Skip to Content

Advanced Counselling Placement

2014 unit code: PSC80004 (formerly HAYS512)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points25 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester
Contact hours350 hours including 100 hours of client contact. See also Teaching Method.


Related course(s)

A unit of study in the Master of Social Science (Professional Counselling).

Aims and objectives

This unit, involving practica, aims to enhance learning associated with professional practice across a variety of counselling settings. These practica are concerned primarily with helping students to apply their theoretical understanding of counselling procedures to the counselling practice setting. Students will be allocated clients at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital Clinic and at other external locations approved by the Course Coordinator including schools and mental health centres.

Students will be allocated clients in accordance with their existing levels of counselling skills, their professional skills and their professional interests. A normal case load will be four clients per week. Students will be expected to see a mixture of child, adolescent and adult clients and to gather experience in working with groups and families as well as individuals.

A supervisor will be appointed and will meet regularly with the student for supervision. The supervisor will be appointed by the hospital and ECTA staff. Students will also meet in small group supervision sessions to discuss their clients. Students will present reports on cases for discussion by the group. In addition, each student will write a case summary after termination with each client.
For Masters, the 50 work days (350 hours) must include at least 100 hours of client contact. Students will be evaluated by the
supervisor(s) most directly associated with their work, together with the coordinator.
Learning Objectives
After successfully completing this unit, students should be able to:
* Demonstrate understanding and ability to undertake an psychological assessment, which includes: Identifying patient-concerns; diagnostic assessment; therapist-client therapeutic goals; possible therapeutic barriers to change
* Demonstrate ability to critically review client progress and undertake regular client assessment to identify client progress
* Demonstrate ability of independent learning and ability to learn from supervisors and group peer-supervision meetings
* Ability to present case studies (including identification of assessment and clear client-therapist goals, possible therapeutic barriers to change) in a concise and professional way to other peers

Teaching methods

The primary teaching method in this unit is direct supervision of the trainee's counselling activities by an experienced counsellor. Supervision will be conducted in both individual and group formats, and the supervision process will be informed by regular and frequent observation of the trainee's work with clients, as well as review of counselling documents written by the trainee.


A Pass/Fail unit.
* Supervisor’s final report on counselling competence(100%).

Generic skills outcomes

The graduate attributes associated with this unit of study are as follows:


 * are capable in their chosen professional areas.

 * operate effectively in work and community.

 * are adaptable and manage change.

 * are aware of environments.




Students are expected to see a range of clients including adults, adolescents and children. Specific content of treatment plans is determined according to presenting issue(s).

Reading materials

American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders - Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) (4th edition), Washington, DC, 2000.
Australian Psychological Society, Code of Ethics, 2007.
Australian Psychological Society, Ethical Guidelines, (9th edition).
Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, P., Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions, (7th edition), Books/Cole Publishing Company, Pacific Grove, Calif., 2007.
Koocher, G. P. & Keith-Spiegel, P. (eds.), Ethics in Psychology, Oxford University Press, New York, 1998.
O’Donohue, W. & Ferguson, K. (eds.), Handbook of Professional Ethics for Psychologists, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, 2003.
Psychology Discipline, Trainee Handbook, Swinburne University of Technology, 2004.
Remley, T. & Herlihy, B. Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Counselling, Upper Saddle River, NJ:Merill/Prentice Hall, 2005.
Tallent, N., Psychological Report Writing, (4th edition), Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1993.
Wrightsman, L. S., Forensic Psychology (2nd edition), Wadsworth, California, USA, 2005.