PUB HLTH 7025 - Theory & Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017
General Course Information
Course Code PUB HLTH 7025 Course Theory & Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy Coordinating Unit Public Health Term Semester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Ten 3-hour workshops Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Prerequisites GEN PRAC 5008 Assumed Knowledge GEN PRAC 5005 and GEN PRAC 6018 Restrictions Master of Counselling & Psychotherapy Course Description This course provides students with skills and concepts for working with some of the challenges that they are likely to encounter whilst on placement, and beyond. It builds upon the counselling skills, theories and therapeutic models taught in first year and addresses how to develop standards of best practice in working with specific clinical issues and varied populations likely to be encountered in placements. These include responding to common presenting problems, such as depression and anxiety. The course is designed to be responsive to current emerging need in the counselling profession.
Students will learn particular theoretical and practical approaches to working with these clients groups, the evidence base for these approaches, the strengths and limitations of these approaches, and when and how to liaise with other professionals in relation to targeted issues. The course will have a particular focus on case conceptulisation and treatment planning. Finally, the course will address the principles of approaching new areas of clinical practice by teaching skills in using theory, relevant research and practice-based literature to help students develop their own philosophy of counselling, incorporating best practice approaches to challenging areas of practice.
Course Coordinator: Mr Greg Smith
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
Develop knowledge and skills based upon the most recent advances in the theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy.
Compare and contrast research studies relevant to working with clients presenting with targeted issues (e.g. anxiety, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, suicidal ideation).
Apply relevant theory, research, and practice-based literature to develop best practice approaches to working with contemporary clinical issues (e.g. anxiety and depression), for specific populations (e.g. those dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence, suicidal ideation) identified in clinical practice.
Recognise and outline an appropriate treatment plan for clients with indicators of targeted presenting issues (e.g. depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, suicidal ideation, anxiety)
Demonstrate increased knowledge, skills, and confidence to apply clinical skills in working with clients presenting with targeted issues while incorporating recent developments in counselling and psychotherapy (e.g. anxiety, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, anger management)
Recognise the limits of their expertise, and define when and how to liaise with relevant other agencies and professionals.
Access a range of appropriate resources for helping clients presenting with targeted issues (e.g. anxiety, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, suicidal ideation).
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)
1-7 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
1-7 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
3-7 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
N/A 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
1-7 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
Required ResourcesA list of required resources will be made available via 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 www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/
Students are advised to check the website regularly as it may contain announcements that are relevant to study in the course. Students wanting the opportunity to network with other students can use the Communication features in the site:
• Discussion Board – Users can post discussion items and reply to other posts.Note: To have a specific Discussion Board Forum created, please send request to firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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.). To have a specific Group Page created, please send request to email@example.com . For example, Group Pages can be created to include students living in the same geographical area or students working for the same organisation.
Students also have access to individual MyUni sites for EACH course in which they are enrolled. Students are advised to check the sites regularly as they may contain important announcements that are relevant to study in the course.
Access Adelaide is the name of the online service that allows students to access and, in some cases, amend their records. It can be found at: https://access.adelaide.edu.au/sa/login.asp.
Students can log into Access Adelaide to view:
• their enrolment details for any term
• their academic results
• their unofficial academic transcript
• their personal details
• the fees, charges and payments on their University account
• their exam schedule
• their graduation eligibility details.
• change their address and telephone details (please inform the Discipline as
• change their password
• set a password clue to help them remember their password.
It is important to set up a student email and check it regularly. Information from the course coordinator and student administration will be sent to the University of Adelaide email address. It is the student’s responsibility to check their email. They will need their student number located on the student card to log in. http://webmail.adelaide.edu.au/
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:
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 telecommunications providers for confirmation of call costs). Students residing outside these numbers can dial into the University at STD call rates www.adelaide.edu.au/its/desktop/dialup/
Postgraduate Coursework students will receive a University Funded Quota of 500Mb.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course will comprise ten 3-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.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.The course comprises of 10 x 3 hour workshops/ seminars.
Learning Activities Summary
Introduction and Overview: The links between theory, research and clinical skills.
Developing best practice in counselling approaches to challenging practice areas; identifying when and how to refer to other health professionals and agencies; identifying and working with clients experiencing depression.
Recent developments in neuroscience and their relationship to informing counselling and psychotherapy
Depression and suicidality.
New developments in the treatment of depression. The relationship between depression and suicide; appropriate approaches and therapeutic techniques; best practice for safety.
Neuroscience, polyvagal theory and anxiety. Identifying and working therapeutically with clients experiencing anxiety.
Issues of violence and abuse
Integrating new developemtns in work with violence and abuse with core concepts.
Mind-body interfaces in counselling and psychotherapy
Mind-body approaches to post-traumatic work
Presentation of new evidence based advances in counselling and psychotherapy
Presentation of new evidence based advances in trauma work.
Counselling the elderly.
Issues arising in this expanding area of practice. Working with the elderly; common challenges to mental wellbeing facing the elderly; evidence-based approaches to counselling practice in aged care, home, and community settings.
Responding to specific challenges commonly encountered by students whilst on placement.
Bringing it together.
Identifying students’ developing philosophy of counselling, informed integration of theory, research, and practice.
Specific Course RequirementsN/A
Small Group Discovery ExperienceN/A
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Learning course objective(s) being addressed
1 - 6
Case conceptualisation and treatment plan
3 - 5, 7
3 - 5, 7
Essay: Working with complexity (4,000 - 4,500 words)
1 - 5, 7
Assessment Related RequirementsN/A
Assessment DetailParticipation (10%):
Assessed by lecturer observation of each student’s contribution to the class interactions and small group discussions. Consideration will be given to the following: 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.
Assignment 1: (20%) 1,200 words
Developing and writing a case conceptualisation and treatment plan incorporating new developments in the field for a client
according to case descriptions which be available in MyUni and distributed in class.
Online quiz (20%).
This short answer and short essay quiz will assess knowledge and skills as covered in the class presentations and associated
Essay. Applications of advances in the theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy (50%: 4,000 word count)
Students will choose from one of several provided scenarios and areas of practice. Students will: describe an area of
appropriate new development; how this might apply for particular client presentations; refer to relevant theory and research; discuss practical issues which might be anticipated; identify helpful resources (including potential links external agencies) for the relevant client presentations and their work with them.
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.
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
<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.
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.
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.
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and speaking skills
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- International Student Support
- AUU Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
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.