PROFCOUN 707 : Specialist Counselling Skills and Approaches

Education and Social Work

2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An advanced examination of the specialist counselling skills and knowledge required to work effectively with clients from a wide range of contexts and experiences. Topics may include working with sexual abuse, family violence, trauma, anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidality, and loss and grief. The course will focus on the integration of theory, research and practice, and the development of working models to facilitate effective counselling.

Course Overview

The course focuses on developing a foundational understanding of working with clients who have experienced trauma. Specific focus will be around trauma associated with sexual abuse and complicated grief.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Counselling

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and theoretical foundations of counselling skills and knowledge relevant to clients experiencing trauma related issues and/or complicated grief. (Capability 1.3, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 5.1 and 6.1)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the contexts in which trauma may occur, with particular reference to Aotearoa New Zealand. (Capability 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 5.1, 6.1 and 6.2)
  3. Develop and demonstrate a range of theoretical and skills based literature, which is relevant to counselling a variety of clients who have experienced trauma. Demonstrate this understanding in writing. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.3, 3.1, 4.1 and 6.1)
  4. Demonstrate a developing competence in applying selected specialist skills and understandings required for facilitating the counselling process with persons who have experienced trauma or complicated grief. Demonstrate in writing an appropriate application of those skills, with reference to a case scenario. (Capability 1.2, 1.3, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Case Studies 60% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Case Studies

To pass this course students must submit all assessments and achieve at least 50% for the overall course.

Workload Expectations

This course is a  15 point block course delivered across one semester and will include two assessments.

On average, students are expected to spend 150 hours in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in. For this course you should expect to commit to four full days of direct contact via on-campus lectures.

You can also reasonably expect to commit up to 100 hours to independent learning . This may include reading (and more reading), note-taking, face-to-face and/or discussion, writing, engaging in collaborative group work, problem solving, undertaking practical tasks, reflecting on learning, accessing learning and study resources, and assignment, preparation and completion. There are no examinations for this course.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities  to complete components of the course.
Lectures will not be available as recordings. 
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The required text for this course is:
Herman, J. (2015). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence - from domestic abuse to political terror.  Basic Books.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

The course has been reviewed in conjunction with recent feedback.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 04/11/2022 06:29 p.m.