Undergraduate Courses at Bangor University

Details of PHP-3008 - Theories of Th Counselling

Credits:20 (or 10 ECTS credits)
When:Semester 2
Taught in:
Organiser:Dr FE Short


Overall Aims and Purpose

This module will provide an opportunity to understand the various approaches to counselling and psychotherapy in addition to establishing a range of basic communication skills. Students will be introduced to the concept of therapy with specific focus on issues relating to boundaries, contracts, and ethics. The module will explore the four key approaches and therapies in psychotherapy (person centred therapy from humanistic approach, psychoanalytic therapy from psychodynamic approach, behaviour therapy from behavioural approach, and cognitive therapy from cognitive approach). In addition, the module will further explore some alternative, integrative, and eclectic therapies (rational emotive behaviour therapy, Gestalt therapy, transactional analysis, and neurolinguistic programming). To support learning, students will be invited to watch therapy in action through a series of video sessions and provided with a forum to engage in regular discussion groups. Students will also be given an opportunity to practice interpersonal communcation skills in a controlled small group setting.

Course Content

Topics covered in this module include:
Counselling and Psychotherapy (defining counselling and psychotherapy, therapist and client roles, boundaries and ethics in the therapeutic relationship, distinctions between approaches therapies and models);
Humanistic Approach and Person Centered Therapy (history of approach with focus on Carl Rogers, theories of human nature and personality, therapeutic relationship, therapeutic techniques);
Psychodynamic Approach and Psychoanalytic Therapy (history of approach with focus on Sigmund Freud, theories of human nature and personality, therapeutic relationship, therapeutic techniques);
Behavioural Approach and Behaviour Therapy (history of approach with focus on Burrhus Frederic Skinner, theories of human nature and personality, therapeutic relationship, therapeutic techniques);
Cognitive Approach and Cognitive Therapy (history of approach with focus on Aaron Beck, theories of human nature and personality, therapeutic relationship, therapeutic techniques);
Approaches, Therapies, and Modeils (distinguishing between approaches and therapies and models, purist vs non-purist perspectives, intergration/eclecticism vs syncretism, types of intergration and eclecticism, Egan's Skilled Helper Model)
Integrative and Eclectic Therapies (Rational Emotive Behaviour therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, and/or Neurolinguistic Programming)

Assessment Criteria

Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material. No real development of arguments.
Reasonably comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured. Good understanding of the material.
Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area clarity of argument and expression. Depth of insight into theoretical issues.

Assessment Methods

1. Coursework (25%)
Essay critically analysing counselling in action using evidence from one of the video sessions (Learning Outcome 5)
2. Coursework (25%)
Evidence of one fifteen-minute active listening session and reflective essay analysing active listening skills (Learning Outcome 6)
3. Exam (25%)
Final Exam oral exam comprising of graded contribution in a discussion group. (Learning Outcome 1 - 5)
4. Exam (25%)
Final written exam comprising of short answer questions. (Learning outcome 1 - 4)

Learning Outcome 1

Consider the nature of the therapeutic counselling process by demonstrating an appreciation for the importance of boundaries and an understanding of the ethical principles.

Learning Outcome 2

Describe and evaluate the principles of the four main psychological approaches and related therapies: Human Approach and Person-Centred Therapy, Psychodynamic Approach and Psychoanalytic Therapy, Behavioural Approach and Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Approach and Cognitive Therapy.

Learning Outcome 3

Distinguish between approaches, therapies, and models by defining inegration/eclecticism and discussion Egan's Skilled Helper Model.

Learning Outcome 4

Describe and evaluate various intergrative and eclectic therapies, such as rational emotive behaviour therapy, Gestalt therapy, transactional analysis or neurolinguistic programming.

Learning Outcome 5

Recognise, identify, debate, and critically evaluate therapeutic approaches in action.

Learning Outcome 6

Demonstrate effective and appropriate communication skills in one-to-one therapeutic simulations.

Optional in

BA/PSYPsychology, year 3
BA/PSYHPsych with Health Psych, year 3
BSC/PHSPsych with Cl & Hlth Psych, year 3
BSC/PSPsychology, year 3
BSC/PSCLDPsychology w.Chld Lng. Dvlpmnt, year 3
BSC/PSYNPsychol w Neuropsychol, year 3

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