EDF5530 (Couples, Families or Group Counselling) Assignment – Critical Essay on Case Study

EDF5530 (Couples, Families or Group Counselling) Assignment – Critical Essay on Case Study

Module / Subject / School:

EDF5530 (Couples, Families or Group Counselling) Assignment – Critical Essay on Case Study

Monash University


Darren (52) and Joy (37) are a re-married couple with their first baby who is 9 months old. They have been married for 4 years. Darren has been previously married with two children Tom (15) and Sarah (13) who both visit every second weekend. Their mother Sandy is dating and looks forward to having these child-free weekends. Joy divorced from her first marriage in her 20’s without children from that relationship… [rest of case study removed]

While individual counselling is a common first choice, Darren is keen to find out about what other counselling approaches might offer. Discuss three different approaches for Darren:
● Couple counselling OR
● Family therapy OR
● Group counselling for those with gambling concerns
Use the following questions to structure your essay in relation to the case study above.

1. Critical analysis of couples counselling, family counselling and counselling groups. Provide an evidence-base for each approach (couples, family and group) approach that might be helpful for developing different goals for the presenting issues. Your evidence-base should be drawn from theories and peer-reviewed empirical literature. In the context of the case study, outline the goals, benefits, limitations and possible risks of each approach.
[15 marks]

2. Draw a genogram for the family representing who is in it and use symbols to represent their different relationships, including their (emotional relationship). [10 marks]
Discuss who you might include for the different approaches and discuss reasons for your decisions, the similarities and differences in establishing therapeutic relationships in couples, family and group counselling. How would you go about engaging more than one person in counselling? How would you engage children or teenagers who might be reluctant to attend family counselling? [10 marks]

3. Application of counselling skills for ONE approach. Choose FIVE micro counselling skills from the list below and give an example of how you would use each skill for the case study. Give a brief definition of the FIVE skills that you will apply and identify which approach you are working.
[10 marks]

1. Probing questions
2. Advanced empathy
3. Exception questions
4. Scaling questions
5. Challenging
6. Externalisation
7. Circular questions

4. Tailoring counselling to the ONE approach. Briefly describe why tailoring therapy is critical to therapeutic outcomes. Discuss how you would tailor the chosen counselling approach to address cultural and diversity for this case study. [5 marks]

5. Counselling skills to explore and manage ethical issues. It has been several months since the family has stopped receiving counselling at your agency. Joy’s mother Penny has noticed that Tom seems to be sharing photos of Sarah in revealing attire on his phone. Joy phones your agency and asks for help with this issue. Discuss how you would work therapeutically with any potential ethical issues. [5 marks]

6. Presentation
Academic writing style that is well-structured, coherent and well expressed with no/minor grammatical errors. APA 7 style –in-text citations, referencing, font type (Arial, Times Roman, Cabrini); 1.5-double spacing, include a title page. [5 marks]
See APA resource in the resource folder.

What we score:


Our Writer’s Comment 

The case provided can be tricky, especially if you do not know the concepts well.

  1. Critical Analysis of Approaches: For each approach (couples counseling, family therapy, and group counseling for gambling concerns), conduct a critical analysis supported by evidence from theories and peer-reviewed empirical literature. Discuss the goals, benefits, limitations, and possible risks associated with each approach in the context of the case study. Ensure that your analysis demonstrates a deep understanding of each approach and its relevance to the presenting issues. Use relevant research studies, theories, and professional literature to support your analysis.
  2. Genogram and Therapeutic Relationships: Create a genogram representing the family members and their emotional relationships. Use symbols to depict the different relationships within the family. Discuss who should be included in each approach and provide reasons for your decisions. Compare and contrast the process of establishing therapeutic relationships in couples counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. Address the challenges and strategies for engaging multiple individuals, including children or teenagers who may be reluctant to attend family counseling. Consider the unique dynamics and considerations involved in working with each approach.
  3. Application of Counseling Skills: Choose one approach and select five micro counseling skills from the provided list. Clearly define each skill and give an example of how you would use it in the case study. Ensure that your examples are relevant to the chosen approach and effectively address the presenting issues. Demonstrate your understanding of the skills and their application in a counseling context. Provide concise and specific explanations to showcase your proficiency in using these skills effectively.
  4. Tailoring Therapy and Cultural Diversity: Explain the importance of tailoring therapy to achieve therapeutic outcomes. Discuss how you would tailor the chosen counseling approach to address cultural and diversity considerations in the case study. Consider the cultural background and diversity factors present in the family dynamics and explore how these should be sensitively addressed within the chosen approach. Highlight the relevance of cultural competence and the potential impact on therapeutic effectiveness.
  5. Managing Ethical Issues: Given the scenario provided, discuss how you would work therapeutically with potential ethical issues. Specifically, address the concern raised by Penny regarding Tom sharing photos of Sarah in revealing attire on his phone. Outline the ethical considerations involved and propose strategies to address and manage these issues within the counseling context. Demonstrate your understanding of ethical principles, confidentiality, and professional boundaries.
  6. Presentation: Ensure that your writing style is academic, well-structured, and coherent. Express your ideas clearly and concisely, using correct grammar and minimal errors. Follow the APA 7 style guidelines for in-text citations, referencing, font type (Arial, Times Roman, Cabrini), 1.5-double spacing, and include a title page. Adhere to the formatting requirements and use appropriate headings and subheadings to enhance the organization and readability of your essay.

By addressing these components effectively and providing evidence-based arguments and analysis, students can demonstrate their understanding of counseling approaches, critical thinking skills, and their ability to apply counseling techniques to real-world scenarios.

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