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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Abnormal Psychology and Psychological Counsel
Module Code PY310
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: James Brunton
Semester 2: James Brunton
Autumn: James Brunton
Module TeachersJames Brunton
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite PY100
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The first part of this module focuses on theory and research relating to abnormal human behaviour, its manifestations, and how such behaviours may be diagnosed and treated. The second part of the module examines the main concepts and theories relating to a range of psychological therapies, the skills and competencies developed by therapeutic practitioners, and contextual factors that impact on counselling practice.

Learning Outcomes

1. Assess historical as well as current trends in the psychosocial study and treatment of abnormal human behaviour
2. Formulate a systematic framework through which psychological disorders can be examined in detail
3. Evaluate the diagnostic criterion and associated treatments for various psychopathologies
4. Synthesise knowledge of therapeutic approaches and processes utilised, both historically and currently, in counselling and psychotherapeutic practice
5. Appraise the contextual factors that impact on counselling practice
6. Reflect on the skills and competencies needed to deliver effective psychological therapy

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial18Online Distance Learning tutorials
Online activity60Student-Tutor and Student-Student interaction through online discussion forums and other media
Independent Study297Using self-directed learning resouces, textbooks and other resources
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

Part 1: Abnormal Psychology 1

- What is Abnormal Psychology?

- Contextual factors: Legal, Ethical and Societal Issues

- Researching Abnormal Psychology

- Psychopathology: Assessment and Diagnosis

- Stress, Trauma and Health

- Mood Disorders and Suicidality

- Panic, Anxiety, and Obsessions

- Somatic Symptoms and Dissociative Disorders

Part 2: Abnormal Psychology 2

- Schizophrenia and Psychosis

- Eating Disorders

- Substance use and Addictive Disorders

- Sexual Dysfunctions, Variants, and Abuse

- Personality Disorders

- Neurodevelopmental Disorders (Childhood and Adolescence)

- Neurocognitive Disorders

- Psychological Intervention: Outcomes and Issues

Part 3: Counselling Psychology 1

- What are Counselling and Psychotherapy?

- Research in Psychological Counselling

- The Effective Practice of Psychological Therapy: Foundation Skills and Competencies

- Psychodynamic Approaches

- Cognitive and Behavioural Approaches

Part 4: Counselling Psychology 2

- Humanistic Approaches

- Emerging Approaches

- Psychological Counselling across the lifespan

- Counselling in Different Contexts

- Ethical and Legal Issues When Practicing Psychological Therapy

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayThis assessment is an essay, focused on an abnormal psychology topic30%n/a
Report(s)This second assessment involves writing a case study report, based on a specified case, recommending a provisional diagnosis and therapeutic plan for the client.35%n/a
EssayThe first part of this assessment involves commenting on the use of counselling skills and the application of psychological theory as demonstrated in a video of a counselling session. The second part of the assessment is an essay on a psychological counselling topic.35%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

  • Hooley, J. M., Butcher, J. N., Nock, M. K., and Mineka, S.: 2020, Abnormal Psychology, 18th Ed., Pearson Education, Essex,
  • Corey, G.: 2017, Theory and Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 10th Ed., Cengage Learning,
  • Nelson-Jones, R.: 2013, Introduction to Counselling Skills: Texts and Activities, 4th Ed., Sage,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BABA in Humanities
BADIPDiploma in Humanities
BAPYBA in Humanities (Psychology Major)
PYDIPDiploma in Humanities (Psychology Major)
SMPPYSingle Module Programme Psychology

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