WELF 7002 Clinical Studies in Psychotherapy and Counselling

Credit Points 20

Legacy Code 102365

Coordinator Susan Field Opens in new window

Description This subject 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 subject 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.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Counselling

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 20cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Pre-requisite(s) WELF 7009 AND
WELF 7006

Equivalent Subjects LGYA 1627 - Clinical Studies (Counselling)


Students must be enrolled in 1817 Master of Psychotherapy and Counselling or 1647 Graduate Diploma in Counselling.

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of counselling theory and practice and professional practice in a clinical context.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Integrate theoretical knowledge and practical skills in order to effectively work with clients in the placement setting.
  2. Demonstrate ability to reflect critically upon one's clinical work through observation, documentation, audiotape and case study analysis.
  3. Participate appropriately and effectively as a member of an agency clinical team as demonstrated through consistent professional conduct inclusive of ethical, legal and cross-cultural considerations.
  4. Achieve an appropriate standard of professional and clinical practice for a graduating clinician in counselling and psychotherapy through completion of required number of supervised placement hours.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of the counselling experience from the position of the client and how this learning informs clinical practice.

Subject Content

  • Placement in an appropriate setting for 100 hours
  • Observation of an agency at work
  • Examination of the way in which the treatment models and management structures of the agency affect the functioning of the therapist or counsellor
  • Working as part of a team
  • Working with clients under supervision.
  • Development of clinical skills in practice: therapeutic skills, maintaining the frame of therapy, observation of appropriate boundaries, adherence to ethical practices, engagement and assessment of issues with clients, use of supervision, presentation skills, report writing, record keeping.
  • Development of professional skills including reflective practice, professional and ethical conduct and understanding of inherent requirements for counselling practice.

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

Special Requirements - NSW Health Legislative Prerequisites Pre-requisites

Student Compliance Information for all Health-Related Placements

Prior to enrolling in this subject, students must have submitted a Student Undertaking Form and undertake to apply for a National Police Check, which is required to be submitted before placement, and a Working with Children Check Student Declaration. Use the link to the Special Requirements webpage below for more information.

To be eligible to enrol in this subject and complete any required health-related placements or experiences, students must meet Western Sydney University program requirements as well as any special, legislated, or policy-mandated requirements.

Western Program Requirements

Visit the Special Requirements webpage for details about your program.

Special Requirements

Mandatory NSW Health student placement policy requirements

To be able to undertake placement in any NSW Health facility you must be assessed as compliant with NSW Health student placement policy in the first year of your program, regardless of when you expect to go on your first placement. Access and read the NSW Student Compliance Information Booklet.

NSW Student Compliance Information Booklet

Please ensure that you

  1.  Find your existing National Police Check or apply for one
  2.  Gather documentary evidence of your vaccination history
  3.  Print and compete all relevant NSW Health forms relevant to the campus you are enrolled at or online enrolment requirements
  4.  Follow booklet instructions on how to have your compliance documents assessed by NSW health staff.

International students have additional requirements; the link to the booklet will inform you of these requirements.

School Requirements

Contact your School for further details regarding your School’s requirements, if any, such as

  • If you live outside of NSW or Australia and need to meet your state, territory or country’s compliance requirements
  • If you need to meet different state, territory or country compliance requirements.
  • NSW Working with Children Check (WWCC) or other state equivalent, valid for your entire program.
  • Current approved first aid certificate valid for your entire program - approved program providers can be found at the Government Training website
  • http://training.gov.au
  • Other non-health related requirements.

Student Compliance Resources are also available on the Placements Hub web page (NSW students only)



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
Participation Ongoing S/US Y Individual
Professional Placement Performance 100 hours S/US Y Individual
Reflection 2,000 Words S/US Y Individual
Report 3,000 Words S/US Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Crago, H., & Gardner, P. (2019). A Safe Place for Change: Skills and Capacities for Counselling and Therapy (2nd ed.). Interactive Publications.
  • Freeth, R. (2007). Humanising Psychiatry and Mental Health Care: The challenge of the person-centred approach. Taylor and Francis Group.
  • Yalom, I., (2010). The Gift of Therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients (Rev. ed.) London: Piatkus. 

Teaching Periods

1st Half (2024)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Susan Field Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window