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MHN5130 Counselling and Group Work

Semester 2, 2014 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery

Contents on this page


Examiner: Don Gorman
Moderator: Cath Rogers


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MMHN or PMHN


All nurses but especially mental health nurses are called upon to offer counselling and group facilitation to individuals, families and groups.


This course focuses on counselling, an interpersonal activity which helps the client develop self-understanding, self-awareness and problem solving abilities. This course will use theoretical models for therapeutic relationships as well as using the ACMHN Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nurses 2010 as a framework for practice. In this course students will develop advanced skills in interpersonal communication, developing a therapeutic nurse patient relationship, one to one counselling, and group leadership. Effective counsellors must have an understanding and awareness of themselves, therefore developing of self will be an important aspect of this course. Students will also be expected to gain an understanding of the cultural basis of interpersonal communication and an awareness of the need to be open to different styles of communication that can impact on inter-cultural interactions. There is a requirement to attend a one week residential in this course.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. apply client-centred counselling strategies to clients from across the lifespan and describe the skills involved;
  2. identify the importance of self understanding in the counselling relationship and develop a deeper self awareness and self understanding;
  3. develop an understanding of the cultural basis of interpersonal communication and apply intercultural communication skills;
  4. apply group theory to facilitate the therapeutic group process;
  5. synthesise the above learning, the student's own personal philosophy, life experience and personality into an effective individual counselling style;
  6. apply the principles of ethical practice in the counselling relationship.
  7. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The skills of a counsellor: defining counselling; facilitating communication; attending behaviours; phases of the relationship; inter-cultural counselling. 50.00
2. Working in groups: communication in groups; membership of groups leading/facilitating small groups; evolution of small groups. 50.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Corey, MS, Corey, G & Corey, C 2010, Groups: process and practice, 9th edn, Brooks/Cole CeEngage Learning, Belmont, Cal.
  • Ivey, AE, Ivey, M & Zalaquett, C 2010, Intentional interviewing and counselling: facilitating client development in a multicultural society, 8th edn, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, Cal.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Adler, R., Rosenfeld, I. & Proctor II, R 2010, Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication, 11th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Corey, G 2004, Theory and Practice of Group Counselling, 6th edn, Brooks/Cole, California.
  • McKinlay, A 1993, Communication in Mental Health Care, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Private Study 125.00
Residential Schools 40.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
DEMO - GROUP SKILLS 1 50 03 Oct 2014

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as residential school) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assignments satisfactorily, students must obtain at least one mark for each assignment.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.