PUB HLTH 7005 - Narrative Approaches to Counselling

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2017

This course provides a rigorous introduction to narrative practice. All of the central practices of the narrative approach will be explored, along with an accessible introduction to the theories and thinking that informs the practice. This introduction is relevant for a range of contexts including counselling and working with groups and communities. It will include explorations of the key ideas of narrative therapy, with an emphasis on developing skills in using the narrative approach and how these might apply in a variety of settings.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 7005
    Course Narrative Approaches to Counselling
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Summer
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 30 hours (intensive workshop)
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to M. Counselling & Psychotherapy students only
    Course Description This course provides a rigorous introduction to narrative practice. All of the central practices of the narrative approach will be explored, along with an accessible introduction to the theories and thinking that informs the practice. This introduction is relevant for a range of contexts including counselling and working with groups and communities. It will include explorations of the key ideas of narrative therapy, with an emphasis on developing skills in using the narrative approach and how these might apply in a variety of settings.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Jaklin Eliott

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jaklin Eliott
    Phone: +61 8313 3855
    Location: Level 11, 178 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.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes


    Describe the underlying theories and core ideas of narrative approaches to counselling and psychotherapy


    Critically appraise research studies related to the clinical application of narrative therapy, and an appreciation of the evidence base to narrative therapy, its clinical applications, its strengths and limitations in practice


    Discuss the ethical and political concerns regarding counselling that are specifically raised within the narrative community of practice


    Identify the relevance of narrative approaches to specific areas of counselling practice


    Provide information to clients regarding the nature of narrative therapy


    Describe and critique the variety of techniques and approaches used in narrative practice


    Practice narrative therapy appropriately in counselling


    Describe and appropriately apply narrative approaches to different age groups and populations


    Identify a range of resources regarding narrative approaches


    Critically reflect on their own development of a narrative approach to counselling

    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
    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
    1-4, 8-10
    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
    White, M. (2007). Maps of narrative practice. New York: Norton.

    Additional required readings will be made available to participants via MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    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 School 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
    This course will be presented as an intensive program of interactive learning. Lecturers will use illustrations from their own work along with structured exercises and group discussion as a way of supporting participants to engage with narrative practice. The emphasis will be on developing skills in using the narrative approach and how these might apply in a variety of settings. On the foundation of the study of narrative ideas and their philosophical/theoretical background, and skills-based learning, students are encouraged to connect their study to their own work and areas of interest, and to develop their own narrative ways of working.

    The learning from these face-to-face workshops will be extended through submission of critical analysis of and reflections on provided readings. A narrative conversation that participants conduct with a fellow student currently enrolled in the Masters program will be recorded and partially-transcribed, and used as the basis for an assignment focussing on the use of ‘narrative mapping’.


    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 workload for this course is equivalent to 12 hours per week over a semester. Full attendance is required at the interactive workshop.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Theme Topics
    1. Introduction to the Narrative Practices
    • Brief overview
    • Key ideas that underpin Narrative Practice
    2. Introduction to the Narrative Metaphor
    • What do we mean by stories?
    • What is a story made up of?
    • Stories as a vehicle for Meaning Making
    3. Responding to problem stories through Externalising Conversations
    • Distinguishing between internalised and externalised ways of thinking
    • The statement of position map of practice for responding to problem stories
    4. Position of the therapist
    • Taking a non-expert position
    • The role of curiosity
    5. Lives are multi-storied
    • Dominant and subordinate storylines
    • The dangers in the single story
    6. Discourse and Deconstruction
    • The social, relational, and political context of experience and story development
    7. Rich Story Development of preferences
    • Developing personal agency through story development
    • Re-authoring map as a way to support rich story development in the preferred territory
    8. Rich Story Development continued
    • Making links with neuroscience and storying
    9. Absent but implicit
    • Introduction only, making links with overview of narrative practices
    • Links with key ideas, including that life is multi-storied

    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

    Essay: critical reflection/analysis



    1-3, 6, 8-10





    Structured analysis ('mapping exercise') of narrative interview




    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail
    Critical analysis of narrativepractice (1500-2000 words: 30%)
    Each participant is expected to submit a critical analysis of selected reading on narrative practice. The aim of the analysis is to consider the implications of narrative approaches for therapeutic practice. These readings and further instructions will be available on MyUni.

    Recording and structured analysis of a narrative interview (2500-3000 words: 60%)
    To demonstrate competence with interviewing skills and familiarity with narrative philosophy and practice, students will conduct and record a narrative interview, subjecting this interview to a structured analysis according to standard narrative ‘mapping’ practice. An information and consent form regarding the recording and further use of the interview will be provided to students for the interviewee to sign. Further instructions will be available on MyUni.

    Participation (10%)
    Students are expected to attend and participate in seminar/workshops according to group and program norms. Further details will be made available on 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.

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.