Unit Description

The development of skills in self-awareness through inner work is central to the holistic counselling and psychotherapy model.

The development of skills in self-awareness through inner work is central to the holistic counselling and psychotherapy model. This 3-credit point Inner Work 1 unit develops the metaskills of deep respect, listening, presence in relationship, the ‘not knowing’ or ‘beginner’s’ mind and curiosity.

Self-reflective exercises are introduced in this unit, including the use of rapid writing, journaling, drawing, mindfulness and meditation. Exercises in this unit are designed both for the development of the therapist and to be applied in therapy sessions for the empowerment of clients.

Specific exercises in Process Oriented work are developed, including “Working on Yourself Alone” (Mindell, 2014), dream work, body work and relationships. The flirting exercise (Mindell, 2002) and other experiential exercises such as Goethe’s observation of nature are introduced, to develop students’ capacity to open to deeper levels of awareness than everyday consciousness, thereby becoming aware of the essence, or the working of a universal consciousness in each person’s life.

Unit Code


Unit Type

Core Unit

Study Period

Year 1, Semester 1

Credit Points


Unit Coordinator

Dr David Russell

Consultation Times

30 minutes before and after workshop intensives and by appointment during the semester

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • a) Utilise the skills of journaling, rapid writing, guided meditation and drawing to increase self-awareness and in counselling work with clients
  • b) Apply experiential exercises to develop the capacity to notice signals and open to deeper levels of awareness
  • c) Apply core process oriented and metaskills to self and in working with others to develop an active self-reflective process
  • d) Bring a ‘beginner’s mind’ and curiosity to counselling practice and wonder to oneself and others about the experience of connecting with the deeper mystery of life
  • e) Demonstrate critical awareness of their strengths and limitations in counselling practice, thereby knowing when to appropriately refer, seek their own therapy, and utilise supervision

Graduate Attributes

Attributes Statement
Collaboration Our graduates will have advanced skills in collaborating respectfully with colleagues, teams and clients to enhance productive outcomes and manage conflict skilfully
Ethical practice and integrity Our graduates will demonstrate high ethical standards in their work and follow professional Codes of Ethics to do good (beneficence) and avoid harm (maleficence)
Holistic awareness Our graduates will have an in-depth understanding of how the physical body, the psyche and mind/ spirit/self are in constant interaction and relationship with each other and with the environment
Communication Our graduates will have well-developed written and oral communication skills, including listening deeply and receiving, interpreting and transmitting complex information, on many levels of awareness with colleagues, clients and the community
Lifelong learning Our graduates will have the skills necessary to successfully manage their careers and continue their personal and professional development in rapidly changing environments across their career spans
Critical thinking Our graduates will have critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and analyse information and make informed professional judgements

Delivery Mode

Workshop intensive on-campus 1:

9:00 am – 5:30 pm
On-campus teaching comprises 12 hours in total.

Study Buddy activities
Eight hours over the semester

Student Workload

The total unit workload is equivalent to 7.25 hours per week over the semester, 116 hours in total.

  • Twelve hours of on-campus workshop intensives
  • 8 hours study buddy work
  • 96 personal study hours

Created: April 27, 2021, 4:11 p.m. • Updated: March 4, 2024, 4:46 p.m.