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COU8103 Counselling Issues and Contexts

Semester 2, 2022 External
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: 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 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. Counsellor education at an advanced level requires a continued examination of issues introduced in previous studies and the development of clear conceptual and theoretical frameworks which underpin professional practice. Thus, this course introduces specific issues of therapeutic counselling and contains an intensive skill development and practice component which links to specific therapies within a designated transtheoretical model. This approach is then embedded in counselling practice. This course informs and provides the foundation for other courses in the counselling stream, as well as underpinning the learning outcomes for the various specialisations and advanced degrees in the counselling stream.

The course introduces students to transtheoretical notions of change and resistance. It introduces different client groups that require counsellors to demonstrate sensitivity to diverse experiences. It then introduces students to a range of formats and configurations whereby counselling is delivered. Its final part is surveying commonly presenting issues in counselling, their features, assessment, and treatment.

This course requires mandatory attendance in a four-day residential school and 10 hours online synchronous workshops.

Course learning outcomes

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

  1. Articulate knowledge of key transtheoretical concepts that inform counselling practice
  2. Articulate an awareness of cultural, social and individual diversity, including recognition of past and current influences in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  3. Synthesise knowledge of different treatment contexts and formats
  4. Articulate broad knowledge of symptoms, risk factors, and other associated features linked with a range of commonly presenting client issues
  5. Discuss a range of specific and customised treatment philosophies and interventions currently applied to commonly presenting client issues
  6. Critically apply and justify selection of counselling approaches and theory
  7. Apply specialist knowledge to critically explain the context, prevention and treatment approaches relevant to a client group and issue.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Counsellor effectiveness: Research, debates, and practices 15.00
2. Transtheoretical change principles 10.00
3. Counselling diverse clients: General principles and special populations 20.00
4. Diversity of formats of delivery: (E.g. couple, family, group, and technology assisted counselling) 5.00
5. Common client issues in counselling 50.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

McLeod, J 2019, An Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy, 6th edn, Open University Press, Berkshire.

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 (%)
Assignments Written Quiz No 3
Assignments Written Quiz No 4
Assignments Written Essay No 40
Assignments Written Quiz No 4
Assignments Written Essay No 45
Assignments Written Quiz No 4
Date printed 17 May 2022