GEN PRAC 7012 - Counselling Placement I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course provides Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy students with supervised practical experience in counselling and psychotherapy. Students will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of and practice in applying counselling and psychotherapeutic skills with clients, as well as gain experience in writing case notes and reports in this setting. They will also develop experience in collaboration with other health professionals and families of clients, and referral to appropriate other health professionals. Successful completion of this course is required for graduation in the clinical pathway of the Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and this in turn will enable graduates to meet registration requirements of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEN PRAC 7012
    Course Counselling Placement I
    Coordinating Unit General Practice
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Minimum of 16 hours per week over 14 weeks
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy or equivalent
    Assumed Knowledge GEN PRAC 5005HO, GEN PRAC 6018HO, GEN PRAC 5006HO
    Restrictions Available to M.Counselling & Psychotherapy students only
    Course Description This course provides Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy students with supervised practical experience in counselling and psychotherapy. Students will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of and practice in applying counselling and psychotherapeutic skills with clients, as well as gain experience in writing case notes and reports in this setting. They will also develop experience in collaboration with other health professionals and families of clients, and referral to appropriate other health professionals. Successful completion of this course is required for graduation in the clinical pathway of the Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and this in turn will enable graduates to meet registration requirements of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Helen Wilson

    Course Coordinator: Helen Wilson
    Phone: +61 8313 0148
    Location: Level 11, 178 North Terrace

    Course Coordinator: Shannon Asa
    Phone: +61 8313 0148
    Location: Level 11, 178 North Terrace

    Learning and Teaching Team
    Phone: +61 8313 2128
    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 Define the roles of counsellors and psychotherapists within the healthcare setting  
    2 Demonstrate appropriate skills to support positive client change in the counselling setting
    3 Identify relevant resources for client support within the healthcare setting relevant to counselling practice
    4 Employ and justify appropriate counselling techniques for responding to client issues in the counselling setting
    5 Communicate effectively and professionally with clients and other health professionals in the counselling setting
    6 Demonstrate evidence based practice within the counselling setting
    7 Explain the role of peer, group, and clinical supervision in a counselling setting
    8 Review and critique their own professional practice within a counselling setting
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-8
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3, 5, 7
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2, 4, 7, 8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3-6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-8
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 6, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Relevant texts or articles will be made available via MyUni in response to issues arising during group supervision.
    Recommended Resources

    Baird, B.N. (2011). The internship, practicum, and field placement handbook: A guide for the helping professions (6th Ed.). Pearson Education: Boston, MA.

    Online Learning

    3.3.1 MyUni
    All students enrolled in a postgraduate coursework program have access to a Postgraduate Coursework Student Centre on MyUni. This course is available on MyUni at .
    Please check the website regularly as it may contain announcements that are relevant to your study in the course. If you would like the opportunity to network with other students, you can use the Communication features in the site:
    Discussion Board – Users can post discussion items and reply to other posts. Note: If you would like to have a specific Discussion Board Forum created, please send your request to the course coordinator.
    Send Email – This feature enables users to send email to fellow students.
    Group Pages – Groups enable Users to collaborate with each other. Groups usually consist of a smaller group of Users in a course or organisation, such as study groups or project groups. From a Group Page, users may send email, exchange files, enter discussion forums or enter collaboration sessions.
    Note: Only members of a particular Group can access the Group communication features (discussion forums, email, etc.). If you would like to have a specific Group Page created, please send your request to the course coordinator For example, Group Pages can be created to include students living in the same geographical area or students working for the same organisation.
    Please note that you also have access to individual MyUni sites for EACH course you are enrolled in. Please check the sites regularly as they may contain important announcements that are relevant to your study in the course.

    3.3.2 Access Adelaide
    Access Adelaide is the name of the online service that allows you to access and, in some cases, amend your records. It can be found at:
    You can log into Access Adelaide to view:
    your enrolment details for any term
    your academic results
    your unofficial academic transcript
    your personal details
    the fees, charges and payments on your University account
    your exam schedule
    your graduation eligibility details.
    As a student you can:
    change your address and telephone details (please inform the Discipline as well) change your password
    set a password clue to help you remember your password. 
    3.3.3 Student email
    It is important that you set up your student email and check it regularly. Information from your course coordinator and student administration will be sent to you at your University of Adelaide email address. It is your responsibility to check your email. You will need your student number located on your student card to log in.

    3.3.4 Computers
    Where can I use a computer in the University?
    Computing facilities are provided to students by the University, and there are several suites of computers available, including at the Barr Smith Library and in Hub Central. The University web site has a list of computer labs at:

    3.3.5 Internet access
    The University provides a free dial-up service to students without the need for a commercial ISP account. This service is available at the cost of a local call to students residing within Adelaide (please refer to your telecommunications provider for confirmation of call costs). Students residing outside these numbers can dial into the University at STD call rates ( ).
    Postgraduate Coursework students will receive a University Funded Quota of 500Mb.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    During this course, students will undertake a placement of 100 hours of client contact plus the time needed for associated tasks  (approximately one hour for every hour of client contact) in a relevant clinical setting in which they will have their own client load (which may comprise individual clients, couples, families and group work). Precise arrangements will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis dependent on placement requirements, and documented in a Learning Agreement, but this is roughly equivalent to two full days each week for 14 weeks.Placement activities will normally continue during the mid-semester break, unless negotiated otherwise with the placement site. On-site placement  activities may be undertaken over an extended semester (e.g. from week 5 for Semester 1, or week 26 for Semester 2) where this better suits the requirements of specific placement sites and/or students. Some flexibility regarding working arrangements is to be expected, as different Agencies have different available options regarding placement times.Throughout their placement, students will receive a minimum of 10 hours of supervision with their on-site supervisor, who will provide feedback and guidance with regard to the student‟s placement activities. The associated tasks undertaken as part of the placement include induction, research needed for client work, documentation of counselling activities required, liaison with relevant other staff onsite and off-site as needed, and other workplace activities negotiated within their Learning Agreement. Students will also complete a daily log of activities to be submitted at the end of the placement, and must keep and submit accurate records of their activities whilst on Placement.Additionally, students will attend regularly scheduled group supervision sessions (to a total minimum of 20 hours) with other Masters students at the University of Adelaide. While this may be within the academic teaching semester of 12 weeks, placement preparation activities may commence earlier in order tomaximise time for placement on-site. During these sessions, students will have the opportunity to present and discuss clinical cases, and enhance skills development through experiential and problem-based learning. This will involve presenting their own cases on at least two occasions, and actively contributing to discussion of others (30%). Materials covered will include the following: initiating, developing and sustaining professional, positive, and productive relationships with clients, application of assessment and intervention techniques, monitoring client progress, discussion of new skills and their application, presentation of new skills, identification and discussion of problems and challenges with clients and ways to overcome these, discussion and presentation of clinical cases, and benefits of peer review and supervision. Finally, students will present complete and submit two written assignments: a detailed case study report (1500 words: 10%); and, an outline of a relevant clinical skill, with a discussion of how it was applied and to what effect during client interaction (1500 words: 10%).

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

    Students will be expected to attend an 6-hour orientation day, and then to be on-site at their designated Placement a minimum of two days per week to achieve a total of 100 hours of client contact; specific days and times must be negotiated and agreed to by the Agency and Course Coordinator. Students must also adequately prepare for and document their Placement activities, both within a University LogBook, and as per the Agency requirements. In addition, they must attend 2-hourly group supervision sessions fortnightly typically alternating with plus site-specific group supervision sessions to a combined minimum total of 25 hours. (Each placement will vary according to site-specific requirements). Finally, students must prepare for and submit 2 assignments, plus all Placement associated documents.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week l Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Orientation Administrative and clinical reviews
    Week 2 Group supervision Clinical supervision
    Week 3 Orientation Clinical supervision
    Week 4 Group supervision Clinical supervision
    Week 5 Orientation Clinical supervision
    Week 6 Group supervision Clinical supervision
    Week 7 Orientation Clinical supervision
    Week 8 Group supervision Clinical supervision
    Week 9 Orientation Clinical supervision
    Week 10 Group supervision Clinical supervision
    Week 11 Orientation Clinical supervision
    Week 12 Group supervision Clinical supervision
    Week 13 Orientation Clinical supervision
    Specific Course Requirements

    All students must provide a current Police Check and Child Safe Environment Training Certificate  before enrolment.  Students working
    with children and/or the elderly may be required to undertake further screening (e.g. Department for Communities and Social Inclusion Screening and Background Check. See for further information).
    Some specific placement agencies may further require and/or provide additional training specific to working with their clientele. Some  placement agencies may provide services outside of normal business hours. Students will be advised of any such requirements when provided with placement information.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • 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 Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Satisfactory placement completion (assessed on-site supervisor through supervision, review of Learning Agreement, log-book of activities)  Summative 50% 1-8
    Case Study (verbal) and satisfactory participation in group supervision  Summative 30% 1-4, 6-8
    Presentation/write up of clinical case report  Summative 10% 1-4, 6-8
    Clinical skill presentation and write up Summative 10% 1-8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail

    In order to pass this course, students must satisfactorily complete each of the following:
    Document 100 hours of supervised client contact in an approved counselling or psychotherapy agency/site, with associated attendance/activities required to achieve this (approximately 100 additional hours plus 10 hours minimum on-site supervision). Each student will negotiate an individual learning agreement with their site supervisor, in consultation with the Course Coordinator. Collaborative reviews of the learning agreement and on-site clinical supervision will be used, together with the log-book of activities, to assess the placement completion.Prepare for, attend and contribute appropriately to scheduled group supervision meetings.Write up a detailed de-identified case study report (1500 words each) Write up a clinical skill (1500 words)


    Submission of Assignments
    Assignments should be submitted through the “Assignments” section of MyUni. Instructions on how to submit an assignment in this way can be found at:
    Assignments must be submitted by 11.59 pm on the day that they are due. (note that MyUni will accept your assignment after this time but it will be marked Late.
    Feedback on assignments will be provided to students within 4 weeks of completion of the task so that students can take advantage of this feedback.

    Extension of Time for Assessment Items
    Up to one week
    It is expected that all assessments will be submitted by the specified time on the specified due date.
    However, students may apply for an extension of time to submit an assessment, if they are experiencing difficulty. Applications for extension must be made to the Course Coordinator and copied into the Program Administrator, in writing (e.g. email) prior to the due date lodgement of the assignment. Anticipate that it may take a few days to receive a reply. The grounds for granting an extension include health problems, compassionate reasons and other extenuating circumstances. Extensions will usually only be granted for a maximum of one week, but can be longer at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Academic Progress Committee if substantiated with evidence such as a medical certificate. Only original documents or certified copies of originals will be accepted.
    You will be notified by email to your University of Adelaide student email account of the outcome of your application. If your extension is granted then it is your responsibility to keep in contact with the course coordinator and to hand in the assessment with a copy of the email (or other document) approving the extension. Failure to submit an assessment item on time without an approved extension will incur a penalty as detailed under ‘Late Submission of Work’.

    Longer than one week
    If you require an extension for longer than one week, please contact the Course Co-ordinator to discuss your request. Please submit any applications to the Course Coordinator with a copy also to the Program Administrator If you require an extension for longer than a week due to illness, a medical certificate will be required.
    Failure to submit an assessment item on time without an approved extension will incur a penalty as detailed under ‘Late Submission of Work’.

    Late Submission of Work
    All assignments should be submitted by 11.59pm on the due date.
    Late submission without an approved extension will be penalised at the rate of 10% of available marks for each day after the due date. Work submitted more than ten days after the due date may be returned unmarked. This action will be taken to prevent students who do get their work in on time being disadvantaged.

    Word Limit
    You are advised to comply with word limits. You are, of course, not expected to achieve exactly the required length and a 10% leeway on either side is acceptable. However, a penalty of 5% of available marks will apply for word limit in excess of the 10% leeway.

    It is essential that you reference all written work accurately and consistently. We ask that use the American Psychological Society Referencing Format (APA 6) and information regarding this system can be found at .

    A Guide to APA 6th Edition, developed by Monash University will also be provided in MyUni.

    EndNote bibliographic software is a very useful tool for managing your references and it is provided free of charge through the university. Information about EndNote can be found at:

    Be aware that marks will be deducted for incorrect referencing in all assignments.

    Requesting a Re-Mark
    Any student who, after discussion of the result with the lecturer in charge, is still dissatisfied with the final grade awarded for a course, or with the mark awarded for a particular piece of assessment work, and who has specific grounds for objecting to the grade/mark, may lodge a written request for a review of the result or an independent second assessment with the Head of Discipline within 10 University business days from the date of notification of the result. Such a written request must contain details of the grounds on which the objection is based.

    Requests must include a summary of the reasons the student believes his or her assessment work deserves a higher mark. These reasons must be directly related to the academic quality of the work. Re-marks, for example, will not be granted where the grounds are that the student has paid tuition fees or incurred liability under HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, or needs one or two additional marks to get a higher overall grade for the course. The Head of Discipline may seek the advice of the Academic Progress Committee, and will make a determination on review or second assessment and inform the student of his or her decision in writing.

    The mark awarded to a piece of work following review or second assessment as provided for in this policy or as a consequence of appeal to the Student Appeals Committee will usually stand as the final mark for the work, regardless of whether this mark is higher or lower than the mark originally awarded.

    Course Grading

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

    GS8 (Coursework Grade Scheme)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing
    FNS Fail No Submission
    NFE No Formal Examination
    F Fail
    NGP Non Graded Pass
    P Pass
    C Credit
    D Distinction
    HD High Distinction
    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 ( 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.

  • 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.