Course Outline

COU180 Therapeutic Communication Skills

Course Coordinator:Andrea Snow (asnow@usc.edu.au) School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

USC Moreton Bay

USC Fraser Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Online

Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?

Description

This course introduces you to the skills and process of communication skills within a therapeutic setting. It concentrates on the theory and practice of developing a therapeutic relationship from a humanistic perspective using micro-skills. It considers issues impacting on engagement, such as diversity, and online delivery. Framed in counselling, the skills taught relate to relationship building and communication in many interpersonal contexts within a therapeutic setting, specifically aimed at health care workers.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online learning activities embedded in the student learning management system. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus, experiential tutorials aimed at practicing the knowledge and skills presented within the online learning materials. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Online zoom seminars aimed at providing information around academic skills and information on assessments. 2hrs Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) 3 times
Online
Learning materials – Online learning activities embedded in the student learning management system. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Online, interactive zoom tutorials aimed at practicing the knowledge and skills presented within the online learning materials. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Online zoom seminars aimed at providing information around academic skills and information on assessments. 2hrs Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) 3 times

Course Topics

  • The Therapeutic Relationship
  • Joining & Listening
  • Reflection of Content & Feeling
  • Use of Questions
  • Summarising and Ending
  • Ethics and Diversity
  • Professional Considerations (including Self Care)
  • Online Therapeutic Communication Skills 
  • Promoting Change
  • APA7 formatting/Research for academic writing 

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate skill and growth in self-reflection and self-awareness. Creative and critical thinker
2 Identify and critically analyse therapeutic communication skills and ethical practice within a counselling context. Knowledgeable
Ethical
3 Demonstrate developing academic writing skills, including the application of APA7 conventions. Knowledgeable
4 Identify ethical practices and standards within various therapeutic environments. Knowledgeable
Ethical
5 Comprehend and apply academic scholarship. Knowledgeable

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.

Pre-requisites

Not applicable

Co-requisites

Not applicable

Anti-requisites

SCS180

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Formative (non-graded) online quiz on APA formatting and researching for academic writing will be made available to provide feedback on your understanding of these two important aspects of academic learning. Further resources and support will be accessible where desired/required. 

Timely and detailed feedback is provided for each assessment. Feedback is provided both within text and general comments to build scholarly skills. Students are able to seek feedback through face-to-face discussion with the course coordinator. Tutorials will include extended discussion and review of the assessment task requirements and scope and 'drop-in' zoom information sessions will be made available closer to the assessment due dates.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Plan Individual 30%
850 words
Week 7 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Essay Individual 40%
2000 words
Week 12 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 30%
60 questions
Exam Period Online Test (Quiz)
All - Assessment Task 1:Essay plan
Goal:
The goal of this assessment task is to create an essay plan, which is an outline of what will be discussed in your essay (Assessment Task 2), including relevant and appropriate suggestions for supporting academic references. Feedback will be provided to assist you in completing Task 2.
Product: Plan
Format:
850-word outline plus reference list (reference list not included in word count). The video demonstration of a counselling session,  (which is to be critiqued in your Assessment Task 2), will be available on Canvas for preview. The feedback you receive on your essay plan will help you further plan for the critical analysis essay (Assessment Task 2) and facilitate feedback on the application of APA formatting and researching skills demonstrated.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Demonstration of knowledge: Addressing the nature and scope of the critique
3 5
2
Demonstration of academic research skills: Evidence of sound research and accurate and appropriate references of sources
3 5
3
Demonstration of academic writing skills: Clarity of expression and correct use of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
5
All - Assessment Task 2:Critical Analysis Essay
Goal:
The purpose of this task is to analyse and critique a pre-recorded demonstration of micro-skills as shown within a therapeutic session. Ethical and diversity considerations also need to be examined, including evidence of reflection regarding the therapeutic relationship.
Product: Essay
Format:
2000 word written critique of the micro-skills demonstration, linking observations of the skills, and their outcomes, to the principles of person centred counselling. Formal essay style required including a title page, introduction and conclusion. Appropriate attribution to academic reference sources remains essential to avoid plagiarism. Accurate application of APA formatting to the submitted paper and the use of appropriate academic sources to support your arguments.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Demonstration of skills and growth in self-reflection and self-awareness.
1
2
Knowledge and awareness of ethical practices and diversity considerations within the therapeutic relationship.
2 4
3
Accuracy of grammar, punctuation, spelling, referencing and word limit. Accuracy of application of APA7 formatting and appropriate academic reference sources.
3 5
All - Assessment Task 3:Online Test
Goal:
You will demonstrate understanding of basic counselling theoretical frameworks and related skills, as presented during weeks 1 to 13
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
Format:
Online test - 60 questions
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Accuracy and correctness of responses.
2 4 5
2
Assessment criteria are mapped to the course learning outcomes.
1 4

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

Schedule

Period and Topic Activities
Week 1
Introduction
Week 2
The Therapeutic Relationship
Week 3
APA7 formatting/Research for academic writing
Week 4
Joining & Listening
Week 5
Reflection of Content
Week 6
Reflection of Feeling
Week 7
Use of Questions
Week 8
Summarising and Ending
Week 9
Ethics
Week 10
Diversity
Week 11
Professional Issues & Self Care
Week 12
Online Therapeutic Communication Skills
Week 13
Promoting Change

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required David Geldard,Kathryn Geldard,Rebecca Yin Foo 2017 Basic Personal Counselling: A Training Manual for Counsellors 8th Cengage AU

Specific requirements

Nil

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.

SafeUSC

USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email safe@usc.edu.au.

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au.

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or studentcentral@usc.edu.au.

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email AccessAbility@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website: https://www.usc.edu.au/explore/policies-and-procedures#academic-learning-and-teaching

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • USC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • USC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • USC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890
  • Email:studentcentral@usc.edu.au