Course Outline

COU701 Advanced Counselling Skills 1: Interpersonal Processes

Course Coordinator:Michele Crosbie ( School:School of Law and Society

2023Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

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

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

What is this course about?


This advanced course revisits the core micro skills essential for professional counselling and builds on these developing your capacity to effectively engage with clients in therapy, with cultural intentionality, and a focus on resilience and self-actualization. Attending behaviour, empathy and observation skills will be developed at an advanced level as you engage with the techniques and theories of Cognitive Behaviour - and Person-Centred approaches. You will conduct practical competency demonstrations of your counselling skill.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus workshop - 3 hours 3hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  • Person-Centred Theory and World View
  • The Person-Centred Therapeutic Alliance
  • Counselling Theory and Skills
  • Organising a counselling session (PCT)
  • Culture and diversity in counselling
  • Working with Emotions
  • Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Socratic Methods
  • CBT Stages and Applications
  • Assessessment and Case Formulation;
  • Integrative Counselling


What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

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 advanced development and capabilities in the skills of engaging with a client. Empowered
2 Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the implications of pluralistic practices of a professional counsellor in practice. Ethical
3 Develop and apply deep knowledge of theoretical techniques and skills that underpin cognitive behaviour approaches and person-centred approaches to counselling. Knowledgeable
4 Articulate and unpack the connection between the knowledge and the processes of counselling and the counselling relationship. Knowledgeable
5 Make sophisticated linkages between the counselling discipline and the sociocultural context and multicultural context in which clients live. Engaged
6 Demonstrate academic scholarship Ethical

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

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


Enrolled in Program AR708.


Not applicable


Not applicable

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

Timely and detailed feedback is provided for each assessment. Feedback is provided both within text and in general comments to build scholarly skills. Early feedback is made available via a formative quiz assessment in Week Four. Students are able to seek feedback through face-to-face discussion with the course coordinator. Workshops will include extended discussion and review of the assessment task requirements and scope.

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 Quiz/zes Individual 0%
Ten (10) questions
Week 4 Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Oral Individual 30%
20-30 Minutes
Week 8 Online Submission
All 3 Essay Individual 30%
1500 Word reflective critique
Week 9 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 4 Essay Individual 40%
2500 Words
Week 12 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Counselling skills quiz
This quiz aims to consolidate the foundational skills of counselling as well as review the inherent principles of a Person-Centred approach in counselling.
Product: Quiz/zes
Self-marking quiz
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate knowledge and application of foundational counselling skills in a person-centred approach.
All - Assessment Task 2:Counselling Skills Video Recording
To demonstrate your capacity to translate theory and skills knowledge to practice, in the facilitation of a session of PCT-informed counselling.
Product: Oral
You are required to complete a 20 - 30 minute video recording showing advanced practice and understanding of the skills and techniques required. A Person-Centred approach will be used. The video is to be recorded on B-Line. You will then write a 1500 word critique (Task 4) reflecting on your skills, based on reflective worksheets provided in class.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstration of advanced knowledge and understanding for conducting a short counselling session.
1 2 3 5
Competence with approaches used, including assessing your use of micro-skills.
2 3 5
Understanding of the linkages between counselling and sociocultural contexts where relevant.
1 2 5
All - Assessment Task 3:Critical Reflection: Recorded Counselling Skills Session
This task is designed to develop your critical reflective practice on your professional counselling skills through a written reflective critique of your session.
Product: Essay
Complete a written reflective critique of your session.
Use the Counselling Competencies Reflection Worksheet, and taking into account client feedback on the Client Feedback Sheet completed by your student client.

Within the critique, reflecting on your role as a counsellor, describe:
1.	The strategies and skills you used effectively, explaining the effect of those skills on the client-counsellor relationship;
2.	Make use of the reflection questions that will be provided to you by the Course Coordinator. 
3.	The strategies and skills used that you would like to improve. Note how these skills impacted the relationship, and, provide specific details as to: 
a) how these would need to be modified; 
b) how this might then create a better therapeutic outcome;
4.	Comment on alternative strategies and skills where appropriate. Mention if the relationship would have benefited from any other strategies or skills not demonstrated – name these and describe why they would have been beneficial;
5.	Make note if considerations of diversity or other therapeutic issues have impacted on your interactions in the session (e.g., culture, gender, age, power, or ethics).
6.	Your responses to the Client Feedback Sheet.
7.	Your responses to the Counselling Competencies Reflection Worksheet.
8.	The Consent Form must be completed and signed by you and your “client”, and included with your submitted assignment.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstration of advanced knowledge and understanding for conducting a short counselling session.
1 2 3 4 5
Competence with approaches used, including assessing your use of micro-skills.
1 2 3 4 5
Evidence of self-assessment of your use of PCT skills.
2 3 4
Understanding of the linkages between counselling and sociocultural contexts where relevant.
Demonstrate capacity to reflect on the interpersonal and intrapersonal process in therapy and links with collaboration in the therapeutic relationship.
3 4 5 6
All - Assessment Task 4:Academic essay comparing research on PCT and CBT
To develop a critical comparative review of literature describing the therapeutic efficacy of PCT and CBT.
Product: Essay
You are invited to thoughtfully collect and review recent research literature (less than 10 years old), that describes the effectiveness, and applications  of, PCT and CBT.  It is anticipated that you will draw from the findings of your review to identify pertinent implications for counsellor practice.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Evidence of wide reading (minimum of 20 citations).
3 4 5 6
Logical arguments for application in practice based on the literature.
1 3 4 5 6
Succinct introduction and conclusion.
Clear and coherent academic writing.
Accurate use of APA6 style in essay format and referencing.

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. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

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

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements


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.


UniSC 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

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

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

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 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 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

For more information, visit

Student Charter

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