Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Counselling Studies

Postgraduate Course: Sexualities and Genders in Counselling and Psychotherapy (CNST11051)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides a comprehensive exploration of the practice of psychosexual counselling. It offers an introduction to the main theoretical strands that underpin psychosexual counselling, an examination of the processes involved in the practice and delivery of psychosexual counselling and an analysis of the difference that sexuality makes within the counselling context. Topics include: the context of psychosexual ounselling; the language of sexuality; the examination of value systems and notions of a healthy sexuality; cultural and sociological understandings of sexuality, sexual identity and sexual behaviour, including issues of difference, diversity and power; the range of sexual problems; working with sexuality in the couple relationship. Students are required to draw on their own therapeutic work within class sessions. A feature of the course will be a series of practice sessions in which students use role play to develop their therapeutic skills in working with psychosexual themes in counselling. The ethical and confidentiality issues raised by this are discussed in the first session.
Course description This course will introduce participants to some of the key theories, concepts and practices regarding sex, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation, as they relate to counselling and psychotherapy.
It will examine the historical and cultural conditions that inform how people construct their sexual and gender identity, namely the limits on thinking about the complexities of sex, gender and desire out-with the constraints of the heterosexual paradigm. It will critically appraise the philosophical concepts underpinning practice (e.g. essentialism, social constructionism, determinism), as well as considering the impact of gender and sexuality in the counselling context.
Topics which will be addressed include: the relationship between experience and discourse; the essentialist view of sex; the social construction of gender; cultural and historical variation in understanding sexual and gender identities; the role and impact that belief systems have in constructing sexual and gender identities; the psychological impact of sex, gender and sexual identity; talking about sex in the counselling room; transgender and intersex clients; the influence of binary sex/gender system within counselling ; the impact of the therapists identity; introducing the idea of desire-beyond-identity.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Prior degree or equivalent professional training in counselling/psychotherapy, health, education or social work.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesPrior degree or equivalent professional training in counselling/psychotherapy, health, education or social work.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand key theoretical, philosophical, and historical perspectives on sexuality, sexual identity and sexual behaviour, including essentialism and social constructionism.
  2. Critically appraise the main theoretical conceptualisations of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation in counselling and psychotherapy and critically appraise the place of psychosexual concepts and theories in current therapeutic thinking and practices.
  3. Examine how these theoretical ideas inform the practice of counselling in this field, with relevance to issues of difference, diversity and power.
  4. Conceptualise and analyse key themes with reference to the student¿s own practice, within their organisational, professional and personal contexts.
  5. Formulate and apply this understanding with reference to the students work and personal context, including psychotherapeutic work where relevant.
Reading List
Students will be given a set reading list with identified texts for each week of the course.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills On successful completion of this course students should be able to:
- Demonstrate familiarity with contemporary thinking on sexualities and gender identities and with the philosophical bases of these perspectives
- Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in a subject/discipline/sector
- Communicate effectively with peers and specialists in relation to gender and sexual identities
- Understand the function of psychosexual counselling and identify potential client presentations which would lead to appropriate referral
- Recognise and manage the impact of personal values and beliefs in the helping professions
- Work autonomously to critically analyse relevant literature
Additional Class Delivery Information The course is delivered through eight sessions of 3 hours, including a half-hour break. Each session may include tutor led input, group discussion, video examples, and experiential work. Students are expected to prepare for and participate actively in all sessions, whether or not they are taking the course for formal credit.
This is an interactive course which requires participation from students. Specific expectations include:

- Reading the set texts and viewing any required online content in advance of the sessions.
- Participating in discussions.
- Involvement in the experiential aspects of the course.

KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jonathan Wyatt
Tel: (0131 6)51 3974
Course secretaryMs Leopoldine Barde
Tel: (0131 6)50 3890
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information