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 counselling 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 role plays. 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.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


7x1.5h lectures/tutorials/reflective practice by faculty/guest lecturers at Kolling Institutre, Royal North Shore Hospital and a 2-day intensive counselling skills workshop with Mr John Conaghan, Sr Social Worker, Hunter Genetics and Clinical Lecture, SMS.


Counseling theory 1250wd essay (25%), book review 1250 wd essay (25%), reflective exercise from community placement (25%), clinical placement log book (25%). In addition competencies are assessed during placement but do not attract a mark.


Crago H and Gardner P (2012) A safe place to change: skills and capacities for counseling and therapy. IP Communications Melbourne ISBN 978 098 086 494 6; Geldard, D. and Geldard, K. (2012). Basic Personal Counseling: A training manual for counsellors (7th ed.). Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education. ISBN 9781442502192.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

GENC5001 & GENC5002 are co-requisites.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.