PSYC12049 - Psychotherapies and Counselling

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit you will be given a practical and research-based introduction to the major psychotherapies and counselling approaches used within the professional practice of psychology. The unit will develop your knowledge of the important theoretical and empirical basis of psychotherapy. You will develop awareness of common therapeutic and counselling strategies and the different reactions they may provoke from clients as part of the behaviour change process. The unit will also build practical and interpersonal skills that form the foundation of effective psychology practice, including micro-counselling skills, reflective practice and peer feedback and supervision. The unit will provide you with diverse opportunities to fully engage in content through role plays to practice these skills using case-based scenarios, and personal reflection on practice drawing on research evidence regarding effective counselling and therapeutic practice. Key elements of content covered in the unit include: psychotherapy theories, therapeutic intervention techniques, research in support of the various theories and techniques, and issues related to conducting ethical, culturally-sensitive and productive therapy.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

24 credit points including PSYC11010 or PSYC11008 or PSYC11009.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 40%
2. Presentation 20%
3. Case Study 30%
4. Reflective Practice Assignment 10%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 70.87% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 31.79% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student feedback
Students appreciated the real-world content of this unit, including the opportunity to practice micro-counselling skills.
Continue to incorporate real-world examples and case studies in the delivery of the unit, and provide opportunities for students to learn, practice and reflect on their micro-counselling skills.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback
Students were dissatisfied with the quality of feedback provided on written assessment tasks.
Review marking rubrics and feedback processes in the unit to ensure students receive feedback that supports learning and ongoing improvement in their written work.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the basic theoretical and empirical underpinning of several major theories of psychotherapy, including their historical development and modern practice
  2. Demonstrate fundamental counselling and psychotherapy skills and processes, including micro-counselling techniques, the ability to develop a therapeutic alliance and engage in reflective practice
  3. Evaluate the efficacy of psychotherapeutic approaches using current empirical research
  4. Articulate ethical and cross-cultural issues in the practice of psychotherapy

There are no formal requirements by the accrediting body (Australian Psychological Accreditation Council or APAC). However, this unit will help achieve several of the graduate competencies required. Namely:

  • Competency 1.1: Comprehend and apply a broad and coherent body of knowledge of psychology, with depth of understanding of underlying principles, theories and concepts in the discipline, using a scientific approach covering the specific topics of (i) the history and philosophy underpinning the science of psychology and the social, cultural, historical and professional influences on the practice of psychology; (iii) psychological health and well-being; and (iv) psychological disorders and evidence-based interventions.
  • Competency 1.2: Apply knowledge and skills of psychology in a manner that is reflexive, culturally appropriate and sensitive to the diversity of individuals.
  • Competency 1.3: Analyse and critique theory and research in the discipline of psychology and communicate these in written and oral formats.
  • Competency 1.4: Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate values and ethics in psychology.
  • Competency 1.5: Demonstrate interpersonal skills and teamwork.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Presentation
3 - Case Study
4 - Reflective Practice Assignment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10