PSY437 Counselling Theory and Practice (8)

This subject develops professional counselling skills. It covers the essential micro skills of counselling and develops these skills through training exercises. It will enable students to conceptualise clients' problems from the standpoint of a professional counsellor and develops some interventional strategies based on a theoretical conceptualisation.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Bathurst Campus
Session 2 (60)
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY437. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



Two sessions


School of Psychology

Enrolment Restrictions

B Psychology (4th year) and PostGrad Dip Psychology students only. Not available to students who have completed PSY402.

Subject Relationships

PSY402 Subject content substantially the same

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the nature and efficacy of a problemmanagement model of the counselling process
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the developmental stages of the model and its component skills
  • be able to demonstrate practical competence in these counselling skills
  • be able to demonstrate an integration of these skills into a considered, unique and personal counselling style
  • be able to demonstrate an insight into their own personal potential strengths and weaknesses as a counsellor
  • be able to demonstrate an awareness of the ethical and professional issues inherent in the practice of counselling


This subject will cover the following topics:

This subject has a very strong practical emphasis, and this is directly reflected in both the teaching and assessment of the subject. Egan's model of the counselling process will provide the theoretical framework of the course. - Stage 1: Present Scenario - Identifying & Clarifying the Problem: Facilitative conditions for counselling; personal attributes and values of the counsellor; skills of attending and active listening; skills of empathy and probing; reluctant and resistant clients; skills of focusing and exploring; skills of challenging and confronting. - Stage 2: Preferred Scenario - Goal Setting: Evaluating alternatives and decision-making; choosing goals; obtaining client commitment. - Stage 3: Strategy: Getting There - Action: Brainstorming and prompting; choosing strategies; formulating action plans; developing contingency plans; implementing and supporting action plans. - Other topics to be covered during the subject include; Crisis Intervention; Referral; Ethics and Professional Issues.

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.The purpose of the residential school is to conduct practical activities and other teaching strategies that require the direct supervision of teaching staff. The residential school will consist of: - Experiential workshops, role play, modelling, lectures and small group work that provide the basis of teaching for this practice-based subject. - Lectures (Intro to subject, Egan's model, Burnout) - Tutorials: brainstorming, demonstration, discussion, question & answer sessions, role play, and simulation of counselling session.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.