EDF5530 - Counselling skills for individuals, couples and groups - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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




Ms Leesa Tinney (Clayton)

Ms Claire Hutton (Hong Kong, Singapore)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Flexible)

Hong Kong



This unit introduces students to the theoretical and applied aspects of counselling to individuals, couples and groups, and the evidence base which informs them. Students are introduced to basic and advanced micro-skills, concepts and theories that are currently used in counselling practice, and also examine and apply a range of strategies used by therapists to note, track and evaluate the progress of the client in therapy. The unit provides students with the opportunity to develop and practise their micro-skills and techniques over the semester and learn the underpinnings that inform the dynamics of counselling processes. Throughout the unit students draw on their current or previous clinical professional experience to apply theory to practice and to reflect on their cultural awareness, sensitivities and the ways in which their personal development may influence their counselling practice.


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

  1. understand, differentiate and critically evaluate the central approaches to counselling and psychotherapy
  2. learn and practise counselling micro-skills in a systematic manner
  3. understand the dynamics and diversity of individual, couple and group counselling and apply their skills accordingly
  4. critically appraise their performance as counsellors
  5. apply information about the therapeutic alliance and other relevant strategies for helping clients in counselling therapy
  6. cultivate sensitivity to other people's cultural and personal ways and preferences
  7. consider and understand their own values and style and their influence on counselling practice
  8. develop treatment plans and produce practice notes.


Class activities equivalent to 20 hours of client contact are recorded in the student's log book of clinical professional experience.


Critical essay (3000 words, 40%)

Therapeutic practice with an individual client and self-appraisal (5000 words, 60%)

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 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:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus* flexible students:
    • 36 contact hours of face-to-face and/or online activities
  2. Contact hours for off-campus* flexible students:
    • 36 contact hours of online activities
    • a compulsory 3-day residential school at the Clayton campus
  3. Requirements for offshore Kaplan-based students:
    • one intensive block (usually from Thursday to Sunday)
    • at least 14 hours of online study per term
  4. Additional requirements (all students):
    • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per semester

    *This refers to the student's course enrolment mode.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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