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Unit information: Counselling Young People and Families in 2015/16

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Unit name Counselling Young People and Families
Unit code EDUCM5912
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Mrs. Knowler
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit considers a selection of issues that are frequently raised by teachers in educational settings and provides the opportunity to critically evaluate established frameworks and practices that inform the use of counselling skills in Special and Inclusive Education contexts. The unit will consider a selection of at least five topics related to the education experiences of learners identifies as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) chosen in consultation with students. These could include: bullying; difficulties with learning; impact of assessment; behaviour and discipline; bereavement; coping with transition and major life changes; vulnerability arising from abuse or neglect; self-harm; anxiety and depression; eating disorders and substance abuse. The selected topics will be considered from the perspectives of the person seeking help and their families and what is appropriate to educational settings.

The aims of this unit are to:

  • Develop a theoretical understanding of at least five selected issues that that are likely to be brought by young people seeking help in educational settings;
  • Examine and evaluate theoretical differences in counselling skills frameworks;
  • Critically analyse the implications for theory and practice for teaching using counselling skills;
  • Draw on students own life experience and of others known to them to deepen their understanding of the potential impact of using counselling skills with learners with SEND and their families;
  • Formulate appropriate strategies for helping by use of counselling skills that take account of the individual needs, cultural norms and the educational setting;

Intended learning outcomes

Students will demonstrate that they:

  • Have a critical knowledge of and the ability to evaluate different approaches to issues presented by young people with SEND asking for help in educational settings
  • Can critically justify their preferred approaches to offering help or use of counselling skills when working with learners with SEND and their families;
  • Understand the implications of life story and personal experience for offering help to young people and their families given the impact of SEND on school experiences;
  • Can formulate an appropriate way of helping someone with specified issues for which help is being sought;

Teaching details

A variety of approaches to learning and teaching will be used including: tutor input, small group discussion, experiential work, case studies, student led seminars and presentations, the use of audiovisual materials.

Contact Hours Per Week

Contact Hours = 20 hours

Assessment Details

Formative assessment:

Students will be required, usually working collaboratively in small groups, to make a presentation to class about a selected issue and its implications for learners with SEND. The presentation will not be summatively assessed but will be discussed in class; formative feedback will be offered. Undertaking this exercise and carrying out the necessary research for the presentation is required as preparation for the assessed submission.

Summative assessment:

The summative assessment will be based on an assignment of the equivalent of 4000 words about a selected issue that demonstrates a critical ability to understand and apply relevant literature; select an appropriate intervention in support learners with SEND and their families; and to appreciate the challenges of implementation for teachers using counselling skills.

Reading and References

  • Dallos, R. & Draper, R. (2010) An Introduction to Family Therapy: systemic theory and practice. (3rd ed) Buckingham, Open University Press
  • Geldard, K. and Geldard, D (2009) Counselling Adolescents. (3rd edition)London, Sage
  • Geldard, K. and Geldard, D (2013) Counselling Children: a practical Introduction. (4th edition) London, Sage
  • Hornby, G., Hall, C. & Hall, E. (eds.) (2003) Counselling Pupils in Schools: skills and strategies for teachers. London, Routledge/Falmer
  • Sederholm, G. H. (2003) Counselling Young People in School. London, Jessica Kingsley
  • Lee, C. (2004) Preventing Bullying in Schools: a guide to teachers and other professionals. London, Paul Chapman