COUN5961 Working with Adolescents

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

COUN5961 Working with Adolescents

Level: Higher

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: Counselling Skills 2

Unit description

This unit provides a conceptual framework for understanding concepts, theories and issues for working with adolescents. It also provides students with the skills to communicate with, and apply counselling strategies for, working with adolescents. Emphasis is placed on the particular needs of adolescents and students applying communication and counselling skills to meet those needs.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • use terminology and concepts for working with adolescents
  • demonstrate knowledge of the major theories on adolescent development
  • recognise sociological perspectives impacting on adolescent issues
  • use communication skills for working with adolescents
  • determine and apply counselling strategies for working with adolescents

Unit content

  • What is Adolescence?
  • Self-Concept and Identity Development
  • Adolescence in Context: Social, Political and Structural
  • Adolescence in Context: Employment/Training and the Influence of Media
  • Values and Attitudes
  • Sex 'n' Rock 'n' Roll
  • Grief and Loss, and Abuse
  • Mental Health Issues for Adolescents
  • Adolescents at Risk
  • Adolescents Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide
  • Counselling the Adolescent
  • Case Studies and Review

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9.75 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Regular Term



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 text

Geldard, K., & Geldard, D. (2010). Counselling adolescents: The proactive approach for young people (3rd ed.). London, England: Sage Publications.

Relevant journals

Adolescent Psychiatry
American Journal of Family Therapy
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Australian Journal of Psychology
British Journal of Developmental Psychology
British Journal of Learning Disabilities
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Cognitive Theory and Research
Contemporary Family Therapy
Contemporary Sexuality
Developmental Neuropsychology
Disability, Handicap and Society
Eating Disorders
European Journal of Personality
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Journal of Counselling and Development
Journal of Family Therapy

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.