Skip to content | Change text size
Handbooks Courses Units Related information

EDF6504 - Developmental psychology and counselling skills

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Education

Leader(s): Dr J Gordon


Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)


This unit has been designed to provide the opportunity for students to explore a developmental perspective of the therapeutic process, from both a theoretical and an applied standpoint. This unit comprises three sections. The first involves establishing a professional relationship and appropriate communication and counselling skills required as a basis for various types of intervention for children, adolescents and families. The second will introduce students to an advanced theoretical understanding of developmental psychology, focusing on a dynamic perspective of developmental outcomes as the result of person-environment interactions. The implications for therapy will be discussed in the context of acculturation issues and Autistic Disorders, with an emphasis on the critical appraisal of research evidence for novel autism treatments. The third section draws from the major theories and models in developmental and educational psychology, to focus on what motivates individuals to engage in learning activities. It explicitly links motivational, emotional and cognitive aspects for children through adults, and ways in which learning environments may promote desired motivations and achievement-related behaviours.


Upon completion of the unit, students will have developed an understanding of:

  1. The fundamentals of the counselling process, therapeutic counselling skills and associated case management issues.
  2. The developmental process and be able to critically appraise evidence regarding assessment and treatment approaches for non-typical development such as Autistic Disorder.
  3. The major motivation-related theories and models in educational psychology, and be able to critically assess the contextual influences of the learning environment, family and peer contexts, task features, gender, ethnicity and developmental stage on learner motivations and emotions.


Three Assignments (2500 words each): 33% each

Contact hours

3 hours per week

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus students must attend a one (1) week Residential school


Successful completion of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited four year sequence in psychology and enrolment in MPsych (Educational and Developmental).

[an error occurred while processing this directive]