This unit will focus on the Bennett-Levy (2006) model of building therapeutic competence, highlighting the declarative, procedural, and reflective systems. The declarative system highlights the theoretical knowledge that is necessary for becoming a good therapist. Most of this information is in your textbook and will be managed through online discussions. However there are some specific aspects of theoretical knowledge that will be enhanced through workshops in specific counselling techniques, suicide prevention, and Aboriginal awareness. The procedural system encompasses establishing and maintaining empathy in the interpersonal context, presence or mindfulness as a therapist, and finally an exploration of aspects of the personal sense of self and how that impacts on an ability to be a therapist to maintain the therapeutic relationship. This will be the main focus of the workshops as we focus on building specific skills in enhancing empathy, asking meaningful questions, managing your own anxiety while counselling, and becoming more aware of your own personal background that may interact on your ability to be a good therapist. The final system is the reflective system that will focus on the skills of reflecting objectively upon your personal performance as a therapist. This will be highlighted in your assessment tasks that require identifying your own weaknesses and articulating areas for improvement, remediating those weaknesses, and assessing your own ability to make the changes necessary to become expert therapists. Overall, the unit will highlight the importance of the therapeutic alliance and emphasise core counselling skills to optimise the therapeutic relationship. General questioning strategies for conceptualising client problems with an emphasis on the context of the presenting problem, with directions for intervention will also be emphasised.