GEN PRAC 7006 - Mindfulness-based Counselling Applications

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

This course provides an introduction to three important treatment modalities that contribute to positive outcomes in contemporary counselling and psychotherapy: mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Students will engage in experiential exploration with these modalities, as well as learn about the background, theoretical bases, evidence bases, and indications and contraindications for these therapies. Students will develop knowledge, skills, and confidence in the application of these techniques, as well as explore the use of relaxation and hope in counselling. There will be an introduction to the positive psychology movement, and the neurological research underpinning these approaches.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEN PRAC 7006
    Course Mindfulness-based Counselling Applications
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 12 x 2hrs + 1 x 6hrs
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assumed Knowledge GEN PRAC 5005
    Course Description This course provides an introduction to three important treatment modalities that contribute to positive outcomes in contemporary counselling and psychotherapy: mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Students will engage in experiential exploration with these modalities, as well as learn about the background, theoretical bases, evidence bases, and indications and contraindications for these therapies. Students will develop knowledge, skills, and confidence in the application of these techniques, as well as explore the use of relaxation and hope in counselling. There will be an introduction to the positive psychology movement, and the neurological research underpinning these approaches.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Mark Pearson

    Course Coordinator: Paula Gillespie-Fotheringham
    Phone:
    +61 8313 6276
    Email:
    paula.gillespie-fotheringham@adelaide.edu.au
    Location:
    Level 11, 178 North Terrace

    Learning & Teaching Team
    Phone: +61 8313 0148
    Email: postgrad_enq@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Explain the theoretical backgrounds for mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), positive psychology and hope in counselling;
    2 Compare and contrast research studies related to the clinical application of mindfulness, ACT, MBCT, positive psychology and hope in counselling;
    3 Evaluate the similarities and differences between mindfulness, ACT, MBCT, and other common approaches to counselling and psychotherapy;
    4 Discriminate between the indications and contraindications related to use of mindfulness, ACT, and MBCT;
    5 Discuss and provide psycho-education for counselling clients regarding the nature of mindfulness, ACT, and MBCT;
    6 Demonstrate increased knowledge, skills, and confidence to use the techniques and processes of mindfulness in counselling practice, through written assignments and class presentations;
    7 Apply their ability to use of a range of related resources, including websites, apps, books and articles, through class presentations.
    8 Evaluate the evidence base for mindfulness, ACT and MBCT in relation to different presenting issues, as well as the strengths and limitations of these approaches in practice.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-4, 6, 8
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2-5, 7-8
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    6, 7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2, 5-8
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2, 4, 6, 8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Harris, R. (2009). ACT made simple. A quick-start guide to ACT basics and beyond. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications

    Recommended Resources
    Recommended Resources will be made available via MyUni

    Online Learning

    Weekly lecture notes, activity handouts and links to background readings will be provided via MyUni.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Course Content
    The course content will include the following topics:
    • Mindfulness: background (including origins, evidence base, definitions, and relationship to neuroscience), similarities and differences with other modalities, psychoeducation, using mindfulness in therapy (techniques and processes), and adaptations for various treatment settings and issues.
    • ACT: background (including origins, evidence base, definition), similarities and differences with other modalities, psychoeducation, using ACT in therapy (techniques and processes), and adaptations for various treatment settings and issues.
    • MBCT: background (including origins, evidence base, definitions), similarities and differences with other modalities, psychoeducation, using MBCT in therapy (techniques and processes), and adaptations for various treatment settings and issues.
    • The theory, evidence-base, indications and contraindications, strengths and limitations of each approach will be addressed, along with clinical applications and skills development.
    • Hope and relaxation in counselling, and the positive psychology movement will be introduced.
    Weekly lectures / tutorials / workshops
    • This course comprises contact of weekly two-hour workshops for 12 weeks (not including semester break), as well as a six hour workshop in the second last week of the semester.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements:

    The course comprises 30 hours of face-to-face contact during semester, comprising 12 classes of  2 hours + a 6 hour workshop at the end of the semester.

    You will need to set aside 3 hours per week for study, reading and assignment writing for every hour of class time.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Refer to Course Coordinator
    Specific Course Requirements
    None
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    N/A
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Written Assignment Summative 35% 1-4, 6, 8
    Mindfulness Practice Journal Synopsis Summative 25% 1, 6, 8
    Collaborative Written and Oral Skills Presentation Summative 30% 1-3, 5, 7, 8
    Class Participation Summative 10% 1-3, 6, 7
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Refer to Course Coordinator
    Assessment Detail
    ASSIGNMENT ONE
    Written Assignment - Model of Treatment Essay
    (35%)   Word count: 2,000  
    You will describe a treatment plan for the first two counselling sessions, with an adult client, using one of the approaches covered  in the course (Mindfulness, ACT, or MBCT). This plan will be designed to apply to a particular adult client issue, within a counselling  setting. Possible issues – select one as your focus: Bereavement, Depression, Anxiety, Stress and burnout, Eating disorders, Social isolation, or Substance use disorders.

    ASSIGNMENT TWO
    Mindfulness Practice Journal Synopsis.
    Critical & personal reflection on an 8-week mindfulness practice challenge
    (20%)  Word count: 1,500  
    Provide a written summary of your reflections on weekly experiments with mindfulness practice over the first eight weeks of the  course.  After researching the various approaches to mindfulness practice and mindfulness-based therapeutic interventions, make  a deliberate plan to experiment with finding your preferred style of mindfulness practice, e.g. in stillness (e.g. as a meditation  practice), in movement, using a cognitive focus, using a somatic focus, using an emotion focus.

    ASSIGNMENT THREE
    Collaborative Written and Oral Skills Presentation
    ACT or Mindfulness Skills Collaborative Presentation
    (35%)  Work in pairs to write and present at workshop
    Part A - Written: Describe the clinical application of a skill from ACT or mindfulness. Identify appropriate user groups and the  evidence base (word count 1,500).

    Part B - Oral: Introduce and present the skill experientially, and provide a fully referenced handout for the class during the one-day  workshop, and facilitate a de-briefing discussion, on (max 20 minutes).

    ASSESSMENT FOUR
    Participation
    (10%): Assessed by lecturer observation of each student’s contribution to the class interactions and small group discussions.  Assessment of class participation is based on consideration of the student’s attendance record, their ability to manage time (in  terms of attendance and assignment submission), their engagement in developing and fostering group norms for the class, their willingness to offer questions in class, engagement in small-group discussions and learning tasks, their respectful and professional  engagement with peers and staff, evidence of their tolerance with peers and clients, and their ability to modify behaviour in  response to feedback from peers or staff.
    Submission
    Extensions
    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission.   Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds.  Supporting documentation must be  provided at the time a student requests an extension.  Without documentation, extensions will not be granted.  Late requests for  extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.

    Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.

    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a  medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a  letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment of  compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the student’s situation.  The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact on the student. Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits.  In the case of late assignments where no  extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted.  If an assignment that is 2 days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%.  If that same  assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.

    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.

    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination  period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.

    Resubmission
    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process  <https://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/grievance/process/>.  Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator(s) in the first instance.  This must be done within 10 business days of the  date of notification of the result.  Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator(s) and  will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    In response to previous student feedback, this course has expanded input on ACT.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.