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

Postgraduate Course: Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice 1A (CNST12022)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 12 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course provides an intensive practice-focused preparation to enable students on the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Master of Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) to begin their counselling placements and start counselling work, focusing on tasks such as assessment, contracting and building therapeutic relationships with clients in initial meetings.
Course description This 10-credit course provides an intensive practice-focused preparation to enable students to begin their counselling placements and start counselling work. The course focuses on tasks such as assessment, contracting and the formation of therapeutic relationships with clients, as well as on learning to use supervision and developing appropriate relationships with placement managers and others.

In semester 1 there is an intensive practice skills development workshop using audio and video recording, peer and tutor feedback, culminating in a readiness for practice assessment. In semester 2 students meet in facilitated groups to present their initial counselling practice with clients as they start in placement.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students are required to have regular counselling supervision with an approved supervisor, in keeping with professional and ethical requirements. Where placement agencies do not offer in-house supervision with an approved supervisor, students will be required to arrange such supervision themselves and to meet the associated costs (typically £40-£60 per session)
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative assessment is through submission of portfolio A, which includes evidence of the successful completion of the placement readiness process, reports from supervisor(s) and placement manager(s), a validated log of supervised client hours, and student reflections on development in therapeutic ability, illustrated via practice examples. The portfolio is graded according to the common postgraduate marking scheme and assessed in relation to the core competencies specified by our professional validating body.

Professional practice is assessed according to the professional competency framework stipulated by COSCA, the accrediting body. This is published in the student handbooks. Students receive formative and summative assessment through practice supervision and work with professional partners, supported by programme tutors. Successful completion of practice hours is confirmed by professional partners (placement managers and supervisors) through written reports and signed logs of all practice hours, and individual and group supervision meetings.
Feedback Students receive ongoing formative assessment and feedback through participation in weekly practice and process groups, personal tutorials and in counselling supervision.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will be able to critically appraise their practice strengths, learning and support needs in beginning counselling practice and forming therapeutic alliances with clients, with reference to professional competencies
  2. Students will be able to conceptualise their professional practice with reference to theoretical resources from both the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives, such that they can present a coherent account of their practice with clients and practice appropriate therapeutic use of self in varying, complex circumstances
  3. Students will be able to accept and integrate peer, tutor and other feedback in relation to the development of their therapeutic practice, including critical reflection on their use of supervision
  4. Students will be able to reflect critically on issues of power, difference and diversity in counselling work
  5. Students will be able to identify, reflect critically on, and act appropriately in relation to, ethical, professional and other challenges they face in their counselling practice.
Reading List
Schön, D.A., The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. 1984, New York: Basic Books.

Bond, T., Ethical problem-solving, in Standards and Ethics for Counselling in Action. 2009, Sage: London. p. 223-236.

Skovholt, T.M., M.H. Rønnestad, and L. Jennings, Searching for expertise in counseling, psychotherapy, and professional psychology. Educational Psychology Review, 1997. 9(4): p. 361-369.

Folkes-Skinner, J., R. Elliott, and S. Wheeler, A baptism of fire: A qualitative investigation of a trainee counsellor's experience at the start of training. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 2010. 10(2): p. 83-92.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The ability to build and maintain relationships.
To know how to have difficult conversations about relationships and change.
The ability to identify and evaluate options to solve complex problems
The ability to analyse facts and situations and apply creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions
The capacity to use information and knowledge effectively
To have an understanding of contextually relevant ethics and values, self-awareness, mental flexibility and openness, resilience and a commitment to life-long learning
To be critically self-aware, self-reflective and to manage self in order to fulfil potential
Learn how to deal with setbacks and failures and learn and develop from these.
To seek and value open feedback to help self-awareness and to support ongoing development.
The ability to work with people from a range of backgrounds and cultures.
To have excellent oral communication skills and the ability to adapt communication for different people, situations, and cultures.
KeywordsCounselling,psychotherapy,reflective practice
Course organiserMs Tanya Richardson
Tel: (0131 6)51 6671
Course secretaryMiss Sue Larsen
Tel: (0131 6)51 6671
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