Introduction to Counselling

Module summary

Module code: SOCW1057
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Education, Health and Human Sci
Department: Human Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Skye Kennedy-Cullen



The aims of the module are to provide students with an understanding of counselling that provides a scaffolding for modules in later years, while ensuring that the applied, ethical and historical aspects of counselling are discussed and explored.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a basic conceptual knowledge of theory and practice of the main approaches counselling, including psychodynamic, existential, cognitive behavioural and transpersonal approaches.
2. Identify and comprehend how counselling theory is applied in therapeutic practice.
3. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the history of counselling.
4. Describe and discuss values and ethics in counselling practice.
5. Describe and discuss methodologies used in counselling research.

Indicative content

Basic concepts and practice of models (in their historical context) within the psychodynamic, humanistic-existential and cognitive/behavioural perspectives in counselling; more diverse models not closely related to the main perspectives; values and ethics in counselling practice; and issues regarding counselling research.

Teaching and learning activity

Lectures, seminars and workshops, and student-directed learning.


Counselling theory essay - 50%
LO - 1,3,5
Numeric grading
Pass mark - 40%
1500 words
An essay comparing and contrasting two theoretical approaches to counselling, with respect to a) the premises concerning the view of the human being, b) understanding of mental health involved, c) the stated aims of the counselling approaches, and d) general idea of method or techniques of the specific therapeutic modalities chosen.
The essay must include an appendix that describes how the student interacted with a peer group during seminars, to facilitate the writing of this essay.

Counselling case essay - 50%
LO - 1,2,4
Numeric grading
Pass mark - 40%
1500 words
An essay that describes the hypothetical assessment and counselling of a client from the perspective of one core counselling approach.
The essay must include a reflective appendix on how writing the essay has facilitated self-understanding.