Course Title: Establish and confirm the counselling relationship

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2018

Course Code: OHTH5924C

Course Title: Establish and confirm the counselling relationship

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: 9925 9079

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 100

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 a structured approach to counselling to determine, establish and confirm the nature of the counsellor client relationship according to the agency’s counselling model.

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 and assessed in a cluster with:

CHCCSL002: Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills 

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCCSL001 Establish and confirm the counselling relationship


1. Use a structured approach to counselling

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Analyse existing client information prior to commencement of counselling session

1.2 Use initial session to gather additional client information as a foundation for counselling process

1.3 Select and use communication techniques that support the initial counselling session objectives

1.4 Follow a structured approach to counselling based on client needs and expectations


2. Establish the nature of the helping relationship

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Provide information that assists clients to understand the nature of the counselling service on offer

2.2 Clarify, confirm or modify client expectations of the counselling service

2.3 Identify client anxieties about the counselling process and explore with clients

2.4 Acknowledge and show respect for client’s immediate concerns

2.5 Clarify both expectations and commitment to the counselling relationship and confirm with clients

2.6 Identify indicators of client issues beyond scope of own role and report or refer according to presenting issue and organisation requirements


3. Confirm the helping relationship

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Explore options and approaches for the relationship with clients according to individual need

3.2 Agree priorities and develop a plan for counselling in collaboration with the client

3.3 Make documented agreement with the client that addresses disclosure and organisation requirements

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



Counselling and presenting issues

  • Counselling principles and the helping relationship
  • Scope and nature of the counselling relationship
  • Mandatory reporting, privacy, confidentiality and disclosure
  • Presenting issues, their impacts and counselling practice


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


Counselling planning

  • Techniques for creating a counselling plan
  • Making observations
  • Determining client’s own identified priorities


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


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


Conducting counselling interviews

  • Implementing the interview process
  • Monitoring progress against plan
  • Maintaining case notes


Demonstrating counselling interview skills

  • Counselling interviews assessment role plays


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

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment


This unit is assessed in a cluster with CHCCSL002: Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills.

There are four 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 to test your knowledge of and apply the key issues and concepts related to counselling relationships and interviews.

Assessment Matrix

Students will have access to a marking rubric for reference at the time that assessment tasks are distributed.

Other Information

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

Course Overview: Access Course Overview