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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Professional Practice Portfolio 4
Module Code NS5034
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Stephanie Finan
Semester 2: Stephanie Finan
Autumn: Stephanie Finan
Module TeachersJoanne Cleary-Holdforth
Nigel Mulligan
Stephanie Finan
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module builds on the personal and professional development modules in previous years of the MSc in Psychotherapy. The purpose of this module is to facilitate continued development of students' personal and professional growth as integrative psychotherapy practitioners. In addition to addressing practice topics such as professional hazards related to the practice of psychotherapy developing a career following graduation, and critical issues in the field of psychotherapy the module provides advanced exploration of the therapeutic process, enhances critical and ethical decision-making capacity, and promotes personal and professional reflexivity. Students are expected to continue to attend personal therapy and group awareness sessions, engage in clinical practice and clinical supervision on a one-to-one and group basis, and participate in class-based discussion and online self-directed learning activities. This work will be recorded in their portfolio which provides a record of their personal and professional development over the duration of the course.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically examine the therapeutic process, therapeutic relationship and therapy outcomes by using and integrating different theoretical positions including humanistic, cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic and systemic approaches.
2. Demonstrate increased capacity in personal / professional reflexivity and integration.
3. Demonstrate advanced integration of theory, practice and research.
4. Demonstrate critical contextual and ethical sensitivity and decision-making capacity in managing the complexity of the psychotherapy endeavour.
5. Demonstrate advanced competency in clinical practice with complex cases in a range of therapy settings.
6. Utilise individual and group clinical supervision appropriately for personal / professional development needs.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture10Didactic Teaching
Directed learning50Group supervision, personal awareness groupwork, psychotherapy skills development work and group discussions
Clinical placement100Direct Client Work (minimum 80 hours, range 80-120 hours)
Clinical placement25Individual Supervision Ratio 1:4
Independent Study55Self-directed learning –Critical reading and review of literature, assignment and portfolio development, preparation for individual and group supervision, regular review of case work and supervision outcomes, maintaining personal / professional reflections and updating logs
Directed learning10Tutor-led formative engagement
Total Workload: 250

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

Professional & Personal Development
Through continued personal and interpersonal experiential inquiry and engagement the student will enhance their critical awareness of self-other relationships, and their appreciation of the sensitive and attuned use of self in psychotherapy practice. The student will also demonstrate appropriate attention to self care and awareness of professional / personal boundaries.

Clinical Practice
The student will continue to engage in direct work with clients presenting with emotional and psychological problems of increasing complexity in different practice placement settings.Students will demonstrate their enhanced capacity to integrate humanistic, cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic and systemic therapeutic approaches in the best interests of clients. This work will be carried out under the guidance of experienced supervisors in contexts that are student-friendly and aware.

Clinical Supervision
The student will continue to engage in formal supervision of their clinical practice in one-to-one and group formats. This will involve presentation of case work and demonstration of increasing competence in integrating theory and practice, which can involve retrospective reflection in relation to the student's work in a range of ways, such as written reflective notes, audio / video recording etc. Supervision will be conducted with an accredited supervisor who is clinically competent in the particular area of work in which the student is engaged.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentSession Analysis Assignment30%Sem 1 End
EssayWritten Reflective Essay - 2,500 words.25%Sem 2 End
Portfolio1. Work Logs - confirmed logs of clinical practice, clinical supervision and personal development work. 2. Reports - student preparation for group supervision reports, individual and group supervision meeting records, reports from internal and external clinical managers and supervisors and from facilitator of personal awareness group work.5%Sem 2 End
AssignmentA PAG peer invitation and a year end audio reflection of 10-12 minutes upon PAG work across the year. Specific reference should be made to the invitation and how it was met/ not met.20%n/a
Participation1) In class presentation of case at 2 points, tracking the trajectory of therapy across at least 6 sessions. 2) End of Year Group Supervision Report20%Sem 2 End
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

  • Bond, T.: 2015, Standards and ethics for counselling in action, 4th ed., Sage, London,
  • Mary Creaner: 2014, Getting the best out of supervision in counselling and psychotherapy: A guide for the supervisee, Sage, London,
  • Michael Carroll: 2014, Effective supervision for the helping professions, Sage, Los Angeles,
  • Carroll, M., Tholstrup, M. (eds): 2001, Integrative Approaches to Supervision., Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London,
  • Dallos, R. & Stedman, J.: 2009, Reflective practice in psychotherapy and counselling, McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, Maidenhead,
  • European Association of Psychotherapy: 2013, Framework of core competencies in practising psychotherapy, http://www.europsyche.org/download/cms/100510/Final-Core-Competencies-v-3-3_July2013.pdf,
  • Hawkins, P. and McMahon, A.: 2020, Supervision in the Helping Professions, 5th, McGraw- Hill/ Open University Press, London,
  • Feltham, C., Hanley, T., & Winter, L.A. (Eds.): 2017, The Sage handbook of counselling and psychotherapy, 4th, Sage, London,
  • H. ten Have,Michèle Jean: 2009, The UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, UNESCO, 9789231040887
  • Hawkins, P., & Shohet, R.: 2012, Supervision in the helping professions, 4th, McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, Maidenhead, 9780335243112
  • Ladany, N., Friedlander, M.L.,: 2005, Critical events in psychotherapy supervision, American Psychological Association, Washington DC,
  • Lane, D.A., Corrie, S.: 2012, Making Successful Decisions in Counselling and Psychotherapy, All, McGraw Hill, England,
  • Steve Page & Val Wosket: 2015, Supervising the counsellor and psychotherapist, 3rd, Routledge, London,
  • Wosket, V.: 2017, The therapeutic use of self: Counselling, practice, research and supervision, 2nd ed., Routledge, London,
  • Norcross , J.C., Popple, P.M.: 2016, Supervision Essentials for Integrative Psychotherapy, 1st, All, American Psychological Association, Washington, 978-1-4338-26
Other Resources

2022-23 Module Co-ordinator : Stephanie Finan, stephanie.finan@dcu.ie
Programme or List of Programmes
MCOUMasters in Psychotherapy

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