Module details for Foundations Of Counselling Practice


This module covers essential learning in relation to the application of counselling theory to practice. In addition it addresses key areas of practice including counselling contracts, ethical issues, personal soundness, supervision, and professional skills


The aim of this module is to provide the studentwith the knowledge and capacity to develop as a trainee practitioner. Teaching is designed to progress students from the application of counselling skills, to becoming creasingly proficient in management of counselling session, client goals and case formulation. It will also provide skills in decision making on ethical issues, and enabling aspects of on-going personal resilience.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate competencies in a range of counselling interventions and the ability to accurately self-assess competence in counselling interventions and learning needs

2.  Demonstrate critical understanding of counselling contexts... and the requirements for readiness to enter a trainee practice placement.

3.  Apply knowledge of ethical and professional procedures for working with vulnerable people

4.  Aticulate a commitment to on-going professional development and learning

5.  Have professional knowledge of the role of supervision, and understand their own supervisory needs

6.  Articulate and critically discuss an awareness of own biases and preferences in terms of concepts and activities engaged in when working with clients, and reflection on their origins.

Indicative Content

1 Contexts and availability of counselling

Understanding counselling provision in the third sector, NHS and other organisations. Have knowledge of common presentations in counselling and appropriate responses by counsellors

2 Ethical issues in counselling

Knowledge around professional guidelines, ethical decision-making, and utilitarian and de-ontological approaches to ethical practice. Collaborative exploration of ethical dilemmas. Child protection, working with vulnerable groups, for example older adults and people with learning disability, victims of crime and abuse.

3 Personal soundness and resilience

An understanding of the role of self-awareness in counselling practitioners, and the development of a personal approach to resilience and self-care

4 Intervention skills

Knowledge of the pluralistic model and conceptualisations of common theoretical approaches in terms of the understandings of distress and how problems develop, goals and tasks appropriate to different experiences and methods used by counsellors to address these tasks

5 Counselling supervision

Appreciate the significance of key domains within the process of counselling supervision: Educational, Reflective, Developmental, Supportive, and Managerial.

6 Counselling practice

Assembling a portfolio with evidence of: self-awareness, maturity and stability; reflection on life experience; capacity to cope with emotional demands of client work; ability to use theory; ability to form a helping relationship; ability to be self-critical and use feedback; awareness of the nature of prejudice, oppression, difference and equality; recognition of the need for personal and professional support and generic professional skills

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 0
Tutorial/Seminar 39
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 121
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.