BEHV 7014 Core Skills and Ethical Practice

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101810

Coordinator Michael Gascoigne Opens in new window

Description In this subject students apply core evidence-based counselling and intervention skills that are responsive to working within culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This subject addresses key cultural ethical, legal, and professional aspects of psychological practice; including working within one's competency and within inter-disciplinary contexts and the management of risk across the lifespan, including child protection. The theoretical underpinnings of evidence-based intervention strategies and ethical practice across the lifespan are critically examined, including from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. Students develop their professional understanding of the codes and guidelines of the Australian Psychological Society and Psychology Board of Australia, and the relevant State and Commonwealth Acts and Regulations of Parliament. Major practice problems faced by psychologists and modes of resolution acceptable within the profession are considered. Students reflect on professionalism in psychology practice and how their own perspectives, world views, values and competencies may inform their processes ethical decision-making. Students will also identify areas for ongoing professional development.

School Psychology

Discipline Psychology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYA 0477 - Core Skills and Ethical Practice LGYA 1198 - Core Skills Counselling and Ethical Practice


Students must be enrolled in 1546 Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology), 1812 Master of Clinical Psychology or 1814 Master of Professional Psychology

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Implement evidence-based counselling and intervention skills within a framework of problem exploration, reflection on one�fs own practice and identifying areas for improvement (APAC GA: 3.2, 3.14 & 3.15).
  2. Identify, demonstrate and reflect on key skills in building a therapeutic alliance, including attending and active listening, relational skills, including empathy, building motivation to change and goal setting, and evaluating change in a culturally responsive way that can be applied across all forms of psychotherapy (APAC GA: 3.3 & 4.2.2iv).
  3. Implement therapeutic practices to ensure, inform and evaluate safe ps

Subject Content

Overview and critical evaluation of counselling and intervention models and frameworks, and their application including basic skills of active listening and responding, communication skills in three phases of problem-focused counselling, and forming a positive working alliance with clients and colleagues.
Therapeutic skills for challenging, goal setting and helping clients choose action strategies.
Cultural adaptations and responsiveness in counselling skills, including working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Managing risk over the lifespan: Risk assessment, crisis management and child protection.
Managing risk over the lifespan: Risk assessment, crisis management and child protection. 5. Ethical contexts and guides: Rationale for professional codes, relating codes to moral theory, and overview of APS and Registration Board codes and the codes and the APS ethical guidelines for the provision of psychological services for, and conduct of psychological research with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (2015).
Application and evaluation of moral theory and professional codes to a range of professional issues, including professional boundaries in relationships with clients, working within inter-professional contexts and within one's competency.
Ethical decision making: Sequential steps, meta-ethical considerations and moral theory to inform responding to and dealing with ethical dilemmas.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Critical Review 1,500-2,000 words 30 Y Individual
Essay 1,500 words 30 Y Individual
Practical Exam a) Practical skills demonstration (essential competencies); (S/U) .b) Practical skills demonstration (flexibility, reliability (40%) 30 minutes 40 Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Egan, G. (2009). The skilled helper (9th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/ Cole, Cengage Learning. Morrissey, S., & Reddy, P. (Eds.) (2006). Ethics and professional practice for psychologists. South Melbourne, Vic: Thomson

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Michael Gascoigne Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Michael Gascoigne Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window