Counselling Approaches with Couples, Children and Young People

10 Units

This course provides students in the Relationship Counselling specialization in the Master of Family Studies with the knowledge and skills required to perform complex counselling with couples experiencing complex relationship issues using a variety of counselling approaches. Therapeutic interventions when working with children and young people are also covered. Students must work in a setting (either voluntary or paid) which provides access to approximately 20 hours of supervised clinical assessment with clients.

Faculty Faculty of Health and Medicine
School School of Health Sciences
Availability Semester 2 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)

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

  • Assess for issues of violence and safety risks in couple relationships.

  • Engage children/young people in the counseling process.

  • Respond appropriately to allegations and disclosures of abuse.

  • Establish professional relationships with each individual.

  • Identify, conceptualise and explore presenting problems

  • Direct the therapeutic process of couples counseling.

  • Implement case work processes when counseling children and young people.

  • Appropriately terminate the counseling relationship.

  • Seek feedback from client(s) about the counseling service provided.

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

  • Concepts of couple, family and child dynamics in normal and abnormal developmental forms.

  • Critical understanding of main theories and approaches used in couple counselling

  • Indicators and dynamics of domestic and family violence and complexities of interpersonal interactions such as power, abuse and conflict.

  • Procedures and instruments to screen for abuse before, during and after couple or family counselling.

  • Relevant state and federal legislation applicable to counselling practice.

  • Couple counselling practice, including:

    • Engagement of each individual
    • Exploration of ethical boundaries and expectations
    • Identifying and managing issues in the professional relationship with couples.
    • Monitoring and responding to the physical and emotional reactions of each individual in the counselling process.
    • Identifying and exploring presenting problems, the reason for their existence,, specific behaviours and situations, attempts to manage the problem in the past, perception of the relationship prior to the problem, and reframing problems through recursive interaction.
    • Directing the therapeutic process of couple counselling using questioning techniques, responding to communication difficulties including overt and covert aggression and hostility in the counselling session, identifying strengths of the relationship, identifying and negotiating goals for the relationship, and developing future session plans.
    • Terminating counselling sessions.
    • Appropriate referral pathways.
    • Seeking feedback from client/s about the counselling service.
  • Counselling practice with children and young people, including:

    • Engagement through appropriate physical environment, appropriate techniques and communication strategies taking account of developmental stage, culture and emotional needs, ethical considerations, and assessment and appropriate engagement of parents.
    • Responding appropriately to allegations and disclosures of abuse in accordance with legislative requirements and organisational procedures, appropriate documentation procedures,
    • Formulating and conceptualising the presenting problem.
    • Developing a counselling plan in collaboration with children and young people and other stakeholders including measurable outcomes, goals, and after session plans.
    • Recording and case documentation.
    • Terminating counselling sessions.
    • Appropriate referral pathways.
    • Seeking feedback from client/s about the counselling service.
Replacing Course(s) N/A
Transition N/A
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge Students must work in a setting (either voluntary or paid) which allows approximately 20 hours of supervised clinical skills 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) - Clinical skills assessments
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 6 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Case Study: for 15 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
  • Seminar: for 30 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 HLSC65171

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