module specification

PY7173 - Psychological Knowledge and Models of Therapy (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Psychological Knowledge and Models of Therapy
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
156 hours Guided independent study
44 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 70%   Case formulation exercise
Coursework 30%   Reflective statement
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance (minimum of 80% registered attendance)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Morning

Module summary

Psychological Knowledge and Models of Therapy is a year long module that introduces students to core areas of psychological knowledge and models of therapy that provide a foundation for professional practice and development in counselling psychology. It is assessed via an essay and case formulation assignment.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The module aims to introduce students to core areas of psychological knowledge and models of therapy relevant to counselling psychology practice. It aims to provide students with a broad based theoretical and philosophical introduction to the field and thus a framework that supports the development of their identities and orientations as applied psychology practitioners. The module also aims to support the development of core cognitive and intellectual skills that underpin the ability to translate psychological theory into practice, and provide a foundation for more advanced study and practice at later stages of the programme.


  • The origins and philosophical basis of counselling psychology
  • Psychological and research knowledge relevant to counselling psychology practice
  • Common psychological problems and trends in service provision
  • Core principles of assessment, formulation, intervention and evaluation
  • Introduction to humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural models of therapy
  • Trans-theoretical perspectives and mechanisms of psychotherapy

Learning and teaching

The module’s learning and teaching strategy incorporates a variety of methods that help students achieve the learning outcomes. Formal lectures, supplementary reading and Weblearn resources develop psychological knowledge and understanding; in-class discussion promotes student-led critical evaluation; and problem based exercises hone intellectual skills in case formulation and treatment planning. Reflection on individual learning and future development is a component of the module’s assessment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:

  1. Have a critical understanding of the philosophical basis of counselling psychology
  2. Have an awareness of a range of psychological knowledge and models of therapy relevant to the practice of counselling psychology; and be able to critically evaluate these
  3. Have a critical understanding of basic principles of psychological assessment, formulation and treatment planning, and be able to translate this effectively into practice, using a cognitive-behavioural model.

Assessment strategy

i) Case formulation and reflective statement
Students will submit an oral assignment at the end of the module in a group formal that comprises two parts:

a) Case formulation
Students will be asked to present a psychological assessment formulation and treatment plan for a case from their own practice placement work. This should use a cognitive-behavioural model as the main theoretical framework, but also consider the potential applicability of other models to the case  (Learning outcome 3)

b) Reflective statement
Students will be asked to present a personal statement in which they critically reflect on the areas of psychological knowledge and models of psychological therapy presented in the module and consider their potential relevance and utility from a counselling psychology perspective.

ii) Attendance
Students are expected to attend all timetabled sessions for the module.  Although there may be occasions when circumstances prevent trainees from attending (e.g., illness), a minimum of 80% attendance is required overall.


Bond, F.W. & Dryden, W. (Eds.) (2004). Handbook of brief cognitive behaviour therapy. Chichester: Wiley.

Cooper, M. (2008). Essential research findings in counselling and psychotherapy: The facts are friendly. London: Sage.

Cooper, M. & Mc Leod, J. (2010). Pluralistic counselling and psychotherapy. London: Sage.

Dryden, W. (Ed.) (2007). Handbook of individual therapy (5th ed.). London: Sage.

Duncan, B., Miller, S., Bruce, E., Wampold, B. & Hubble, M. (2009). The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy. (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Fonagy, P., Gyorgy, G., Jurisy, E.L. & Target, M. (2003). Affect regulation, mentalization and the development of the self. London: Karnac Books.

Gilbert, P. & Leahy, R.L. (2007). The therapeutic relationship in cognitive behavioural psychotherapies. London: Routledge.

Gillon, E. (2007). Person-centred counselling psychology: An introduction. London: Sage.

Legg, C. (1998). Psychology and the reflective counsellor. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lemma. A. (2003).  Introduction to the practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Sussex: Wiley & Sons.

Milton, M. (Ed.) (2010). Therapy and beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to therapeutic and social issues. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Woolfe, R., Strawbriedge, S., Douglas, B. & Dryden, W. (Eds.) (2009). Handbook of counselling psychology (3rd ed.). London: Sage.