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2011/12 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HECS2101 Theory and Concepts of Counselling

20 creditsClass Size: 14

Module manager: G Nolan

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2011/12

Module replaces

ADUL3730 The theory and practice of integrative counselling 1

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Analyse counselling theory from humanistic/existential traditions to counselling with an emphasis on the nature of self in the therapeutic relationship and the 'core conditions' of person-centred theory.
- Reflect upon the notion of phenomenology in the therapeutic frame.
- Analyse counselling theory from psychodynamic traditions with particular emphasis on client defence mechanisms and transference/countertransference in the counselling relationship.
- Have insight into using phenomena in the counselling relationship and their possible meanings in the therapeutic frame.
- Evaluate the appropriate and effective use of learned theoretical awareness in their own clinical practice.
- Recognise approaches to brief therapy and their appropriateness in practice.
- Begin to integrate theory and techniques drawn from the above into their own counselling practice.
- Have an awareness of the role of the counsellor in the effective engagement with client material.


Through a variety of seminars, applied practice and experiential activities, students will be introduced to theoretical perspectives underpinning Humanistic and Psychodynamic traditions to counselling practice alongside of other theoretical perspectives. Reflection will be encouraged on the historical emergence and current thinking on eclectic and integrative notions of counselling and psychotherapy.

With a focus on theoretical and clinical concepts, students will begin to develop constructs for understanding a range of behaviours linked with human distress, strategies for coping, and the manner in which counselling can offer a means of effective intervention. In order to enable an emerging integration of self, theory and applied practice, the module will draw upon the existing and growing body of experience, knowledge and skills of individuals within the group. Along with external sources, this will enable reflection on the role of the counsellor and the nature of the therapeutic relationship.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent Learning41.004.00
Private study hours151.00
Total Contact hours49.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Recording practice and personal notes; observations, impressions, reactions and reflections - 45 hours
Reading - 71 hours
Assignments - 35 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

7 Contributions to seminars
7 Individual tutorials
7 First piece of assessed work

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationSeminar Presentation on a theoretical concept and its application in client work50.00
Project Essay drawing upon and illustrating theoretical ideas studied in the context of clinical practice (2500 words)50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

NO compensation permitted.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 22/08/2012


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