COUN1921 Existential Counselling

Bachelor Course Unit

Level: 100

Credit points: 6

Prerequisites: Counselling Skills (COUN1001)

Unit Description

This unit introduces students to the philosophical basis of existential and humanistic counselling.  Through an overview of phenomenology and existential philosophy students develop understanding of the core concepts of Existential counselling including the Existential givens, sedimented selves, the function of authenticity, the four dimensions of experience, and relational worlds. Students use theoretical frameworks, practice and creative journaling to reflect on the significance, for their own lived experience, of the givens of existence: death, aloneness, free will and meaning making.   Students will apply the theoretical concepts and skills of existential counselling to case presentation and practice; and will be able to locate the existential approach within the range of psychotherapy and counselling modalities, and critically evaluate the strengths and limits of the modality.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

a)      understand the basis of existential counselling in existential philosophy

b)      apply theoretical concepts and skills of existential counselling to case presentations and practice

c)      reflect on their own values, personal beliefs and world views in the context of the existential counselling model

d)      critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of existential counselling


Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Learning Journal




Analysis of Existential Therapy  Session





The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the School of Counselling textbook list by selecting the course and trimester at the following link:

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


Unit information may be subject to change prior to the teaching trimester commencing. Once term has commenced please review the Unit Outline in your class space to ensure your trimester study plan is correct.