Faculty of Education

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Flexible)
Singapore Term 4 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jennifer Barnes (Clayton), Dr Brett Furlonger (Singapore)


In this unit students examine the major lifespan theories and counselling approaches in order to understand the mental health issues that arise in the course of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The strong focus on lifespan issues promotes an understanding of others and deeper appreciation of clients and the counselling process. Both historical and contemporary frameworks for lifespan and attachment counselling are explored and their relationship to practice evaluated. Students examine key concepts in attachment theory along with how the main attachment types play out both in childhood and later life. The personal and professional aspects experienced in the counselling profession are investigated together with the impact that counselling has on the identities and functioning of counsellors.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. describe and differentiate major lifespan theories
  2. understand the relevance of lifespan theory to counselling
  3. understand attachment theory to individual functioning
  4. recognise how adult attachment style can affect intimate relationships
  5. understand and explain the effects of counselling on the counsellor as a person and a professional
  6. cultivate sensitivity to the effects of counselling on the client
  7. articulate how an understanding of lifespan and attachment theory can be included in a practice framework for counselling.


Case analysis (4000 words, 50%)
Self-reflection on developing practice and identity (4000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Flexible mode offers a stand-alone online offering that allows students to learn and engage in content and assessment in a supported way. It also provides a face-to-face component of 12 hours over the semester to engage students with the online learning content, which students can attend if they are able and interested.

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for flexible students:

  • 12 contact hours and 24 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester or
  • 36 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester

(b.) Contact hours for offshore students:

  • intensive teaching sessions requiring student engagement prior to, during and after sessions

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study