Cursos / 2º Ciclo / Institute of Psychology and Educational Sciences :: Clinical Psychology

Versao Portuguesa


1º curricular year
Semestralidade: 1st semester


Leading Teacher: Prof. Doutora Mariana Sousa
Assistant Professor: Prof. Doutora Mariana Sousa

Class type and School hours

Prática : 1 Horas
Teórico-prática : 2 Horas

Main Aims/Objectives

The goal of the CU of Helping and therapeutic relationship skills (HTRS) is to promote the development of skills necessary for helping relationship and clinical practice.

Specific Aims/Objectives

To understand:
a) the main theoretical/conceptual frameworks of the main HTRS;
b) the importance of helping skills and therapeutic relationship in clinical practice;
c) the complementarity and mutual influences between communication and relational skills;
d) the importance of HTRS as a context for the implementation of strategies and behavioral change techniques;
To Know the different types of HTRS;
To know the specific and common functions of the skills groups;
Developing sensitivity and self-monitoring of the underlying bodily responses to HTRS;

Skills to be acquired

Basic helping skills (verbal and non-verbal language and active listening)
Advanced care skills (focus, confrontation, reflection and exploration of feelings, reflection and exploration of meaning, influence strategies)
Therapeutic relationship skills (empathy, goal setting, collaboration, positive regard and affirmation, consistency and authenticity, obtaining feedback)

Teaching Procedures

Teaching will essentially combine participatory methodologies, observation, modeling, role-play and practice of specific skills. Expository methodology will be used in the exploration of conceptual content and theoretical approaches to skills. However, the use of this methodology will be reduced in this UC (compared to other methods) that will have a strong training component of different skills. The viewing of demonstration videos of the various skills will play an important role, just like the identification and description of each technique and its components by the students. The role-play


1.Helping and psychological intervention Skills: concepts and typologies;
2.Conceptual frameworks: person-centered perspective, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and transtheoretical;
3.Basic helping skills: a) verbal and non-verbal (Eye contact, body language, Paralinguistic, Attention Silence), b) active listening (listening process, questioning, encouragement, paraphrasing, summarizing), c) skills advanced care (focus, confrontation, exploration and feelings of reflection, exploration and meaning of reflection, skills and influence strategies);
4. Therapeutic relationship: relationship and alliance; importance of the therapeutic relationship; the therapeutic relationship skills (empathy, goal setting, collaboration, positive regard and affirmation, consistency and authenticity, obtaining feedback)
5. Integrative model of the 3 phases of helping skills (exploration of emotions and cognitions; understanding emotions and cognitions; implementing change)

Evaluation Type

Each student needs to attend to a minimum of 70% of classes. Each student will be invited to record an interaction with a hypothetical client (a colleague), which will be asked to demonstrate the performance of core competencies. The teaching will see and rate each students’ video and will evaluate how each student domain the different skills (continuous assessment: 60%). Moreover, students will make a final exam (40%).

Teaching Resources

Books, scientific papers and videos.


Helping skills
Therapeutic relationship skills
Therapeutic alliance

Main Bibliography

Author CHANG, Valerie; SCOTT, Sherin
Title Developing helping skills: A step-by-step approach
Edition 2ª ed
Place Brooks Cole / Cengage Learning
Editor Belmont USA
Year 2009
Author HILL, Clara
Title Helping skills: Facilitating exploration, insight,
Edition 4ª ed
Place Washington
Editor APA
Year 2014
Author IVEY, Allen E.; IVEY, Mary B.
Title Intentional interviewing and counseling: facilitat
Edition 8ª ed
Place Belmont, USA
Editor Brooks Cole / Cengage Learning
Year 2014

Complementary Bibliography

Author FERNANDES, Eugénia
Title Aliança Terapêutica - Da Teoria à Prática Clínica
Author NELSON-JONES, Richard
Title Practical Counselling & Helping Skills
Edition 6ª ed
Place UK
Editor Sage
Year 2013