Master of

Counselling

Be introduced to the latest clinical and
theoretical research and clinical resources

   COURSE SUMMARY
   Qualification / Award    CO54 Master of Counselling
   Length    2 years full-time / 4 years part-time
   Credit Points    96 (16 Units)
   Delivery    On Campus
   Available to    Domestic / International
   IELTS    7.0 with no band less than 6.5
   Course Accreditation    PACFA, ACA
   CRICOS Code    056057J
   Financial Information    FEE - HELP for Domestic Students - Course Fees Page
    AQF    Level 9
    Key Dates    Application Deadlines and other Key Course Dates
   

WHAT WILL I STUDY


Course Units

Set within a Person-centered framework Counselling Practice I develops foundational counselling skills and competences necessary for effective counselling practice. In Counselling Practice II and III students are exposed to a selection of contemporary evidence based modalities while continuing to consolidate their foundational skills. Finally, in Counselling Practice IV students work with advanced and challenging clinical issues, concurrently consolidating their professional identity as a counsellor. Together the four counselling practice units prepare students for client work in their counselling placements.

Employing a bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework and associated approaches, students learn about the aetiology, diagnostic presentation, assessment and evidence-based interventions for a range mental health issues. They reflect on personal assumptions relating to mental illness, including the relationship between spirituality and mental illness, also considering how stress and vulnerability predispose some individuals to mental health episodes. Finally, they explore the role of social and family contexts in the onset of mental-health disorders and their management.

Employing bio-psychosocial and sociocultural lenses, students examine how humans grow and change across the lifespan, considering the contribution of developmental and socio-cultural factors to normative outcomes. They examine major theories of human development, including the interface between the individual and his/her broader historical, socio-cultural context. They consider how the spiritual domain affects development for those with a faith worldview, and how different experiences of society and culture including factors such as racism, bias and discrimination, oppression, power and privilege, and prejudice can adversely affect individual development and present as clinical issues. Finally they develop an awareness of the importance of socially and culturally sensitive counselling practice.

Counselling theories and models provide frameworks for conceptualising and interpreting clients’ histories, issues and experiences, and are used to guide and inform approaches to working with clients. Students will examine both historical and contemporary theoretical frameworks, exploring the implications of different theoretical emphases on client care. They learn how to apply theory when working with specific clients with various life challenges, and to formulate case conceptualisations which underpin client care and client outcomes.

Relational dynamics are at the heart of human engagement and communication, counsellors and clients influenced and affected by significant relationships in their lives. Students learn about the importance of processing the adverse effects of relational experiences, this informed by intrapersonal, interpersonal and relational theory, with an emphasis on interpersonal neurobiology, attachment and systemic theories. They critically reflected on their personal relationship experiences, become conversant with their own affective regulation, reflective functioning and relational capacity, and develop an understanding of how and when their own, and their clients’ relational histories and current experiences may affect therapeutic outcomes.

Counsellors are in a unique, influential and privileged position in the lives of their clients who are often vulnerable and unprotected. Students learn how to ethically and responsibly manage this position, becoming conversant with all relevant regulatory codes and Australian legislative requirements that govern the Health sector. They explore ethical principles in professional decision-making processes, reflect on the benefits of professional association membership, and are encouraged to be aware of, and thoughtful about, how their personal moral stance and ethical framework informs and influences their professional practice.

Building upon knowledge learnt in the unit Counselling Theories and Models and skills acquired in Counselling Practice I, in this unit students will continue to consolidate their face-to-face counselling skills, while developing an appreciation of the role and place of alternate counselling modes within counselling practice (e.g. telephone and web-based counselling). Further, students will learn how to: conduct a mental status examination and undertake a risk assessment; maintain appropriate client records; and deal with a range of factors that compromise therapeutic advancement (e.g. client resistance/ambivalence, client nonattendance, working with therapeutic disjunctions and impasses, etc).

The long-term and adverse effects of trauma on the development of self and subsequent psychological functioning are recognised as significant contributors to clinical presentations in counselling settings. Students learn about experiences which significantly disrupt normal functioning and development, develop an understanding of the neurobiology of trauma, learn to recognise the trauma-mental health link, and become familiar with the DSM-5. They also consider the effects of trauma in its various presentations among different clinical groups and examine various trauma-focused treatment protocols.

In Counselling Practice III students will be introduced to one of the contemporary cognitive-informed modalities, for example, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), or Schema Therapy (ST). Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of key modality-specific principles and processes and to develop a capacity to apply a range of counselling skills related to the specific modality being taught in a given semester, with knowledge and skills demonstrated within the classroom setting and through a range of assessment tasks. Successful completion of Counselling Practice III is required for progression to Counselling Practice IV, and ultimately the two Counselling Practicum units.

Counselling offers a means by which individuals can seek support and education about their grief, over time learning how to integrate loss, finding meaning and purpose in the resolution and integration of this challenging experience. Students examine historical and contemporary models of bereavement, grief and mourning, and associated processes and types of grief. They explore various loss contexts and aspects of dying, death and end-stage care. They consider assessment and treatment approaches for different groups experiencing various losses, with an emphasis on resolution, integration, meaning making and post-loss transformation. Along the way they reflect upon their own loss history, including a consideration of cultural and spiritual heritages in grief work.

Students’ skill consolidation continues in this unit, as they examine a range of advanced counselling practice issues and challenges. Building upon knowledge, skills, and the modalities learnt in the earlier Counselling Practice units, and informed by a broad psychodynamic psychotherapeutic perspective,

The course is particularly suited to: Current counsellors seeking additional training at a post-graduate level; Individuals with undergraduate qualifications (or equivalent) wanting to enter the counselling profession; Other professionals seeking to diversify and extend their current skill set or change career direction.

Counselling Practicum I marks the transition from student to intern counsellor, working with clients, peers and supervisors. Located in various agency settings, interns are exposed to all aspects of life as a professional counsellor, completing 200 hours of direct client contact hours and 50 hours of clinical supervision across the two units, encountering varied clinical presentations.

COM573 Research II*

COM575 Practicum II*

COM577 Introduction to Couples Work

COM578 Introduction to Counselling Children and Young People**

COM584 Introduction to Family Therapy

COM588 Narrative Therapy

COM573 Research II*

COM575 Practicum II*

COM577 Introduction to Couples Work

COM578 Introduction to Counselling Children and Young People**

COM584 Introduction to Family Therapy

COM588 Narrative Therapy

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