SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHC825425
Module Leader Elaine Duncan
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Usually Mental Health, Counselling and Forensic Psychology at Level 2

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to build on Counselling Psychology theory introduced at level 2 in the Applied Psychology Programme, by taking a more in?depth and critical approach to understanding recent developments to therapeutic approaches in Counselling Psychology, also introducing concepts related to the application of therapeutic approaches to specific client groups. Module content will include: critical analysis of recent developments in major therapeutic models of practice (Person?Centred/Experiential, Psychodynamic and Cognitive?Behavioural),as well as specific theories and applied knowledge related to different specialisms and modes of practice; including working with families, young people and older adults. The module will also provide the student with an introduction to practical skills of counselling and psychotherapy interactions and processes though pair/group work and will assess students on their ability to apply these models to case study examples reflecting a range of counselling clients. A critical approach will also be taken to understanding issues surrounding the research?base for Counselling Psychology, ethical practice and the integration of therapeutic approaches.


The syllabus will include: Current themes for Counselling Psychology in context; Developments in Person?Centred, Experiential, Psychodynamic and CBT approaches; Third?Wave CBT, including Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Compassion-Focused Therapy; Theories of Integration; Common factors and the research debate; Ethical decision-making; Systemic practice; Working with young people and Working with older adults.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the major theories which underpin the psychological therapies, including recent developments. (Assessed by essay and presentation)2. Apply theoretical models of psychological therapy to case study examples. (Assessed by essay)3. Critically evaluate the research base for Counselling Psychology interventions. (Assessed by essay and presentation)4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of how Counselling Psychology approaches have been adapted for working with specific client groups. (Assessed by presentation)5. Orally present complex information in a clear, concise and engaging manner. (Assessed by presentation)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will make use of online and face lectures to provide students with theoretical, conceptual and applied knowledge. Seminars and tutorials will also be employed to enable students to discuss and critically explore some of the approaches and issues being considered. Extensive use of DVD presentations will be made to provide an insight into how counselling approaches may be applied in practice. Students will also be asked to undertake introductory skills practice in the form of 'role?play' exercises to enable them to apply and evaluate first?hand the opportunities and challenges of applying a range of therapeutic techniques, and thus gain an applied understanding of key processes involved in offering and experiencing a variety of counselling interventions. The assessments for this module include constructing an evidence-based treatment proposal for a fictitious case study client, demonstrating a critical approach to the application of knowledge from across the module, as well presenting finding relating to specific considerations when working therapeutically with a specific client group.

Indicative Reading

Essential reading Murphy, D. (2017) Counselling psychology: A textbook for study and practice . BPS Textbooks/Wiley: West Sussex Recommended texts Gillon, E. (2007) Person-centred counselling psychology: An introduction. London: Sage McLeod, J. (2013) An introduction to counselling , 5th Ed. Berkshire: Open University Press, McGraw Hill Education Orlans, V. & Van Scoyoc, S. (2009) A Short introduction to counselling psychology. London: Sage Woolfe, R, & Strawbridge, S., Douglas, B. & Dryden,W., (2010) Handbook of counselling psychology 3 rd Edition . London: Sage Additional references provided with lectures, on GCU Learn and in the module summaries later in this handbook. Extensive supplementary reading list provided Relevant Journals: Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Counselling Psychology Quarterly Counselling Psychology Review

Transferrable Skills

This module contains a number of transferable skills such as application of psychological theory to real?life scenarios, presenting, interpersonal communication, self?awareness, reflective ability, active listening skills, empathetic understanding, goal?setting, ability to access information and resources utilising electronic as well as printed media, computer literacy, critical analysis, applied academic writing, referencing, questioning and summarising skills, knowledge of ethical issues, including boundaries, confidentiality and competency.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 20.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Tutorials (FT) 4.00
Independent Learning (FT) 136.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 70.00 35% 3000 Word Case Study
Coursework 2 n/a 30.00 35% Presentation