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COU8104 Counselling Frameworks

Semester 2, 2022 External
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules


Examiner: Paul Scully


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH or MNSG or GDNG or GCNG


The knowledge and skills acquired in this course are designed to address areas of competence required for registration as a counsellor and will be relevant to similar standards in most allied health disciplines. Modern counsellors typically integrate skills and theories from a range of models rather than being devoted to a single psychotherapeutic approach. This course helps students understand factors associated with client change that are common to all psychotherapeutic modalities as informed from decades of outcome research. This broader knowledge of what are referred to as ‘common factors’ provides counsellors a major conceptual framework to customize treatment in ways that maximize these factors. Counsellors also need exposure to the range of counselling modalities and methods that can be customized to different therapists, clients and treatment contexts. Different counselling modalities target different areas for intervention, whether this be via thinking, feeling, behaviour, insight, experience or other processes. The course provides students with an integrative framework, and exposure to the major theories so that students can begin constructing their own practice framework.

This course introduces to students the common factors of successful counselling. Students are introduced to the major counselling theories available and will identify and justify their own approach to developing a framework of practice.

This course contains a mandatory four-day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online synchronous tutorials.

Course learning outcomes

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

  1. Describe and discuss the factors common to successful counselling outcomes
  2. Critically discuss outcome research on topics related to therapeutic change;
  3. Critically evaluate counselling theories including their strengths and weaknesses;
  4. Display an in-depth understanding, applied skills and knowledge, and analysis of psychotherapeutic modalities and key interventions.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Common factors associated with effective therapy 30.00
2. Major counselling theories 60.00
3. Application of integrated approaches 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

McLeod, J 2019, An Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy, 6th edn, Open University Press, Berkshire.
O'Donovan, A, Casey, L, Van Der Veen, M & Boschen, M. 2013, Psychotherapy, An Australian Perspective, IP Communications, East Hawthorn.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%)
Assignments Written Essay No 30
Assignments Written Quiz 1 No 10
Assignments Practical Demonstration No 40
Assignments Written Quiz 2 No 10
Assignments Creative Portfolio No 10
Assignments Practical Practical No
Date printed 10 February 2023