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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2018 - 2019

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module aims to: 1. introduce students to the exploration of a range of therapeutic practices and their contribution to counselling. 2. To explore the significance of boundaries and boundary setting in the context of the therapeutic relationship. 3. To address professional, organisational and legal issues in the area of counselling – boundaries, supervision, data storage. The issue of how and when to make appropriate referral to specialised agencies and the capacity to network with same will also be addressed. Students will be expected to attend all lectures and engage with the supervision of triad skills practice which takes place during lectures. A committment and openness to personal and professional learning is crucial especially in respect of receiving feedback from supervised practice in lectures.

Learning Outcomes

1. Analyse various theoretical perspectives on the nature, objectives and effectiveness of counselling.
2. Practise an eclectic range of counselling skills under supervision.
3. Critically examine the common factors that have been associated with positive outcomes in counselling practice.
4. Critically review the professional, organisational and legal obligations of counsellors/therapists.
5. Identify the importance of professional and personal boundaries in the context of a therapeutic relationship and critically analyse the contribution of ethical guidelines to clinical practice.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture36No Description
Independent Study100No Description
Professional Practice55No Description
Total Workload: 191

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

Defining counselling. /Identifying central factors of positive outcomes in counselling and psychotherapy and related skills. /Introduction to the core principles and skills of counselling. /Exploring philosophical, cultural, and social perspectives as they practically relate to counselling. /Identifying the ethics of counselling practice. /Exploration of the impact of delivering of counselling in educational, training and the labour market contexts. /Ethical & professional issues and boundaries in counselling: assessment for counselling and of progress during counselling; scanning; beginning; referral and co-working; ending counselling; and the use of time, boundaries and contracts. /The use and role of professional supervision. /Explore the legal frameworks surrounding counselling practice, including the child protection requirements and other important frameworks. /Discuss ethical aspects including codes of ethics, confidentiality, information exchange and the law. /Examine the processes and issues related to working with systems e.g. schools, social services, welfare agencies, private sector, and health services. /Include a focus on personal records and data, management and evaluation of counselling practice, need for personal supervision

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Aldridge, Sally & Rigby, Sally (editors): 0, Counselling Skills in Context,,
  • Burnard, Philip,: 2005, Counselling Skills for Health Professionals,,
  • Culley , Sue and Bond, Tim.: 2004, Integrative Counselling Skills in Action, 2nd edition,,
  • Egan, Gerard.: 2002, The Skilled Helper – A Problem –Management & Opportunity-Development Approach to Helping,, 8th, Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole Publishing Company,
  • Nelson-Jones, R.: 2002, Essential Counselling and Therapy Skills., London: Sage.,
  • O Farrell, Ursula: 2004, Considering Counselling: The Person- Centred approach,, Dublin, Veritas,,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes