Counselling Theory and Skills (GENC5003)


The main objective of this course is to facilitate students' development of their ability and confidence to use basic counselling and interview skills. The unit provides students with an overview of counselling theory and models and is an introduction to the development of counseling skills underpinned by these theories and models in the context of genetic counselling. Client-centred counselling and Rogerian techniques will be demonstrated and practiced under supervision during roleplays with students experiencing the role of counsellor, client and observer providing feedback on the demonstration of core counselling skills. During the clinical placement, students will be allocated a supervisor(s), and this placement will be largely observational of Genetic Counsellors in session. Students will start to develop their counselling skills according to competencies developed by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia. The community experience aims to provide students with an understanding of the lived experience of a genetic condition.

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Further unit of study information


3 x 1.5 h lectures/role plays/ preparation for placement including demonstration of the Kintrak patient management database used in NSW Genetic Services/reflective practice and a 2-day intensive theory and role plays.


Counselling theory 1250wd (25%), 1250 wd essay (25%), reflective exercise from community placement (25%), clinical placement assessment and log book (25%)


Geldard D, Geldard K. Basic Personal Counselling. A Training Manual for Counsellors. 7th Edition 2012

Practical work

1 day observation in a metropolitan genetics clinic, 1 week full time clinic placement in a genetics service associated with NSW Health, 40 hours in community genetics eg support groups for genetic conditions; high school genetic carrier testing programs.

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