MA in Counselling Modules

Core Counselling Modules

Defining counselling; the difference between counselling and advising. A 3-stage model of helping (Egan): Exploring the present scenario; Developing a preferred scenario; Helping clients move towards the desired scenario. The role of theory. Psychodynamic Approaches: The Primacy of Early Childhood Experiences. (Freud, Jung, Adler, Klein, etc.) Humanistic/Existential Approaches: The “Growth” Orientation and the Human Spirit. (Rogers, Perls, Berne, Assagioli, Frankl, etc.) Cognitive Approaches: Correcting “faulty” thinking. (Beck, Kelly, Ellis, etc.) Behavioural Approaches: Removing symptomatic behaviour (Skinner, Wolpe, Meichenbaum, etc.).
Back to Top
Developing the key skills of listening; Showing that you are listening; The ability to focus attention on other people; Using questions effectively to encourage talking and to probe aspects of the “problem”; Reading and using body language; Being non-judgemental; Keeping an open mind; Feeling and showing an interest in other people’s problems; Being able to see a situation from someone else’s point of view; Helping people to explore their problems; Helping to identify solutions; Helping to work out the implications of different decisions; Remaining objective; Structuring the counselling relationship; The “core conditions” (genuineness, total acceptance, empathic understanding); Gathering data; Paraphrasing; Reflecting; Focusing; Summarising; “Concreteness”; Self-disclosure; Confrontation; Challenging; Immediacy; Developing new perspectives; Evaluating strategies for change; Enabling clients to make choices; Creative thinking; Action-planning; Evaluating outcomes; Case presentation.
Back to Top
Contracting; Reflective practice; Flexibility; Identifying and addressing obstacles to change; Empowering clients to change; Learning from “failures” and building on “successes”; The theory and practice of co-counselling; Confronting unresolved issues; Resolving impasses; Working with “difficult” (manipulative, controlling) people; Overcoming resistance; Solidifying the therapeutic alliance; etc.
Back to Top
(i) Freud : The importance of childhood experience; Psycho-sexual development; The instincts; The structure of the mental apparatus; The unconscious; Defence mechanisms; Psychoanalytical techniques; Free association; Dream interpretation; Transference analysis and “working-through”.
(ii) Jung : Analytical psychology; The “collective unconscious”; Archetypes; Ego and Shadow; Persona and Soul Image; Psychological Types; Synchronicity; Individuation; Therapeutic techniques : Active imagination and dream amplification.
(iii) Adler : Individual psychology; The importance of social relationships; Feelings of inferiority; Social interest; Therapeutic Techniques : Encouragement; Insight; Reorientation.
(iv) Klein : Object relations; Introjection; Projection; “Splitting”; Idealisation; Paranoia; Depression; Therapeutic techniques : Interpretation of motivation; Transference analysis; Interpretation of fantasies.
Back to Top
(i) Rogers : Person-centred approach; The “self” and “self-concept”; Locus of evaluation; Being “open to experience”; “organismic trusting”; Conditions of worth; Therapeutic techniques : Genuineness; Empathy; Unconditional Positive Regard.
(ii) Perls : Gestalt therapy; The importance of the “whole” person (we are more than the sum of our parts); The primacy of the “here-and-now”; Dealing with unfinished business; Top-dog and under-dog; Therapeutic techniques : The Empty chair; Experiencing the “present”; Enabling clients to take responsibility and to endure unwanted emotions (-eg. Shame and embarrassment).
(iii) Berne : Transactional Analysis; Ego states (parent, adult, child); The “script”; Transactions; Strokes (positive and negative); “Stamps” and “Rackets”; Games; Injunctions; Attributions and discounts; Therapeutic techniques : The empty chair; Encouraging autonomy; The “I’m OK-You’re OK” position; Facilitating awareness, spontaneity and intimacy.
(iv) Assagioli : Psychosynthesis; Self-realization through integration of intellect, emotion, body, intuition and imagination; Sub-personalities; Therapeutic techniques : Creativity; Dream-work; Guided imagery; Meditation.
(v) Frankl : Logotherapy; The “will to meaning”; The spiritual unconscious; Human freedom; The existential vacuum; Self-transcendence; Therapeutic techniques : Increasing existential awareness; Assisting clients to find meaning; Paradoxical intention.
Back to Top
(i) Beck : Cognitive therapy; Faulty learning; Low self-worth in depression; Attributions; Restrictive thinking; Therapeutic techniques : Exploration and listing of negative thoughts; “Thought stop”; Acceptance and empathic understanding; Focused exploration.
(ii) Kelly : Personal construct therapy : The “person as scientist”; Behaviour as an experiment; Constructive alternativism; Anxiety and Threat; Core constructs; Therapeutic techniques : “Self – characterisation”; Repertory grids; Fixed-role therapy.
(iii) Ellis : Rational-Emotive Behaviour therapy : Inter-play of thoughts, feelings and behaviors; ABC theory of personality; “Awfulising”; “I can’t stand-it-it is”; Therapeutic techniques : Counsellor
as teacher; Disputing irrational beliefs; Homework assignments; Rational-emotive imagery; Skill training.
(iv) Skinner : Behaviourism : Reward and punishment schedules; Operant conditioning; Generalisation and discrimination; Elimination of phobias; Therapeutic techniques : “Unlearning”, Progressive desensitisation; “Flooding”; The “token economy.”
(v) Wolpe : Behaviour therapy : Focus on behaviour rather than causes of behaviour; Emphasis on research; Analysis of behavioural problems; Negotiation of treatment plan; Therapeutic techniques : Exposure; Role-play; Self-monitoring; Stress management; Assertiveness training.
(vi) Meichenbaum : Cognitive-behaviour modification : Self-instructional training; Stress innoculation training; cognitive restructuring; Internal dialogue; Therapeutic techniques : Anxiety-relief; Flexibility of format; Use of imagery; “Modelling”; anger-management.
Back to Top
Race; gender; sexuality; poverty; disability; power and the abuse of power; anti-oppressive practice in counselling.
Back to Top
The counselling contract; the B.A.C.P code of ethics; the “code of ethics and practice for the supervision of counsellors” the boundaries between supervision, personal therapy and training; the supervisory relationship; the limits of confidentiality; malpractice; child-abuse; the registration and accreditation of counsellors.

Elective Modules

Back to Top

Individual Differences; Learning Styles; “Psychological Types;” Personal Development; Theories of Learning; Learning through Experience; The Giving and Receiving of Feedback; Personal Responsibility; Study Skills; Reflective Practice.
Back to Top
Creative Approaches: Drama, Movement, Art and Music Therapies (Moreno, Laban, etc.)
Systemic Approaches: (Satir, Watzlawick, Minuchin, Bateson, Haley, etc.)
Solution Oriented/Brief Approaches (Bandler and Grinder, Faralley, de-Shazer, etc.)
Back to Top
Examining the Variables that are Common to most Therapies; How Do Therapists Do Such Different Things and Yet Get Similar Results? The Things that Most Therapists Can Agree On; What Therapists Actually DO With Their Clients; A “Trans-Theoretical” Analysis; The Processes of Change; The Stages of Change; The Integration of Stages and Processes; Levels of Change; Technical
Eclecticism vs. Theoretical Integration.
Back to Top
The theories of Freud, Klein, Fromm, Bowlby, Erickson, Jung, Rogers, Kelly, Skinner, etc. with regard to the challenges of EARLY-CHILDHOOD, MIDDLE-CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENCE, EARLY-ADULTHOOD, MID-LIFE AND OLDER-AGE.
Back to Top
Counselling in bereavement; counselling for depression; counselling for anxiety problems; counselling for stress problems; counselling clients with phobias; counselling for eating disorders; counselling for drug/alcohol dependency; counselling survivors of childhood sexual abuse etc.
Student counselling, counselling in medical settings, counselling in the voluntary sector, counselling in organisations, counselling in private practice, counselling couples, family therapy, group therapy, etc.
Back to Top
The relationship between Counselling; Psychotherapy; Psychology (Occupational psychology; Clinical psychology; Counselling psychology etc); Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis. The therapeutic relationship; The working alliance; The transferential/counter-transferential relationship (psychoanalytic – e.g. Freud); The Reparative/developmentally-needed relationship (“Reparenting” the abused, neglected or over-protected “child within the adult” – e.g. Ferenczi, Alice Miller, etc.); The I-You relationship (Humanistic/existential – e.g. Buber, Rogers); The transpersonal relationship (The “spiritual” dimension – e.g. Jung, Assagioli); The “task” relationship (Cognitive-behavioural – e.g. Ellis, Beck, Wolpe).
Back to Top
Criticisms and rebuttals of psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioural and humanistic/existential approaches; The “outcome problem” in counselling; Exposing the myth of counsellor expertise; False memory syndrome; Abuses of clients by therapists.
Back to Top
Developing research ideas; Ethical issues; Writing a research proposal; Reviewing the literature; Sampling and sampling designs; Questionnaires; Interviews; Basic statistical concepts; Documentary research; Writing a research report; Disseminating research findings; Coding the therapeutic process; From naturalistic observation of counselling process to micro theories of change; Inter-personal process recall (IPR) of change events; Studying the client’s perceptual processes and their outcomes in counselling; Content analysis of client and counsellor post-session perceptions; Qualitative analysis of clients’ experiences of counselling; etc.Back to Top