Trauma-informed Counselling

Unit code: APT5006 | Study level: Postgraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
City Flinders


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 and the impact of working with trauma-related issues.
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 counselling for survivors and strategies for prevention and skills for responding to violence in the community.

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 trauma;
  2. Investigate social and cultural attitudes towards stigmatised traumatic experiences, such as family violence and sexual abuse/assault; and
  3. Appraise theories and frameworks relevant to trauma-informed counselling practice.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Annotated Bibliography
Grade: 30%
Individual review of 5 articles relating to trauma informed practice (1000 words)
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 30%
Individual written report on trauma service providers (1500 words)
Assessment type: Case Study
Grade: 40%
Individual submission

Required reading

There is no set text for this unit. Links to readings will be posted on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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