SHE Level 6
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MDC825600
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

Applied Psychology Practice 1 (Theory) and Applied Practice Psychology Practice 1 (Practice)

Summary of Content

This module will build on Applied Psychology Practice 1, focusing on the further development of the competencies associated with clinical practice as a Counselling Psychologist. The module comprises two closely related strands: the first undertakes an in depth training and critical exploration of the cognitive-behavioral approach and the opportunities that this offers for psychotherapeutic practice. Students will explore key concepts 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 cognitive-behavioral models, paying attention to contemporary and integrative standpoints, such as Schema Therapy and acceptance-based approaches. Commonalities and differences with contemporary humanistic practice will be considered. The second strand of the module will be the enhancement of psychotherapeutic competencies through an extensive and detailed consideration of different areas of clinical working (for example trauma, obsessions & compulsions, personality processes), examined in relation to the establishment and deepening of an effective therapeutic alliance. Boundaries, ethical issues and the range of interactional strategies (explicit and implicit) that may occur within the interpersonal domain will be explored and students will be encouraged to explore their personal methods of working.


Students will explore the following topics: The philosophy, theory, research and practice of cognitive-behavioural approaches to Counselling Psychology; The therapeutic alliance in cognitive-behavioural therapy; Assessment and formulation Risk assessment and management Ethics, boundaries and ethical reasoning in counselling psychology practice; Power and counselling psychology practice; Interpersonal process and modes of communication; Working effectively with a range of specific client difficulties and populations; Developing a personal psychotherapeutic stance as a Counselling Psychologist.

Learning Outcomes

On completing this module, students should be able to:1. Demonstrate critical evaluation and practical knowledge of the research, theory and practice of cognitive-behavioural approaches to psychotherapeutic practice;2. Assess and formulate client difficulties using cognitive-behavioural frameworks, using these as a basis for collaborative decision-making and therapeutic planning;3. Critically reflect on therapeutic communication and interpersonal processes in the establishment and maintenance of an effective therapeutic alliance;4. Critically evaluate the role of different psychotherapeutic models in complex clinical issues and to generate innovative, research-informed solutions to these;5. Critically reflect on personal practice and responsiveness to complex client demands, considering alternative ways of working;6. Independently undertake effective therapeutic relationships and interventions using a range of psychotherapeutic models;7. Evaluate and reflect on feedback from different sources, such as service users, supervision and/or personal therapy;7. Manage complex issues and make informed professional and ethical decisions, for example in the consideration of risk, safeguarding or consent;8. Demonstrate the capacity to communicate at the standard of published academic and/or professional work (including appropriate referencing).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered by means of intensive training weeks supplemented by day or part-day workshops. These will utilise both lecture and experiential mechanisms, supplemented by video/audio materials, case discussion, role play and extensive reading. The module is supported by GCU's VLE.

Indicative Reading

Bennett-Levy, J., Butler, G., Fennell, M., Hackman, A., Mueller, M. & Westbrook, D. (2004). Oxford Guide to Behavioural Experiments in Cognitive Therapy. Oxford University Press. 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. Clarkson, P. (1999). Ethics: Working with Ethical and Moral Dilemmas in Psychotherapy. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell Follette, V. M. & Ruzek, J. I. (Eds.) (2007) Cognitive-Beharioural Therapies for Trauma (2 nd Edition). New York: Guilford. Freeman, C. (2009). Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa. London: Constable & Robinson. Gilbert, P. (2010). The Compassionate Mind. London: Constable & Robinson. Gilbert, P. & Leahy, R. (Eds). (2009). The Therapeutic Relationship in the Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapies. Hove: Routledge. Grant, A., Townend, M., Mills, J. & Cockx A. (2015). Assessment & Case Formulation in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (2 nd Ed.). London: Sage. Mearns, D. and Cooper, M. (2005) Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Sage:London. Hayes, S.C., Follette, V.M., &Linehan, M.M. (Eds.) (2004). Mindfulness and Acceptance: Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition. New York: The Guilford Press. Hayes, S.C., Strosahl, K.D. & Wilson, K.G. (2011). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change (2 nd Edition) . Guilford Press. Gumley, A. & Schwannauer, M. (2006). Staying Well after Psychosis: a Cognitive Interpersonal Approach to Recovery and Relapse Prevention. Chichester: Wiley. Herbert, C (2017). Overcoming Traumatic Stress. London: Constable & Robinson. Jones, C., Shillito-Clarke, C., Syme, G., Hill, D., Casemore, R. & Murdin, L. (2001). Questions of Ethics in Counselling and Therapy. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Johnstone, L. & Dallos, R. (2013). Formulation in Psychology & Psychotherapy (2 nd Edition) Hove: Routledge. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1995). Wherever You Go, There You Are. New York: Hyperion Books. Kennerley, H., Kirk, J. & Westbrook, D. (2017). An Introduction to Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy: Skills & Applications (3 rd Edition). London: Sage. Leahy. R. L. & Holland, S.J. (2011). Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders (2 nd Edition). London: Guilford Press. Linehan, M.M. (2014). DBTae Skills Training Manual (2nd Edition). Guilford Press: USA. Norcross, J. C., Beutler, L.E. & Levant, R.F. (Eds.) (2005). Evidence-Based Practice in Mental Health: Debate and Dialogue on the Fundamental Questions. American Psychological Association. Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G. & Teasdale, J. D. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (2 nd Edition). London: Guilford Press. Wampold, B.E. (2015). The Great Psychotherapy Debate: Models, Methods & Findings (2 nd Edition). Hove: Routledge. Young, J.E. & Klosko, J.S. (2006). Schema Therapy: a practitioner's guide. London: Guilford.

Transferrable Skills

Conceptualising professional dilemmas, reflection & problem-solving; collaborative working and interpersonal effectiveness; advanced communication and writing skills; creativity and innovation; critical thinking; time management; stakeholder involvement; critical dialogue; influencing.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 68.00
Practicals (FT) 40.00
Independent Learning (FT) 432.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 1.00 50.00 50% 5000 word assignment
Coursework 2 1.00 50.00 50% 5000 word assignment