Advanced Theories and Approaches


This module is designed to help students to deepen and extend their understanding of theoretical models of counselling


The aim of this module is to develop the students' capacity to use theory to facilitate change in clients.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Demonstrate a critical appreciation of counselling theories in relation to their social, cultural and historical context

2.  Apply theoretical models to guide the development of therapeutic strategies to facilitate learning and change in clients

3.  Demonstrate advanced knowledge of counselling contexts and the requirements for readiness to enter a trainee practice placement.

4.  Appreciate the role of research in evaluating the applicability and validity of counselling theories

5.  Display appropriate responses to the challenges of placement and client work, including drawing on supervision, peer-support, counselling, cultural resources, and academic enquiry

Indicative Content

1 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¿s rationale and philosophy explain the process of therapeutic change? What therapeutic interventions are explicated within this rationale and philosophy? Comparisons with other therapeutic approaches.

3 Personal development

Participation in personal development groups; keeping a personal development journal; giving and receiving feedback to deepen self awareness and provide mutual support in practice. Receiving and responding to peer and facilitator feedback

4 Professional practice

Participation in a professional practice group to obtain and provide peer-supervision, and to learn aspects of practice outside own experience

5 Therapeutic interventions

Practical classes in the use of therapeutic interventions and methods

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This module will be run in term 2 of year 2 of the MSc Counselling. Teaching and learning activities include lectures, skills workshops, professional practice group, personal and professional development groups. Group work will emphasise the engagement of students in linking their academic learning to their client work on placement.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 21
Tutorial/Seminar 23
Supervised Practical Activity 21
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 95

Guidance notes

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 2019/20 , and may be subject to change for future years.