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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Humanistic Counselling and Psychotherapy
Module Code NS507
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Mary Kirwan
Semester 2: Joanne Cleary-Holdforth
Autumn: Mary Kirwan
Module TeachersJoanne Cleary-Holdforth
Mary Kirwan
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the structure, content, research base and practice implication of humanistic, person-centred therapy. The module will examine and appraise a number of theories, including Carl Rogers'person-centered personality theory, and a number of approaches that these theories have led to: Person-Centered therapy, Re-Evaluation Counselling, and Gestalt therapy. This module provides a platform of theory and knowledge about Humanistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, together with some simulated role-play and real-life experiential practice, which facilitates students in appropriately integrating the Humanistic approach into their developing psychotherapy practice.

Learning Outcomes

1. Discuss the historical influences on, and appraise the place of Humanistic therapy within the overall framework of counselling and psychotherapy
2. Explain the principles and concepts that link different humanistic perspectives.
3. Compare and contrast Humanistic models, and the applications stemming from these models
4. Identify contexts in which the different Humanistic models can be appropriately applied, and apply basic techniques from the models.
5. Analyse Rogers's person-centered personality theory, and the underlying basis to Rogers' core conditions for effective therapy.
6. Appraise the theory of Re-Evaluation Counselling, and how it can be used to promote self-understanding and growth.
7. Justify the use of Gestalt therapy, and explain the contexts where it may be most appropriate to use a Gestalt approach

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture32Students will attend a series of lectures/seminars, where they will be expected to attend to didactic presentations and participate in class discussions based on the readings assigned.
Independent Study42Sourcing books and articles from reading list, reading in-depth (including note-taking where appropriate) in preparation for participation in class dialogue.
Group work6Students gather in groups of four to discuss material arising out of class lectures
Independent Study15Time to reflect on how the theories and approaches discussed in class resonate (or not) with one’s own personal experiences and belief systems
Assignment Completion30Writing one 3,000 word essay that demonstrates both accomplishment of learning outcomes and appropriate level of academic writing skills
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

Historical Influences in the development of Humanistic Therapy
Through readings and class discussions, this section studies the roots of Humanistic psychology in the context of the evolution of the overall field. It looks at how the humanistic model evolved in order to address perceived limitations of previous models such as psychoanalytic and cognitive-behaviourism in explaining the human psyche.

Carl Roger s Personality Theory.
This section examines in detail the structure and core elements of Carl Roger s humanistic personality theory, including the concept of innate self-actualisation tendencies of individuals. Using reading, and class dialogue, it reflects on how the humanistic view of the person differs from previous views.

The person-centered approach to psychotherapy;
This section discusses the implication of Carl Roger s personality theory on the therapeutic process. Through readings and lively group discussions, this section demonstrates how Carl Roger s humanistic view of the person led to his postulation of a number of core conditions that need to be present for the therapeutic process to be effective, – congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding. Through simulated practice (two people in pairs taking turns as therapist and client), participants start to acquire some of the skills to establish Roger s core conditions within a simulated therapeutic setting.

The Theory of Re-Evaluation Counselling
This section discusses Harvey Jackins Re-evaluation Counseling theory, based on the humanistic view of innate potential, zest, and lovingness. Through reading, discussions, and experiential practice (Counsellor and client), the section explores how the methods of Re-evaluation Counseling , leading to emotional discharge, can recover blocked innate potentiality.

Gestalt Therapy:
This section focuses on phenomenology and field theory and how these perspectives informed an array of Gestalt therapeutic approaches. Once again, reading, discussions, and simulated practice (two people taking turns in counseling and being counseled), are used so that participants start acquiring knowledge and skills for utilizing Geltalt techniques appropriately.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Essaydetails provided in class100%
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

  • Bor, R., Palmer, S. (Editors): 2002, book, Sage, London, ISBN-13: 978-0761964308
  • Clarkson P. & Mackeown J.: 1996, Fritz Perls, Sage, London, 9780803984530
  • Jackins,: 1982, The Human Side of Human Beings: The Theory of Re-Evaluation Counseling, Rational Island Publishers, Seattle, 10: 1885357079
  • Joyce, P., Sills, C.: 2010, Skills in Gestalt Counselling & Psychotherapy, 2nd, Sage, London, 9781847876003
  • Mearns,D ., Thorne, B.: 2000, Person-centred therapy today, SAGE, London, 9780761965619
  • Rogers, Carl: 1995, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy, 2nd, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 039575531X
  • Rogers, Carl: 2004, On Becoming a Person, Constable, London, 1845290577
  • Brian Thorne: 2003, Carl Rogers, SAGE, London, 0761941126
  • Thorne, B: 2008, Person-Centred Counselling: Therapeutic and Spiritual Dimensions, Wiley, Chichester, 1870332873
  • Thorne, B.: 1998, Person-Centred Counselling and Christian Spirituality: The Secular and the Holy, Wiley, Chichester, 978-1-86156-080-3
  • Brazier,D. (Editor): 1993, Beyond Carl Rogers, Constable, London, 0094726108
  • Buber M. & Rogers C. (1960): 1997, Dialogue between Martin Buber & Carl Rogers, SUNY Press, New York, 079149487X, 9780791494875
  • Kirschenbaum,.H.,Henderson, V.: 1990, The Carl Rogers reader, Constable, London, England, 0094698406
  • Lake T. & Acheson F.: 1988, Room to Listen, Room to Talk: A Beginner's Guide to Analysis, Therapy and Counselling, Square Press, Bedford, 071991227X
  • Maslow, A: 2011, Toward A Psychology of Being-Reprint of 1962 Edition First Edition, Martino Fine Books, New York, 1614270678
  • Zinker,J: 1978, Creative process in Gestalt therapy, Vintage Books, New York, 0394725670
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
GDPCGDip in Counselling & Psychotherapy
Date of Last Revision28-OCT-10

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