PSYC3020: Counselling Psychology
(This module is supported by Blackboard®)

Module Leader   Dave Hiles   (Room: H0.22b)


                Teaching Mode:-

                                    Term 1 & 2  Lectures: Teaching Weeks: 1,3,5,7,9,11;  16,18,20,22,24,26
                                 Seminar/Workshops:  Wks. 4/5, 6/7, 8/9, 10/11; 15/16, 17/18, 19/20 only

Module Aims:-

  1. to introduce students to the basic principles of counselling practice;
  2. to appreciate the major psychological theories underpinning the practice of individual and group counselling, and the different approaches to counselling research;
  3. to experience and practice basic listening skills and the core conditions of the counselling relationship;
  4. to explore the diversity of counselling in action, professional issues, opportunities for further training.

Module Outcomes:-

  1. students will understand the nature of counselling, and the role of the counsellor in helping people to live more effective and fulfilled lives;
  2. students will critically analyse the theoretical ideas that inform counselling practice and the research methodologies that psychology has to offer;
  3. students will demonstrate a range of basic counselling skills, such as active listening, empathy, etc., and appreciate the value of reflective practice;
  4. students will apply the principles of counselling practice to such areas as health, disability, bereavement, etc.


          One two hour examination.
          The Examination:Coursework weighting is 60:40.

Module Rationale

The module will be taught in a series of lectures that emphasise the theoretical basis of counselling psychology. There also is a Practical Programme, and attendance at all workshops is a requirement for this module. Coursework will involve writing up some of these workshops. These workshops offer a wide range of practical exercises to enable students to experience the core conditions and skills of counselling, examine some cases of counselling in action, and the professional and practical issues raised by counselling practice. The module will cover the following content:-

The Nature of Counselling: Defining counselling. Models of helping. Distinction between communication skills, counselling skills, process of counselling and psychotherapy. Role of the counsellor. Counsellor qualities.
Psychological Theories: Humanistic theory - Person-centred, Gestalt and Transactional Analysis. Psychoanalytic, cognitive and behavioural theories, etc.
The Counselling Relationship: The contribution of the person-centred school of counselling - the influence of Carl Rogers. The core conditions and therapeutic alliance. Counselling skills and active listening. The counselling session. Changes in the client/counselling relationship over time. Selection of clients. Confidentiality.
Counselling in Action: Case material taken from - Health, illness and disability, grief and bereavement, victims of crime, family therapy, etc. Professional considerations - The nature and importance of supervision, opportunities for further training, counselling research and evaluation.


                    Hough, M. (2010) Counselling Skills and Theory. 3rd Edition. Hodder & Stoughton.

                    (Introductory Reading:- Please read: Intro, Chap 1 and Chap 2)


PSYC3020: Teaching Programme 2010 - 2011

Lectures:-  Tuesday 14.00 - 15.00 in H00.05, will be organized as follows:-

  TERM 1:
Wk. 1 Lec. 1: What is counselling? (H-1) Models of helping. Role of the counsellor. Counsellor qualities. Counsellor training. 
Wk. 3 Lec. 2: The structure of counselling (H-2) Counselling skills, verbal & nonverbal. Carl Rogers' core conditions. 
Wk. 5 Lec. 3: Psychodynamic approaches (H3/4) Psychodynamic counselling; Freudian and Post-Freudian. Unconscious communication, transference.
Wk. 7 Lec. 4: Humanistic-existential approaches (H-5/6/7) Phenomenological, Gestalt, Transactional analysis.
Wk. 9 Lec. 5: Cognitive-Behavioural approaches (H-8)  Evolution of behaviour therapy, rational emotive therapy, etc.  (JG)
Wk. 11 Lec. 6: Counselling and developmental tasks (H-4) Erikson's life cycle stages, psychosocial development & healthy personality.
TERM 2 & 3
Wk. 16 Lec. 7: Counselling and responses to loss Crisis, loss & the grieving process. Stress & personality. Crisis as opportunity for personal growth.
Wk. 18 Lec. 8: The counselling relationship The therapeutic alliance; boundaries; contracts; goals.
Wk. 20 Lec. 9: New perspectives on counselling practice Narrative and constructionist approaches.
Wk. 22 Lec. 10: Integrating theory and practice: Transformation and change Developing a framework for counselling practice.
Wk. 24 Lec. 11: Doing counselling research: Choosing between quantitative & qualitative approaches.  
Wk. 26 Lec. 12: Professional Issues & Revision (H-10)  Eclectic practice. Professional and ethical issues. Supervision.


Supplementary Reading:

Gillon, E. (2007) Person-Centred Counselling Psychology: An introduction. Sage.
Kirschenbaum, H. & Henderson, V.L. (1990) The Carl Rogers Reader. Constable.
Mcleod, J. (2003) An Introduction to Counselling. 3rd Edition. Open University Press.
Woolfe, R. & Dryden, W. (Eds) (2003) Handbook of Counselling Psychology. 2nd Edition. Sage.


Practical Programme

Participation in workshops for this module is a requirement. Failure to attend without good reason will be reported to the student’s Subject Authority Board, and will be reflected in a student's Coursework Mark.

These workshops form part of the "seminar" programme for the module. They take place in Weeks: 4/5, 6/7, 8/9, 10/11, 15/16, 17/18, 19/20 only. You will be assigned to a group of about 16 students, and also split up into even smaller groups for role-plays and case discussions. Full details of these groups will be posted on Blackboard®.


Module Assessment

During Term 3 there will be a 2 hour unseen examination for the whole module, and this will count towards 60% of the overall module mark. Further details will be circulated later. Previous examination papers are available for this module here.

Coursework will consist of two pieces of work handed in together:

Two short written reports on Workshops 5 & 6. These reports should be written up immediately after each workshop but handed in together, and will consist basically of: (a) a summary of the activity, (b) a brief account of related theory, and (c) a self-assessment based on reflective learning. Further details of this requirement will be given in Workshop 5.



Counselling Psychology - Further Reading, etc.

This fairly comprehensive list is provided as a resource for students to further their exploration of the issues and topics raised in the module, or simply to follow up references given in lectures.

n.b. The KEY TEXT above is essential, and will be referred to extensively. Supplementary Reading is required reading and will be made available on SHORT LOAN in the library. The Further Reading list provides important texts for reference, and lists the main sources used in lectures and tutorials, and can be useful for pursuing a topic in depth, and for future study.


Further Reading:

Barker, P. (1986) Basic Family Therapy. (2nd Ed.) Collins.

Dryden, W. (1992) Key Issues for Counselling in Action. Sage.

Erikson, E.H. (1980) Identity and the Life Cycle. Norton.

Frankland, A. & Sanders, P. (1995) Next Steps in Counselling. PCCS Books.

Heron, J. (1990) Helping the Client. Sage.

Hiles, D.R. (1996) Interrupted Narratives and Counselling Practice. Paper presented to the BAC 2nd Annual Counselling Research Conference, Birmingham, UK.

Hiles, D.R. (1997) Intersubjectivity and the Healing Dialogue in Counselling Practice. Paper presented to the BAC 3rd Annual Counselling Research Conference, Birmingham, UK.

Hopson, B. (1981) Counselling and helping. In D. Griffiths, Psychology and Medicine. BPS/Macmillan.

Hough, M. (1996) Counselling Skills. Longman.

May, R. (1992 [1939]) The Art of Counselling. Souvenir Press.

Mcleod, J. (1994) Doing Counselling Research. Sage.

McLeod, J. (1996a) The emerging narrative approach to counselling and psychotherapy. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 24, 173-84.

McLeod, J. (1996b) Qualitative approaches to research in counselling and psychotherapy: Issues and challenges. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 24, 309-316.

Mcleod, J. (1997) Narrative and Psychotherapy. Sage.

Murgatroyd, S. (1985) Counselling and Helping. Methuen.

Nelson_Jones, R. (1983) Practical Counselling Skills. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Nelson_Jones, R. (1995) The Theory and Practice of Counselling. Cassell.

Oatley, K. (1984) Selves in Relation: An introduction to psychotherapy and groups. Methuen.


Background References:

Basch, M.F. (1988) Understanding Psychotherapy: The science and the art. Basic Books.

Berne, E. (1968) Games People Play. Penguin.

Bion, W.R. (1961) Experiences in Groups. Tavistock.

Brown, D. & Pedder, J. (1991) Introduction to Psychotherapy: An outline of psychodynamic principles and practice. (2nd Ed.) Routledge.

Bubenzer, D.L. & West, J.D. (1993) Counselling Couples. Sage.

Clarkson, P. (1989). Gestalt Counselling in Action. Sage.

Clarkson, P. (1998). Counselling Psychology: Integrating theory, research and supervised practice. Routledge.

Collick, E. (1986) Through Grief: The bereavement journey. Darton, Longman & Todd.

Crowe, T.A. (Ed.) (1997) Applications of Counselling in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Williams & Wilkins.

Deurzen-Smith, E. van (1988). Existential Counselling in Practice. Sage.

Dryden, W.(Ed) (1996) Developments in Psychotherapy: Historical perspectives. Sage.

Dryden, W. & Feltham, C. (1992) Brief Counselling: A practical guide for beginning practitioners. OU Press.

Egan, G. (1986) The Skilled Helper: A systematic approach to effective helping. (3rd Ed.) Wadsworth.

Ellin, J. (1994) Listening Helpfully: How to develop your counselling Skills. Souvenir Press.

Freedman, J. & Combs, G. (1996) Narrative Therapy: The social construction of preferred realities. Norton.

Jacobs, M. (1989) Psychodynamic Counselling in Action. Sage.

Jacobs, M. (1998) The Presenting Past: The core of psychodynamic counselling and therapy. (2nd Ed.) OU Press.

Klass, D., Silverman, P.R. & Nickman, S.L. (1996) Continuing Bonds: New understandings of grief. Taylor &Francis.

Lendrum , S. & Syme, G. (1992). Gift of Tears: A practical approach to loss and bereavement counselling. Routledge.

Mearns, D. & Thorne, B. (1988) Person-centred Counselling in Action. Sage.

Neimeyer, R.A. & Mahoney, M.J. (1995) Constructivism in Psychotherapy. APA.

Parkes, C.M. (1986) Bereavement: Studies of grief in adult life. (2nd Ed.) Penguin.

Phillips, A. (1993) On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored. Faber & Faber.

Polkinghorne, D. (1988) Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences. SUNY Press.

Rogers, C. (1961) On Becoming a Person. Constable.

Rogers, C. (1981) Client-centred Therapy. Constable.

Steward, I. (1989) Transactional Analysis Counselling in Action. Sage.

Tschudin, V. (1989) Beginning with Empathy: A Facilitator's Guide. Churchill Livingstone.

Walker, M. (1990) Women in Therapy and Counselling. OU Press.

Wiener, J. & Sher, M. (1998) Counselling and Psychotherapy in Primary Health Care. Macmillan.

Worden, J.W. (1991) Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy. (2nd Ed.) Routledge.

Yalom, I.D. (1996) The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy. (4th Ed.) Basic Bks.



British Journal of Guidance and Counselling


Journal of Counselling Psychology


Websites (Useful sites - don’t forget to explore the links!):-    (UKCP site)   (The BPS site)     (The BPS - Division of Counselling Psychology Website)      (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy website)      (Useful directory)        (Good source of discussion papers)        (Useful resource, many useful papers)       (Useful resource, especially on ethics)


In addition, you will find further, regularly updated, links relevant to this module on my Links page.


© Dave Hiles 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,2005, 2006, 2007.