Course Title: Establish and confirm the counselling relationship

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2018

Course Code: OHTH5924C

Course Title: Establish and confirm the counselling relationship

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: 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

Relevant industry experience or completion of relevant qualification.

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.

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:

  • CHCCSL003 - Facilitate the counselling relationship and process
  • CHCCOM006 - Establish and manage client relationships

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

In class: Lectures, discussion and group work

Out of class: Readings, research activities and site visits

Teaching Schedule





Developing the therapeutic relationship

Information required before seeing client and legal and ethical considerations

Gathering client information as a foundation for counselling process

Applying communication techniques to support the initial session’s objectives

Establishing client needs and expectations, and the nature of the counselling relationship


Therapeutic interventions

Identifying and applying evidence based counselling models

Legal and industry requirements for case note keeping

Applying specialised counselling interview skills

Identifying and responding appropriately to strong client emotional reactions

Reflecting on and evaluating practice

Semester 2

Youth Mental Health First Aid - Specialist Certificate


Mental health services and conditions

Responding to clients presenting with mental health issues

Effective communication including appropriate language

Mental health screening and assessment tools

Dual diagnosis

Semester 2

Youth Mental Health First Aid - Specialist Certificate


Conducting risk assessments

Dealing with critical incidents

Identifying and responding to self-harm and suicidal ideation

Referring to specialist services

Semester 2

Working effectively with complex clients

Working young people

Working with the elderly

Working with pregnant women

Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Working with dual diagnosis clients

Working with client from different cultural background and with other languages

Semester 2

Referring clients

Peer review exercises

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

'Continuing care' model and shared care

Semester 2

 Assessment workshop

Case study counselling and referrals

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 DVDs, 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 is available from the site library resources and services.

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. 

Overview of Assessment

  • Practical demonstrations of skills and knowledge based on case studies
  • Quiz and/or knowledge questions

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Conduct case study client counselling sessions to establish and confirm relationships 

Assessment Task 2: Conduct case study client counselling sessions to facilitate relationships

Assessment Task 3: Complete quiz relating to key counselling relationship concepts and practices

Assessment Matrix

Students may obtain an assessment matrix from the Program Coordinator.

Other Information

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


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. see Special consideration.

Academic Integrity, Plagiarism and Collusion

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.

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 refer to Academic integrity and Student responsibilities.

The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing.

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. Visit Student complaints.

Police Checks

Students must obtain their own police check by the due date and pay the associated costs.

RMIT will not store Police Checks on student files.



Course Overview: Access Course Overview