Unit of competency details

CHCCSL511A - Provide interventions to address family issues (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from CHC08 Community Services Training Package07/Dec/2015

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 25/Mar/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090501 Social Work  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090501 Social Work  02/Feb/2009 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to apply family therapy processes as part of counselling practice

The application of family therapy processes is contrasted to other leading counselling approaches and differences between approaches is highlighted to enable adaptation of counselling work to suit family therapy

Application of the Unit


The skills and knowledge in this unit are to be applied in working with clients to address family issues within a counselling context

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Establish issues  specific to family counselling

1.1 Identify communication transactions

1.2 Identify and document issues related to working in a family structure/hierarchy/organisation

1.3 Identify and document issues associated with using therapeutic tools

2. Analyse views  of leading exponents  of family therapy

2.1 Compare the views of four major exponents of family therapy

2.2 Summarise the central features  of each exponent's therapeutic approach and identify advantages and constraints in their application

2.3 Demonstrate application of a range of these exponents' therapeutic approaches with families in counselling practice

3. Apply key approaches in family therapy

3.1 Explain three current approaches to family therapy  and identify their earlier influences

3.2 Identify and demonstrate the application of each approach to address a range of family scenarios and associated issues

4. Develop a therapeutic relationship with each individual within their family

4.1 Use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication relevant to family member's age and stage of development and to family member's cultural background

4.2 Maintain a clear and ethical relationship with family members

4.3 Support each family member to identify their concerns and participate in the process of therapy

4.4 Maintain neutrality  when balancing therapeutic engagement with each family member

5. Develop a conceptualisation of the presenting problem

5.1 In a therapeutic setting, identify factors relevant to the context of the family

5.2 Develop hypotheses  to explain the presenting problem

5.3 Undertake ongoing review and refinement of hypotheses when working with families

6. Implement the components of family therapy sessions

6.1 When working therapeutically, use hypotheses to generate relevant questions

6.2 Use case conceptualisations  to develop therapeutic options

6.3 Track a sequence  within a family dynamic

6.4 Assess onset of presenting problems and explore relationship changes around it

6.5 Explore the relationship web  using a variety of questions

6.6 Explore behaviours, meaning and relationships using a variety of questions

6.7 Develop a systemic intervention 

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate underpinning knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge of:

  • Counselling context, process and goals
  • Counselling theories
  • Human life stage development
  • Child protection legislation
  • Extra dyadic relationships
  • Cultural difference
  • Self-esteem needs of family members
  • Social behaviours as control
  • Family life cycles
  • Family values
  • Differentiation of self
  • Problem saturated family narrative
  • Family sculpting
  • Bowenian triangulation
  • Coalitions subsystems
  • Circular causality
  • Family conflicts
  • Family rules
  • Recurring patterns
  • Family feedback
  • Gay and lesbian families

Essential skills :

It is essential that competence be demonstrated in analysing family therapy processes

The candidate must be able to:

  • Analyse issues specific to family counselling
  • Analyse the contribution of leading exponents of family therapy
  • Contrast the key approaches in family therapy
  • Apply systemic hypothesising
  • Use effective counselling practices, including
  • establishing and maintaining appropriate counselling relationship
  • contracting appropriate to context
  • applying first session format
  • conducting second and subsequent systemic therapy sessions
  • developing of empathy and rapport
  • well timed challenging
  • Use highly effective communication in a counselling context, including:
  • questioning
  • active listening
  • respectful responding
  • circular questioning
  • Manage own values so they do not impede effective work
  • Manage the stress of the work

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

  • Construct genograms
  • Implement plans
  • Manage groups
  • Formulate take-home activities

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • This unit will be most appropriately assessed in the workplace or in a simulated work context and under the normal range of workplace conditions
  • It is recommended that assessment or information for assessment will be conducted or gathered over a period of time and cover the normal range of workplace situations and settings

Access and equity considerations :

  • All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment
  • In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment :

  • This unit can be assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice is encouraged with other units of competency relating to counselling practice
  • Resources required for assessment include access to:
  • an appropriate workplace and/or simulation of realistic work environment where assessment can take place
  • relevant legislation and regulations, organisation policy, protocols and procedures

Method of assessment :

  • For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, competency should be demonstrated in a range of situations which may include:
  • continuous assessment in a setting that simulates the conditions of performance described in the elements, performance criteria and relevant aspects of the Range Statement of the unit
  • written questioning
  • relevant case studies and/or scenarios

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Issues include :

  • Small group dynamics
  • Different levels of participation
  • Roles adopted by group members
  • Conflict resolution principles and practice
  • Impact of directive, active therapist
  • Family mental health

Views include :

  • The purpose of the therapy
  • The role of the counsellor
  • The family history - genograms
  • The family structure, family of origin
  • Stages, phases, crises points of family therapy

Central features relate to :

  • Therapeutic focus
  • Underpinning philosophy
  • Primary intervention strategies

Leading exponents of family therapy may include but are not limited to :

  • Haley
  • Satir
  • Bowen
  • Paterson
  • Brown
  • Cecchin

Approaches to family therapy include but are not limited to :

  • Systems theory
  • Post-Milan
  • Solution focused
  • Narrative

Nature of counselling service may include :

  • Family therapy
  • Individual sessions with family members within the context of counselling the family
  • Work with a variety of presenting problems including:
  • adolescent violence
  • child/young person at risk
  • family relationship problems
  • separation and divorce
  • grief and loss
  • family violence
  • behavioural issues
  • bullying and other school related issues
  • adolescent socialisation and individuation

Systemic therapeutic context refers to :

  • Approaches to therapy that see the client as embedded in a pattern of relationships and interactions with all significant others including immediate family members and partners, past relationships including families of origin, the wider social and cultural context including the referral and other system (legal, educational, medical) and include the relationship to and interactions with the therapist and their context
  • Using a systemic framework as a range of 'lenses' guided by hypotheses, to explore relationships and interactions that are most relevant to client's concerns and problems and must include a lens that considers the intra psychic
  • Requirement for therapist to be aware of and when necessary explore their own relationship and interaction not only with the client but also the supervision in which they are included

Family life cycle refers to :

  • Framework for understanding developmental stages which families move through (Carter and McGoldrick 1990)
  • Stages in the family life cycle include:
  • leaving home: single young adults
  • joining of families through marriage: the couple
  • becoming parents: families with young children
  • the transformation of the family system in adolescence
  • families in midlife: launching children and moving on
  • the family in later life

Neutrality refers to :

  • Ability of the therapist to not take the side of any one family member, but to remain curious to each individual's perspective

Hypotheses refers to :

  • Description of relationship patterns which may provide a possible explanation for presenting problem

Case conceptualisations refer to :

  • Emerging understanding of the client's information and context

Sequence refers to :

  • Recurring behavioural events within a relationship/ family which form a circular pattern

Relationship web refers to :

  • A map of existing relationships within a relationship system (e.g. a family), for which the therapist explores and measures change

Systemic intervention refers to :

  • Feedback provided by the therapist at the end of an interview, which attempts to connect the presenting problem to the contradictions between meaning and behaviour demonstrated in the interview
  • The intervention should positively describe each family member's behaviour and how it fits together, reframe the presenting problem, and may include a suggested task or ritual for the family to attempt between sessions

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable