Course Title: Advanced Narrative Counselling

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Narrative Counselling

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


360H Education


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Judy Heard

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7513

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

It is an expectation of this course that you will have earlier studied and passed HWSS2195 Foundations of Narrative Counselling. In effect that means you are expected to be able to:

  • recognise ethical considerations in counselling and operate within an appropriate Code of Ethics;
  • define a counselling relationship and demonstrate understanding of constructs such as empathy, referral etc;
  • develop and demonstrate advanced communication skills, e.g., reflective listening, questioning;
  • describe various counselling theories and models; and
  • describe and apply the basic elements of a Narrative approach to counselling in career development.

While the above suggests a certain base understanding of counselling, generally, and working narratively, specifically, we recognise that students come to us with different levels of experience and skill development. The course and associated activities and assessment is sufficently pliable to accommodate reasonably advanced learners and those who are either relatively new to the field or whose experience does not include frequent counselling. We believe all can benefit from the learning involved in Advanced Narrative Counselling.

Course Description

HWSS2196 Advanced Narrative Counselling is a follow-up to unit HWSS2195 Foundations of Narative Counselling, a core component of the Graduate Certificate in Career Education and Development. HWSS2196 examines the knowledge and theory, resources and tools, relationships, and practice that underpin working professionally and ethically in a counselling role, with particular attention paid to working with groups, technology and clients with more complex issues and problems in career development. You will develop knowledge of advanced counselling processes and skills through the exploration and application of RMIT’s counselling model, based on Narrative counselling theory, principles and practice. Work with a client and collegial interaction and support consolidates your learning and enables you to develop the higher level counselling skills fundamental in facilitating client resolution of problems that otherwise preclude or hinder successful career development.

This course includes a work integrated learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successfully completing this course you will be able to:

  • understand and practise Narrative theory, principles and processes, particularly with regard to re-storying;
  • develop and apply Narrative and Constructivist techniques such as journal writing, lifespace mapping, letters, ritual & celebration and outside witness practices;
  • develop and use a Narrative approach to working with groups;
  • hypothesise, discuss and describe the legal and ethical issues involved in counselling, including counselling online;
  • evaluate and critique the application of technology in careers counselling; and
  • demonstrate skills in the use of technology for counselling in an online environment.

See capability development objective.

Overview of Learning Activities

Course materials and self paced learning experiences are designed to help you develop a theoretically driven counselling practice through engagement with theory, application and reflective practice.

Your work as a counsellor is viewed as a product of Knowledge, Resources, Relationships and Practice; accordingly learning activities are framed within these four elements:

  • Knowledge – readings of Michael White, Alice Morgan and others designed to enrich your understanding of the theoretical frameworks underpinning a Narrative approach to counselling in face to face and online environments.
  • Resources – activities designed to develop advanced counselling techniques for use with individuals, groups and online. You will be introduced to Narrative techniques such as letter writing and witness practices
  • Relationships –activities with counsellors and practice clients designed to foster the creation of effective counsellor-client relationships, take a Narrative view of this relationship and understand the importance of working within an ethical framework
  • Practice- activities such as reporting on your online counselling require you to evaluate and reflect on your development of counselling processes and experiences working with individuals, groups and online

This course is primarily skill-based, however, it also emphasises the importance of philosophy and attitudes and preconditions that provide an appropriate basis for working narratively. Your counselling work with a client will be supported by active learning using curriculum, articles and papers and the opportunity to review and report upon your own competency and professional development. This course will also provide you with industry feedback on your learning activities and assessment tasks.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students use online learning resources.

Overview of Assessment

See the Part B Course Guide for assessment details