No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2016

HCS542 Relationships Theory and Practice (8)


This subjects develops concepts introduced in HCS541, Introduction to Systemic Counselling. The process of therapy through the use of questions, intervening during the session, end of session options, tasks and rituals are examined and applied.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: HCS542
Where differences exist between the handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences

Assumed Knowledge


Enrolment restrictions

Students enrolled in Master of Human Services Practice (Couple and Family Therapy)or Master of Social Work (Advanced Practice)(Couple and Family Therapy)
Related subject(s)
HCS541 This subject builds on the basic concepts covered in HCS 541

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to demonstrate a systemic understanding of presenting couple and family problems
- be able to hypothesise from systemic and non-systemic frames around a variety of presenting problems
- be able to demonstrate knowledge of, and ability to, manage the stages of a first interview
- be able to construct questions that adequately explore previously formulated hypotheses
- be able to outline the use of in-session methods to facilitate change
- be able to construct and deliver an end of session opinion
- be able to construct tasks and rituals that reinforce understanding elicited during the session
- be able to take into account cultural and other types of diversity, its impact on relationships and therapy.


The subject will cover the following topics:
1. Introduction: Systemic concepts including neutrality, hypothesising, circularity and curiosity and how they relate to presenting problems 2. Systemic hypothesising: understanding the presenting problem from a systemic frame 3. Non-systemic hypothesising: understanding the presenting problem from non-systemic frames such as power and other therapeutic perspectives. 4. The stages of the first interview including process of engagement and conducting subsequent interviews. 5. Developing skills in questioning and using questions to test and reformulate hypotheses as necessary. 6. Increasing therapeutic intensity through questioning 7. In-session methods of change including giving opinions and use of reflecting teams 8. Developing between-session tasks 9. Using rituals during and between therapeutic sessions 10. Differences between couple and family therapy 11. The therapist's use of self during the therapeutic sessions 12. Ethical issues in clinical practice including maintaining client records 13. Diversity issues in counselling practice 14. Therapeutic management of cases 15. Terminating therapy

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. Purpose - to practice systemic Post-Milan counselling across a range of presenting problems; to be able to start to conceptualise a Post-Milan systemic framework for ongoing intervention; to identify and apply appropriate post-Milan interviewing strategies throughout an intervention; to receive feedback, reflect on and develop professional counselling skills. Activities: skills workshops, role plays, tutorial discussions, videotaping and critiquing videotapes of students' work, reviewing videotapes of counselling sessions.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.