module specification

PC6054 - Counseling Psychology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Counseling Psychology
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Essay (3500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

The PC6054 counselling psychology module is a third year BSc psychology module running in the Autumn semester. This module introduces students to the discipline of counselling psychology as one of the main forms of applied psychological practice accredited by the British Psychological Society in the United Kingdom. The module will cover counselling psychology in theory, clinical practice and research.

Prior learning requirements

PC5005 Individual Differences and Social Psychology

Module aims

1. To introduce the discipline of counselling psychology, exploring its origins, scope, training, and contexts for practice in the UK;
2. To explore the philosophy, values and ethics of counselling psychology including contemporary debates and issues within the profession;
3. To explore three therapeutic modalities within counselling psychology clinical practice – cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), person-centred/humanistic, and psychodynamic therapy, including theories underpinning these modalities;
4. To explore counselling psychology clinical practice with reference to assessment, formulation, treatment planning, intervention, and the therapeutic relationship;
5. To explore counselling psychology research.


Indicative topics to be covered include:
1. Introduction to the module
2. Counselling psychology - origins, scope, training, and practice contexts
3. Philosophy, values and ethics in counselling psychology I
4. Philosophy, values and ethics in counselling psychology II
5. Assessment in counselling psychology
6. Formulation in counselling psychology
7. Treatment planning, intervention and the therapeutic relationship in counselling psychology
8. Cognitive behavioural therapy I
9. Cognitive behavioural therapy II
10. Person-centred / humanistic approaches
11. Psychodynamic approaches I
12. Psychodynamic approaches II
13. Pluralism and integration in counselling psychology
14. Counselling psychology and research
15. Summary 

Learning and teaching

New knowledge and critical capacity on this module will be promoted through lecturer-led lectures and workshops (30 hours) and through self-managed time and private study (120 hours).

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Critically engage with the philosophy, values and ethics of the counselling psychology discipline;
2. Gain awareness of counselling psychology practice in terms of assessment, formulation, treatment planning, intervention and the therapeutic relationship;
3. Understand the fit between counselling psychology and different therapeutic modalities;
4. Show awareness of the place of research within counselling psychology.

Assessment strategy

Formative assessment will be carried out through in-class peer group exercises.
Summative assessment will be one coursework component essay of 3500 words (+/- 10%).

Component Percentage of marks Learning outcomes
Essay (3500 words) 100% 1, 2, 3, 4

Sample questions:

1.  (a) Outline how a counselling psychologist might practice, including reference to assessment, formulation, treatment planning and intervention, and therapeutic relationship, within one therapeutic modality (CBT, person-centred, psychodynamic).
(b) How might the philosophy and values of counselling psychology inform research practice?


Core text
Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Douglas, B. & Dryden, W. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of counselling psychology (3rd ed.). London, England: Sage. (4th ed., 2016 forthcoming). [CORE]
Further readings
British Psychological Society. (2008). Generic professional practice guidelines (2nd ed.).
British Psychological Society. (2009). Code of ethics and conduct.
Cooper, M. (2008). Essential research findings in counselling and psychotherapy: The facts are friendly. London, England: Sage.
Davey, G. (Ed.). (2011). Applied psychology. Chichester, England: Wiley. Chapters on counselling psychology.
Dryden, W. (Ed.). (2007). Handbook of individual therapy (5th ed.). London, England: Sage.
Gillon, E. (2007). Person-centred counselling psychology: An introduction. London, England: Sage.
Health and Care Professions Council. (2015). Standards of proficiency for practitioner psychologists. 
Jacobs, M. (2010). (4th ed). Psychodynamic counselling in action. London, England: Sage.
Johnstone, L., & Dallos, R. (Eds.). (2014). Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: Making sense of people’s problems (2nd ed.) Hove, East Sussex: Routledge.
Kirschenbaum, H., & Henderson, V. L. (Eds.). (1990). The Carl Rogers reader. London, England: Constable
Lemma, A. (1996). Introduction to psychopathology. London, England: Sage.
Milton, M. (Ed.). (2010). Therapy and beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to therapeutic and social issues. Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell.
Orlans, V., & Van Scoyoc, S. (2009). A short introduction to counselling psychology. London, England: Sage.
Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th ed.). (2009). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Wampold, B.E. (2015). The great psychotherapy debate. New York, NY: Routledge
Westbrook, D., Kennerley, H., & Kirk, J. (2011). An introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy: Skills and applications. London, England: Sage.