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COUN5851 Trauma Counselling

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

Duration: One Trimester

Level: 2nd year

Credit Points: 8 (out of a total of 96 points)

Prerequisites: COUN5131 Counselling Practice and COUN5141 Counselling Theories

Mode(s) of Delivery: Blended Delivery

Core/Elective: Elective

Unit Description

Many people experience trauma in their lives. For some people seeking counselling, trauma experiences and their impact are the primary focus of counselling. For other clients who have experienced trauma the focus of the work is on other aspects of life. 

Upon completion of this unit, you will have the knowledge and skills to counsel people who exhibit relatively clear-cut, mild to moderate reactions, to trauma. The unit covers reactions to trauma, assessment, therapeutic models and techniques, and counselling for specific groups.  A focus on the impact on the counsellor of counselling clients who have experienced trauma and self-care is included.

In cases involving more complex trauma reactions, you will have the skills to recognise the limits of your expertise and make an appropriate referral. It is not envisaged that you will provide specialist counselling for trauma; such counselling requires training, supervision, and experience that is beyond the scope of this unit. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  • Identify and understand the impacts of trauma and apply this understanding to a case study
  • Develop knowledge of the indicators of a trauma response and apply in assessment
  • Critically evaluate the evidence base for trauma counselling interventions
  • Match treatment options to different forms of traumatic stressors and client populations
  • Identify and demonstrate sensitivity to cross cultural counselling considerations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the impact on the self of the counsellor of witnessing trauma impacts on clients, and develop strategies for self-care

Unit Workload

The workload for this unit is 12 hours per week.


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the Discipline 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. 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 the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


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.