THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2023/2024

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Counselling Studies

Undergraduate Course: Counselling and Psychotherapy: Principles and Practices (CNST08001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
Summary**January 2024 - This course has capacity for 100 students only.**

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy. Taking an historical perspective, the course starts with the discipline's foundations in psychoanalysis and traces its development through person-centred, humanistic and cognitve-behavioural therapy through to contemporary third wave and mindfulness-based therapies. The principles and core skills of therapeutic practice, along with the key features of the therapeutic relationship, are covered. The social and political contexts in which emotional and psychological distress emerges, and is treated, are examined. The course takes a decolonizing perspective, offering critique of the individualizing and Eurocentric bias of the theories of mental health problems that underpin the talking therapies and critically reflecting on therapeutic practice itself. While not providing a training in counselling skills, the course does contain an experiential component where students will have the opportunity to practise active listening and are encouraged to reflect on relevant personal experience of both help-seeking and help-giving.
Course description The course aims to introduce students to the principles and practices of counselling and psychotherapy. It uses a chronological approach to trace the origins of the discipline over time, beginning with the discipline┬┐s foundations in psychoanalysis and tracing its development through person-centred, humanistic and cognitve-behavioural therapy through to contemporary third wave therapies. Taking a social science and decolonizing perspective, the course offers critical reflections on how emotional and psychological distress and mental ill health have been conceptualised and treated by the talking therapies through time. Students are introduced to the common factors and shared skills of counselling and psychotherapeutic practice, while also taught the distinctive features of the various main theoretical orientations. Although not a counselling skills training, students will have the opportunity to practise active listening and will be encouraged to reflect on relevant personal experience of both help-seeking and help-giving.

The course will be relevant to any student with an interest in emotional and psychological distress, mental health and the role of the talking therapies in alleviating distress and helping people live more fulfilling lives.

The course is open to any student from any discipline.

Content

Session 1: Introduction

Session 2 and 3: Psychoanalysis

Sessions 4 and 5: Person-centred/humanistic therapies

Sessions 6 and 7: Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Sessions 8 and 9: Contemporary Third Wave and Mindfulness-Based Therapies

Session 10: Conclusion

Student Learning Experience

Students will have a range of learning experiences, including interactive lectures, group work, discussion groups, blogs and listening skills practice in tutorial groups. They will watch and analyse video recordings of therapeutic practice. They will engage in private study and also be encouraged to deepen their self-awareness of their personal experience and the influence such experience may have in shaping their perceptions of counselling and psychotherapy.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  100
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Online Activities 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 0.5, Formative Assessment Hours 0.5, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 154 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Group Blog, 500 words, 30%
Essay, 2500 words, 70%
Feedback Formative assessment and feedback will be offered through:
1. interactive and exercise-based tutorials;
2. an online discussion board, where students are asked to post their answers to questions posed by teaching staff each week. These posts will be responded to, providing formative feedback as students develop their learning across the semester. This formative assessment will also include peer-feedback, as students are encouraged to use this discussion board to interact amongst themselves.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the historical evolution of counselling and psychotherapy
  2. Appreciate the distinctions between different theoretical orientations and practices in counselling and psychotherapy
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the social and political contexts in which emotional and psychological distress emerges and in which counselling and psychotherapy services operate
  4. Identify the core skills and key features of therapeutic practice
  5. Reflect upon personal experience and the influence such experience may have in shaping perceptions of counselling and psychotherapy
Reading List
McLeod, John. An Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy : Theory, Research and Practice, McGraw-Hill Education, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/ed/detail.action?docID=6212192.

Reeves, Andrew. An Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy : From Theory to Practice. Sage, 2018.

Sanders, Pete, et al. First Steps in Counselling (5th Edition) : An Introductory Companion, PCCS Books, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/ed/detail.action?docID=6640559.

Kearney, Anne, and Gillian Proctor. Counselling, Class and Politics: Undeclared Influences in Therapy (Second Edition). [Place of publication not identified]: PCCS Books Ltd, 2018. https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2627939&site=ehost-live.

Mignolo, W. & Walsh, C. E. (2018) On decoloniality┬┐: concepts, analytics, and praxis. Durham: Duke University Press.



Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will help students think about how our understanding of emotional and psychological distress, and how it is responded to, has evolved over time in relation to wider social and political contexts. This will deepen their understanding of shared experiences of challenges in life and help them engage critically with practice interventions in this field and beyond.

This course will introduce students to key features of professional practice and relationships which transfer to a wide range of contexts and experiences in life.

This course will help students understand themselves and their own orientations to help-seeking and help-giving both in relation to mental health and other aspects of living.
KeywordsCounselling,Psychotherapy,Principles,Practice,Historical Development,Social and Political Contexts
Contacts
Course organiserMr Seamus Prior
Tel: (0131 6)51 6599
Email: Seamus.Prior@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Morven Sutherland
Tel: (0131 6)51 3972
Email: Morven.Sutherland@ed.ac.uk
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