Counselling Skills

Subject GENE90003 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 22-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 04-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 33
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Ms Margaret Sahhar


Administrative Contact:

Vicki Hirt

Subject Overview:

This is primarily an experiential subject with a focus on the acquisition of skills. Psychoanalytic theory, systems theory, family theory and cognitive behavioural theory will be woven in when and as they relate to counselling practice. There will be ample opportunity to practise counselling through structured role plays within the tutorials and video role plays at separate times and to experience what it is like for the client in a variety of contexts and situations. Students will be encouraged to bring their own examples to work with within the tutorials.

Learning Outcomes:

On completing this subject students should be able to:

  • Develop the ability to use basic counselling skills and to feel confident in doing so;
  • Develop an understanding of relevant theories including psychoanalytic theory, systems theory, family theory and congnitive behavioural theory;
  • Experience through practise of case examples, what it is like to be a genetic counsellor and what it is like to be a client, in a variety of contexts;
  • Develop self awareness of strengths and weaknesses in an interview; and
  • Develop an understanding of developmental psychology and psychopathology.
  • Class presentation, 15 minutes, during subject (20%)
  • Assignment, 3,500 words, end of semester (80%)
Prescribed Texts:
  • Veach Patricia Mc Carthy, LeRoy Bonnie S, Bartels Dianne M (2003) Facilitating the Genetic Counseling Process. Springer NY
  • Weil Jon (2000) Psychosocial Genetic Counseling. OUP Oxford
  • Evans, Christine (2006) Genetic Counselling. A Psychological Approach, N.Y. Cambridge Uni. Press
  • Harms, Louise (2007) Working with People. Oxford OUP
  • Harms, Louise (2005) Understanding Human Development. Oxford OUP
  • McKay, Hugh (1994) Why Don’t People Listen? Sydney: Pan MacMillan
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

This subject is designed to enable students to:

  • Understand, critically evaluate and apply various theories of communications and counselling;
  • Articulate and critically examine their own understanding of the application of theory to genetic counselling practice;
  • Identify and critically reflect on the factors which impact on the delivery of genetic counselling;
  • Critically examine their own responses to issues with the genetic counselling interview and to develop an awareness of the self within the process; and
  • Through participation in structed role plays to further develop a critical self awareness through feedback and critical analysis.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Genetic Counselling
Master of Genetic Counselling

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