Level 1: Applied Counselling Psychology

A Solution Oriented Approach

This one year program serves as our entry point for our more advanced programs. As such, it is a valuable course for beginners, those working in the helping or management professions, those looking for a career change and people who may be seeking a professional development, upskilling opportunity.

The course typically attracts a rich variety of professional and life experience amongst its participants. As with all of our programs, the course is delivered with an experiential, practical emphasis via demonstrations, discussions, experiential exercises, small group work, assignments and practical supervision. The course provides a minimum contact period of 120 hours over eight weekends.


Students meet on a regular basis in a small cell group setting and complete eight written, practical assignments over the course duration, culminating in a case study through work with a client.


Back to top


Course description

This program is valuable experience for those in the helping professions who are looking for further personal and professional development and assumes that you will have completed an accredited training in a recognized helping discipline. It is anticipated that there will be various levels of experience and practice amongst participants.

Term structure

Learning is by way of workshops, experiential exercises, discussion, live and video demonstration, seminars and ongoing case supervision by the principals of Davellen Consulting and invited professionals.

The four terms comprise a combination of weekend workshops (Saturday and Sunday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm) and eight to 10 small group meetings, delivering a total minimum contact time of 30 hours per term, or 120 hours for the year.


Back to top


Course outline

Term One - Language and creating context for change

Term One provides participants with opportunities to experience and practice a wide range of techniques in different contexts. In focusing on technique and the art of providing therapeutic context, students experience themselves and others at work. Each has the opportunity to evaluate, discuss, evolve and discriminate effective and viable therapeutic strategies.

Major topics and issues include: 

  • Generating context and designing outcomes for the course
  • Assumptions of the solution oriented approach
  • Designing and practicing first and subsequent session guidelines
  • Speaking as action - the everything of language
  • Solution oriented language structures
  • Negotiating a client: customers/complainants/visitors
  • Negotiating solvable problems - becoming under-whelmed.

Back to top

Term Two - Moods, emotions and therapeutic strategies

Term Two presents an understanding of moods, emotions and the body that allows for their utilisation as a means of therapeutic intervention. Powerful concepts related to pattern recognition, the design and delivery of task assignments and therapeutic metaphor are incorporated through discussion and a variety of experiential exercises.

Major topics and issues include:


  • The language and body of moods and emotions
  • Moods and emotions as a means of intervention
  • Linguistic reconstruction of moods and emotions
  • Interrupting disruptive patterns
  • The art of designing and delivering therapeutic task assignments therapeutic metaphor
  • Design and delivery. 

Back to top


Term Three - Relationships and the body in therapy


Term Three provides lectures, demonstrations and small group experiences in the art and science of brief, respectful, strategic and solution focused therapy for couples. This unit links with and builds on Terms One and Two, in developing the therapist's unique style, as well as refining and applying languaging tools.

Major topics and issues include:

  • Assumptions of solution oriented relationship work
  • Moving from blame and explanations to action
  • Embodiment of moods and emotions
  • The body as a means of intervention
  • Language and communication: promises, requests, offers and complaints
  • Generating effective communication and intimacy
  • Designing and practicing first and subsequent session guidelines.

Back to top


Term Four - Clinical supervision and case work

Much of Term Four is devoted to case management and supervision, incorporating case discussions and review. Students assessed as suitable will be given the opportunity to participate as a counsellor in the Bendigo Professional Counselling Group, under the supervision of the principals of Davellen Consulting and other course candidates. Students have the opportunity to discuss and explore treatment options relative to specific clinical conditions.

There is a focus on specific clinical issues, with topics negotiated with students. Topics might include additions, post trauma, sexual abuse or stress.

Major topics and issues include:

  • Introduction to the operation, guidelines, ethics and logistics of the student clinic
  • Case work supervision and presentation
  • Case study preparation and construction
  • Skill review, overview and assessment.

Back to top


Course dates

Please go to our 'Course dates' page. 


Back to top