COUNS549-20S (BLK)

Counselling and Contexts

30 Points

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Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education
Te Oranga Human Development and Movement Studies


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Paper Description

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This paper provides an overview of counselling practice and its contexts. The paper offers students a focused investigation of selected, particular aspects of collaborative practice, along with the opportunity to learn skills based on a generic solution-oriented model that provides a framework to assist others to clarify problems and work towards solutions.

The paper is a pre-requisite for HDCO541 for those students selected for the MCouns who have limited experience in the social service field. It is recommended to those who hold, or intend to apply for, school guidance counsellor positions. The paper is also open, by application, to students outside the counselling programme who wish to take the paper as part of another degree or as an individual paper credit.

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Paper Structure

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The paper is taught using Moodle and an on-campus block course. The paper is a summer school paper comprising four modules. Teaching will be offered through a block course in Hamilton, and through required participation online in Moodle. Students must be available for each week of this paper, both on Moodle and on campus.

The first module will be available online from 9 December 2019 so that you can familiarise yourself with the Moodle environment. The paper begins formally online on 6 January.

Module 1 Moodle begins 6 January

Module 2 On campus begins 13 January, 9-5 daily

Module 3 Moodle begins 20 January

Module 4 Moodle begins 27 January

Details of each Module are below under "Topics".

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • 1. understand how counselling works to support the wellbeing of clients
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  • 2. demonstrate the ability to recognise and give examples of specific counselling skills
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  • 3. demonstrate an appreciation of the principles which underpin problem solving and narrative counselling
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  • 4. demonstrate an understanding of the ethical requirements of the counsellor as a professional practitioner
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  • 5. demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of a practice context
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  • 6. demonstrate flexibility of response
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  • 7. put aside their own story while listening to the other person’s story
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  • 8. demonstrate understanding and recall of the other person’s account
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  • 9. refer to social context in responding to the other person’s situation
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  • 10. provide a critique of their own work
    Linked to the following assessments:
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This paper is internally assessed. All assessment components are compulsory.

A pass in this paper will require:

  • satisfactory completion of all assessment tasks
  • a pass mark in each formal assessment task
  • attendance at all on-campus classes.

A candidate who fails a paper may repeat it once. A candidate who fails a second paper or the same paper twice may not proceed with the MCouns degree.

The teaching of counselling skills will be a major focus of the block course. This aspect of the paper will be assessed by a written analysis and reflection on a transcript of a counselling-style conversation (see Learning Outcomes 1-10).

Understanding and critiques of the literature will be assessed by online discussion and written responses to specific questions on the texts and provided readings (see Learning Outcomes 1-10).

Assessment is 100% internal, comprising assessment tasks as set out below, and further detailed on Moodle. Due dates and times are below.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Completion of synopsis form - Module 1
10 Jan 2020
9:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Contribution to online discussion - Module 3
24 Jan 2020
3:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Analysis of skills in a counselling-style conversation transcript
28 Jan 2020
No set time
  • Other: See below
4. Synopsis of Moodle discussion - Module 4
31 Jan 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
5. Written assignment on selected area of practice - Module 4
3 Feb 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Set texts:

Winslade, J., & Monk, G. (2007). Narrative counseling in schools: Powerful and brief. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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Other Resources

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An additional book of readings can be purchased in person from Waikato Print or is available for purchase online – if you choose to purchase online go to The Moodle site also offers links to all these readings in the Online Reading List for those who wish to read online. This option does not give students access to the readings once a Moodle paper closes, however. We therefore recommend that MCouns students purchase the book of readings.
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Online Support

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As already noted this paper is taught in Moodle.
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Contact hours: 34 classroom hours in the on-campus block course.

Student workload: 260 hours personal study, including preparatory and paper reading, participation in online discussions with fellow course members and lecturers, and completing written assignments.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper supports COUNS541 Counselling Skills papers, which is a compulsory core paper for the MCouns.
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Restricted papers: HDCO549

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