DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Critical Issues in Psychotherapy
Module Code NS621
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Alice McEleney
Semester 2: Alice McEleney
Autumn: Alice McEleney
Module TeachersGerry Moore
Ray B O'Neill
Alice McEleney
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module is designed to facilitate engagement with the contemporary issues pertinent to the field of psychotherapy in the 21st century and the candidates’ own positions within that filed. Candidates will be encouraged to broaden their awareness of professional issues related to the advanced practice of psychotherapy and deepen their knowledge of contemporary issues within this and related fields. Candidates will contribute to their learning plan through sharing their own expertise and identifying gaps in their knowledge, reflect on ethical practice in varying contexts. The module aims to assist candidates to articulate and critically examine their own professional practice in the light of recent developments within the discipline. Through independent study, candidates will engage in a depth of reading, reflection and critical appraisal of theory, research and practice with respect to contemporary issues in psychotherapy. It will develop candidates’ knowledge base and competence as advanced practitioners in the field of psychotherapy in Ireland.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically discuss developments within the profession and challenges facing the profession in the 21st century.
2. Critically appraise recent theory, research and practice developments in the contemporary field of psychotherapy taking account of both national and international developments in the field and the various contexts of psychotherapy practice.
3. Establish their own position as advanced practitioners in their field of practice and be able to communicate this position in an articulate effective manner.
4. Critically discuss and develop responses to complex ethical dilemmae in their practice.
5. Critically appraise a range of delivery models in psychotherapy in diverse social, cultural and legal contexts with diverse populations.
6. Reflect on and offer a constructive critique of their own practice and the practice of others.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture30No Description
Tutorial20No Description
Seminars20No Description
Independent Study305No Description
Total Workload: 375

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

Evidence based practice and practice based evidence

Contexts of practice & methods of service delivery

Professionalisation of psychotherapy

Neuroscience and psychotherapy

Ethics, the law and psychotherapy

Psychopharmacology and psychotherapy

Spirituality and psychotherapy

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentThe assignment consists of a presentation on a specific area of practice, on a topic that represents the student's area of expertise and that represents a critical issue in psychotherapy. The candidate is expected to draw on the theoretical position that underpins this practice, the student's own position, and the ethical issues pertinent to practice in this area. This assessment is to be delivered both in an oral presentation and in the form of a draft article for publication (approx 3,000 words), targeted at a specific journal of the student's choice.100%Week 30
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

  • 0: Barkham, M., Lutz, W., & Castonguay, L. G. (Eds.). (2021). Bergin and Garfield's handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change: 50th anniversary edition (7th ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 287990
  • 0: Casement, P. (2018). Learning along the way: Further reflections on psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Routledge., 287991
  • 0: Cozolino, L. (2017). The neuroscience of psychotherapy: Healing the social brain (3rd ed.). Norton & Co., 287992
  • 0: Czyzselska, J.C. (2022). Queering psychotherapy. Karnac Books., 287993
  • 0: Foulkes, L. (2022). What mental illness really is...(and what it isn't). Vintage., 287994
  • 0: Marlock, G. (Ed.) (2015). The handbook of body psychotherapy and somatic psychology. North Atlantic Books., 287995
  • 0: Mckenzie-Mavinga, I., Black, K., Ellis, E. & Carberry, K. (Eds.) (2023). Therapy in colour: Intersectional, anti-racist and intercultural approaches by therapists of colour. Jessica Kingsley Publishers., 287996
  • 0: Proctor, G. (2017). The dynamics of power in counselling and psychotherapy: Ethics, politics and practice (2nd ed.). PCCS Books., 287997
  • 0: Totton, N. (2021). Wild Therapy: Rewilding our inner and outer worlds (2nd edition). PCCS Books., 287998
  • 0: Weinberg, J., Rolnick, A. & Leighton, A. (2023). Advances in online therapy: Emergence of a new paradigm. Routledge.,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
DPSYDoctor of Psychotherapy

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement