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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Humanistic Approaches:Theory & Practice
Module Code NS5025
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Aisling McMahon
Semester 2: Aisling McMahon
Autumn: Aisling McMahon
Module TeachersAisling McMahon
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will enable students to learn about, locate and critically appraise humanistic approaches to psychotherapy. Students will study three main humanistic therapy models, including the principles and practices of the Person Centred, Gestalt and Transactional Analysis approaches. Students will have the opportunity to practice humanistic psychotherapy skills and to view DVD material. Students will be expected to engage in independent study, attend all lectures and seminar groups and contribute to discussions within the learning group.

Learning Outcomes

1. Locate humanistic psychotherapy within the broader field of psychotherapy
2. Identify the central tenets of Person-Centred, Gestalt and Transactional Analysis theories and practice
3. Compare and contrast the principles and practices of the Person-Centred, Gestalt and Transactional Analysis approaches in individual psychotherapy
4. Critically analyse the strengths and limitations of Person-Centred, Gestalt and Transactional Analysis theories and practices
5. Engage in humanistic psychotherapy skills practice in the context of the learning group

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture15Lectures, discussions and seminar groups
Directed learning15Psychotherapy skills practice
Directed learning5Tutor-led formative engagement
Independent Study90Student self-directed learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Humanistic Psychotherapy
An approach to psychotherapy that is focused on the client's personal autonomy and innate capacity for growth

Person Centred Theory and Practice
Carl Rogers' Person Centred Approach

Gestalt Therapy
A humanistic-experiential psychotherapy

Transactional Analysis
Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis Theory and practice

Psychotherapeutic skills and strategies
Skills and strategies for humanistic psychotherapy practice

Personal/Professional development
Developing personal awareness and professional competence

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentGroup presentation (20%) & group essay assignment (80%)100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Eric Berne: 1968, Games people play, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 0-14-002768-8
  • Cain, D., Keenan, K., & Rubin, S.: 2016, Humanistic psychotherapies: Handbook of research and practice, 2nd ed, APA, Washington DC,
  • Cooper, M.: 2013, The handbook of person-centred counselling and psychotherapy, 2nd, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan,
  • Mearns, D & Thorne, B.: 2013, Person-Centred counselling in action. (4th ed.)., Sage, London,
  • Rogers, C., R.: 1961, On becoming a person, Houghton Mifflin, New York,
  • Paul Wilkins: 2003, Person-centred therapy in focus, London ; SAGE, 2003., 9780761964872
  • Ian Stewart, Vann Joines: 2012, Ta Today: A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis, 2nd ed., Lifespace Pub., 9781870244008
  • Tolan: 2017, Skills in person-centred counselling and psychotherapy, 3rd ed., Sage, London,
  • Erskine, R.: 2016, Transactional analysis in contemporary psychotherapy, Karnac, London,
  • Houston, G.: 2003, Brief Gestalt therapy, Sage, London,
  • O'Leary, E.: 2013, Gestalt therapy around the world, Wiley-Blackwell,
  • Feltham, C., Hanley, T., & Winter, L.: 2017, The Sage handbook of counselling and psychotherapy, 4th ed., Sage, London,
  • McLeod, J.: 2019, An introduction to counselling and psychotherapy: Theory, research and practice, 6th ed., McGraw-Hill, London,
  • Reeves, A.: 2018, An introduction to counselling and psychotherapy, 2nd ed., Sage, London,
  • Clarkson, P.: 2013, Gestalt counselling in action, 4th ed., Sage, London,
  • Tribe, R. & Morrissey, J. (Eds.): 2020, The handbook of professional, ethical and research practice for psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists and psychiatrists, 3rd ed., Brunner-Routledge Hove,
  • Joyce, P., & Sills, C.: 2014, Skills in Gestalt counselling and psychotherapy, 3rd ed., Sage, London,
  • Perls, F., Hefferline, R., & Goodman, P.: 1951, Gestalt therapy: Excitement and growth in the human personality, Gestalt Journal Press,
  • Timulak, L.: 2015, Transforming emotional pain in psychotherapy: An emotion-focused approach, Routledge, London,
  • Greenberg, L.: 2011, Emotion focused therapy, American Psychological Association, Washington DC,
Other Resources

61324, Recommended journal, 0, Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies, 61325, Further recommended reading, 0, Additional reading will be provided during the module,
Module Co-ordinator and lecturer: Dr. Aisling McMahon
Programme or List of Programmes
CHPMMaster of Science
GDCOUGraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy
MCOUMasters in Psychotherapy
PYPMMaster of Science
SMPNSingle Module Programme (Nursing)
Date of Last Revision26-JAN-12

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