Introduction to Theories of Counselling - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Essay (35%) , Invigilated Exam (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

The aim of this unit is to provide a theoretical introduction to counselling psychology. In the profession of counselling, theory, process and research are intertwined. The unit content, readings and online activities will give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the application of counselling theory to the therapeutic process. Major therapeutic approaches will be covered including psychoanalytic, existential, person-centred, behavioural, cognitive behaviour, family and solution-focused therapy, as well as coverage of the research and ethical issues involved in counselling.

Please note: assessment values are indicative only, details will be advised at the start of the unit.

After successfully completing this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Appraise the eleven different theoretical counselling approaches
  2. Identify and evaluate the different approaches and their application to counselling
  3. Demonstrate understanding of research and ethical issues and how they inform both theory and practice in counselling
  4. Reflect on and write critically about how the research, process and theory are intertwined
  • Essay (35%)
  • Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Journal (15%)
  • Test (10%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PSS270 — Introduction to Theories of Counselling

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Major therapeutic approaches to counselling
6Cognitive behaviour
9Ethical and research issues

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Chat rooms
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Printable format materials

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

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