Course outline. Code: COU301 Title: Positive Psychology for Counselling

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1 Course outline Code: COU301 Title: Positive Psychology for Counselling Faculty of Arts and Business School of Social Sciences Teaching Session: Semester 1 Year: 2015 Course Coordinator: Suzanne Evans Office: T2.33 Phone No: (07) What is this course about? 1.1 Course description Traditionally, the foundation for clinical and counselling psychology has been the psychopathological personality, which focussed on pre-classical psychoanalysis and modern practices to find what goes wrong in the human mind. This course will help you to examine factors that should be included when considering what goes right in the human mind a study of strengths, optimism, hope, resiliency and happiness. The course is largely experiential and presents practical ways of using character strengths to promote and maintain wellbeing. 1.2 Course content Introduction to positive psychology Developing strengths and living well in a cultural context Foundations: emotions, motivation and the nature of well-being Leisure, flow, mindfulness and peak performance Empathy and egotism: the me/we balance Excellence, aesthetics, creativity and genius Well-being across the life span: optimal well-being Religions, spirituality and well-being Positive institutions and cultural well-being The future of positive psychology 2. Unit value 12 units

2 Page 2 3. How does this course contribute to my learning? Specific Learning Outcomes Assessment Tasks Qualities On successful completion of this course you should be able to: You will be assessed on the learning outcome in task/s: Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming: Use the research that supports the principles, skills and strategies of positive psychology, and critically assess the claims of positive psychology to promote wellbeing. Identify the changes in lifestyle you want to make and be able to demonstrate through self-reflective writings that you are moving towards living in a positive psychological state with increased stable happiness. Utilise skills and strategies learnt to maintain optimal wellbeing. Differentiate between varying cultural perspectives of human wellness and explore which aspects of your cultural background contribute to positive psychology. 3 and 4 Knowledgeable. Creative and critical thinkers. 1 and 3 Empowered. 2 and 3 Empowered. Creative and critical thinkers. 1, 2, 3 and 4 Creative and critical thinkers. Ethical. 4. Am I eligible to enrol in this course? Refer to the Coursework Programs and Awards - Academic Policy for definitions of pre-requisites, corequisites and anti-requisites 4.1 Enrolment restrictions Must be enrolled in AR301, AR375, AR372, AR374, AR362, XP601 or UP Pre-requisites COU180 or SCS Co-requisites Nil 4.4 Anti-requisites Nil 4.5 Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills N/A 5. How am I going to be assessed? 5.1 Grading scale Standard High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL)

3 5.2 Assessment tasks Task Assessment No. Tasks Page 3 Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it? 1 Positive change Individual Formative 500 words Week 3 SafeAssign project plan 2 Experiential exercises and reflections Individual 35% 250 words each Weeks 4 10 Blackboard Journal and tutorial 3 Positive change Individual 50% 2500 words Week 12 SafeAssign project critical essay 4 Test Individual 15% 30 Questions Week 13 Blackboard 100% Assessment Task 1 (Formative): Positive change project plan Goal: Identify the lifestyle changes you want to make or that you are moving towards living in a more positive psychological state including evidence that positive psychology has promoted optimal wellbeing. Product: Written plan, 500 words identified change project, your model for change and the change you are undertaking. Format: You will be asked to think about a change (strengths, virtues, attitudes, behaviours) you want to make for yourself that will have a positive outcome for you. In this plan you will articulate your model for change and develop a plan that will assist you to achieve the change you are making. The steps you are intending to take and the outcome you wish to achieve need to be articulated in this plan. Articulating your SMART goals would be a useful strategy to develop the basic plan. The project needs to be evidence-based and you will need to identify and enlist the assistance of a coach/mentor who can assist you in the change process and verify that you have done what you said you would do. Criteria Clarity and practicality of change project Identification of desired changes in lifestyle and demonstration through selfreflective writing Evidence of application of positive psychology Generic skill assessed Skill assessment level Problem solving Developing

4 Assessment Task 2: Experiential exercises Page 4 Goal: You will acquire insights into your own strengths, wellness, happiness and values through the completion of and reflections on a variety of scientific based questionnaires. Product: 7 questionnaires and reports Format: On Blackboard and in tutorials you will be directed to various websites where you will be able to take the scientific-based questionnaires listed for you. You will print the report, write a brief reflection on it and the insights you gained and bring it to the next tutorial for discussion. Criteria Successful completion and submission of the exercises Self-reflective ability Articulation of insights gained Recognition of areas you want to develop further Generic skill assessed Skill assessment level Applying technologies Communication Assessment Task 3: Positive change project critical essay Goal: Identification of the research that supports the skills and principles of positive psychology that you used as part of your change project and have differentiated the cultural diversity aspects that have influenced perspectives of human wellness. Product: You will write an essay addressing the following issues: (a) Introduction: Why did you decide to change what you hopefully changed? What variables helped or impeded this change? Identification of cultural perspectives on human wellness. Why you succeeded or didn t succeed? Use theory to support your answers. (b) Methods: Describe the procedure you used to change. What model of change did you use? What techniques did you use and what is the psychology behind those techniques? How did you measure your change? (c) Results: What happened? Even though your self-report data may show you were effective, you need other evidence such as comments from family, peers, friends, co-workers. Or you may have some health indicators or behaviour measures that show you have changed, or you have specific evidence that you have been more positive and grateful because of the number of people you have thanked and they have appreciated it. (d) Discussion: Are your results consistent with that found in other published material? What have you learned about self-change and positive psychology? You might talk about your strengths or limitations or difficulties you encountered in implementing the change or, you might explain why some techniques worked better than others. Would you do it differently if you had a chance to do it again? Why or why not? Format: Typed response approximately 2500 words in formal essay format. References required. Criteria Identification and comprehension of a model of change Clarity in addressing each of the sections listed above Demonstration of evidence-based results Analysis of personal results and comparison with other literature on self-change

5 Page 5 Consistent APA style and referencing, correct grammar and punctuation Depth of self-reflective evaluation Clarity of links to positive psychology Identification of cultural perspectives on human wellness Generic skill assessed Skill assessment level Communication Assessment Task 4: Online Test Goal: You will demonstrate understanding of Positive Psychology and its potential use in Counselling. Product: Online Test Format: 30 questions not requiring typed responses Criteria Correctness of answers Generic skill assessed Skill assessment level Information literacy Problem solving 5.3 Additional assessment requirements SafeAssign In order to minimise incidents of plagiarism and collusion, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks are submitted electronically via SafeAssign. This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work that SafeAssign has access to. If required, details of how to submit via SafeAssign will be provided on the Blackboard site of the course. Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying: a) The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4% b) The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale c) You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct 5.4 Submission penalties Late submission of assessment tasks will be penalised at the following maximum rate: 5% (of the assessment task s identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 10% (of the assessment task s identified value) for the third day 20% (of the assessment task s identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome. 6. How is the course offered? 6.1 Directed study hours On campus : 1 hour per week On campus Tutorial: 2 hours per week 6.2 Teaching semester/session(s) offered Semester 1

6 Page Course activities Teaching What key concepts/content will I Week / learn? Module 1 Introduction to positive psychology scope and dimensions, basic themes, history of wellbeing in the western world 2 Foundations of positive psychology: emotions, motivation and the nature of wellbeing, Social and cultural influences on emotions, Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, emotional intelligence and Quality of life 3 Subjective Wellbeing measurement, Top-down predictors, Bottom-up predictors, Sustainable happiness 4 Leisure, flow, mindfulness and peak performance Leisure and well-being Flow and optimal experience Mindfulness Peak performance 5 Friday, 3 rd April Good Friday Public Holiday Love and wellbeing Positive Interpersonal relationships The varieties of love Relationship satisfaction Empathy and egotism the me/we balance 6 Positive health Vitality, exercise and positive health Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) and psychological factors for positive health Music and health Optimism, hope and control Positive ageing Positive coping Mid Semester Break What activities will I engage in to learn the concepts/content? Directed Study Activities Independent Study Activities Read Ch. 2 Tutorial: happy for no reason questionnaire Laying the foundation Tutorial: satisfaction with life scale. Discussion of hedonic treadmill vs Kahneman s notion of remembering vs. experiencing happiness. Exercises and discussion Tutorial: learned optimism; Turning problems into preferences. Activities and discussion: Tutorial: the family life cycle, positive relationships, forgiveness and gratitude, personal development exploration, activities and discussion Tutorial: assessing coping style, developing humour, music and art as coping mechanisms, activities and discussion. Take the VIA Survey of Character write reflection. Discuss change project Read Ch. 3. Gratitude questionnaire and reflection Read Ch. 4 FORDYCE Emotions questionnaire Read Ch. 5 Close relationships questionnaire Read Ch. 6 Meaning in life questionnaire Read Ch. 7

7 7 Excellence, aesthetics, creativity and genius Aesthetics and the good life Little c and big C creativity Genius and madness Page 7 Tutorial: developing creativity, practical creativity exercises, thinking outside the box, writing from imagination and discussion. 8 Wellbeing across the lifespan Lifespan and life course models Different paths to maturity Adjusting to difficult life events Resilience in adulthood Healthy and adaptive defence mechanisms 9 Optimal wellbeing Wisdom and courage Early psychodynamic ideas of optimal personality Existentialism and authenticity Humanistic perspectives Self-actualization The optimal personality 10 Religion, spirituality and wellbeing Religion and subjective wellbeing A sense of meaning and purpose in life The sacred emotions Peak and numinous experiences Contemplative spirituality Contemplative religious traditions Mysticism and the brain Psychological theories of religious maturity 11 Positive institutions and cultural wellbeing Employee engagement and satisfaction A positive work environment Careers that use positive psychology Positive communities Cross-cultural subjective wellbeing 12 The future of positive psychology A life well lived Alternatives to happiness New research methods Tutorial: stories that make sense of our lives, resilience training, Interviewing someone 25 years older than yourself and discussion Tutorial: wisdom and wellbeing, mask making, finding creative solutions to difficult problems, activities and discussion Tutorial: the things that give you meaning in life, gratitude, mindfulness meditations, describing peak experiences, activities and discussion. Tutorial: what would make USC a positive institution? The most positive leadership, employee engagement, activities and discussion. Tutorial: activities and discussion Work/life questionnaire Read Ch. 8 Meaning in life questionnaire. Read Ch. 9 Optimism test Read Ch. 10 Read Ch. 11 Read Ch. 12 Completion of log book. Collect evidence from observers. Submit essay 13 Revision and summary Prepare for test Please note that the course activities may be subject to variation.

8 Page 8 7. What resources do I need to undertake this course? 7.1 Prescribed text(s) Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below: Author Year Title Publisher Compton, W & Hoffman, E Positive Psychology The Science of Happiness and Flourishing (2 nd edn.). Seligman, M Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being Wadsworth - Cengage Learning Random House Australia 7.2 Required and recommended readings Lists of required and recommended readings may be found for this course on its Blackboard site. These materials/readings will assist you in preparing for tutorials and assignments, and will provide further information regarding particular aspects of your course. 7.3 Specific requirements Nil 7.4 Risk management There is minimal health and safety risk in this course. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the Health and Safety policies and procedures applicable within campus areas 8. How can I obtain help with my studies? In the first instance you should contact your tutor, then the Course Coordinator. Student Life and Learning provides additional assistance to all students through Peer Advisors and Academic Skills Advisors. You can drop in or book an appointment. To book: Tel: or 9. Links to relevant University policies and procedures For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including: Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs Review of Assessment and Final Grades Supplementary Assessment Administration of Central Examinations Deferred Examinations Student Academic Misconduct Students with a Disability 10. Faculty specific information LOCATING JOURNAL ARTICLES If you have been notified that the journal articles in this course are available on e-reserve, use the on-line library catalogue to find them. For journal articles not on e-reserve, click on the "Journals and Newspapers" link on the Library Homepage. Enter the journal title e.g. History Australia, then search for the volume and issue or keyword as needed. ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEETS The Faculty of Arts and Business assignment cover sheet can be found on Blackboard or on the USC Portal at: Faculty of Arts and Business (Students) > Forms. It must be completed in full identifying student name, assignment topic, tutor and tutorial time. This must be attached securely to the front of each assessment

9 Page 9 item prior to submission. Claims of loss of assignments will not be considered unless supported by a receipt. HELP: If you are experiencing problems with your studies or academic work, consult your tutor in the first instance or the Course Coordinator as quickly as possible. DIFFICULTIES: If you are experiencing difficulties relating to teaching and assessment you should approach your tutor in the first instance. If not satisfied after that you should approach in order your Course Coordinator, Program Coordinator then Head of School. General enquiries and student support Faculty Student Centre Tel: Fax:

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