PUB HLTH 7024 - Counselling of Children and Adolescents

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

Counselling with children and adolescents is a specialist area that requires a particular child-centred perspective and creative, flexible application of skills and knowledge. This course will introduce advanced skills and approaches for responding to young clients from a dynamic, emotion-focused, and person-centred perspective. Presented as a series of workshops, the course equips counsellors to apply appropriate micro-skills, to synthesise theoretical frameworks and evaluate techniques that may be suitable for an individual client. Reviews of recent research and the essentials of trauma-informed practice will be integrated into a highly experiential program.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 7024
    Course Counselling of Children and Adolescents
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 1 x 6 hours plus 6 x 4 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites PUB HLTH 5006, PUB HLTH 5007, PUB HLTH 6018, PUB HLTH 6021
    Restrictions Available to MCounsPsych students only or with approval of Program Coordinator
    Course Description Counselling with children and adolescents is a specialist area that requires a particular child-centred perspective and creative, flexible application of skills and knowledge. This course will introduce advanced skills and approaches for responding to young clients from a dynamic, emotion-focused, and person-centred perspective. Presented as a series of workshops, the course equips counsellors to apply appropriate micro-skills, to synthesise theoretical frameworks and evaluate techniques that may be suitable for an individual client. Reviews of recent research and the essentials of trauma-informed practice will be integrated into a highly experiential program.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Matt Doherty

    Course Coordinator: Matthew Doherty
    Phone: +61 8313 4340
    Location: Level 9, AMHS, 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


    Outline knowledge of the underlying theories and core concepts of key approaches to family and relationship counselling;  


    Critically appraise research studies related to the clinical application of various approaches to family and relationship counselling;


    Demonstrate an understanding of family systems, structure, developmental stages and changes through class discussions and written assignments;


    Analyse and apply a variety of techniques and approaches to family and relationship counselling; these may include systems, experiential, developmental, cognitive-behavioural, emotion-focussed, narrative and integrative models;


    Demonstrate practical knowledge of common counselling issues that are presented by families and couples, through class discussions and written assignments;


    Recognise issues of cultural and other diversity in the formation of families and relationships;


    Appropriately apply intervention skills for working with families and couples to resolve relationship difficulties, through a written assignment;


    Appraise resources to support continuous learning regarding family and relationship 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
    3, 4, 5, 7, 8
    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, 7
    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, 4, 5, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course Textbook

    Geldard, K., Geldard, D., & Yin Foo, R. (2013). Counselling children: A practical introduction (4th Ed.). London: Sage Publications.

    Links to additional readings will be available via MyUni.[JE1] 

    Recommended Resources
    Refer to MyUni for a list of recommended resources.

    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used for all course communication. 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

    Students should check the website regularly as it may contain announcements that are relevant to your study in the course. Those desiring the opportunity to network with other students can use the Communication features in the site. Information from the course coordinator and student administration will be sent to students at their University of Adelaide email address. It is the student’s
    responsibility to check their email. They will need to use their student number located on their student card to log in.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will comprise ten 4-hour seminar/workshops. Seminar/workshops will involve a mixture of didactic, lecture style presentations and small group exercises facilitating problem-based learning, and experiential skills training. In addition, there will be extensive use of surrogate client presentations that will require students to actively work with clinical vignettes that have been developed to encapsulate common child and adolescent mental health presentations.

    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 four hours per week, of lecture, seminar and small-group discussions. Sessions will be seminar/workshop format, with a mixture of lectures and interactive exercises, including engagement with surrogate client presentations and associated clinical work. It is compulsory for all students to attend. Essential readings or on-line video material will be recommended.

    Face to Face lectures, practicals, surrogate client work: 4 hours / week
    Core/background readings: 6 hours / week
    Preparation of assignments: 4 hours / week
    Learning Activities Summary


    Orientation to Child & Adolescent Counselling

    An introduction to child & adolescent counselling & key themes
    Re-visit to Attachment & Developmental Theory

    Revisiting attachment & developmental theory-focusing on children/adolescents & application to therapeutic practice.
    Common Child & Adolescent Mental Health Presentations

    A look at the most common mental health presentations in children and adolescents-DSM 5 criteria; common approaches; critical appraisal of discourses.
    Assessment & Therapeutic Planning

    Psychosocial assessment & associated planning for support with young people.
    Counselling Methodologies

    A look at different therapetuic frameworks used with young people-with a focus on expressive methodologies.
    Trauma Informed Practice

    Examining trauma informed principles of care for young people.
    Ethics & Child Protection Issues

    Discussion on common ethical and child protection issues faced in therapeutic practice with children & adolescents.
    Working with Parents & Families

    An overview of including parents & families in the therapeutic care of youth.
    Working with Schools

    Examination of ways to work within the school setting when supporting young people in therapy.
    Adolescent Self-Harming & Suicidal Ideation

    Exploration of support and risk assessment in young people facing self-harming and suicidal behaviours.
    Specific Course Requirements
    To pass this course, students must:

    Submit two written assignments. Participate in learning activities, surrogate client work and class discussions throughout the seminar according to group norms and standards.
    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

    TASK TYPE        



    Written Assignment 1:
    Literature Review

    Summative 40% 1,2,6
    Written Assignment 2:
    Therapeutic Engagement With a Young Person

    Summative 50% 1,3,4,5,7,8
    Participation Summative 10% 1,2,4,5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are advised to comply with word limits for written assignments. A 10% leeway on either side is acceptable.
    Assessment Detail

    Written Assignment 1:

    Literature Review - of a child-friendly counselling approach or therapeutic issue
    Weighting: 40% Word limit: 2,500 words (+ or – 10%)

    Written Assignment 2:

    Therapeutic engagement with a with a young client
    Weighting: 50% Word limit: 3,000 (+ or – 10%)

    Participation: (10%)

    Assessment of class participation is based on consideration of the student’s attendance record, 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.

    Further instructions and marking templates for all assignments will be provided 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.

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.