Counselling Theory and Practice

10 Units

This course provides students in the Relationship Counselling specialization in the Master of Family Studies with the knowledge and skills required to identify and apply appropriate therapeutic approaches relating to counselling interventions with individuals, couples, children and young people. Knowledge and skill required for participation in effective clinical supervision are also addressed. Students must work in a setting (either voluntary or paid) which provides access to approximately 20 hours of supervised clinical assessment with clients in family counselling contexts.

Faculty Faculty of Health and Medicine
School School of Health Sciences
Availability Semester 1 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)

At the successful completion of this course, students will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively:

  • Demonstrate advanced skills and knowledge necessary to effectively analyse, critique and apply a broad range of family counselling approaches.
  • Implement the components of a family therapy session.

  • Monitor and critically review the use of counselling approaches and theories in family counselling contexts.

  • Initiate and prepare for clinical supervision.

  • Utilise clinical supervision to review effectiveness of clinical practices and techniques.

  • Understand, use and critique professional research to inform practice.

  • Identify and initiate opportunities to pursue ongoing development of professional knowledge.

  • Critically reflect on, and apply, practically what has been learnt theoretically within the course.

  • Analysis and comparison of family counselling approaches.

  • Theories relating to counselling practice, including:

    • Grief and loss
    • Human development, gender development, and family development
    • Family systems
    • Change in complex circumstances
    • Conflict management and negotiation relating to family/couple relationship counselling
    • Parental conflict and impacts of separation
    • Indicators and dynamics of domestic and family violence
  • Application of counselling approaches in family counselling settings, including:
    • Role of social contexts in the counselling relationship
    • Determining approach to meet client needs.
    • Conceptualising the problem
    • Analysing the presenting problem
    • Identifying behaviours and communications that contribute to the problem
    • Empathically identifying and communicating family relationship patterns and themes
    • Relevant state and federal legislation
    • Diverse cultural contexts-
  • Implementing family therapy sessions:
    • Contracting with clients
    • Therapeutic questioning to explore behaviours, meaning and relationships
    • Developing therapeutic options
    • Assessing onset of presenting problems and related relationship changes
    • Tracking sequences within family dynamics
    • Exploring the relationships web
    • Procedures and instruments to screen for abuse
    • Developing systemic interventions
    • Referral options and pathways
  • Monitoring and review use of counselling approaches, including:
    • use of peer support structures
    • Monitoring and evaluating interventions for consistency, congruency with counselling approach and theory of change
  • Clinical Supervision
    • Purpose of supervision
    • Contractual agreements relating to clinical supervision, including clarifying expectations, identifying goals, assessing suitability, and models of supervision.
    • Preparing for clinical supervision
    • Applying legislative, ethical standards, practices and frameworks
    • Utlising supervision to determine effectiveness of clinical practice and techniques, including self-analysis and evaluation of current clinical literature and its application
  • Continuing Professional Development
    • Self reflective practice
    • Collegial consultation
    • Professional reading
    • Developing a program of professional development.
Replacing Course(s) N/A
Transition N/A
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge Students must work in a setting (either voluntary or paid) which provides access to approximately 20 hours of supervised clinical assessment with clients in family counselling contexts.
Modes of Delivery Flexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Teaching Methods Case Study
Email Discussion Group
Student Projects
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments -
  • Online Learning Activities - Online postings
  • Other: (please specify) - Practical counselling skill assessments
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 6 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Seminar: for 30 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
  • Case Study: for 15 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
  • Student Projects: for 15 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Compulsory Components
  • Compulsory Program Component: Limited to students enrolled in the Relationships Counselling Specialisation in the Masters of Family Studies program.
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for HLSC65161

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