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Course Structure

The Institute’s Bachelor of Counselling is the perfect qualification to acquire tertiary counselling studies.

 

The Bachelor of Counselling is a careful blend of theory and practical application. Theory is learnt through user-friendly learning materials that have been carefully designed to make your studies as accessible and conducive to learning as possible.

 

The course and its subjects are structured to progressively develop your knowledge and skills from foundational, theoretical concepts through to more complex concepts and advanced skills and applications. 

 

First year subjects focus on building a strong foundational knowledge and skill base including an overview of the counselling industry, the role of the counselling professional, philosophical tenets, counselling micro skills and counselling perspectives. You are encouraged to adopt an integrative approach to practice and develop your own counselling framework and helping philosophy.

 

Second Year subjects focus on broader, contextual issues such as culture, social issues and theoretical frameworks that impact the client, the counsellor and the helping relationship.  Ethical and legal issues are examined as they relate to the counselling relationship, and you start exploring the concept of your ‘self’ and reflective practice.

 

The Third Year integrates specialist knowledge and skill with focused application in areas such as Grief Counselling, Group Work, Domestic Violence, Abuse, Working With Children, and Mental Health Issues. You will consolidate and extend your emerging practice framework and demonstrate a high degree of self-awareness and professional reflection skills.

 

On completion, you will have the capacity to apply counselling theory and skills in an intentional and mindful manner.  You will have the ability to evaluate and apply a variety of counselling models according to the needs of your client. You will also have the ability to analyse counselling issues with consideration to broader social and cultural perspectives and will be equipped to make a natural transition into the role of Counsellor.

 

Course Structure – Full Time Workload

 


Year 1
Semester 1
Semester 2

CO101 - Introduction to Counselling


Introduction to Counselling provides a foundational framework to analyse issues in contemporary counselling practice. You are introduced to the history and philosophy of counselling theory and practice. Through critical analysis, you are encouraged to develop an awareness of the role and responsibilities of the contemporary counsellor and an understanding of client rights. You are required to reflect on the value of evidence-based practice and understand the significance of the counselling relationship, and reflect on the impact of cultural difference and diversity on the formation of a therapeutic alliance. This first year subject also provides an overview of counselling and the role of the counsellor and provides a foundation on which to build more specialised skills and knowledge in subsequent subjects.

CO105 - Developmental Psychology


Developmental Psychology introduces the cognitive, social and emotional theories of development across the lifespan. This subject delivers a comprehensive overview of the major developmental theorists such as Piaget, Erikson and Freud and prepares you for the practice of family, child and adolescent counselling in your final year of study.

CO102 - Academic Writing and Presentation Skills


Academic Writing and Presentation Skills focuses on the skills of academic writing, research and presentation. You will become familiar with research methodologies, referencing, structuring an essay, planning an argument and presenting information in an effective manner. You will also develop skills in reading and interpreting reports within the social sciences which assists in maintaining a current knowledge of key issues relevant to the counselling profession. You will also be introduced to the concept of reflective professional practice and participate in guided self-reflection. This first year subject provides the academic writing, research and reflective practice skills necessary for higher education studies.

CO106 - Counselling and Diversity


This subject facilitates a general exploration of the social divisions of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality and ability. These divisions are explored in relation to their effect on the availability and access of support and counselling services to marginalised groups in Australia. Barriers in the application of appropriate counselling interventions are considered and you are encouraged to explore your own values, beliefs and assumptions in relation to marginalised groups and their portrayal in the media.

CO103 Theoretical Foundations of Counselling


Theoretical Foundations of Counselling introduces the key theoretical perspectives that underpin counselling practice. You examine each major theoretical approach in terms of its concepts and applications in counselling. An integrative framework is considered and case studies are analysed to facilitate the application of theory to practice. This first year subject provides a foundation on which to build specialised knowledge and practice through second and third year studies.

CO107 - Counselling Therapies I


Counselling Therapies I introduces the practice of Person-Centred and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Both approaches are considered in terms of their underpinning philosophy and assumptions about human nature. You demonstrate the application of each approach in a role-play scenario. This first year subject builds a foundation for more complex application in subsequent therapy subjects.

CO104 - Micro Counselling Skills


Micro-counselling skills are essential for many professionals, particularly those working within the human services area. This subject explores the application of the key counselling micro-skills to therapeutic practice. You are required to demonstrate all key skills in role-play scenarios and are assessed on your ability to integrate these skills into a counselling interview. You are encouraged to critically evaluate your use of each counselling micro-skill and assess the effectiveness of your application of the skills in facilitating client change.

CO108 - Social frameworks


Social Frameworks encourages students to study contemporary social issues through the application of Functionalist, Interactionist, Marxist, Feminist and Postmodern frameworks. These frameworks are expanded and applied to the role of the State, social inequity, the family, health, mass media, gender and ethnicity and their impact on the individual and groups within society. This second year subject provides a theoretical understanding of sociological theory and builds a foundation for future studies in mental health, community counselling and working with children and adolescence.

Year 2
Semester 1
Semester 2

CO201 - The Counselling Process


The Counselling Process overviews the process of counselling from initial contact with the client to case closure. You explore personal fears, expectations and beliefs about what it means to be a counselling professional. The process of referral and case closure are considered along with strategies to monitor and evaluate your effectiveness as a counsellor. The requirements for completing paperwork and case documentation are also discussed. This second year subject provides a framework for practice that enables the application of more complex concepts in counselling, required in subsequent subjects.

CO205 - Relationship Counselling


This subject introduces the process of couple counselling. The dynamics of intimate relationships are examined and you reflect upon a number of key approaches to relationship counselling. Common issues in couple counselling are considered and an integrative approach is applied to a role-play scenario. This second year subject builds on the foundational counselling frameworks and approaches acquired through first year studies to develop professional skills in working with specific client concerns.

CO202 - Reflective Counselling Practice


This subject encourages reflection on personal experiences, values and beliefs within the context of counselling practice. You are required to analyse the use of Self in counselling and establish strategies for effective reflective practice. This subject teaches the value of reflective practice and provides foundational reflective skills for incorporation into future learnings in the second and third years of study.

CO206 - Theories of Family Counselling


This subject introduces the classic schools of family therapy. The contributions of leading family theorists are analysed and the impact of postmodern trends on the contemporary approach to practice are evaluated. Recent developments in family therapy are considered and you are required to demonstrate the application of an integrative approach to family therapy, incorporating techniques from contemporary approaches, such as solution-focused and narrative therapy. This subject builds on the foundational counselling frameworks and approaches acquired through first year studies to develop professional skills in working with specific family systems.

CO203 - Counselling Therapies II


Counselling Therapies II introduces the practice of collaborative, competency-based counselling. Students are required to develop an understanding of social constructivism as it relates to the role of the counsellor. Specific techniques from the narrative and solution-focused approaches are explored. This is a first year subject that builds a foundation for more complex application in subsequent therapy subjects.

CO207 - Counselling Practicum I


This subject provides the opportunity to work within the human service industry, providing invaluable experience and exposure to practical issues. You will develop assessment and intervention skills and further explore your own practice framework under the guidance and supervision of an experienced practitioner. During the placement, you attend 24 hours of supervision to further develop your skills in reflective practice and intervention.

CO204 - Ethics, Law & Counselling


This subject develops a reflective and analytical understanding of the ethical, legal and practice issues emerging in, and specific to, the counselling profession. You cover the legal and ethical responsibilities of the counsellor and analyse dilemmas from the perspective of best practice. Relevant laws and ethical codes are analysed in relation to real-life examples from practice. This second year subject provides you with the ethical and legal framework to work in community and private settings.

 
Year 3
Semester 1
Semester 2

CO301 - Research Methods


This subject equips you with the skills to research counselling issues, interpret reports and research papers, and collect and analyse outcome data. The development of these skills enable you to have an informed understanding of the benefits of research for the counselling industry, as well as developing practical skills in critical evaluation of existing research. With this knowledge, you are able to source empirical evidence to support methods of practice and keep up-to-date with industry standards.

CO305 - Group Work


Group Work provides a framework for facilitating a group counselling program. Aspects of group planning, development, selection and facilitation are explored to equip you with the requisite skills for establishing effective group process. Advanced concepts of sub-cultures, transference and problematic members are addressed. You will demonstrate the ability to conduct group work and evaluate your performance on the basis of outcomes. This third year subject builds on the foundational counselling frameworks and approaches acquired through first and second year studies to develop professional skills in working with specific client groups and group dynamics.

CO302 - Grief Counselling


This subject introduces the process of working with clients on issues of grief and loss. The major theoretical models of the grief process are examined and specific techniques and strategies for the facilitation of uncomplicated grief are applied. You learn the distinction between normal and complicated grief responses and reflect on the challenges of working with a family system in response to grief. This third year subject builds on the foundational counselling frameworks and approaches acquired through first and second year studies to develop professional skills in a specialised treatment area.

CO306 - Counselling and Mental Health


This subject provides an insight into mental health conditions and their presentation in counselling. You will develop an introductory knowledge of indicators and support options for people with a variety of mental health issues. A variety of case studies will be considered from the perspective of support options and appropriate referral pathways.

CO303 - Working with Children and Adolescents


This subject provides an understanding of how to apply the strengths-based approach to facilitate change in children, adolescents and their families. This approach can harness individual and collective resources, facilitate change and empower families to shift ineffective behavioural patterns. This third year subject builds on the foundational counselling frameworks and approaches acquired through first and second year studies to develop professional skills in working with specific client groups.

CO307 - Counselling Practicum II


This subject builds on the introduction and experience of practical issues offered in Counselling Practicum I. You will further develop your counselling skills in a relevant human service environment under the guidance and supervision of an experienced practitioner. Individual and group supervision via teleconference is also included to continue development of skills in reflective practice and intervention.

CO304 - Domestic Violence and Abuse Issues


Domestic Violence and Abuse Issues introduces practice frameworks for domestic violence and child protection, offers an overview of relevant legislation and defines core counsellor responsibilities in working with these clients. This third year subject builds on the foundational counselling frameworks and approaches acquired through first and second year studies to develop professional skills in a specialised treatment area.

 
  1. The information included in this Course Outline is indicative of the final curriculum but may not necessarily contain all units necessary for completion of the course.  The Institute periodically revises the Bachelor curriculum to maintain its position at the forefront of the counselling industry.  Any changes, upgrades or expansions to the curriculum will be instigated in such a way that your studies are affected as little as possible.

* Subjects are available in Semester One of each year only
** Subjects are available in Semester Two of each year only

 

 

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