SHE Level 6
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MDC822198
Module Leader Richard Golsworthy
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)-B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Psychothotherapeutic Competencies Reflection & Development 1 MMC811482 and MMC820899

Summary of Content

This module will build on Psychotherapeutic Compentencies 1 and focus upon the further development of the competencies associated with clinical practice as a Counselling Psychologist. The module has two strands which are enmeshed with each other. The first of these is a critical exploration of the cognitive-behavioral approach and the opportunities that this offers for psychotherapeutic practice. Students will explore some of the key ideas underpinning the cognitive-behavioral paradigm and consider the implications of these, and the methods of working they support, for their own clinical work. The module will critically interrogate a range of cognitive-behavioral models (e.g. Beck, 1996) paying particular attention to contemporary standpoints emphasizing acceptance, commitment and mindfulness (e.g. Hayes et al. 2004). In this, its commonalities and differences with contemporary person-centred/experiential therapy will be considered; a process that will be supported by the critical exploration of existential and relational themes in person-centred/experiential theory, research and practice. The second theme of the module will be the enhancement psychotherapeutic competencies through an extensive and deep consideration of issues relating to the establishment and deepening of an effective therapeutic alliance. These include issues linked to power, discrimination, boundaries, ethics, and the range of interactional strategies (explicit and implicit) that may occur within the interpersonal domain. Students will be encouraged to explore personal methods of working in relation to these


Students will explore the following topics -The philosophy, theory, research and practice of the cognitive-behavioural approach to Counselling Psychology; -Contemporary 'acceptance-based' cognitive-behavioural approaches; -Existential approaches to psychotherapy and their relationship to person-centred/experiential and cognitive-behavioural approaches; -Contemporary relational/dialogical standpoints in person-centred/experiential therapy; -The therapeutic alliance; -Ethics and boundaries in psychotherapeutic relationships; -Ethical reasoning and its contribution to psychotherapeutic practice; -Power and psychotherapeutic practice; -Explicit and implicit mode of communications; -Developing a personal psychotherapeutic stance as a Counselling Psychologist

Learning Outcomes

On completing this module, students should be able to demonstrate:1 A critical awareness and practical knowledge of the research, theory and practice of cognitive-behavioural approaches to psychotherapeutic practice;2 A critical, reflective understanding of the relationship between contemporary cognitive-behavioural approaches and humanistic approaches such as person-centred and experiential models;3 An extensive understanding of the range of issues relevant to the establishment and maintenance of an effective therapeutic alliance with a range of client populations;4 A capacity to critically evaluate the role of different psychotherapeutic models in complex clinical issues and to generate innovative, research-informed solutions to these;5 An ability to initiate, conduct and end effective therapeutic relationships using a range of psychotherapeutic models.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered by means of a 5-day intensive study week on the cognitive-behavioral approach utilising both lecture and experiential workshop mechanisms, and further supported by a weekly 1.5 hour practice development group in which contemporary themes in psychotherapeutic research, theory and practice will be considered in terms of their relationship to the students' own Counselling Psychology practice. Use of video and audio materials, case discussion, role-play and extensive reading will support this.

Indicative Reading

Clark, D. M. & Fairburn, C. G. (1997). Science & Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. New York: Oxford University Press Cooper, M. (2003) Existential Therapies. Sage: London. Mearns, D. and Cooper, M. (2005) Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Sage:London. O'Donohue, W., Fisher, J. E. & Hayes, S. C. (Eds.) (2003). Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Applying Empirically Supported Techniques in your Practice. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1995). Wherever You Go, There You Are. New York: Hyperion Books. Hayes, S.C., Follette, V.M., &Linehan, M.M. (Eds.) (2004). Mindfulness and Acceptance: Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition. New York: The Guilford Press.

Transferrable Skills

Upon completion of the programme, students should have developed the following: -A capacity to comprehensively and deeply conceptualise a psychotherapeutic interaction on an extensive range of theoretical and research material; -An ability to make coherent, independent, theoretically and evidentially informed decisions regarding the practice of Counselling Psychology in complex and unpredictable circumstances; -An ability to develop a highly sophisticated and evidence-based personal standpoint in relation to complex clinical matters, and to represent this view effectively in team-based, primary-care settings in order to generate new possibilities and solutions.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 80.00
Practicals (FT) 40.00
Independent Learning (FT) 412.00
Seminars (FT) 68.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 50% 5000 word process report
Coursework 2 n/a 50.00 50% 5000 word systematic case study