Foundations of Professional Practice

Please note: This subject will replace 'SSC514 Counselling Practice II' from Semester 2 (2023) onwards (new code and name only).

This subject builds on the foundations of SSC413 Interpersonal Communication Skills (recoded from SSC412 - Counselling Practice I) by introducing advanced counselling techniques and a counselling framework. You will gain the ability to assess, understand specific client needs, and use counselling micro-skills and techniques in working with people in a counselling context. During the subject you will learn how to counsel clients with problems in the areas of anger, stress and other specific issues. This subject has been designed to comply with PACFA and ACA training requirement for which you must have completed a course where at least 100 hours is experiential. Experiential activities refer to clinical training methods, such as modelling by clinicians, counsellor-client practice, clinical placements, role-plays, and concrete and specific feedback.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: SSC521
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Elizabeth Skinner


The following subjects are pre-requisites:

Awards offering Foundations of Professional Practice

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content


  1. Synthesise the principles of reflective practice and supervision as components of ongoing professional development and wellbeing;
  2. Develop the skills for integrating core competencies and micro-skills with a range of evidence-based counselling techniques and contexts;
  3. Critique counselling skills within a counselling framework to assess, formulate and assist clients in addressing identified issues;
  4. Develop an understanding of and commitment to professional and ethical counselling practice;
  5. Address specific client presentations within individual and group contexts;

Subject Content

Introduction, Foundational Practice & Skills Nature of counselling

Counselling Framework A (Process & Skills) Foundation skills, including micro-skills

Counselling Framework B (Process & Skills) Identifying the client’s problem

  • Treatment Sessions: Intake & Assessment Sessions Helping clients tell their stories
  • Treatment Sessions: Case Formulation & Treatment Planning Using the basic listening sequence
  • Treatment Sessions: Progress, Review, End of Treatment  Reflecting meaning, utilising influencing skills and other strategies for change
  • Working with the Client: Referrals, Client Folders, Note Taking Using these skills to address common concerns/problems such as loneliness, low self-esteem, stress and anger
  • Specific Issues & Interventions 1 
  • Specific Issues & Interventions 2 
  • Specific Issues & Interventions 3 
  • Professional Issues: Mandatory Reporting, Legal Matters 
  • Supervision 
  • Reflective Practice & Application of Learning 

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Onsite (face-to-face)
  • Online (e-Learning)
  • Intensives

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis University College.

Assessment Methods

  • Critical Reflection (25%)
  • Interview, Critique & Client Folder (50%)
  • Report and Resource for Practitioners (25%)

Prescribed Text

  • Geldard, D., Geldard K. & Foo, R. (2021). Basic personal counselling (9th ed.). Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning Australia.

Please consult your instructor prior to purchasing any texts.