The aim of this unit of study is to provide a framework for trauma informed counselling with specific reference to family violence and sexual assault. While the focus is on survivors of trauma related events, consideration is also given to the societal context in which family violence and sexual assault occur. Theories of trauma are covered as part of understanding ways to work therapeutically with survivors of traumatic events. Emphasis is placed on developing the self-awareness of the counsellor in response to indicators of family violence and sexual assault
This unit has a focus on practical learning that can be applied in workplace, community and placement settings. In addition to presentations and discussion regarding the application of knowledge and skills, a range of prevention, assessment and intervention skills will be introduced.
Students will be able to demonstrate awareness of the political, social, family and personal contexts in which violence and sexual assault occur, understanding of the impact of family violence and sexual assault, key underpinnings of trauma-focused treatment for survivors, and strategies for prevention and skills for responding to violence in the community.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review the processes involved in prevention, identification, assessment and intervention in cases involving domestic violence and/or sexual assault;  
  2. Critically reflect on the counsellor's role in response to indicators of domestic violence and sexual assault;  
  3. Appraise social and cultural attitudes towards and approaches to domestic violence and sexual assault;  
  4. Identify and critique a range of professional literature that examines working with identifying and treating domestic violence and sexual assault;  
  5. Identify trauma theories relevant to working therapeutically with survivors; and  
  6. Understand considerations for assessment and treatment of survivors.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Essay Research into services (1000 words) 25%
Case Study Presenting issues, assessment, considerations for treatment and a plan for therapy (2500 words) 40%
Presentation Video recording of role play and brief written reflection (2500 words) 35%

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