HPY745 - Counselling and Family Systems


2023 unit information

Offering information:

Not offered in 2023 - first offered Trimester 1 2024

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1 2024: Burwood (Melbourne)

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule:

Must be enrolled in H758 Master of Counselling

Assumed knowledge:

This unit assumes that students have already acquired foundational knowledge in principles of counselling and have sound awareness of counselling ethics and respect for diversity and inclusion.


All of: HPY730, HPY731, HPY732, HPY733, HPY734, HPY735, HPY736.

Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: Nil
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

2 day intensive workshop - 14 hours - mandatory attendance

Scheduled learning activities - online

4 x 2 hour seminar - online

In-person attendance requirements

This unit includes an intensive delivery component of two days on campus at Deakin Burwood. Attendance and participation in the intensive component is a hurdle requirement (see hurdle requirement section).

Students must also complete 8 x 1 hour self-paced interactive modules (pre-recorded)


Please be advised that this unit may contain topics that could be triggering or distressing for some individuals. If you have experienced unresolved trauma or grief in the past 12 months, we strongly recommend that you carefully consider whether you are ready to engage with this unit at this time. It is important to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing, and seeking support from a mental health professional may be a helpful option. Please be aware that support is available to you throughout your studies, and we encourage you to reach out to the services provided by Wellbeing at Deakin if you need to do so.


This unit provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with families in a counselling context. The unit explores the theoretical foundations and practical applications of systemic family therapy and other family-focussed counselling approaches. The unit also includes a focus on domestic violence within families. Throughout the unit, students will consider the impact of systemic factors such as culture, ethnicity and socioeconomic status on family functioning.

Students will be encouraged to consider how these ideas and practices apply to their work with families with a diverse range of presentations and challenges. Through discussion of case illustrations and structured exercises, students will develop the capacity to assess and address family issues and to develop relational skills, interviewing skills and interventions necessary to work effectively with families. Students will be given the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences, values and beliefs as they relate to family therapy and consider the ways in which their personal experiences and cultural background may influence their work with families.

Hurdle requirement

Attendance at the two-day intensive is a hurdle requirement for completing this unit. PACFA accreditation requires that 140 hours of learning takes place via in-person teaching, and the 2 day intensive contributes to this standard. Participation in the intensive also contributes to the completion of assessment task one and the meeting of ULOs 1 and 2.

Unit Fee Information

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