Relationship Communication Counselling - BPS208

Relationship Communication Counselling  - online studies in relationships and communication to understand how difficulties arise and how to resolve them

Three factors that will determine the effectiveness or destructiveness of our communications in a relationship are:

  • What we communicate.

  • What we do not communicate.

  • How we communicate – intentionally or unintentionally.

By examining communications in the light of these factors, we can better understand how relationships can be maintained and destroyed. In the area of self disclosure, partners must decide what to keep secret and what to reveal (partners must decide when lying will help and when it will destroy a relationship). People in relationship also need to determine how to engage in constructive conflict (arguing/fighting) so the relationship will profit.

Good relationships are maintained by balancing these different kinds of communication and by keeping a balance between the three elements of passion, intimacy and commitment. While intimate and frank communication may be the cornerstone of a strong relationship, research shows that talking about every little irritation and disagreement, unremitting honesty, and confronting the partner about all conflict are actually quite destructive. Relationships where one or both partners are willing to let issues pass, do not always or often disclose their negative feelings, and communicate more for the purpose of the overall bigger picture,

Relationships in which there is a great deal of respect and equality have been shown to be more long lasting and satisfying, than those where equality and respect are low.

Develop your understanding of the role communication plays in creating, maintaining or destroying relationships, and your ability to assist others to improve their relationships communications.

What you will learn

  • Develop your understanding of the role communication plays in creating, maintaining or destroying relationships, and your ability to assist others to improve their relationship communications.
  • The course examines different sources of communication, verbal and the various forms of non-verbal, and how they can be observed, interpreted and responded to. It also delves into strategies for promoting good relationships and considers what things are counter-productive.

Who is the course for?

  • This course is useful for those who work in psychology, counselling, mediation or psychotherapy.
  • Those wishing to work in these fields as well as others in caring roles or helping roles may wish to use this course to develop their understanding of this field. It will also be useful for marriage guidance counsellors and relationships counsellors.
  • It may also be of value to people who manage relationships in a work place (e.g. supervisors of work teams), or individuals who simply seek to better understand the dynamics of relationships between people in everyday life.

Course Structure and Lesson Content

The course is divided into six lessons as follows:

Lesson 1. Communication in Emerging Relationships

  • Introduction.
  • Problems in relationships.
  • Stages in relationships.
  • Interpersonal communication.
  • The communication process.
  • Principles of communication.
  • Communication filtered through perceptions.
  • Verbal communication.
  • Non verbal communication.
  • Communication responsibility.
  • Ineffective communication.
  • Signs of relationship breakdown.
  • Effective communication.
  • Abuse and violence in relationships.

Lesson 2. Self-Awareness and Communication Goals

  • Introduction.
  • Negative communication.
  • Self awareness.
  • Setting the stage for change.
  • Good communication is thoughtful.
  • Intent.
  • Awareness.
  • Recognising reactive patterns.
  • Relationship goals.

Lesson 3. Communication Patterns in Relationships

  • Negative patterns of communication.
  • Aggressive patterns.
  • Victim patterns.
  • Avoidance patterns.
  • Thought, feeling and action cycle.
  • Thoughts and feelings differentiated.
  • Emotions (feelings).
  • Patterns of thought.
  • Behaviour (actions).
  • Action skills.
  • Communicating intent.

Lesson 4. Influences on Relating Behaviour and PBL.

  • Influences on communication.
  • Environmental influences; family, culture, social, other.
  • Global factors.
  • Communicating and changing interpersonal needs.
  • Changing expectations and needs.
  • Adult psychological development.
  • Erikson's psycho social stages.
  • PBL (Problem Based Learning Project) to create and plan a counselling intervention for a couple who are experiencing relationship difficulties. 

Lesson 5. Communication Techniques and Skills

  • Introduction.
  • Triads.
  • Listening.
  • Paraphrasing.
  • Reflective responses; emotions.
  • Reflective responses; content.
  • Guidelines to prevent inauthentic listening.
  • Open questions.
  • Message statements or requests.
  • Self disclosure.
  • Encouraging clients to learn communication.

Lesson 6. Maintaining Relationships

  • Introduction.
  • Kinds of, and stages in relationships.
  • Factors to help maintain relationships.
  • Agreements or contracts.
  • Praise and gifts for service.
  • Relationship nurturing communication.
  • Straight talk.

Course Duration: 100 hours 

Course Aims

  • To examine the importance of communication in emergent relationships and its changing role within relationships.
  • To understand different influences affecting and changing interpersonal needs over the lifespan.
  • To recognise the role of cultural and physical environmental influences on communication.
  • To identify and examine patterns of communication in close relationship.
  • To understand constructive and destructive methods of maintaining relationships.
  • To discuss patterns of relationship breakdown and the role of constructive and destructive communication.
  • To consider the effectiveness of different communication techniques in relationships.

What you may do in this course

  • Determine ways in which we consciously communicate in a relationship, and ways in which we unconsciously communicate.
  • Determine different negative messages that can damage relationships, and different positive messages that can nurture them.
  • Determine attitudes or expectations (thoughts and beliefs) that can result in destructive communication, and describe one likely negative outcome for each.
  • Identify common needs that we want to satisfy through our relationships.
  • Identify cultural or social influences that affect individual and family attitudes to happiness, self-expression, and relationships.
  • Explain psychological theories and terms such as attribution theory, implicit personality theory, Gestalt impression formation, inference processes, stereotyping.
  • List benefits and disadvantages of ‘self-disclosure’ and ‘self-disguise or concealment’ (lying).
  • Define effective communication.
  • Discuss the role that judgement plays in preventing a person from understanding and/or respecting another person’s point of view and feelings.
  • Discuss strategies for replacing negative communication patterns in relationships for positive patterns.

Different Stages of Relationships

Stage 1 – Courtship/Romance or Fantasy Stage

This can last from two months to two years. This is when the partnership is new and the couple want to be together and can do nothing wrong in each other’s eyes. Probably they are both still on their best behaviour as well. They will focus on commonalities (what they have in common), such as interests, music, friends etc. This is the stage when our defences are low, so that the relationship can grow and develop. There are also biological effects, as the body will produce large amounts of endorphins, making us happy, excited and positive.

Stage 2 – Familiarisation/Adjusting to Reality/Disillusionment

This is when the couple realise their partner is actually a human being. They will start recognising each other’s flaws, as the couple become more relaxed with each other. The body may not produce the same levels or endorphins. This can happen suddenly due to a dishonesty or deceit. This can be a confusing stage and it can be hard to show as much openness and connection as at stage 1. However, this is also the stage where we have to learn to communicate with each other if the relationship is to continue.

Stage 3 – Disappointment/Distress/Power Struggle Phase

Characteristics in this stage can become harder and harder to deal with. The couple will begin to pull away from each other. They may believe that conflict is a bad thing, and become increasingly aware of their differences. They may fight over the boundaries in the relationship, with small issues becoming big problems. At this stage the couple will define unacceptable behaviour and may consider leaving the relationship. The individual may feel that their partner is untrustworthy or uncaring or self-centred. Deep resentments may develop. This is usually the stage where most couples break up or seek divorce. If they are able to move through this stage, they will move to stage 4.

Stage 4 – Stability/Friendship/Reconciliation Stage

This is a restful stage. Some couples will never reach this stage, but those that do will find that they have more trust, love and connection with their partner. The couple will have a history and rely on the predictability of the relationship. They will realise that their partner isn’t perfect, but their differences aren’t as bad as they thought. Conflicts can usually be resolved to some extent and the individuals may feel more confident within the relationship. Some individuals will feel a sense of loss as they realise they no longer have the fantasy partner they thought they had. But there will be more feeling of friendship and commitment. They may start to re-establish their own outside friendships and interest. There is some danger that the couple may become bored with each other or drift apart, so it is important to try to maintain the connection established in the Romance Stage.

Stage 5 – Acceptance/Transformation/Real Love/Commitment Stage

It is estimated that only around 5% of couples actually make it to this stage (Relationship Institute). This is when couples know who their partner is, including their strengths and weaknesses, but choose to say with that person because of (or in spite of) those things. The couple will genuinely love their partner and look out for their best interests. They will usually have similar life goals. Many couples will make a public and formal commitment to each other at this stage to demonstrate their commitment to the relationship. At this stage, the relationship becomes a true partnership.

Helping Others

Would you like to help others in their relationships?

Then this Relationship Communication Counselling course could be the one for you.

This course will be beneficial for professional development and for personal reasons -

  • Study to improve your knowledge.
  • Improve your career prospects.
  • Update your skills.
  • Study for professional development.
  • Improve your personal knowledge to support those around you.

Enrol today and find out more.

If you have any questions or want to know more, then -

Call us now on (International) +61 7 5562 1088 or (in Australia) 07 5562 1088, or

Email us at, or use our 



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PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $878.90  1 x $799.00
B 2 x $475.20  2 x $432.00

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