PUB HLTH 5005 - Counselling Skills 1

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

Counselling Skills 1 introduces the students to the fundamental elements of counselling. In addition to understanding the theoretical perspectives that underpin core counselling practice, students will develop a range of discrete skills including: attending, observing, listening, responding accurately and empathically to clients, and identifying inappropriate and unhelpful practices. Students will be given maximum opportunity to develop their counselling skills in a structured and supportive environment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 5005
    Course Counselling Skills 1
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to MCounsPsych, GDipCounsPsych, GCertCounsPsych students only or with approval of Program Coordinator
    Course Description Counselling Skills 1 introduces the students to the fundamental elements of counselling.
    In addition to understanding the theoretical perspectives that underpin core counselling practice, students will develop a range of discrete skills including: attending, observing, listening, responding accurately and empathically to clients, and identifying inappropriate and unhelpful practices.
    Students will be given maximum opportunity to develop their counselling skills in a structured and supportive environment.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Ann Ibrahim

    Course Coordinator: Ann Ibrahim
    Lecturer, School of Public Health
    Phone:08 8313 4999
    Level 9, AHMS Building, North Terrace.

    Student & Program Support Services Hub
    Phone: +61 8313 0273

    Course Timetable

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

    Timetable details are located on MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes


    Demonstrate an understanding of core counselling skills and concepts consistent with a Person-Centred approach


    Competently use the skills of attending, observing, listening, and responding appropriately during a counsellor-client consultation


    Critically reflect upon personal values and counsellor attributes


    Discriminate and rate the different levels of effective and ineffective responses accurately, and discern unhelpful or inappropriate counselling behaviours


    Manage a genuine client issue and provide a series of effective responses (in accordance with the criteria to be detailed in class)


    Critique and evaluate one’s own counselling responses and set goals for improvement.
    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)
    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
    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
    2, 5, 6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    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
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Ivey, A.E., Ivey, M.B., & Zalaquett, C.P. (2018). Intentional interviewing and counselling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society. (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
    Recommended Resources
    A list of current recommended resources can be found on the MyUni website for this course.
    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
    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 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:

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The aim of this course is to enable students to develop an understanding of the core counselling process, and to acquire the fundamental counselling skills that are essential for any counselling or psychotherapy practice. In addition, students will be encouraged to reflect on their own personal values and attributes that might enhance or hinder the counselling process.

    During the seminar, didactic material and experiential learning are integrated to introduce theoretical and practical concepts and illustrate their use. Each session will provide an interactive environment to encourage student engagement as they apply these concepts and clarify understanding. Small group discussions, role play, and personal reflection will be undertaken. A written paper provides an opportunity for further exploration of key concepts, wider reading and synthesis of concepts.

    Students will be encouraged to see the weekly practice sessions as an ‘experimental laboratory’ where they can try out new behaviours, be relieved of the ‘pressure to be perfect’, be supported by staff and peers, and offer support to fellow students in learning. All students are asked to work in practice groups of 3 to 4 members to apply the materials covered in lectures. The skills taught will be practised in the sequence outlined in the counselling process: attending, observing, listening, and responding. Students will undertake three different roles as they learn these skills. These are the roles of ‘student-counsellor’, ‘student-client’, and ‘observer’. Detailed information will be provided to students at the commencement of the course.

    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 3 workshop face to face sessions per week. Sessions will be seminar/workshop format, with a mixture of lectures and interactive exercises, and it is compulsory for all students to attend. Essential readings or on-line video material will be recommended.
    • Face to workshops: 3 hours / week
    • Core/background readings: 5 hours / week
    • Preparation of assignments: 4 hours / week
    Learning Activities Summary



    Basic Listening Skills 1

    Basic Listening Skills 2

    Basic Listening Skills 3

    Basic Listening Skills 4

    Structuring a session

    Skills Checklist

    The First Session

    Additional Skills 1

    Conducting a 2nd session                        

    Additional Skills 2

    Additional Skills 3

    Specific Course Requirements
    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


    Learning Outcome(s) being addressed

    Written Assignment

    Formative & Summative


    1, 2

    Basic Listening Skills Practical Feedback



    1, 3, 4, 5, 6

    Basic Listening Skills Practical Assessment



    1, 3, 4, 5, 6

    Skills Application & Evaluation



    1, 3, 4, 5, 6

    Participation Summative 10% 1-6

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail
    Written Assignment (Weighting 20%)
    During weeks 1 - 4, students will be required to engage with a series of reflective exercises both in and outside of class sessions. These exercises form the basis of student self-reflections that support engagement in both discussion board posts and a written assignment. The discussion board posts will comprise the formative component of the assessment, while the written assignment is to be summative. Weekly posts on the discussion board will be required, and a final written assignment is to be submitted in week 5.

    Basic Listening Skills Practical Feedback (Formative)
    During weeks 2-6, students will develop a series of scaffolded foundational counselling skills. Significant class time is dedicated to practicing these skills in triads, during which each student is observed and provided with immediate feedback for one of these sessions by a staff member.

    Basic Listening Skills Practical Assessment (Weighting 15%)
    In week 7, working with a pseudo-client, student’s will have opportunity to demonstrate their developing competence in counselling practice. Skills will be assessed against a checklist with feedback provided to indicate areas of strength and areas for development. This will enable students to focus on skills required for the final Skills Application Assignment.

    Skills Application and Evaluation (Weighting 55%)
    A video/digital recording of a counselling session of 25-30 minutes in length is to be completed with a student-client presenting a genuine counselling issue. The session is to demonstrate effective and appropriate use and frequency of each of the basic listening skills, the use of the 5-part model and at least 1 advanced skill (focusing, reflection of meaning, or confrontation). Students are to complete a full transcript of the session, identifying which skill was employed for each counsellor statement, and rating it for appropriateness and effectiveness. A 750 word critique evaluating their practice is to be completed including supporting rationale for their evaluation. Students are to clearly articulate how they intend to develop their skills going forward. The transcript (including skill identification and rating), critical evaluation and video are to be submitted for assessment.
    PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A HURDLE ASSIGNMENT, which means you are required to achieve a 50% pass mark in this assignment to pass the course overall. 

    Participation (10%)
    Students will attend and engage in workshop activities, demonstrating respectful engagement and cooperation with their lecturers and fellow students, and completion of practice-based learning tasks; further opportunities to demonstrate participation will be available through contribution to online discussion via the Discussion Board on MyUni.
    Submission of Assignments

    Assignments will be submitted via MyUni.

    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.
    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution 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 ( 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.

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