SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMC825598
Module Leader Rosemarie Lynass
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module introduces students to Humanistic theories of therapeutic practice; focusing initially on Carl Rogers' Person-Centred approach before considering contemporary developments within the "tribes" of Person-Centred Therapy, including Process-Experiential approaches. Key concepts and ideas will be considered, along with a critical analysis of the empirical evidence supporting and challenging such approaches. Topics covered include theories of self/personality, phenomenology, therapeutic practice, and an exploration of psychological processes. This is supported by an exploration of how the humanistic approaches compare with some of the other key therapeutic approaches employed within contemporary mental health settings (e.g. primary and secondary care settings), such as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and Psychodynamic approaches. The module will also consider the relevance and application of Humanistic approaches within a range of Applied Psychology domains, including an exploration of Person-Centred approaches to assessment, diagnosis and formulation.


The module will explore the following topics: Rogers' Person-Centred Theory of therapy. Contemporary developments in Person-Centred theories of therapy, including process-experiential approaches. The "tribes" of Person-Centred Therapy. Diagnosis, assessment and formulation in Person Centred Therapy. The relationship between Person-Centred approaches and Applied Psychology. Comparison of humanistic approaches with those deriving from alternative paradigms, such as cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic traditions. Illustrative examples of person-centred approaches within a range of Applied Psychology professions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module, within a specific domain of practice (Counselling, Health or Sports & Exercise Psychology), students should be able to:1. Critically appraise the conceptual and theoretical basis of person-centred approaches to psychological therapy.2. Examine the applicability of the Person-Centred approach to one of the Applied Psychology domains.3. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the range of approaches and practices that are contained within the humanistic approach.4. Make appropriate and creative use of current research, academic publications and primary sources to form an academic argument relating to an Applied Psychology specialism.5. Effectively communicate complex ideas relating to Applied Psychology.6. Demonstrate advanced, well-structured and coherent academic writing within a specified word limit (including appropriate referencing).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Teaching will be undertaken via weekly lectures, across trimesters A and B. Lectures will be supported by additional learning materials posted on the module's GCU Learn site.

Indicative Reading

Cooper, M. et. al. (2004) Developing Self-pluralistic Perspectives within the Person-Centred and Experiential Perspectives. Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies, 4 (1): 54-68. Cooper, M. (2008). Essential research findings in counselling and psychotherapy: The facts are friendly . London: Sage. BACP Cooper, M., Schmid, P., O'Hara, M., & Wyatt, G. (Eds.). (2007). The handbook of person-centred psychotherapy and counselling . Basingstoke: Palgrave. Cooper, M., Watson, J.C. & Holldampf (2010) Person-centred and experiential therapies work: A review of counselling, psychotherapy and related practices . Herefordshire: PCCS Books Douglas, B., Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Kasket, E. & Galbraith,V. (2016). Handbook of counselling psychology 4th Edition London:Sage Elliott, R. et. al. (2004) Learning Emotion-Focused Therapy: The Process-Experiential Approach to Change. APA: Washington. Gillon, E. (2007) Person-Centred Counselling Psychology: An introduction. Sage: London. Mearns, D., & Cooper, M. (2017). Working at relational depth in counselling and psychotherapy. (2 nd edition). London: Sage. Mearns, D. & Thorne, B. (2013). Person-centred counselling in action (4th Edition) . London: Sage. Murphy, D. (2017) Counselling psychology: A textbook for study and practice . BPS Textbooks/Wiley: West Sussex (Ch.6) Rogers, C. R. (1951). Client-centred therapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Rogers, C.R. (1957). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21(2) , 95-103. Rogers, C.R. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality and interpersonal relationships as developed in the client-centred framework. In S. Koch (Ed.) Psychology: A study of a science, Volume 3 (pp. 184-256). New York: McGraw-Hill. Rogers, C.R. (1961). On becoming a person: A therapist's view of psychotherapy. London: Constable. Rogers, C.R. (1980). A way of being . Boston: Houghton-Mifflin. Sanders, P. (2012). The Tribes of the Person-centred Nation: An Introduction to the Schools of Therapy Related to the Person-centred Approach . PCC BookS. Greenberg, L.S. (2015). Emotion-focused Therapy: Coaching clients to work through their feelings. (2nd Ed.) Washington: APA. Greenberg, L.S., & Goldman, R.N. (Eds.) (2018). Clinical handbook of Emotion-focused therapy. Washington: APA.

Transferrable Skills

Applied academic writing skills; application of psychological theory; critical thinking; time management; ability to access information and resources utilising electronic as well as printed media; computer literacy; critical analysis and referencing.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 15.00
Independent Learning (FT) 91.00
Lectures (FT) 44.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 1.00 100.00 50% 3000 word assignment