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PSY4030 Skills and Issues in Counselling

Semester 2, 2019 External
Short Description: Skills & Issues in Counselling
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: Jan Du Preez


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BSCH (Psychology major 12302) or BPSH or MSCR (Psychology Research). BPSH students must have completed the first 3 years with a GPA of 5.0 across levels 1 to 3 psychology courses.


This course is designed to provide a solid foundation in the basic skills and concepts needed to pursue a career in counselling, and it comprises the counselling practice component of the program. Other professional issues specifically related to counselling practice, including cross-cultural sensitivity and awareness, are also covered in this course in order to ensure that students are aware of the parameters of appropriate professional practice.


This course provides students with a thorough understanding of the counselling process. The focus of the course is practical with reference to previously learnt counselling theory. Students will develop the basic foundation skills of counselling, as well as the ability to formulate, plan and evaluate therapy. Professional issues pertaining to all aspects of counselling will be covered in detail, as well as contextual issues impacting upon the client and the therapeutic process. These issues include gender and cross-cultural issues. There is an emphasis on both personal and professional self-exploration and development.

This course contains a mandatory residential school for both external and on-campus students.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a sound capacity for planning and conducting professional counselling to individuals presenting with a variety of problems;
  2. demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of the relevant professional skills and issues associated with counselling practice;
  3. demonstrate a sound understanding of and sensitivity toward cross-cultural issues in counselling diverse populations.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The counsellor: personal and professional 10.00
2. The client in context 10.00
3. Basic counselling skills 40.00
4. Advanced counselling skills 20.00
5. Skill integration 20.00

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. (

Ivey, AE, Ivey, MB & Zalaquet, CP 2018, Intentional interviewing and counselling: facilitating client development in a multicultural society, 9th edn, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA.

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.
Egan, G 2018, The Skilled Helper, A problem-management and opportunity-development approach to helping, 11th edn, Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 48.00
Private Study 85.00
Residential Schools 32.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Workshop attendance & particip 1 1 16 Jul 2019 (see note 1)
Video 40 40 12 Sep 2019
Report 60 59 17 Oct 2019

  1. Attendance at workshops is a mandatory requirement of APAC

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Attendance at the two, two-day residential schools is mandatory. It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in the classes, where the skills components of this course will be taught. Students will engage in several practical activities to develop their counselling and professional skills and will be required to demonstrate progression in the development of their counselling microskills. It is also the students' responsibility to participate in the online discussion groups. Further, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them in order to maximise their chances of meeting the objectives of the course and to be well-informed of necessary course-related activities and relevant administrative information.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the residential school attendance and participation satisfactorily, students must obtain 100% for the item. To complete each of the remaining assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each 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 achieve 100% for the residential school attendance and participation and at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item in the course to meet APAC accreditation standards.

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

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no supplementary examinations in this course.

  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 are required to participate in in-class practica, in order to develop their micro-counselling skills throughout the semester. Brief practice sessions for a range of core microskills will be conducted in class. Class attendance is compulsory. The class practice sessions are required for the Reflective Practice Essay, as the essay will be directly based on client and observer data completed at the end of each practice session. Failure to obtain sufficient data through active participation in the practice sessions will limit the student's ability to effectively complete the Reflective Practice Essay assignment.

  2. Students must submit a 45 minute video recording of a counselling session where the student, in the role of the counsellor, uses the skills learned in the course. For purposes of this exercise, a volunteer recruited by the student will take the role of the client. The issue(s) discussed in the session is of the student's choosing and is not relevant to the assessment. The recorded session is to be evaluated by the student according to the format provided in the Course Outline and both the recorded session and the self-evaluation report are to be submitted to the examiner. Students will be marked on their self-evaluation and on the videotaped session. Thus, they are assessed on the basis of their appraisal of their performance and on core aspects of their actual performance (e.g. rapport-building).

  3. Students must obtain 50% of the marks for each assessment item to qualify for a Passing grade It is expected that all students will gain at least 50% of the total marks available for all summative items. Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9.

  4. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use 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.

Other requirements

  1. Attendance at the two, two-day residential school intensive workshops associated with this course is mandatory. Refer to the Residential School Timetable.