity to issues.
  • Who to include in the ethical decision-making process.
  • Where to go to access a deeper understanding of how to move towards a resolution of issues that serve the best interest of the client and counsellor.
  • Be aware of the importance of sensitivity in applying ethical concepts and principles.
  • Recognize the potential of and possibly prevent an ethical dilemma in specific situations in counselling practice.
  • Understand the importance of being familiar with the current Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in the ACCT.
  • Prepare students to develop and design a professional Informed Consent Form for a variety of counselling situations.
  • Prepare students to address ethical issues related to suicidality and End of Life Decisions. Including:
  • No suicide/no harm contract template, No suicide contract template.
  • Augment the student's professional identity as a counsellor;
  • Reaffirm the importance of ongoing professional development.
  • Advance an appreciation of supportive practices, including supervision and consultation.
  • Stress, anxiety, depression, childhood trauma, trauma, relationship problems, making changes, health issues, to name a few. 
  • Ethics of Social Media - impact on the counselling relationship.

Required Book: Online course manual (included)
Exams: Multiple Choice, Essay, submission of one video of an actual session.


Advanced Counselling Skills 2 (Course Detail)

Fee: CAD$998.00 plus CAD$150.00 Administrative Fee = CAD$1148.00
Check out our Interest-Free Payment Plans


Applies to DSM V and Group Therapy:

Students will read the required textbook and answer a series of true/false type questions relating to the material in the textbook. They will submit their answers by uploading them to their individual folder on Google Drive. The Instructor will evaluate the answers and give the student a mark. 80% is a pass. Students can challenge any of these courses based on prior learning.

DSM V (30hrs.)

Course Detail: Counsellors are not trained or authorized to make mental illness diagnoses. By the end of this course, students are introduced to the various updates of information presented in the new DSM-V and will have an understanding of the eight primary spectrums of mental illness and secondary mental illness disorders. The objectives of the course are to look at mental illness across the spectrum of severity and symptoms.

Allowing the counsellor to understand the uniqueness of the client and their manifestation of mental illness from the DSM-5 perspective. With an emphasis on helping counsellors understand and remember complex mental illness ideas and concepts; through cartoons, mnemonic devices, summary tables and simple case studies.

Learning Objectives

  • To clearly understand changes in the new DSM-5.
  • To be introduced to the spectrum approach to mental illness.
  • A clear understanding of the eight spectrums of mental illness, the categories, and the full complement of symptoms.
  • The Depression Spectrum: Shallowness versus Despair, The Mania Spectrum: Boring versus Bipolar, The Anxiety Spectrum: Carelessness versus Anxiousness, The Psychosis Spectrum: Visionless versus Psychotic 
  • The Focusing Spectrum: Attention Deficit Disorder versus Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • The Substance Abuse Spectrum: Ascetic versus Addicted,
  • The Autism Spectrum: Codependent versus Autistic
  • The Personality Spectrum: Neurotic versus Obnoxious.
  • A clear understanding of the secondary mental illness disorders: Trauma and stressor Related Disorders, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Neurocognitive Disorders, Dissociative disorders, Somatic Disorders, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Gender Dysphoria, Sexual Dysfunctions, Paraphilic Disorders.

Required Book: DSM-5 Insanely Simplified Unlocking the Spectrum within DSM-5 and ICD-10 By: Steven Busher, MD and Leonard Cruz, MD 2014 BY Chiron Publications

Group Therapy (30hrs.)

Course Detail: By the end of this course, students are introduced to a wide range of settings in which group therapy may be offered. They will begin to understand the strengths and weaknesses of group therapy, the demands of group therapy, and the unique variables found and provided in the group therapeutic process.

Through the study of individual cases, students will explore ways to choose, adapt and implement models of group therapy most suited to a group's goals. Although this course focuses on imparting pivotal information for beginning therapists, it also provides updates for therapist advanced in group therapy. Case studies viewed through the lens and experience of 17 clinicians. This course offers a balance between valuable theoretical information and practical instruction. Learning Objectives Through exploration, a deeper understanding of the following:

  • History of group therapy
  • Group therapy modalities
  • Adlerian
  • Psychodynamic
  • Existentialism
  • person-centred
  • Transactional Analysis
  • General Systems Theory
  • Gestalt
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy
  • Focal Conflict Paradigm
  • Psychoanalytical
  • Basic Assumptive Model
  • Reality Therapy
  • Here-and-Now Modality. Practical considerations when beginning a group - Setting, client inclusion, and cohesion. Problems in group dynamics - resistance and self-protection. Transference and Countertransference. Creative and successful interventions. Negative experiences. Group therapy specialties, Ethical issues. Group therapy and the Internet.

Required Book: Introduction to Group Therapy A Practical Guide Third Edition By Scott Simon Fehr 2019 Routledge

Indirect Supervision (140 Hrs.)

Course Detail: In this course, students are required to work with "Clients" for a total of 140Hrs. They record the details of all of these sessions in a spreadsheet which the school supplies. Throughout these sessions, the Instructor is available if the student has any questions and contact is usually made with the student about every two weeks initiated by the supervisor/instructor.

There is also communication when the student submits their two videos of actual sessions for evaluation. Clients can be found through the student's contacts and/or other students. Students are evaluated based on Instructor/Student consultation, client notes, and the two submitted session videos. 80% is a pass.

Tags: Ethics Training, Counselling Training,


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