Working with Crisis and Trauma

Master Course Unit

COUN6901 Working with Crisis and Trauma

Level: Masters

Credit points: 4

Prerequisites: Advanced Counselling Applications

Recommended prerequisites: Approaches to Therapy I and Approaches to Therapy II

Unit description

This unit provides students with a theoretical overview to and discusses the practical applications of working with crisis and trauma. It provides a range of models to work with issues arising from crisis and trauma and also ways of assessing clients facing these issues. It explores a range of issues that may present in counselling and discusses ways to respond to them.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • differentiate between crisis and trauma
  • critique models of managing crisis and trauma situations
  • identify and discuss common issues for individuals directly and indirectly affected by crisis and trauma situations
  • assess behavioural, cognitive, and affective responses to crisis and trauma
  • produce an integrative theoretical framework for working with clients in crisis and trauma
  • identify and monitor the legal and ethical issues involved in working with clients in crisis and trauma

Unit content

  • General Concepts of Crisis and Trauma Events
  • The Crisis and Trauma Worker
  • Types of Crisis and Trauma
  • Assessment Frameworks for Crisis and Trauma
  • Impact of Crisis and Trauma on Adults
  • Impact of Crisis and Trauma on Children and Adolescents
  • Strategies to Manage the Impact of Trauma
  • Mental Health Issues Arising from Crisis and Trauma
  • Application of Models to Specific Situations: Breakdown of Relationships
  • Application of Models to Specific Situations: Life Threatening or Severe Accident or Illness
  • Application of Models to Specific Situations: Suicide
  • Developing a Model for Working with Crisis and Trauma

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 13 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Case Study




Academic Essay




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended texts

Briere, J., & Scott, C. (2006). Principles of trauma therapy: A guide to symptoms, evaluation and treatment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kanel, K. (2012). A guide to crisis intervention (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole.

Relevant journals

British Journal of Health Psychology
Child Abuse Review
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
Counselor Education and Supervision
European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health
International Journal of Mental health
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Journal of Counselling and Development
Journal of Loss and Trauma
Journal of Mental Health Counselling
Journal of Sexual Aggression
Journal of Traumatic Stress

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.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.