Course Title: Facilitate the counselling relationship and process

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: OHTH5923C

Course Title: Facilitate the counselling relationship and process

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5346 - Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Course Contact: Chris Walters

Course Contact Phone: 9925 8268

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 120

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

Relevant industry experience or completion of relevant qualification.

Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge to support clients to identify and work though concerns, and to manage the overall counselling process to its conclusion. The unit applies to individuals whose job role involves working with clients on personal and psychological issues within established policies, procedures and guidelines.

Workers at this level work under supervision within established guidelines but take on a team leadership role in the coordination of services and service providers. 

This unit applies to work in a range of health and community services contexts.

This unit is delivered and assessed as a cluster with:

CHCCSL001 – Establish and confirm the counselling relationship

CHCCOM006 – Establish and manage client relationships

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCCSL003 Facilitate the counselling relationship and process


1. Support clients to identify concerns

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Follow the client’s story and stay with their perspective to assist the client to feel comfortable and express their concerns freely

1.2 Explore the client’s presenting issues and establish their nature and depth, giving attention to the possibility of underlying issues

1.3 Identify and promptly deal with situations requiring immediate action

1.4 Support clients to identify their primary concerns in relation to the presenting issues and to prioritise concerns on which to work

1.5 Recognise indicators of client issues requiring referral and report or refer appropriately in line with organisation requirements


2. Support clients to work through concerns

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify and work with uncertainty and ambivalence of clients

2.2 Support clients to experience and process difficulties

2.3 Draw attention to, and discuss parallels and links in client’s experience as appropriate

2.4 Identify and implement interventions that have meaning for the client’s immediate situation and that are most likely to facilitate client understanding and actions

2.5 Support client to identify and use known and previously unknown strengths

2.6 Explore perceptions of client’s feelings by reflecting back, clarification and review

2.7 Assist clients to become aware of underlying issues where appropriate and begin to identify ways of dealing with them

2.8 Acknowledge and work with changes in client’s life as appropriate


3. Monitor the counselling process

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Monitor and review the counselling process with clients to ensure it remains of value

3.2 Proactively identify and work on threats and disruptions to the counselling process with clients

3.3 Review and compare own and client’s perceptions of the process and provide suggestions and advice in response

3.4 Address any tension between client’s hopes and expectations and the reality of resource limitations

3.5 Facilitate change at a pace the client can tolerate and assimilate

3.6 Recognise and assess the appropriateness of ending the current counselling

3.7 Acknowledge, value and work with individual uncertainty in the counselling relationship

3.8 Apply ethical codes of conduct in addressing counselling dilemmas


4. Bring the counselling process to an end

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Enable client to identify when the process is approaching its conclusion

4.2 Enable client to identify, acknowledge and evaluate what is and is not changing, both in the counselling process and in their situation and understanding

4.3 Use the ending process to enable client to understand the nature and impact of earlier issues

4.4 Use boundaries of the counselling relationship to assist the ending process

4.5 Plan, structure and contract endings appropriately with client

4.6 Support client’s sense of autonomy during the ending process

4.7 Inform clients about any opportunities for further support

4.8 Identify unresolved issues and discuss further work if appropriate

4.9 Complete documentation and reporting according to 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

In class: Class lectures and exercises, group discussion and practical demonstrations

Teaching Schedule



 Developing the therapeutic relationship

  • information required before seeing client
  • legal and ethical considerations for initial stages of counselling and how to apply these – codes of conduct/duty of care/mandatory reporting/privacy-confidentiality-disclosure/work role boundaries/practitioner-client boundaries/discrimination/human rights
  • using the initial session to gather client information as a foundation for counselling process
  • communication techniques to support the initial session’s objectives
  • Client needs and expectations

Discuss ‘Person-centred practice’

Establishing the nature of the counselling relationship

  • Context: AOD counselling – discuss: how does AOD counselling sit within a therapeutic treatment plan?

To consider:

  • Explaining clearly the counselling process
  • How this fits with client’s expectations, needs and immediate concerns – clarify, confirm or modify client’s expectations where needed
  • Addressing anxieties re counselling process
  • Identify when client’s issues are beyond scope of own role and report/refer where necessary
  • Confidentiality considerations


Discuss case management processes and models and how they apply to the AOD sector

Discuss Peer Review processes and undertake review of case study

Discuss New ITP/ISP tools and complete treatment plan and commence referral process for fictitious client


Therapeutic interventions

  • identifying evidence based counselling models
  • When and how use them
  • non-verbal communication including body language
  • Recognized counselling models depending on client's drug of choice

Legal and Industry requirements for case note keeping

The sequence of a counselling session

Identifying when specialised counselling interview skills are appropriate for inclusion, and when they can impact positively to enhance client development and growth

How to identify and respond appropriately to strong client emotional reactions

How to reflect on and evaluate how you have communicated with the client: (why do this? how to do this?)

Identify when/how/what skills need developing

Assessment Task


Youth Mental Health First Aid - Specialist Certificate

In this session we will discuss the following:

  • Mental health services
  • Mental health conditions
  • Responding to clients presenting with mental health issues
  • Effective communication including appropriate language
  • Mental health screening and assessment tools
  • Dual diagnosis

Youth Mental Health First Aid - Specialist Certificate

In this session we will discuss the following:

  • Risk assessments
  • Critical incidents
  • Identifying and responding to self-harm
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Specialist services

Assessment Task






Working effectively with complex clients including:



Pregnant women

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Dual diagnosis clients, and

CALD clients


Case study activities

Role Plays



Referral processes related to fictitious client

Peer review exercises

Group work related to effective and evidence based interventions with clients presenting for counselling

Discussions around the "Continuous care" model and shared care

 7Case study assessment – in-class activity (group work)

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through:

  • Practical demonstration of skills
  • Case study scenarios
  • Written assignments/questions

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Conducted in Week 2:Case management and Peer review

Assessment Task 2: Conducted in Week 4: Written research

Assessment Task 3: Conducted in Week 7: Case Study Part 3

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrix's are available through the Program Coordinator

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:

 Police Checks

Students must obtain their own police check by the due date and pay the associated costs. Students who do not obtain a required police clearance by the due date shall not be able to undertake a practical placement or work experience activity that requires a Police Check.

The University shall not be obligated to organise a placement for a student who does not wish to obtain a Police Check.

Where required by the workplace, students shall provide a copy of their police check on request.

If a student is rejected by a workplace on the basis of a Police Check, the following actions shall occur, as appropriate:

-               advise the student of the outcome; and

-               discuss placement options with the student; and/or

-               provide program and career counselling.


RMIT will not store Police Checks on student files.

Early Termination of Placement

Under section 6 of the WIL Procedure, a placement may be ended early by the host organisation or School due to the student’s conduct and/or performance during the placement.

Possible reasons for such decisions may include, but are not limited to-

  • failure to follow processes required for safety
  • breach of client or patient confidentiality
  • failure to comply with the instructions of supervisors
  • or other unprofessional behaviour

Where a placement ends early, a meeting will be convened to discuss the sequence of events that led to the termination. This meeting will precede any consideration of a student’s progress by the Progress Panel (if applicable) or Program Assessment Board.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview