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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Counselling and Psychology
Module Code PSYC513
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Rosaleen McElvaney
Semester 2: Rosaleen McElvaney
Autumn: Rosaleen McElvaney
Module TeachersRosaleen McElvaney
Simon Dunne
Nigel Mulligan
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

The purpose of this module is to critically introduce students to theoretical and practice perspective at the forefront of the psychology of counselling and psychotherapy. In this module, students will develop advanced knowledge of the origins and growth of counselling and psychotherapy theory and practice drawing on the central tenets’ of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, humanistic and systemic approaches. Students will develop a critical awareness of the process of counselling and psychotherapy; an appreciation of the core characteristics associated with effective psychotherapy; and the factors associated with establishing a good therapeutic relationship. Students are expected to attend lectures and to engage in experiential work in class supplemented by reading and reviewing relevant literature and course material as assigned.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theoretical underpinnings at the forefront of contemporary counselling and psychotherapy
2. Critically appraise the philosophical positions and application of four major psychological approaches to mental health difficulties (psychodynamic, cognitive- behavioural, humanistic and systemic).
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the research methodologies employed in investigating outcomes in psychotherapy.
4. Analyse and critically examine the core characteristics associated with an effective psychotherapy from the humanistic (person –centred) approach i.e. empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard.
5. Demonstrate competence of basic counselling skills relevant to establishing a good therapeutic relationship, such as active listening, physical and psychological attending, clarifying, open-questioning, reflection, paraphrasing, and empathic responding.
6. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the relative strengths and limitations of the four major approaches as they are applied to various psychological difficulties.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Didactic teaching
Group work6Online Loop engagement, Group work, skills based exercises
Independent Study95No Description
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

The historical context for contemporary counselling and psychotherapy practice within the discipline of psychology

Research paradigms in counselling and psychotherapy

Introduction to four major approaches in psychotherapy: psychodynamic, cognitive- behavioural, humanistic and systemic

Efficacy and Effectiveness in psychotherapy

In-class exercises, involving real play, focused on basic counselling skills

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentEssay - 3,500 words Real Play Assessment - 10 minute live real play100%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

  • Corsini, R. & Wedding, D.: 2011, Current psychotherapies, 9th, Brooks/Cole., Belmont, CA, US,
  • Corey, G.: 2004, Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy, 7th, Wadsworth Publication Co, Belmont, CA, US,
  • Feltam, C., Hanley, T. & Winter, L. (Eds.): 2017, The Sage handbook of counselling and psychotherapy, 4th ed, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Geldard, K.: 2003, Counselling skills in everyday life, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, US,
  • Mearns, D., & Thorne, B.: 2007, Person-centered counseling in action, 3rd, SAGE, London, UK,
  • McLeod, J.: 2009, An introduction to counselling., 4th, Open University Press, Berkshire, UK,
  • O’Farrell, U.: 2006, First steps in counselling., Veritas, Dublin, Irl.,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MPCMSc in Psychology (Conversion)

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