Human Welfare and Services (WELF)
This unit introduces students to the role of human services within the Australian political context. Students will develop a critical analysis of the contribution of the market, state and community encouraging reflection on underpinning values. It will also identify the change strategies which can be developed and used in each of these domains to bring about socially just outcomes.
This is an introductory unit which examines underlying theories of social welfare work, community work, youth work and international social development. Students will explore the ideological underpinnings of theories and discourses in the human services, particularly with regard to the impact of poverty, inequity and the experience of vulnerable populations. The contribution of other disciplines to knowledge and practice in these fields of practice will also be examined. This unit will focus on developing beginning assessment and intervention skills in working with individuals, groups, and communities. Students will also develop an understanding of ethical issues related to social work practise and working in human service organisations as a member of a team.
This is an introductory unit which examines underlying theories of social welfare work, community work, youth work and international social development. Students will explore the ideological underpinnings of theories and discourses in the human services, particularly with regard to the impact of poverty, inequity and the experience of vulnerable populations. The contribution of other disciplines to knowledge and practice in these fields of practice will also be examined. This unit will focus on developing beginning skills in working with individuals (casework), working with groups, community work and working in human service organisations as a member of a team.
This unit introduces students to a range of knowledge and skills for working with Indigenous individuals, families and communities as welfare and community workers. The unit begins with exploring students' expectations of, and understandings about, welfare and social and community development. Students are supported to develop introductory skills in the areas of engagement, interviewing and group work practice. The unit places importance on self-reflection and building resources for sustainability as a community worker.
This unit is a Level 1 Open Elective for eligible students who have completed the Certificate IV in Mental Health (CHC43315) with Wesley Mission. This Certificate prepares mental health workers for the provision of self-directed, recovery oriented support for people affected by mental illness and psychiatric disability. The initial training is carried out on campus at Western Sydney University under the guidance of Wesley Mission (Sydney). The unit involves reflecting on the links between mental health workforce training and the academic discipline of psychology. The focus of this unit is on the knowledge required for mental health workers.
This unit enables students to participate in a structured and supervised field placement (140 hours). Welfare Field Education 1 (Block Mode) provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and experience in linking theory with practice, and extend their skills for community work with the support of practitioners working in the human services sector. Placements are offered in a variety of agency types spanning all areas of community work practice: work with individuals, groups and families, community development; research and policy.
This is an introductory unit which examines underlying theories of social welfare work, community work, youth work and international social development. Students will explore the ideological underpinnings of theories and discourses in the human services, particularly with regard to the impact of poverty, inequity and the experience of vulnerable populations. The contribution of other disciplines to knowledge and practice in these fields of practice will also be examined. This unit will focus on developing beginning assessment and intervention skills in working with individuals, groups, and communities. Students will also develop an understanding of ethical issues related to social work. Students will also develop an understanding of working in human service organisations as a member of a team.
This unit introduces students to social work, its common values, different perspectives, and current debates. Diverse constructions of social work embedded in different knowledge systems and models will be explored. Social work perspectives in a multicultural cosmopolitan Australia will be analysed including, amongst others, Indigenous social work, White western social work, Pacific social work, Afrocentric social work, memorial social work, Brazilian social work, etc. An overview of the changing Australian socio-political environment, policy and practice context will be explored and the role of social work in the different fields of practice analysed, to locate strategies for generating positive and creative social change.
Disability Studies is a multi-disciplinary field that investigates, critiques, and enhances society's understandings of disability. The unit will introduce students to contemporary frameworks for recognising how people with disabilities have experienced disadvantage and exclusion because of personal and societal responses to impairment. The unit will explore how disability activists and scholars have re-conceptualised disability from a more empowering social-political and human rights perspective as an element of human diversity. The unit is grounded in case study pedagogy to ensure the integration of applied practice with rich conceptual and rigorous frameworks.
This unit focuses on community management in Australia and the social and economic factors that influence and frame community management practices. At the macro level, it examines the effects of neo-liberal (economic rationalist) reforms in the public and community sectors; and the rise of developments such as managerialism and 'third way' approaches, on community management practices. The unit also explores developments in management practices in response to social developments such as multiculturalism, recognition of diversity, equal employment opportunity and recognition of contextual and local issues. It further looks at community management work practices, including volunteerism, steering committees, management committees, and collectives.
This unit introduces theories and skills in community work and community development. There will be an exploration of the range of ways the term "community" is used and an analysis of the assumptions, values, goals and visions behind community work will be discussed. The unit will explore the breadth and scope of community work at a local, state and global level. The unit will provide an opportunity to develop an understanding of the environmental, political, economic and cultural issues relevant to community work practice.
This unit introduces theories and skills in community work and community development. It begins with an analysis of the terms community and community development and their competing meanings and discourses. This is followed by an examination of the breadth and scope of community work at a local, state and global level. The unit will provide an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the environmental, political, economic and cultural issues relevant to community work and community development practice. The unit will explore examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to illustrate the unit content.
Fields of Practice 1 introduces Social Work students to a range of skills and contexts of social work practice. The unit draws from the expertise of the Social Work team at Western Sydney University, engages with consumer educators and practitioners, and provides students with opportunities to practice their skills in our state of the art Skills Lab at Parramatta and Liverpool. The critical approach to the unit takes account of the diversity in social work in terms of the range of people, groups and communities with whom students will work.
This unit will provide students with the opportunity to develop knowledge of group work theory, group dynamics and facilitation skills in group work practice in the human services. In addition, students will be learning about working in teams in human service agencies, and effectively collaborate with their colleagues in group settings. Students will integrate theory with practice in an experiential group setting in the classroom. Students will also be examining issues related to culturally responsive group work practice with marginalised people, and addressing group work issues of diversity in gender and culture.
This unit aims to provide knowledge of human rights issues and laws which are particularly relevant to social workers, youth workers and community welfare workers. It provides an opportunity for students to reflect upon their powers, responsibilities and obligations in their professional roles and acquire skills to promote justice for disadvantaged individuals and groups through advocacy and law reform.
This unit aims to provide knowledge of human rights issues and laws which are particularly relevant to social workers, youth workers and community welfare workers. It provides an opportunity for students to reflect upon their powers, responsibilities and obligations in professional roles and acquire skills to promote justice for disadvantaged individuals and groups through advocacy and law reform.
This unit takes a 'lifespan perspective' to studying human development, covering related concepts, theories, methods and debates, and develops an understanding of bio-psycho-social dimensions across the lifespan, underpinned by a sensitivity to cultural and social differences in development. There is an emphasis on relating lifespan issues to current human services.
This unit focuses on community management in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the social and economic factors that influence and frame community management practices. At the macro level, it examines the effects of neo-liberal (economic rationalist) reforms in the public and community sectors; and the impact of developments such as managerialism and 'third way' approaches on community management practices. The unit has a specific focus on management practices and issues facing organisations operating in Indigenous communities. It explores the tensions and pressures faced by Indigenous organisations and strategies for developing sustainable management practices.
This unit introduces students to the theories and practice related to social work with individuals and families in diverse practice contexts. It builds on knowledge gained through the prerequisite units. Students examine systems theory in relation to family work, and the contributions of feminist therapies and psychological themes. Relevant clinical and social issues such as cross-cultural casework, the impact of the stolen generation on indigenous people's access to social services, and working effectively with grief and loss are examined. This unit assists in preparing students for their first or second fieldwork placement.
This unit builds on Introduction to Working with Families and Communities and focuses on direct practice skills with individuals and families in welfare and community settings. Students examine contemporary theories of direct practice and build upon their ability to use theory to reflect upon and develop practice skills. There is an emphasis on safe, inclusive and responsive practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a focus on trauma informed practice.
This unit enables students to examine the way in which child abuse has become a public issue. It considers the assumptions, values and interests which underlie definitions of abuse as well as intervention and prevention strategies promoted to protect children from abuse. In order to do this, students will examine constructions of childhood, the positioning of children and attitudes towards children and families. They will explore the various responses to child abuse in contemporary systems, policies and practices that work to address child abuse. Students will develop the skills required to ensure that children are active participants in decisions made for their protection.
This unit examines the way in which child abuse has become a public issue. It considers the assumptions, values and interests which underlie definitions of abuse as well as intervention and prevention strategies promoted to protect children from abuse. The unit examines cultural constructions of childhood, the positioning of children within society, relations of power between children and adults within communities and families, gender relations, and social discourses about children and families. The unit emphasises the importance of children being active participants in decisions made for their protection; and intervention and prevention strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
WELF 3001- Child Abuse as a Social Issue
Community Engaged Learning provides students with an opportunity for direct community engagement in an ethical way through experience in various settings including government agencies, not for profit organisations, community organisations, industry partners, and other professional bodies. The unit offered in block mode, facilitates first-hand learning through active participation with the community, to develop leadership skills within a team with enhanced capacity to understand social and organisational responsibilities. Students will be encouraged to utilise their knowledge, skills and experience gained over their degree within real-life situations. They are required to complete mandatory orientation activities and briefing and debriefing workshops at the start, middle and end of the semester. They will complete 60 hours of community/industry engagement and 15 hours of interaction at academic workshops. Academic support will be available online via vUWS through the duration of the community engagement. Debriefing sessions will provide ample scaffolding for the development of skill, knowledge, professionalism and potential leadership. Students should obtain their Police Clearance prior to the start of the semester to commence their placement in a timely manner. Late enrolments may affect this.
This unit examines the concept of the family within different social and cultural contexts, with a particular focus on the place and significance of family and family relations in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The unit explores the impacts of colonisation and displacement in contributing to family breakdown in Indigenous communities. It also identifies the challenges and issues in building family resources for sustainable communities. Models of good practice for intervention and resource building are examined through case studies.
This unit examines the nature, incidence and extent of family violence. The focus is on the effects on women and children, who are the victims of this violence. Current sociological explanations are examined, including a critical examination of the myths and stereotypes that help to reinforce the hidden nature of this problem. Some solutions and possible ways of alleviating the suffering caused by this violence are canvassed.
This unit offers students the opportunity to explore the central role of leadership and alliances in building sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The unit focuses on theories and models of leadership appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: initiating, building and maintaining alliances with individuals and groups and methods to build sustainable communities. In addition, students will examine case studies of Indigenous leadership and communities that have been successful in community building such as socio-economic development, education and community cohesion.
Learning through Indigenous Australian Community Service will provide students with an exciting opportunity to apply their disciplinary knowledge and skills in an Indigenous Australian cultural context. Students will negotiate and conduct an interview with an Indigenous or Non-Indigenous Service Provider working in an Indigenous context. Students will gain cross cultural awareness and insights as well as knowledge about Indigenous community affairs including cultural protocols, decision-making and leadership. This experience will provide students with a level of cultural understanding and competency that can lead to improved communication skills and effective partnering with Indigenous people, organisations and communities.
Managing Offenders in the Community is a unit that draws links between the theory and practice of working with offenders in a variety of roles and settings. It provides a legal and policy framework for this work and covers the main theoretical perspectives and research insights into what is effective practice in this work. The unit takes a practical, applied approach linking the material directly to work with offenders and will be of particular interest to current or future practitioners in community justice, corrections, social work and policing.
This unit provides the student with an understanding of current trends underlying policies and services in the aged care and disability industry, which will help them to understand the dynamics of the changing aged care and disability service sector. Students will examine the strategic environments of aged care and disability to develop global and national perspectives, identify drivers of change and development, and the major players in aged care and disability policies. Students will develop an understanding of the aged care and disability competencies and determinants of well-being for aged and disabled persons, which can be used in their future roles in the health industry. Through reflections on practice in aged care and disability , students will develop an individual approach to aged care and disability service issues which they can use in the future as health care professionals.
This unit integrates health as focus for social work as a profession and as a specific domain of practice. This advanced unit has three main areas of focus. The first area is developing knowledge and skills to critically analyse concepts related to health in global and local social work practice, including decolonising and Indigenous ways of knowing. The second is exploring health for specific populations and communities, the context of health service provision in Australia, and social work in health services. The third is professional skills for social work practice, including social work assessment and health promotion.
This unit examines the context and challenges for social policy in Australia and the relationship between social policy and social work practice. Topics covered include: fundamental debates in welfare policy; comparative and historical contexts in how welfare policy is developed; the impacts of remedial welfare policy and policy solutions to disadvantage; and strategies to influence policy development related to social work practice.
This unit enables students to individually arrive at a meaningful synthesis of theoretical and practice elements of the course, and encourages a critical approach to the application of social theory to community and social development policy, practice and services, particularly in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. Students will gain a good understanding of contemporary theories in social and community development and community leadership and sustainability and begin to use theoretical frameworks to critically analyse current policies and practice in the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
In this unit, students build on their knowledge and experience to identify and service the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Students will utilise their research and cultural competency skills to create a community profile and project brief within an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. This will enable students to effectively integrate theory, practice and culture to understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community needs. Students will also examine the role of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Professional in Community Development settings.
This is a 20 credit point year-long subject taken over two terms (10 credit points in each term). This subject enables students to participate in a structured and supervised field placement (260 hours). Welfare Field Education 2 (Block Mode) provides students with the opportunity to extend their knowledge and experience in linking theory with practice and develop their skills for community work in the human services sector. Placements are offered in a variety of agency types spanning all areas of community work practice: work with individuals, groups and families, community development, research and policy.
This unit enables students to participate in a structured and supervised field placement experience, providing the opportunity for students to combine their knowledge of theory and application of their skills into practice in the human services sector. Placements will be offered in direct or indirect service work with a wide range of client groups and communities in the government and nongovernment sectors. A variety of social work and community welfare-related agencies in and around Sydney will be utilised. Students will attend skills based workshops and complete 408 hours of placement in accordance with accreditation requirements of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) guidelines, and the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA).
Since the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, laws, policy and service supports concerning persons with disability have transformed. This has resulted in significant reforms in Australia and globally. Disability rights have now become central to addressing long standing inequalities and discrimination experienced by persons with disability. Disability rights now also govern social services, supports and programs. This unit examines these developments with the global ratification of disability rights and critically evaluates the ensuing policies and practices that frame the context within which professional practice and expertise occurs. Drawing upon in-depth case studies, students will critically examine and engage in key issues surrounding the translation and realisation of disability rights in governance of social service systems, policy and practices.
This unit introduces students to the mutual fields of sexuality studies and disability studies by employing the critical lenses of queer, disability, and feminist theory to interrogate the privileging and ownership by mainstream culture of sex. By illuminating how people with physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities experience romance, love, emotional intimacy and physical connection, students will explore how insufficient sexuality supports create diminished agency, excessive vulnerability, lack of access and "otherness" for disabled people. Students will ground their critical thinking by examining how they have constructed sexuality and disability norms based on their values, beliefs and views of these two intersecting and often taboo topics. Students will be encouraged to appreciate the importance of sexuality in the lives of people with disabilities and view the expression of our sexuality, sexuality agency, and access to sexual health as a basic human right.
Intersecting two socially and economically marginalised groups, Australia's Indigenous peoples living with disability require services and supports that are both culturally safe and disability aware. Through this unit, future practitioners of the disability and Indigenous services workforce will be exposed to an Indigenous philosophy of disability that is characterised by a culture of inclusion, as a contrast to westernised medical models of disability. The unit will examine the unique exposures to social and economic marginalisation and discrimination encountered by people who are Indigenous and live with disability, and how these factors intersect as barriers to their access to service systems, supports and lives with dignity.
This unit provides the student with an understanding of current trends underlying policies and services in the aged care and disability industry, which will help them to understand the dynamics of the changing aged care and disability service sector. Students will examine the strategic environments of aged care and disability to develop global and national perspectives, identify drivers of change and development, and the major players in aged care and disability policies. Students will develop an understanding of the aged care and disability competencies and determinants of well-being for aged and disabled persons, which can be used in their future roles in the health industry. Through reflections on practice in aged care and disability, students will develop an individual approach to aged care and disability service issues which they can use in the future as health care professionals.
LGYA 7162 Professional Practice in Aged Care
REHA 2008 Professional Practice in Aged Care and Disability
This unit provides a forum in which students can examine contemporary issues that impact on social work practice. The use of technology in social work practice and its implications for clients and practitioners; the exploration of culturally and spiritually sensitive and creative approaches to social work practice; and human rights based practice. Students are encouraged to take a critical best practice approach, identifying the best aspects of social work practice and seeking to replicate it. There is a particular emphasis on applying this approach to child wellbeing and protection, mental health and work with Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander groups.
This unit introduces students to the basic skills underlying professional helping, providing a foundation for further training in counselling or psychological therapy. Students explore the professional helping relationship, the counselling process, common counselling and therapeutic frameworks, and learn key counselling micro-skills. There is a strong focus on applied skill development through in-class skills practice and assessment. Professional ethics and responsiveness to client characteristics including age, gender and cultural background are also emphasised. The unit provides structured opportunities to reflect on personal and professional development and readiness for further training in professional helping.
This subject incorporates the final social work placement and will consolidate the experiences gained from Field Education 1 and 2, and further assist students to clearly articulate their frame of reference within a critically reflective practice before entering employment. Students will be able to choose placements in direct service work, the community and organisational context of social work practice as well as community development and research. A variety of social work and related agencies in and around Sydney will be utilised. The Field Education Coordinator will be responsible for the selection and arrangement of placements according to AASW guidelines.
Social work practice is not a neutral activity arising from an objective viewpoint but is inextricably bound to varying ideologies and propositions that are concerned with human conduct. This subject examines the various ideologies that inform psycho-social and political analysis. Ideologies such as liberalism, critical feminism, critical masculinity, critical class theory, critical race theory, and adultism, and their explanations for psycho-social problems and proposals for change are examined in relation to methods of social work practice. Students will be encouraged to explore how all theory and practice methods incorporate ideological assumptions and how, therefore, the construction of creative solutions demands practice that is reflective and self-critical.
This unit aims to develop students' knowledge and skill base to work with people in varied environments and during difficult life transitions. The focus will be on acquiring knowledge of practice theory and models and then making use of this knowledge in simulated practice including interviewing and through written critical reflection. The unit emphasises use of self, emotion work and skills in negotiating preferred goals and outcomes with clients.
This unit uses a problem-based learning approach to develop students' critical and practical reasoning abilities in professional decision making. Students will compare several models of decision making used at the interface of organisational and individual/family work contexts, and evaluate the usefulness of evidence based inquiry as a decision aid. Through case studies, students will discern the unique characteristics of a situation requiring professional judgement, explore their own habits or preferences in decision making, and develop reasoning skills that produce sound and ethical responses to the situation at hand.
This unit is designed to support the process of completion of a Social Work honours degree and the production of an honours thesis. It is only available to students who have been accepted into the honours programme for the Bachelor of Social Work. This unit is the culmination of studies for students who have completed their undergraduate degree and provides substantial training in research. Under staff supervision, students choose the particular topic for their research, design their own programme of research, perform the research and analyse the results. The culmination of this process is the production of a thesis in which students describe the rationale for their topic, their research programme, ethical issues, results, and their conclusions.
This unit is designed to prepare students to work in a diverse society as counsellors and advocates. Students will study the emergence of research in the counselling professions and explore connections and tensions between personal, professional and research ethics. Students will have the opportunity to examine their own cultural identity development, their own relationship with power and privilege and how these may impact their counselling practice. The unit will critically examine the evolution of the multicultural movement in the counselling profession and will consider issues and concerns of several non-dominant populations, including intersectionality in working with diverse ethnicities, genders, sexualities, religions, age and ability status.
This unit aims to develop clinical practice skills for students enrolled in the Master of Art Therapy. The unit will involve preparation for the field placements and group supervision of casework and issues arising from the placements. The unit involves 375 hours of clinical placement working under the guidance of a clinical supervisor.
This unit aims to develop clinical practice skills. It will involve preparation for the field placements and group supervision of casework and issues arising from the placements. The unit involves a clinical placement working under the guidance of a clinical supervisor from the professional background of the students under supervision. Students are required to undertake 100 placement hours.
Social work practice is informed by, and negotiated through, policy, legislative and ethical frameworks. This unit focuses on how these frameworks influence and shape social work practice in Australia and provides an opportunity for students to critically reflect upon their power, responsibilities and obligations In this unit, students will acquire the knowledge and skills to advocate for marginalised and disadvantaged individuals and groups through activism and advocacy and, work for social justice change through reform of legislation and policy.
This unit builds on the experiential learning from Foundations of Psychotherapy and Counselling 1 by offering further practice in interpersonal counselling skills in dyadic and group contexts. Students will consolidate and expand the range of skills appropriate to the unfolding counselling relationship through continued skills practice. Students will develop capacity to analyse their own responses in depth and respond reflexively in their work with clients, within an increased understanding of the therapeutic relationship and of what makes counselling effective. Students will continue to participate in small group experiential training, thereby increasing their awareness of interpersonal and group processes.
This unit focuses on the application of critical theories, models and methods of social work practice through the exploration of diverse fields of practice including: child wellbeing and protection; mental health; working with older people; disability; housing and homelessness; LGBTQI social work; and rural and remote practice. The emphasis will be on the contribution of various critical perspectives (Feminist, Post-colonial, Postmodern, Marxist, Green, Critical Race, etc) to social work theory and to the development of alternative forms of practice.
This unit introduces students to key considerations for practicing therapy and research in a diverse and neo-colonial context. Students will study the emergence of research in the arts therapy profession and explore connections and tensions between personal, professional and research ethics. Through close reading of professional documents, case studies and research papers, students will examine how the 'subjects' of therapy and research are conceptualised and constructed. From a perspective that links knowledge and power, students will look at what the published research says about what works and how in therapy; ask whom therapy and research work for; and examine the work these therapy and research practices do.
Foundations of Psychotherapy and Counselling 1 is a foundational unit for postgraduate counselling and therapeutic studies. It forms the first part of a 40 credit point sequence undertaken during the first year. Foundations of Psychotherapy and Counselling 1 presents the foundational skills necessary for the successful inception of a productive therapeutic relationship. The sequenced, progressive presentation of these skills via experiential learning is framed by the simultaneous presentation of key theoretical concepts relevant to the skills in question. Students will be required to analyse the features of their own personalities, and to reflect on feedback that they receive from others in the role of psychotherapist/counsellor, in order to develop the self-awareness and sensitivity necessary for this professional role.
Foundations of Psychotherapy and Counselling 2 presents and critically evaluates the major theoretical paradigms of counselling and psychotherapy. These include; psychoanalytic /psychodynamictherapies; humanistic psychotherapies; behavioural and cognitive behavioural therapies; systemic therapies; constructivist/ postmodern therapies; and expressive therapies. Students will consider the assumptions about human development and behaviour that are central to each of these ways of working, as well as their underlying 'theory of change'. Students will also be introduced to common ways that clients present with psychological difficulties, and will explore various clinical responses to such client issues. These issues will be explored considering intrapsychic, relational and life stressor factors. Students will consider how presenting issues relate to the norms and extremes of various personality types, and what consideration should be given to life-stages in understanding client problems.
This unit aims to develop clinical practice skills to the level required for professional registration. The unit involves 375 hours of clinical placement working under the guidance of a clinical supervisor. It will involve group supervision of casework and in-depth discussion of issues arising from placements.
This unit aims to develop clinical practice skills. It will involve preparation for the field placements and group supervision of casework and issues arising from the placements. The unit involves a clinical placement working under the guidance of a clinical supervisor from the professional background of the students under supervision. Students will undertake 200 placement hours.
This unit explores the concept of 'self' and how stories might shape self-identity or a sense of 'what it means to be me'. The enduring characteristics of stories will be examined alongside their different workings across cultures, traditions, technologies, genres and time. The unit will cover historical and contemporary notions of the unconscious as they inform an understanding of self and story. It will examine how an understanding of the brain, particularly of memory, and the workings of the right and left hemispheres, fit into this exploration. Working with selves and stories, as instruments for change in therapeutic work, will be considered across lifespan and a range of psychotherapies.
This unit critically examines the nature of mental illness and mental wellbeing. Historical and contemporary approaches to mental health and recovery will be reviewed. Diverse explanations for the origins of profound symptoms will also be explored. Mental health assessment tools commonly encountered by counsellors and psychotherapists are presented and their practical applications examined. Through case studies and autobiographical accounts, the voices of those with lived experience of major mental health issues will inform student learning in this unit. This unit invites students to critically evaluate mental health services from a range of perspectives and consider the role of counselling and psychotherapy alongside multiple pathways to recovery. Students will critically evaluate this knowledge and apply it in their development of skills in various psychotherapeutic methods to assist recovery and mental wellness.
In this capstone unit, students integrate their learning about interpersonal awareness and the value of the therapeutic relationship, which are central to the Master of Psychotherapy and Counselling. A focus on multiple relational influences enhances students' ability to work therapeutically with individuals, couples and families. Clients bring themselves and their current and past relationships into the therapy room with them, as does their counsellor. Students will have the opportunity to investigate their personal values and beliefs about relationships and how these influence their work with clients. Family life-cycle and developmental models are discussed, critiqued and applied to promote understanding of common and diverse client issues and presenting concerns. Ultimately students will explore the concept of interdependence and how relationship is central to human wellbeing.
Students will integrate theory and practice in social work through the development of a work-based project related to their organisational context or area of specialisation. The project will be negotiated with an academic advisor and be underpinned by concepts of community engagement/service learning. This project will be concurrent with the field placement and will allow students to plan, undertake and report on a specific aspect of practice in the context of work.
This subject focuses on leadership in human service organisations and the social and economic factors that influence and frame practice. Students in the subject will briefly review the contemporary political economic circumstances underpinning human services and the ongoing changes to policy and practice. The subject will examine the idea of what leadership is and present major leadership theories relevant to the human services. The content will address contexts of leadership including setting organisational culture, situational leadership in relation to practice and people, management and governance and leading through change. The subject will also examine trust, ethics and fairness in leadership and leadership in difficult circumstances. The emphasis of the subject will be to equip students with the means to describe, question and reshape leadership practice.
This unit complements theoretical frameworks introduced in Difference and Diversity to explore issues of power and marginalisation through the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, mental health consumers, children and young people, and people with disability. Practice and policy responses that challenge or reinforce power and marginalisation are explored.
This unit equips Therapy Studies students with the conceptual frameworks and skills needed to conduct basic research in the areas of counselling and psychotherapy. The question 'How do we know what we know?' becomes the connecting thread throughout an introduction to quantitative, qualitative and mixed method approaches to practitioner research. Building on considerations from the prerequisite unit 102357 Ethics and Diversity in Research and Therapy, students will develop their understanding of research as a scholarly, professional, social and intersubjective practice. They will learn to generate answerable research questions and a coherent research proposal within appropriate intellectual and methodological frameworks.
This unit enables students to participate in a structured and supervised field placement (408 hours). Social Work (Qualifying) Field Education 1 provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and experience in linking theory with the realities of practice, and extend their skills for social work practice with the support of practitioners working in the human services sector. Placements are offered in a variety of agency types spanning all areas of social work practice: direct service work with individuals, groups and families, community development; research and policy.
Social Work (Qualifying) Field Education 2 incorporates the final social work placement (600 hours) and will consolidate the experiences gained from both field placements. It will further assist students to clearly articulate their frame of reference within a critically reflective practice framework, before entering employment. Placements are offered in a variety of agency types spanning all areas of social work practice: direct service work with individuals, groups and families, community development; research and policy.
Social Work Practice Methods1 introduces students to a range of skills, knowledge and professional values for work with individuals and families in diverse practice settings. Students are supported to develop core verbal and written communication skills including engagement, assessment, designing and implementing interventions, evaluation, report writing and record keeping practices. There is an emphasis on safe, inclusive and responsive practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Social Work Practice Methods 2 introduces theories and skills for work with groups and communities in diverse practice settings. This unit will provide students with the opportunity to develop core group work, community work and community development skills. Students will engage in simulated practice activities in Western's Social Work Skills Lab.
Working with Indigenous communities is an important field of practice for social and human service workers in statutory as well as community contexts. This unit introduces students to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, including pre-contact, colonisation and contemporary developments. Specific attention will be paid to engaging communities - including practice principles, strategies and skills. This subject will emphasise the importance of culturally responsive practices requiring students to have an understanding of their own values and cultures. Critical self-reflection and positioning are vital skills for cultural responsiveness, and will be developed in this unit.
This subject introduces students to the different approaches to knowledge generation for social work practice and policy. The subject highlights how social workers can design and implement ethical research activities including the theories and methods that support different research approaches. The subject explores and analyses contemporary research design issues and the dominant qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches in knowledge generation. This is in the context of incorporating Indigenous knowledges and methodologies, and those specifically relevant to gender and cultural diversity. The subject highlights practice-based uses of research including program evaluation, meta-analysis, systematic reviews and community needs assessment.
This unit explores different strands of social theory and their relevance for contemporary social work practice, both in the context of Western Sydney, and also globally. The heritage of the European Enlightenment will be critically examined as providing the basic paradigm for the construction of 'social theory' and also of social work knowledge and practice. The contribution of the humanities, as providing space for creativity and inspiration as well as insight, will also be considered. The limitations as well as the positives of Western epistemologies will be explored, and alternatives such as Southern Theory, Indigenous knowledges, critical theory, and 'new paradigm' thinking will be evaluated.
This unit introduces postgraduate students from allied professions to the major theoretical frameworks and foundational practices of counselling. An in-depth exploration of the embodied and situated experience of the trainee practitioner will be central to learning how to attend to and support others. Students will engage in an ongoing critical consideration of how discourses and practices of selfhood, social justice, power, colonisation, intersectionality, diversity and place shape the subjects of therapy and influence the therapeutic relationship. These intersubjective and scholarly enquiries will inform a scaffolded, intensive practice of microskills. (Legacy code 102806)