Course Title: Facilitate the counselling relationship and process

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2018

Course Code: OHTH5923C

Course Title: Facilitate the counselling relationship and process

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5360 - Diploma of Financial Counselling

Course Contact: Jo Wallwork

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 3983

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


Course Description

This course describes the skills and knowledge required to support clients to identify and work through their concerns, and to manage the overall counselling process to its conclusion.  The counselling skills developed within this course will be considered in a financial counselling context.

This course is clustered with three (3) other courses:

  • Establish and confirm the counselling relationship CHCCSL001
  • Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills CHCCSL002
  • Support counselling clients in decision-making processes CHCCSL007

These four courses are delivered and assessed together. 

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCCSL003 Facilitate the counselling relationship and process


E1. 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


E2. 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


E3. 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


E4. 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. By applying these skills and this knowledge, you will be able to use specialised communication skills within a counselling process.  With the other counselling courses, you will be able to use a structured approach to establish the counselling process; work with clients to clarify goals, options, and courses of action; and manage the counselling process to its conclusion.

Details of Learning Activities

In-class activities: 

  • teacher directed group activities/projects 
  • peer teaching 
  • group discussion 
  • class exercises to review discussions/lectures 
  • role play activities

Out-of-class activities: 

  • independent project based work 
  • online and other research 
  • independent study

Teaching Schedule


 Workshop 1

Structured approach and ‘Person-centred practice’

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 

The client's needs and expectations

Establishing the nature of the counselling relationship

  • Context: financial counselling – discuss: how does financial counselling sit within a counselling framework? This is an essential point to keep coming back to.

To consider:

  • Explaining clearly the (financial) 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

Working on a plan for counselling in collaboration with client

Making documented agreement with the client

Communication techniques

  • identifying communication barriers and developing strategies for overcoming these
  • Micro-skills – what these are and how to use them
  • non-verbal communication
  • impacts of different communication techniques on the client-counsellor relationship based on context of individual clients

How to take notes unobtrusively

The sequence of a counselling interview

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

Workshop 2

Micro-skills required for effective counselling (communication techniques)

Looking at:

  • Following the client’s story and staying with their perspective (so client can feel comfortable and express themselves/their concerns freely)
  • What the client’s presenting concerns are – exploring these to see if there are possibly underlying issues
  • How to identify and promptly deal with situations requiring immediate action – this is in a financial counselling context, but will need to focus on crisis situations, family violence, abuse, etc.
  • Recognising indicators of client issues that require referrals or reporting

Working with client barriers – these could be uncertainty/ambivalence/anxiety

How to support clients to experience and process difficulties

Paying attention to the particular story of the client in regard to parallels, links in client’s experience and meaningful interventions (related to client situation)

Strengths-based approach – what this is, how this can work in financial counselling context

Using techniques such as: reflecting back; clarification; review

Working with the client to look at underlying issues and collaboratively working on how to deal with them

Acknowledging and working with changes in client’s life as appropriate

Monitoring and reviewing counselling process with client to ensure relevance, including how counsellor and how client both perceive process and progress

How to address tension between client’s hopes/expectations and the reality of resource limitations

Facilitating change at a pace that the client can work with

How to bring the counselling process to a conclusion:

  • Identifying this point with the client
  • Looking at what can be changed, what can’t be, in client’s life/situation
  • Using boundaries of the counselling relationship to assist ending process
  • Support client’s autonomy during ending process
  • Work with the client to identify any opportunities for further support
  • How to deal with what seems unresolved

Workshop 3

 Assisting clients to clarify goals and requirements

  • identifying and exploring client’s aims, requirements and ideas
  • Assisting client’s with goals – how to identify these, including requirements for these
  • How client-strengths contribute to goal setting/modifications
  • Identifying when client’s aims/requirements can’t be met and what to do (includes referrals to alternative sources of guidance and support)

Review Communication techniques – micro-skills etc

Exploring options with clients – look at this in counselling context and financial counselling context

  • Working collaboratively with client in considering potential courses of action for meeting client’s goals
  • Looking at factors that can influence a course of action
  • What are consequences of possible courses of action? How to work with client to identify these, and how to ensure client understands these
  • Looking at possible courses of action – how to work with the client to look at possible advantages and disadvantages and how this matches client’s requirements – Use financial counselling context

Case study activities

Working with the client to decide on course of action, and how to consider alternatives where necessary.

Documenting decisions and agreeing ongoing support within organisational guidelines

Workshop 4

 In-class assessment activity: Role Play


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

This course is assessed in accordance with competency-based assessment.

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment tasks to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback from the teacher when you have completed the assessment tasks.

You should refer to the assessment plan which is available on Canvas for details of each assessment task and for detailed assessment criteria. The dates noted below are provisional and may be subject to change.

Assessment Task 1: Role play activity

Due date: In-class 15 March 2018

Assessment Task 2: Case studies and written questions

Due date: 8 April 2018

Assessment Task 3: Case studies and written questions

Due date: 17 June 2018

Assessment Task 4: Video submission counselling session 

Due date: 24 June 2018

Assessment Task 5: Knowledge questions

Due date: 8 October 2018

Assessment Task 6: Case studies and written questions

Due date: 21 October 2018

Assessment Task 7: Mock financial counselling session/role play 

Due date: In-class 31 Oct & 1 Nov 2018


Grades that apply to courses that are delivered and assessed in accordance with competency-based assessment are:

CA: Competency Achieved
NYC: Not Yet Competent
DNS: Did not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrices are available with the assessment tasks on Canvas.

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page 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 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:

Assessment Appeals

If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:

  1. a) You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
  2. b) You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
  3. c) You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:

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

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. See this link on the RMIT webpage for further information:

Working with Children Check – This course requires a Working with Children Check

Police Check – This course requires a satisfactory Police Check

Course Overview:  Access Course Overview

Course Overview: Access Course Overview