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COU5010 Counselling Frameworks

Semester 2, 2019 External
Short Description: Counselling Frameworks
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090513 - Counselling
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Nathan Beel


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH


Modern counsellors typically integrate skills and theories from a range of models rather than being devoted to a single psychotherapeutic approach. This course helps students understand factors associated with client change that are common to all psychotherapeutic modalities as informed from decades of outcome research. This broader knowledge of what are referred to as ‘common factors’ provides counsellors a major conceptual framework to customize treatment in ways that maximize these factors. Counsellors also need exposure to the range of counselling modalities and methods that can be customized to different therapists, clients and treatment contexts. Different counselling modalities target different areas for intervention, whether this be via thinking, feeling, behaviour, insight, experience or other processes. The course provides students with an integrative framework, and exposure to the major theories so that students can begin constructing their own practice framework.


This course introduces to students the common factors of successful counselling. Students are introduced to the major psychological treatment models available and will identify and justify their own approach to developing a framework of practice.

This course contains a mandatory four-day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online synchronous tutorials.


On successful completion of this course students will have:

  1. Demonstrated a thorough knowledge of factors common to successful counselling outcomes
  2. Demonstrated a critical awareness of outcome research on topics related to therapeutic change;
  3. Comprehension of counselling modalities including their strengths and weaknesses;
  4. In-depth understanding, applied skills and knowledge, and analysis of a chosen psychotherapeutic modality and its key interventions.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Psychotherapy effectiveness 7.00
2. Therapist variables in therapeutic change 7.00
3. The therapeutic relationship in therapeutic change 7.00
4. Client and context factors in therapeutic change 7.00
5. Other common factors in therapeutic change 8.00
6. Analytic therapies 8.00
7. Person-Centred/Existential therapies 8.00
8. Experiential therapies 8.00
9. Behaviour therapies 8.00
10. Cognitive therapies 8.00
11. Constructivist therapies 8.00
12. Somatic and other therapies 8.00
13. Integrative Approaches 8.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

McLeod, J 2013, An introduction to counselling, 5th edn, Open Universities Press, Berkshire.
O'Donovan, A, Casey, L, van der Veen, M & Boschen, M 2013, Psychotherapy, An Australian Perspective, IP Communications, East Hawthorn.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Brooks-Harris, J 2008, Integrative multitheoretical psychotherapy, Lahaska Press, Boston.
Cormier, S, Nurius, PS & Osborn, CJ 2017, Interviewing and change strategies for helpers: Fundamental skills and cognitive-behavioral interventions, 8th edn, Cengage Learning.
Lebow, JL (ed.) 2008, Twenty-first century psychotherapies: Contemporary approaches to theory and practice, John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
Neukrug, E 2008, Theories in action: Counselling, DVD, Brooks/Cole, CA.
Prochaska, JO & Norcross, JC 2018, Systems of psychotherapy: A transtheoretical analysis, 9th edn, Brooks/Cole, Belmont.
Prout, TA & Wadkins, MJ 2014, Essential interviewing and counselling skills: An integrated approach to practice, Springer Publishing Company, New York.
Sharf, RS 2016, Theories of psychotherapy and counselling: Concepts and cases, 6th edn, Brooks/Cole, Belmont.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 55.00
Directed Study 30.00
Online Tutorials 10.00
Private Study 40.00
Residential Schools 30.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Attendance Requirements 1 0 16 Jul 2019 (see note 1)
Assignment 1 100 30 15 Aug 2019
Video Assessment 100 35 21 Oct 2019
Exam 100 35 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. Attendance is required at the scheduled residential school and online synchronous tutorials. The dates and location of the mandatory residential school are available from the Residential School Timetable ( The online synchronous workshops schedule is located on the Grad Dip and Master of Couselling Studydesk site.
  2. This will be a restricted exam. The total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend the mandatory residential school and online synchronous tutorials. Students who are unable to complete the mandatory residential school because of Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances may be eligible to defer that Assessment Item in accordance with the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4).

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete the mandatory residential school student must attend and achieve a mark of 1 out of 1 for the assessment item. To complete the other assessment items satisfactorily a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must attend and achieve a mark of 1 out of 1 for the mandatory residential school and the online synchronous tutorials and achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    RESTRICTED: Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    1. writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination);
    2. calculators which cannot hold textual information
    3. Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination.
    Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students must use 6th edition APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

  3. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic assessment and submission elements. Students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission and electronic assessment attempts. All students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2. forms part of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling, the Graduate Diploma of Counselling, and the Masters of Counselling, and is benchmarked against the:
o internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review;
o professional accreditation standards of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia Training Standards, 2014.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, webcam, headset, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  3. Mandatory attendance at the residential school and online synchronous tutorials supports requirements of professional counsellor training and membership standards and assists students to meet course learning objectives.