PSYC06016 2016 Introduction to Counselling Theories

General Details

Full Title
Introduction to Counselling Theories
Transcript Title
Intro to counselling theories
100 %
Subject Area
PSYC - Psychology Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Patrick Broderick, Anna Fewer-Hamilton
Programme Membership
SG_PCOUN_E06 201600 Certificate in Counselling SG_PCOUN_S06 201600 Certificate in Counselling

In this module learners will be given an overview of the history and evolution of counselling into a profession that is underpinned by a broad range of theoretical models. Learners will be introduced to the three main schools of counselling; psychodynamic, cognitive‑behavioural and humanistic. Two counselling models, the person centred approach and systems theory, will be studied in more detail. Some of the issues related to the provision of counselling across the lifespan will be examined eg counselling for children or older persons.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the history of mental illness and its treatment.


Describe the key assumptions of person centred therapy.


Describe the application of person centred therapy in non‑formal counselling contexts.


Explore the application of the three main schools of counselling in practice.


Explain the relevance of counselling theory to the provision of support across the lifespan.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Online lectures and support plus face to face tutorials

Module Assessment Strategies

Exam and continuous assessment

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment procedures will adhere to IT Sligo policies and procedures and will be discussed and decided at Examination Boards.

Indicative Syllabus

The origins of counselling:

History of mental illness and treatments, medical and psychological approaches, evolution of counselling, professionalization of counselling.


Overview of the three main schools of counselling:

How three different approaches to counselling evolved, key theorists, key assumptions and practices, directive and non-directive therapy.


Person centred therapy:

Carl Rogers, key vocabulary, concepts and practices in person centred therapy; evaluation; application in in non‑formal counselling contexts.


Systems therapy:

Key theorists, vocabulary, concepts and practices in systems therapy; evaluation; application in in non‑formal counselling contexts.


Counselling across the lifespan:

An introduction tothe provision of counselling across the lifespan eg counselling for children, adolescents, or older persons.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous assessment Continuous Assessment Assessment 50 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % End of Semester 2,3,4

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Online Lecture Online Online support 1.5 Weekly 1.50
Tutorial Flat Classroom Tutorial 1 Fortnightly 0.50
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2016-05-25 The Reality Game: A Guide to Humanistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Routledge
ISBN 1138850128 ISBN-13 9781138850125

In the years since it was first published, The Reality Game has become a classic text. For all those training and practising in humanistic and integrative psychotherapy it is an essential guide to good practice, and an excellent introduction to the skills used in individual and group therapy. This new edition has been updated to take into account changes in the field and John Rowan's own work, while still providing guidance on establishing and developing the relationship between counsellor and client, and covering: assessment; the initial interview; the opening session; aims; transference; resistance and supervision.

With the students needs always at the forefront, this extensively revised new edition responds to the questions most often asked by trainees in these disciplines, and includes discussions of ethics and new chapters on transpersonal psychology, and on dialogical self-theory. It will be a must read for psychotherapists and counsellors in practice and training especially those involved in humanistic and integrative psychotherapy.

Recommended Reading
2013-02-06 Person-Centred Counselling in Action (Counselling in Action series) SAGE Publications Ltd
ISBN 1446252531 ISBN-13 9781446252536

It is now 25 years since the first edition of Person-Centred Counselling in Action appeared, offering the definitive exposition of the theory and practice of the person-centred approach. Since then the book has supported and inspired hundreds of thousands of trainees and practitioners worldwide.

This important Fourth Edition maintains the book's accessibility, clarity and verve whilst incorporating new developments in the approach. John McLeod joins authors Dave Mearns and Brian Thorne to contribute an exciting new chapter on research relevant to the person-centred field.

Person-Centred Counselling in Action, Fourth Edition will be an invaluable resource for those embarking on their first stages of training. Well-established practitioners and even seasoned scholars will continue to find much to interest and stimulate them.

Dave Mearns is professor of counselling and retired Director of the Counselling Unit of the University of Strathclyde. He has written seven books including Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (with Mick Cooper) and is co-editor of the international journal, Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies.

Brian Thorne is Emeritus Professor of Counselling at the University of East Anglia, Norwich where he was previously Director of Counselling and of the Centre for Counselling Studies. He is also a Co-founder of the Norwich Centre and continues to work there as a Professional Fellow.

John McLeod is Emeritus Professor of Counselling at the University of Abertay Dundee and adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Recommended Reading
2004-03-01 On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy Constable
ISBN 1845290577 ISBN-13 9781845290573

In this book one of America's most distinguished psychologists describes his experiences in helping people to discover the path to personal growth through an understanding of their own limitations and potential. What is personal growth? Under what conditions is it possible? How can one person help another? What is creativity, and how can it be fostered? These are some of the issues raised, which challenge many concepts of traditional psychology. Contemporary psychology derives largely from the experimental laboratory, or from Freudian theory. It is preoccupied with minute aspects of animal and human behaviour, or with the mentally ill. But there are rebels, of whom the author counts himself as one, along with Gordon Allport, Abraham Maslow and Rollo May, who feel that psychology and psychiatry should be aiming higher, and be more concerned with growth and potentiality in man. The interest of such a psychology is in the production of harmoniously mature individuals, given that we all have qualities and possibilities infinitely capable of development. Successful development makes us more flexible in relationships, more creative, and less open to suggestion and control. This book, philosophical and provocative, summarizes Dr Rogers' experience.Non-technical in its language, it is not only for psychologists and psychiatrists, but for teachers and counsellors, religious and social workers, labour-management specialists and anyone interested in 'becoming'.

Recommended Reading
1993-03-09 Understanding Family Process: Basics of Family Systems Theory SAGE Publications, Inc
ISBN 0803937784 ISBN-13 9780803937789

Systems theory is the basic theoretical model underlying most contemporary family therapy. In this accessible introduction, the author traces how systems theory gave rise to family systems theory, outlines the basic propositions of family systems and links it both to other family theory literature and to clinical practice.

Among the topics covered are relational space, family boundaries, family stratification and child socialization. Family meanings and such shared realities as family folklore, stories, myths and memorabilia are discussed. Family rituals are also explored.

Recommended Reading
2003-02-24 Counselling Children: A Practical Introduction SAGE Publications Ltd
ISBN 0761947272 ISBN-13 9780761947271

Counseling Children is a highly acclaimed, introductory guide to counseling children and to the practical issues of communicating with children in a counselling context. In this Second Edition, Kathryn Geldard and David Geldard relate the theory and practice of counseling children in a highly accessible, practical, and jargon-free style.

Recommended Reading
2010-12-01 Counseling Older Adults Routledge
ISBN 0415990513 ISBN-13 9780415990516

Counseling older adults is not equivalent to counseling the general population, and specialized skills and knowledge, as well as sensitivity to the contexts in which older adults live, are essential in working successfully with this population. This text provides an introduction to gerontological counseling, integrating the basic skills of working with older adults with theories of counseling and aging. Specific counseling issues discussed include mental health counseling, career counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and family counseling. Along with these, important contextual factors such as race/culture, social class, social justice, spirituality, Alzheimers and other dementias, and family issues are considered in light of the latest research. Each chapter contains case studies, discussion questions, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading to reinforce the material presented.

Recommended Reading
1998-09-01 The Presenting Past Open University Press
ISBN 0335201962 ISBN-13 9780335201969

"Everyone who works with clients will welcome Michael Jacobs eminently readable and stimulating new book. Drawing on the works of Erikson, Winnicott, and other relational theorists, Jacobs articulates the three major development themes that weave their way through both counselling and psychotherapy. The author's case studies leap off the page, drawing the reader into the intricacies of the therapy relationship to demonstrate how the past becomes a living part of the here-and-now. A boon for beginning therapists as well as a refreshing source of new ideas for more experienced clinicians."
- Professor Sheldon Cashdan, author, Object Relations Therapy

"This book is a wonderfully readable overview of the developmental principles underlying psychodynamic counselling. Theories of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Kohut and others are organized into three broad developmental themes- dependency, autonomy and interdependence, and illuminated with rich clinical examples. Jacobs' lucid, lively style makes the connection between theory and practice clear and accessible. This outstanding book will appeal to established clinicians as well as students training in counselling and psychotherapy."
- Jan Grant, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

"Michael Jacobs is a free spirit who roams purposefully in the often contentious world of the rival psychoanalytic traditions."
-Professor Brian Thorne, Centre for Counselling Studies, University of East Anglia

"An original and reliable approach to the development of personality that every therapist and student therapist should possess. Jacobs, one of the founders of psychodynamic therapy and counselling, avoids the twin perils of unimaginative, meaningless causality on the one hand and indifferent, irresponsible reference to fate on the other."
-Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex

The revised edition of this best-selling book not only introduces much more material about the basic psychodynamic themes of trust and dependency, authority and autonomy, and cooperation and competition, but also makes a major break with developmental stages, preferring to show how the real issues that concern people are present at every point in life. As in the highly successful first edition, the themes are lavishly illustrated with case examples, and the useful appendix is extended. This edition contains a completely new chapter on the way the major themes appear at different points in the process of counselling and therapy.

Module Resources

URL Resources

Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - Ireland