Course Title: Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: HWSS6120C

Course Title: Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5345 - Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)

Course Contact: Bronwyn Tanti

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 9079

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to use advanced and specialised communication skills in the client-counsellor relationship.


This unit applies to individuals whose job role involves working with clients on personal and psychological issues within established policies, procedures and guidelines.

This unit is delivered in a cluster with:

CHCCSL001: Establish and confirm the counselling relationship.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCCSL002 Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills


1. Communicate effectively

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify communication barriers and use strategies to overcome these barriers in the client-counsellor relationship

1.2 Facilitate the client-counsellor relationship through selection and use of micro skills

1.3 Integrate the principles of effective communication into work practices

1.4 Observe and respond to non-verbal communication cues

1.5 Consider and respond to the impacts of different communication techniques on the client-counsellor relationship in the context of individual clients

1.6 Integrate case note taking with minimum distraction


2. Use specialised counselling interviewing skills

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Select and use communication skills according to the sequence of a counselling interview

2.2 Identify points at which specialised counselling interviewing skills are appropriate for inclusion

2.3 Use specialised counselling communication techniques based on their impacts and potential to enhance client development and growth

2.4 Identify and respond appropriately to strong client emotional reactions


3. Evaluate own communication

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Reflect on and evaluate own communication with clients

3.2 Recognise the effect of own values and beliefs on communication with clients

3.3 Identify and respond to the need for development of own skills and knowledge

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

Classes where information is shared through talks and group discussions, and exercises are conducted to apply learning. Time in class is spent working on applied assessment tasks.

Teaching Schedule

Week 1: Introduction to counselling
• Counselling principles and the helping relationship
• Scope and nature of the counselling relationship
• Mandatory reporting, privacy, confidentiality and disclosure

Week 2: Presenting issues, their impacts and counselling practice
• Alcohol and other drugs
• Domestic and family violence
• Financial difficulty
• Homelessness
• Mental illness
• Problem gambling

Week 3: Counselling communication techniques and micro skills
• Effective use of body language and reflecting feelings
• Questioning or probing
• Paraphrasing, summarising and reframing
• Challenging, focusing and responding to strong emotional reactions

Week 4: Counselling planning 
• Techniques for creating a counselling plan
• Making observations
• Determining client’s own identified priorities

Week 5: Establishing and confirming the relationship
• Clarifying expectations and responding to anxiety about the process
• Exploring options and approaches for the relationship
• Agreeing on priorities and setting goals

Week 6: Developing and documenting the counselling plan
• Identifying actions to achieve goals
• Making agreements with the client to addresses disclosure and organisation requirements
• Developing evaluation strategies

Week 7: Conducting counselling interviews 
• Implementing the interview process
• Monitoring progress against plan
• Maintaining case notes

Week 8: Demonstrating counselling interview skills 
• Counselling interviews assessment role plays

Week 9: Reflecting and evaluating practice
• Reflecting on own communication skills and relationships with clients
• Implementing strategies to evaluate and improve skills 
• Managing bias and the impact of own values

Week 10: Assessment workshop, review and reflection
• Finalising assessment
• Course review
• Reflection on learning and participation in counselling sessions

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Learning Resources The University Library provides extensive services, facilities and study space as well as comprehensive collections of books, periodicals and other course related materials, such as DVD’s, magazines, slides, films etc. Computer laboratories with access to a wide range of desktop publishing software are also available. The library also has an expanding virtual collection of electronic resources and networks, including product data, e-books, electronic journals and newspapers, web based tutorials, online reference and document delivery services etc., all of which are accessible on campus, and off campus 24 hours per day. More information on library resources and services can be found at:

If you need additional support, visit RMIT’s Learning Lab, either in person or online:

Equitable Learning Services (ELS) provides support and equal opportunities for students with a disability, long-term illness and/or mental health condition and primary carers of individuals with a disability.The link is :

Overview of Assessment

This unit is assessed in a cluster with CHCCSL001: Establish and confirm the counselling relationship.

There are three individual assessment tasks consisting of role plays, and a quiz.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment task 1: Establish the client counselling relationships, based on scenarios, and prepare counselling plans.

Assessment task 2: Conduct counselling interviews with clients, based on scenarios.

Assessment task 3: Reflect on and evaluate own counselling communication skills.

Assessment task 4: Complete an online quiz in Blackboard to test your knowledge of and apply to short scenarios the key issues and concepts related to counselling relationships and interviews.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrix’s are available through program administration.

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of implications of plagiarism.

It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Applying for an Extension

Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. Speak with your teacher or course coordinator regarding applying for an extension.

Applying for Special Consideration

If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.

If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:

The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion

Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
  • Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  • Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  • Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  • Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  • Copying a whole or any part of another student's work; and
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
  • Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.

For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 (unresolved) – and the RMIT Student Conduct Regulations –;ID=r7a7an6qug93

Plagiarism Software

The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Complaints Procedure:

RMIT University is committed to providing a harmonious study and work environment for all students and staff. The University recognises your right to raise concerns about academic, administrative or support services without recrimination and has policies and procedures to assist in the resolution of complaints.

Most issues are resolved at the local level and you are encouraged to take steps to resolve your issue locally. The student complaint procedure details steps to take if your problem is not resolved or you believe the response you received is unreasonable.

Student Complaints Policy:

Student complaints Procedure:;ID=i1lexipvjt22

Student Complaints Form:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview