Module details for Theories and Approaches in Counselling


This module examines in more detail the skills, concepts and professional knowledge required to use a pluralistic framework for counselling practice. It covers the framework, and common interventions and approaches which are used in conjunction with it. Teaching also involves practice skills in goal collaboration, case-formulation, client process monitoring and integrating methods drawn from other approaches, using the pluralistic framework.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with an opportunity to consolidate their application of the pluralistic framework to integrate their counselling practice and work within a collaborative relationship with clients and supervisors.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Demonstrate an ability to conceptualise and analyse the counselling relationship and process from the perspective of a collaborative pluralistic framework

2.  Apply ethical frameworks, professional standards, legal guidance, and evidence to inform work with clients.

3.  Critically evaluate the personal development issues associated with safe and effective practice as a counsellor.

4.  Apply theory and research evidence in practice

5.  Demonstrate an ability to implement a pluralistic counselling approach in work with clients

Indicative Content

1 Theory

The role of theory in counselling practice Historical overview and critical analysis of the main theoretical approaches used by counsellors in Britain and worldwide The utility of integrative models and ways of working with clients, and the philosophical rationale behind these.

2 The function of theory

What assumptions are made about the nature and development of human beings? How do psychological problems develop and what are the implications of severe pathology for practice? How does the rationale and philosophy account for the perpetuation of psychological problems? How does the course rationale and philosophy explain the process of therapeutic change? What therapeutic interventions are explicated within this rationale.

3 Skills

An integrationist approach to goals, tasks and methods; creating a space; establishing and maintaining a collaborative counselling relationship; factors that affect the counselling relationship; using feedback tools and process monitoring documentation and feedback.

4 Evidence, research awareness and knowledge

Developing knowledge of a range of approaches toin counselling and psychotherapy, informed by research.

5 Professional development

Participation and productive use of personal development groups, including openness to challenge and maintaining ethical boundaries; keeping a personal development journal; giving and receiving feedback.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 20
Tutorial/Seminar 20
Practical Activity 20
Assessment 40
Independent 100
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.