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COU8104 Counselling Frameworks

Semester 2, 2021 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 : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090513 - Counselling
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 7 March 2021




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 or MNSG or GDNG or GCNG


The knowledge and skills acquired in this course are designed to address areas of competence required for registration as a counsellor and will be relevant to similar standards in most allied health disciplines. 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 should be able to:

  1. Describe and discuss the factors common to successful counselling outcomes
  2. Critically discuss outcome research on topics related to therapeutic change;
  3. Critically evaluate counselling modalities including their strengths and weaknesses;
  4. Display an in-depth understanding, applied skills and knowledge, and analysis of a chosen psychotherapeutic modality and its key interventions.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Common factors associated with effective therapy 40.00
2. Major counselling models 60.00

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 2019, An Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy, 6th edn, Open University 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.
Cormier, S, Nurius, PS & Osborn, CJ 2017, Interviewing and Change Strategies for Helpers:, Fundamental Skills and Cognitive-Behavioural Interventions, 8th edn, Cengage Learning.
Prochaska, JO & Norcross, JC 2018, Systems of Psychotherapy:, A Transtheoretical Analysis, 9th edn, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA.
Sharf, RS 2016, Theories of Psychotherapy and Counselling:, Concepts and Cases, 6th edn, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA.
Neukrug, E 2008, Theories in action: Counselling (DVD), Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA..

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
Persuasive Essay 100 30 18 Aug 2021
Online Test 1 20 10 25 Aug 2021
Video 100 45 06 Oct 2021 (see note 1)
Online Test 2 30 15 20 Oct 2021
Attendance Requirements 1 23 Oct 2021 (see note 2)

  1. Attendance is compulsory for 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 Counselling Studydesk site.
  2. Attendance is compulsory for 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 Counselling Studydesk site.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend at least 80% of 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 and online synchronous tutorials, students must attend at least 80% and achieve a mark of 1 out of 1 for the assessment item. Students must earn at least 50% for the Video assessment to pass the course. To complete the other assessment items satisfactorily students 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 at least 80% and achieve a mark of 1 out of 1 for the mandatory residential school and the online synchronous tutorials. Achieve at least 50% for the Video assessment, 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:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course so there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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: conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement. The course forms part of the MCCO, GDCN, GCCO, Masters of Nursing, Graduate Diploma of Nursing and Graduate Certificate of Nursing and is benchmarked against the 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.

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.

Date printed 7 March 2021