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Counselling in Australia is self-regulated, and legal accountability for faith-based counselling services lies with each organisation’s governing board. The goal of this project is to assist church-based and not-for-profit, faith-based counselling service boards to monitor their counselees’ outcomes by using systematic client feedback to prevent harm to service users. The project examines an agency’s use of client feedback in counselling and the value of feedback to improve clinical governance of an organisation.

Part One explores Australian legislation, ethical codes, and the accreditation of counselling services. It is noted that these alone will not safeguard clients from harm or improve client outcomes. Part Two examines relevant contemporary writers on the subjects of governance from a faith perspective, clinical effectiveness in mental health, the history of pastoral care, critiques of faith-based counselling, postmodernism and pastoral care, common factors in therapy and counselling, and the law. In addition, this section explores the theology of the church in respect to governance in particular. Biblical teaching is reviewed regarding the warning against harming and exploiting the vulnerable, including the duty of leaders to protect such individuals. This section also reviews the concept of personal integrity as it relates to the care of others.

Finally, Part Three examines the research project for the implementation of systematic client feedback methodology called Client-Directed, Outcomes-Informed practice (CDOI) in Lifeline Community Care Queensland, now called UnitingCare Community, a service of the Uniting Church in Queensland. The project explores the challenges of implementing CDOI at Lifeline within the state of Queensland and reveals the benefits of systematic feedback in assisting clinical governance within a counselling service.

Content Reader: Dr. Ann Crawford

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Crawford, Ann

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Counselor and client; Queensland


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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