Counselling Children and Adolescents from a Developmental Perspective : Graduate Counselling and Applied Psychology (GCAP) 648

Counselling Children and Adolescents from a Developmental Perspective (Revision 2)


Delivery Mode: Paced study; online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Graduate Studies

Prerequisite: GCAP 631, GCAP 633

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

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Counsellors provide assessment and intervention across the lifespan. Children and adolescents are the focus of counselling as often as adults, and working with them requires knowledge of their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. On completion of this course, students will be able to integrate their theoretical approach to counselling, knowledge of human development, and a systemic view of the child and his or her relationship with family, school, society, and culture. Interventions will include verbal and non-verbal approaches to counselling. This course will provide the conceptual foundation necessary for students to undertake supervised practicum experience intervening with children and adolescents.


  1. Orientation to Child and Adolescent Counselling.
  2. Guiding Principles for Child and Adolescent Counselling; the Family Life Cycle.
  3. Ecosystemic and Family Influences; Protective (Resilience), and Vulnerability Factors; Case Conceptualization.
  4. Factors Supporting Early Childhood Adjustment
  5. Enhancing Development and Adjustment in Middle Childhood
  6. Developmental Assets in Adolescents
  7. A Practical Approach to Intake and Engagement; Early Childhood Counselling Interventions
  8. The First Interview; Counselling Interventions in Middle Childhood
  9. Counselling Interventions for Adolescents
  10. Wiki Development: Child and Adolescent Intervention
  11. Wiki Development: Child and Adolescent Intervention
  12. Wiki Development: Child and Adolescent Intervention; Wiki Forum
  13. Ethics and Continuing Competence Counselling: Children and Adolescents.

Course Evaluation

To receive credit for GCAP 648, students must submit all of the course assignments. The passing grade for the course is B- (70%). The assessment structure for GCAP 648 is based on the following course activities, with the percentage weighting of each activity as indicated. Your final grade for the course will be based on your performance in these course activities.

Course Activity Weight
Assignment 1: Self-care When Working with Children 15%
Assignment 2: Case Conceptualization of the Child Part 1 25%
Assignment 3: Case Conceptualization of the Child Part 2 15%
Assignment 3: Child/Adolescent Wiki 30%
Assignment 4: On-line Discussion 15%
Total 100%

Course Materials

Course Texts

There is no text for this course. Electronic sources, primarily from the Athabasca University Library, and from other online sources, will be assigned for each lesson.

Other Information

Students with a disability, who require academic accommodation, need to register with the Access to Students with Disabilities Centre at Athabasca University. Notification of the need for academic accommodation must normally be provided to the program office no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the first day of class. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Disability Centre to request academic accommodation if required and to notify the instructor that such accommodation has been requested. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate individual student needs. However, because GCAP courses are paced, all student are required to participate weekly in the online discussion forums. There are also several courses where online exams are required.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice.

Opened in Revision 2, September 2013.