Course Outline

COU705 Professional Development 2: Grief, Loss and Trauma

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

2023Semester 2

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 is an experiential course that continues to build on the knowledge and skills you learnt in the first semester, and is designed to be flexible and responsive to urgent issues that may arise during your Internship. Creativity and initiative for moving into new situations in your counselling practice will be encouraged and developed. This course introduces the techniques of Grief Therapy; the psychological recovery from trauma, and the place of transpersonal or spiritual orientations within the profession of counselling.

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

  • Theories of Grief
  • The Mourning Process
  • Grief Counselling
  • Traumatic Loss
  • Treatments for Trauma
  • Spirituality and Transpersonal 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 Acquire a body of knowledge and skills that will extend your understanding of the counselling profession and in particular the recent developments in counselling practice both nationally and internationally. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2 Have the technical knowledge and skills to discern and evaluate your counselling practice with clients recovering from loss and trauma. Creative and critical thinker
3 Respond sensitively to clients experiencing existential or spiritual challenges. Creative and critical thinker
4 Demonstrate an understanding of the in-session application of concepts, theories and interventions of grief counselling and grief therapy Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
5 Create and sustain an ethical therapeutic relationship with persons through a bereavement and mourning process and assist them to make meaning of their experience linking individual wellness to community wellbeing. Creative and critical thinker

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”.


COU702 and 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

Reflection and review of all content is encouraged in weekly workshops, and feedback will be given in class.

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 Activity Participation Group 0%
20 minutes
Week 4 In Class
All 2 Essay Individual 30%
2000 words
Week 6 Online Submission
All 3 Oral Individual 40%
20 minutes of a full 50 minute session.
Week 9 Online Submission
All 4 Essay Individual 30%
2000 words
Week 12 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Applying grief and loss models to a fictional film character
This formative assessment will be part of Week 4 workshop for COU705. In groups of three, you will analyse the needs of a fictitious film character who has undergone a major loss, and apply your knowledge of working with loss and bereavement, design and outline a plan for counselling the person. The plan needs to demonstrate awareness of how counselling could support the clients issues.  As a team you will also indicate activities that might be useful and supportive for at least the first three sessions with this client.
Product: Activity Participation
In class presentation.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
In class formative assessment applying grief and loss models to a client.
1 4 5
All - Assessment Task 2:Reflective Essay - Spirituality in Counselling
To create an essay that reflects on aspects of your personal and professional development in terms of therapeutic areas where spirituality or transpersonal sensitivity would be appropriate and supportive within the discipline of counselling.
Product: Essay
This essay is an overall personal reflection on your professional development through the Masters course as well as during Internship. You will highlight skills, knowledge and experiences in this course and in your counselling practice where spirituality or transpersonal sensitivity were appropriate, relevant or required. In the essay you should note what might be your 'growing edge' ie any areas you feel may need further development in your future professional and personal attitudes and practices in order to enhance your counselling practice.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​Evidence of commitment to on-going personal and professional development
1 3 5
depth of reflection and insights gained
3 4 5
clear outline of spiritual/transpersonal issues that can arise within counselling
1 3
identification of client groups or conditions where transpersonal sensitivity is required
3 4
All - Assessment Task 3:Grief and Loss Role Play
To apply the techniques of Grief Therapy to a client in a role play.
Product: Oral
Record a live role play with a student client, giving the client a full 50 minute session and presenting the 20 minutes of the session that demonstrates some or all of your intervention by using timestamp to indicate where your chosen 20 minutes starts.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Provide a succinct summary of Grief Therapy (300 words)
1 4
Provide evidence of sequential session planning to accommodate individual client needs
1 2 4 5
Justify the progression of therapeutic activities over six sessions
1 5
Assessment criteria are mapped to the course learning outcomes.
1 2 3
All - Assessment Task 4:Essay reflecting on your role play
To reflect on your ability to apply theory to practice in your role play, highlighting models and theories used, and critiquing your skills and abilities in the role play session.
Product: Essay
Formal written essay demonstrating the ability to apply theory to practice.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Clarity of rational for analysis of the chosen character – evidence of trauma 
and/or loss
2 4 5
Clear treatment plan – over at least three sessions
1 2 3 4 5
Details of goals and activities for each session
2 3 4
A clear one-page summary to hand out to the class

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.


Period and Topic Activities
Week 1
Introduction to Grief, Loss, & Trauma
Week 2
Theories of Grief I
Week 3
Theories of Grief II
Week 4
The Mourning Process
Week 5
Grief Counselling
Week 6
Grief Therapy
Week 7
Children and grief
Week 8
Traumatic Loss
Week 9
Treatments for Trauma
Week 10
Responding to crises in a community
Week 11
Spirituality and Transpersonal Counselling
Week 12
Grief Counsellor Self-Care

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 Judith Murray 2015 Understanding Loss n/a Routledge
Recommended Robert A. Neimeyer 2016 Techniques of Grief Therapy n/a Routledge

Specific requirements

Not applicable

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.


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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

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General Enquiries

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