Analysis of a counselling session

Analysis of a counselling session

This type of assessment requires you to analyse and evaluate the skills of a counsellor based on a video of their work. This assignment type often focuses on the impact of the counselling skills on the client, an evaluation of the counselling skills or approach used, and suggestions for changes or improvements, if appropriate. Your assignment might ask you to analyse general counselling skills, or to focus on a specific approach, such as existential therapy or narrative therapy.

The content of the analysis will be based on the specific guidelines or questions given with the assessment information. For example, you may be asked to identify and evaluate:

  • The counsellor’s communication skills, e.g. opening a session and building rapport
  • The counsellor’s adherence to professional requirements, e.g. explaining  their position on confidentiality and record keeping to the client
  • Their application of certain techniques, e.g. the use of counselling therapies discussed in the unit you are studying

You might also be asked to reflect on areas for improvement and future development. You might also need to transcribe parts of the dialogue to give as examples. This is called giving a verbatim example. In all cases, you must use the theory from the unit you are studying as the basis of your discussion and analysis of the counsellor's skills. Each assignment has unique requirements, so always check the assignment instructions and marking criteria.

An evaluation or analysis of a counselling session is a type of essay. Therefore, if should have an introduction, a series of body paragraphs, a conclusion, and a reference list. Eaach body paragraph should explore one main idea and have a good balance of description, analysis and links to literature and theory. More information about writing essays can be found here.


Try to avoid writing in an overly emotive or subjective way. Even though you are expressing your own analysis, you must convey this information in a professional style. Here are some examples of sentences that have been rewritten more professionally.

  • The client complained that her kids were really naughty --> The client stated that her children were not well behaved.
  • Even though the counsellor seemed unsure about digging deeper, her questioning was good. --> Even though the counsellor seemed apprehensive about probing, her questionning was appropriate.