COUN6201 Trauma and Grief Therapy

Master Course Unit

COUN6201: Trauma and Grief Therapy

Duration: One trimester

Level: 2nd year

Credit points: 3 (out of a total of 48 points)

Prerequisites: 8 Year 1 units must be completed

Mode(s) of delivery: Blended Delivery

Core/elective: Core

Unit description

This unit explores the central issues around trauma and grief and the counselling process. Students are provided with opportunities to build on and develop counselling skills and techniques for the purpose of counselling people presenting with these issues and concerns.  Upon completion of this unit, students will have skills in assessing trauma and grief, have knowledge of interventions appropriate to different trauma and grief contexts and presentations, and be keenly aware of ethical issues related to this field of counselling. Issues such as boundaries, vicarious trauma and personal care, and referral will be examined in the unit. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

a)      demonstrate understanding of the types and impacts of trauma and grief and the needs of different counselling populations

b)      demonstrate an awareness of the central issues in grief and trauma counselling and apply models of assessment to counselling practice

c)      demonstrate knowledge and skills of evidence-based interventions for specific losses and trauma populations; including suicide, bereavement, children and young people, and multiple losses and traumas experienced by Indigenous Australians

d)      critically evaluate ethical issues related to grief and trauma counselling; including counselling competence, boundaries, referral and supervision

e)      analyse and evaluate the impacts of grief and trauma counselling on the self of the counsellor, including vicarious traumatisation and traumatic counter-transference, and strategies to minimise these impacts

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here.

Graduate attributes

The material covered in this unit will contribute to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Communication

The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of contexts using literacy, numeracy and information technology skills. 

  • Independent and Lifelong Learning

A commitment to continued and independent learning, intellectual development, critical analysis and inquiry, integrative thinking, and creativity.

  • Problem Solving

The ability to problem solve across a range of settings including professional, social and cultural contexts. 

  • Information Literacy

The ability to assimilate, analyse and utilise information effectively in a range of contexts, genres and texts types.

  • Innovation and Sustainability

A capacity to promote innovation within a socially sustainable environment.

  • Social Justice

An acknowledgment of and respect for equality of opportunity, individual and civic responsibility, indigenous and other cultures and times, and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

  • Discipline Knowledge and Skills

A command of a significant body of discipline knowledge and relevant professional skills.

  • Ethics and Ethical Practice

An awareness of, and sensitivity to, ethics and ethical standards on interpersonal and social levels, and within a field of study and/or profession.  To demonstrate integrity on social, cultural, and environmental issues.

  • Teamwork and leadership

A capacity for and an understanding of teamwork and leadership.

  • Global Perspective

An appreciation, respect and valuing of cultural and intellectual diversity.

Special provisions

Students will attend an on campus workshop of 14 hours in this unit, which will include lectures, roleplays of counselling sessions and case discussions of trauma and grief presentations.


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:

Relevant journals and resources

Knowledge and understanding of these topics will be enhanced by wide reading of international peer-reviewed journal articles from various domains of counselling and psychotherapy, which can be accessed via the ACAP Library’s journal databases.

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. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. 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.