PUB HLTH 3012 - Counselling Skills in Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course introduces students to the fundamental elements of counselling. Drawing upon theoretical concepts introduced in the 2nd year elective course PUB HLTH 2009 Introduction to Counselling Theory and Practice, students will explore the application of basic theoretical perspectives and models in contemporary core counselling practice. Through the practice and observation of counselling skills students will be given maximum opportunity to acquire and develop counselling responses in a structured and supportive environment. Students will develop a range of discrete skills including: attending, observing, listening, responding accurately and empathically to others, and identifying inappropriate and unhelpful responses. In tandem with skills-based learning, students will engage in personal reflection of key attributes and values necessary for counselling practice, and related personal strengths and areas for growth.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 3012
    Course Counselling Skills in Practice
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites PUB HLTH 2009
    Assessment Tutorial participation, essay, skills application, reflection, and evaluation
    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.
    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

    Acquire knowledge of, and competence in, the pre-helping skills;

    Produce a series of accurate empathetic responses to client statements;

    Discriminate and rate the different levels of effective and ineffective responses accurately;

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

    Demonstrate the ability to 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)
    1 - 6
    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 - 6
    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
    1 - 6
    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 - 6
    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
    1 - 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Ivey, A.E., Ivey, M.B., & Zalaquett, C.P. (2018). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
    Recommended Resources
    Egan, G. (2013). The skilled helper. (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.

    Feltham, C., & Dryden, W. (2006) Brief counselling: A Practical guide for beginning practitioners. Berkshire, England: Open University Press.

    Geldard, D., Geldard, K., & Yin Foo, R. (2017). Basic personal counselling: A training manual for counsellors. (8th ed.), South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia.

    Selected online resources, including journal articles and reading lists will be disseminated via MyUni. Students may also be listed as a cohort within the Whole of Counselling Program MyUni site (PUB HLTH 003) which provides resources targeting and designed for academic writing in a counselling context.
    Online Learning

    MyUni is used for announcements, discussion board, recordings of seminar/workshops and practicals, external web-links, readings, details of assignments, as well as online quizzes and essay submission.

    Material will be sequentially released in line with the teaching and learning activities in each week.

  • 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.

    Class sessions will include a 1 hour workshop and 2 hour tutorial each week. These sessions will contain lecture content and demonstrations, however there will be a greater emphasis on group and experiential learning throughout the course. To maximise learning, students will be expected to engage in all pre-reading, exercises and group discussions as well as practice sessions. Each week students will be working in assigned small groups throughout the course developing a repertoire of foundational skills supported by staff and peers to maximise learning. 

    Please note, as this is a skills based course, full attendance at all workshops and tutorials is expected.

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

    The workload set for this course is made up as follows:
    • Face to face workshop: 1 hour / week
    • Face to face tutorial: 2 hours/ week
    • Core/background readings and exercises: 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
    Formative Skills Checklist
    The First Session
    Additional Skills 1
    Conducting a 2nd session
    Additional Skills 2
    Additional Skills 3
    Specific Course Requirements
    To pass this course, you must:
    • attend and appropriately contribute to all twelve hour sessions. In the case of illness a medical certificate will be required. If this and other unforeseen circumstances result in missing a session, replacement work may be negotiated.

    In addition, you must:
    • complete a written assignment and discussion board entries reflecting on weekly questions.
    • complete a videoed counselling session, transcript and skill evaluation summary.

    More details on assessment will be provided via MyUni.
    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 Item
    Written Assignment 30%  Completion of a written assignment and discussion board entries reflecting on weekly questions.
    Formative Skills Checklist 0% Practical formative assessment to provide mid-way feedback on skill development.
    Skills Application & Evaluation  60%  Completion of a videoed counselling session, transcript and skill rating evaluation
    Class Participation 10% In accordance with both unversity policy and the group norms identified in class. 
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail

    Written Assignment
    During weeks 1 - 4, students will be required to engage with a series of reflective exercises both in and outside of class sessions. Weekly posts on the discussion board will be required, and a final written assignment is to be submitted in week 5. The outline for this assignment will be available on the course page on MyUni. 

    Word count: 1,200 words

    Formative Skills Checklist
    Students will conduct a practical 10-15 minute skills checklist working with a fellow student as their ‘client’ demonstrating competency in the Basic Listening Sequence for stages 2 & 3 (story and strengths; goals) of the 5 stage model. This will be conducted during class sessions (either the workshop or tutorial session). As this is a formative assessment, it does not count towards your final grade. Rather, it is an opportunity to gain feedback as a mid-way checkpoint to allow time to develop those skills that might need further refinement for the final practical assessment.

    Skills Application & Evaluation
    A video/digital recording of a counselling session of 20-25 minutes in length is to be completed with a student-client presenting a genuine counselling issue. The session is to demonstrate each of the basic listening skills, the use of the 5 part model and 1 advanced skill (focusing, reflection of meaning, or confrontation). Students are to complete a transcript and skills rating evaluation form as well as a 500 word critical evaluation summary of their skills which are to be submitted with their video recording of the session. Templates for the transcript and skills rating evaluation are available on the course page on MyUni.

    Class Participation
    Attendance and participation in workshops and tutorials are fundamental to your own and other’s learning in this course, and 10% of your mark will reflect the priority placed upon this. Therefore 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.

    Extensions: 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. 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.

    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. 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.

    Resubmission: 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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