AN ACTION STUDY ON TEACHING GROUP COUNSELLING SKILLS AMONG POSTGRADUATE COUNSELOR TRAINEES (23 - 28)
Keywords: group counselling skills, counselling trainees, simulation, role play
AbstractThe counselling profession is known as a professional body that is entrusted to deal with the well-being of clients. In order to help clients to have greater psychological development, group counselling is one of the methods to be utilized by counsellors. The competency of counsellors especially counsellor trainees in conducting group counselling is critical to ensure the quality and effectiveness of counselling sessions. However, there is a gap between the current training practices and student outcomes as counsellor trainees found to have a good knowledge on group counselling, but lack of skills to put theory into practice, especially to apply group counselling skills in their counselling session. Thus, this study was carried out to look at the best method that is preferably useful and most effective in teaching group counselling skills among postgraduate counsellor trainees in Malaysia. A total of 35 counsellor trainees was recruited from an education focused university in Malaysia using a purposive sampling method. This study consisted of four cycles including planning, action, observation and reflection. Several teaching methods were utilized such as traditional method, experiential learning, simulation, mind map and role play to impart knowledge and skills to students. Results showed that by using the traditional methods, students have the knowledge of conducting group sessions, however they have difficulty in applying the group counselling skills. However, after planning for a better method, experiential learning was used where trainees are required to explain and present the skills, giving examples and present them in a mind map. Then, it is followed by trainees role play the skills. The practical part was done several times until all students were able to show the particular group counselling skills.