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COU8021 Couple and Family Counselling

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 17 May 2022


Examiner: Alan Richardson


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


Over the past 50 years the areas of couple and family therapies have developed significantly, in both theory and practice, in numerous settings including counselling, psychology, welfare, and community settings. Assisting couples and families requires specialist skills, and an understanding of the family, environmental and relationship contexts that impact on individuals. The aim of this course is to equip practitioners with the necessary skills to work with couples and families using an integrative approach.

The course will explore the application of interventions with couples and families particularly. The use of particular types of couple and family therapies will be explored, as well as an eclectic approach that provides specific interventions for relationship issues. Practical strategies and therapeutic processes relevant to the client group will be presented, as well as specific ethical and professional considerations when working with this population.

Course learning outcomes

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

  1. Articulate an integrated knowledge of specific skills and strategies to effectively work with couples and families;
  2. Critically evaluate major couple and family theoretical and practice frameworks;
  3. Critically reflect upon ethical and professional issues as they relate to providing interventions to couples and families;
  4. Apply knowledge and skills to display autonomy and an ability to correctly assess a couple’s or family’s needs, and to provide an appropriate intervention;
  5. Identify barriers to engagement for couples and families, and articulate strategies of engagement.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of Relationship Counselling and Family Therapy 5.00
2. Ethical and professional issues in couples and families 5.00
3. Assessment of Couples and Families 20.00
4. Process skills for Couples and Families 20.00
5. Family Therapy 20.00
6. Relationship Counselling for Couples 20.00
7. Complex Cases 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Geldard, K., & Geldard, D 2014, Relationship Counselling for Children, Young People and Families, Sage, London.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz A1 of 2 No 10 1,2,3
Assignments Written Case Study No 35 1,2
Assignments Written Quiz A2 of 2 No 15 1,2,3
Assignments Written Essay No 40 2,4,5
Date printed 17 May 2022