Introduction to Counselling Children & Young People
This unit introduces attendees to the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills associated with counselling children and young people,including a range of individual, family, creative and group therapies, learning how to appropriately select from among these therapies
so as to optimise intervention strategies applied to individual clients.
The unit is situated within a broader socio-ecological approach to
counselling children and young people, emphasising the importance of social and cultural contexts central to client health and well-being
(e.g. family, educational and community systems, etc.), and addressing how working with these systems is crucial for welfare, functioning
and/or recovery of the individual child or young person. Utilising a strengths-based approach, the unit focuses on key issues such as
developmental crises, disability, trauma, emotional and behavioural problems, and environmental issues; examining how these conditions
and circumstances may adversely affect clients’ physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being and their educational attainments.
Concurrently, the unit offers a mental health focus emphasising prevention, early intervention and crisis management of identified at-risk
populations of children and young people.
Introduction to Family Therapy
This course examines the historical origins and contemporary applications of systemic work with families. It examines how the dynamics that operate between family members may contribute to symptoms experienced by vulnerable family members, particularly children and young people. Developmental and contextual factors are examined to take a trans-generational view of family functioning. Theoretical and practical applications of multiple models and theories of family therapy are presented which provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in being able to effectively assess and intervene with families that present for counselling. This requires knowledge of both basic and systemic counselling techniques including the ability to engage respectfully and impartially with all family members, even when issues of safety and risk require appropriate professional and ethical responsiveness.
Introduction to Trauma-Informed Counselling
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. For example, a childhood history of exposure to traumatic events, abuse and/or neglect, being a repeated first responder to critical incidents, and servicepersons’ exposure to combat are among experiences with potential to significantly disrupt normal functioning and, in some instances, development. Consequently, it is important that counsellors are able to identify factors and contexts implicated in the formation of trauma symptomology and its varied clinical manifestations
Introduction to Couples Work
Not currently offered
The aim of this unit is to equip attendees with an understanding of when couple work is indicated, and with a framework of principles,
behaviour, meaning, belief and emotion with which to explore a couple’s presenting issues. The focus of the unit is on couple therapy as
a higher order and integrative intervention which involves knowledge of [i] couple dynamics, including assessment of these dynamics;
[ii] lifecycle development and the impact of nodal points at times of transition (birth, illness, death, adolescence, children leaving home,
marriage, ageing etc.), which affect the couple dyad from a systems perspective, taking into account cross-cultural perspectives; [iii]
key themes commonly presented in couples counselling sessions (e.g., intimacy, love, power, sex, infidelity, finances, balancing family
and work responsibilities, domestic violence, separation and divorce, management of children, etc.); [iv] contemporary models of couple
therapy; and [v] the couple counsellor’s role in managing their own reactivity in the face of heightened emotion, issues of safety, and both
overt and covert invitations to side with one partner against the other. Attendees will be given the opportunity to develop core couple skills
in how to conduct couple assessments and how to assess and intervene in common issues which present in couple therapy. Attendees
will also be required to consider ethical dilemmas that emerge when working with couples in order to develop their reflective capacity to
manage the often complex ethical issues which can arise in the context of couples work.
Ethical Issues and Practice
Not currently offered
This unit aims to comprehensively equip counselling students to understand and comply with the requirements and
expectations associated with being a professional counsellor practicing in Australia. Through a range of diverse in-class
activities attendees will develop both the understanding and capacity to make informed and competent ethical and legal
clinical decisions, thereby enabling them to manage the complexities of mental health practice.