Run by School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
60.000 Credits or 30.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Prof Fay Short
Overall aims and purpose
This module focuses on the two halves of working in a helping profession: • Supporting others in a professional capacity (practitioner) • Understanding and conducting counselling research (evidence-based) Your training on this module will provide you with an opportunity to become an evidence-based practitioner who is able to engage in support, mentoring, reflective practice, and research across a wide range of different organizational settings.
This module provides a framework for you to evidence your helping activities in a professional setting, including a reflective journal on your development and a metacognitive review of your own skills and knowledge. Your portfolio of evidence will help you to appreciate and articulate your skills, and this will enhance your self-confidence and capabilities to work in a helping profession in the future.
This module also provides you with an opportunity to conduct an extensive piece of research in the field of counselling. This research project will be planned during the second semester of the first year of the course, then ethics will be obtained over the summer, before the research is conducted, and the report written during the second year of the course. The research will comprise of an empirical experiment, systematic case study, or systematic review. This training will equip you to apply for further research opportunities in the future (such as a postgraduate research posts or a PhD) and integrate research-evidenced techniques into your practice.
Please note that this module does not contain an assessed counselling placement so those completing this module are not eligible for BACP membership.
Professional Practice: You will complete 50hrs of professional practice. This could include counselling, mentoring, support work, administrative work, producing resources, organizing a conference, etc. This work must be completed within the context of a helping organization (e.g., mental health support service, counselling service, guidance service, etc). You do not need to be signed off for counselling practice to complete this work, as it will not involve counselling with vulnerable clients. You also do not need to complete a specific contract for this work. However, you must confirm the suitability of the practice with your tutor before starting the work. Your tutor will then advise you on whether further contracts or risk assessments are needed. As part of your 50hrs of professional practice, you will complete training in coaching and mentoring to work for 10hrs as a mentor for a first-year counselling student in the second semester. You must also assume the role of client for at least two sessions with trainee. To support your professional practice, you will attend regular PPD groups throughout the semesters and you will need to show active engagement in all of these sessions over the year.
Research: You will complete a research project addressing a therapeutic question. This project may be conducted in your research group, but the final dissertation and presentation must be written independently. Your research will consist of an experimental study, systematic review, or systematic case study. To support your research, you will attend regular research workshops, and these will provide guidance through the dissertation writing process.
50%> - Engagement with work-based learning demonstrating competency, professionalism, team-work, and initiative - Basic empirical research into counselling and psychotherapy practice - Safe reflective practice identifying skills - Some knowledge of Research and Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy - Understanding of the main concepts, but with factual errors in non-core concepts - Limited analysis showing only obvious points of evaluation and links between ideas - Highly limited originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice - Highly limited evidence of independent research - Arguments presented but lack coherence with evidence for only some claims - Focused but with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure - Acceptable presentation with appropriate expression - Attempt at correct format in appropriate referencing style
70%> - Engagement with work-based learning demonstrating competency, professionalism, team-work, and initiative - Insightful empirical research into counselling and psychotherapy practice - Safe reflective practice to enhance and develop skills - Comprehensive knowledge of Research and Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy - Detailed understanding with no factual errors - Critical analysis showing evaluation and synthesis of ideas - Originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice - Extensive independent research - Logically defended arguments with evidence for all claims - Highly focused and well structured - Excellent presentation with accurate and appropriate expression - Correct format in appropriate referencing style
60%> - Engagement with work-based learning demonstrating competency, profesionalism, team-work, and initiative - Considered empirical research into counselling and psychotherapy practice - Safe reflective practice to develop skills - Strong knowledge of Research and Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy - Clear understanding and mostly free of factual errors - Some analysis showing critical evaluation and links between ideas - Some originality in approach, interpretation, and/or voice - Some independent research - Coherent arguments with evidence for most claims - Focused and well structured - Good presentation with accurate and appropriate expression - Mostly correct format in appropriate referencing style
Disseminate the findings of a substantial empirical research project, systematic review, or systematic case study to provide a general audience with applied knowledge.
Critically self-reflect to understand the applications of own skills in professional practice within a helping profession.
Hold a systematic understanding and critical awareness of current research in counselling/psychotherapy to critically discuss and analyse complex concepts independently and with originality.
Successfully conduct and report a substantial empirical research project, systematic review, or systematic case study using appropriate methodology and informed by wide current understandings in the discipline.
Demonstrate competency, professionalism, team-work, and initiative through professional practice in a helping profession.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
|Practical classes and workshops||
Professional Practice: You will independently liaise with your chosen organisations to obtain and complete the required hours. You will also receive training in coaching and mentoring to help you mentor a first-year student beginning their placement as part of your work-based learning. To support these activities through your second year, you will attend regular personal and professional development groups to reflect on your progress.
|Practical classes and workshops||
Research: You will attend workshops in which you will learn how to produce a research report and presentation. You will meet regularly with your small research lab in which you will collaborate to conduct your research and begin analyzing your results. You will also participate in a research conference at the end of the module.
Your private independent study should focus on conducting research for your project, writing assignments, and reading more deeply into the core practitioner topics.
50hrs of paid or unpaid professional practice in a helping profession
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
- Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
- Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
- Retrieve and organise information effectively.
- Handle primary source material critically.
- Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
- Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
- Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
- Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
- Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
- Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
- Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
- Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
- Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
- Use a range of statistical methods with confidence.
- Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
- Use a variety of psychological tools, including specialist software, laboratory equipment and psychometric instruments.
- Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.
- American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
- Bager-Charleson, S. (2010). Reflective practice in counselling and psychotherapy. London, UK: Sage.
- McLeod, J. (2015). Doing research in counselling and psychotherapy. Sage: London, UK.
- Short, F. E., & Thomas, P. (2014). Core approaches in counselling and psychotherapy. Routledge: UK.
- Vossler, A., & Moller, N. (2015). The counselling and psychotherapy research handbook. Sage: London, UK.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C8DX: MSc Counselling year 2 (MSC/CNSL)