Course Outline and Structure
The text, Theory and Practice of Counseling and
Psychotherapy, introduces ten theoretical approaches. The
perspectives presented in the course have been grouped together
according to the main “forces” in psychology. These forces represent
collections of models with related conceptual frameworks and
historical trends in the development of psychological theory.
Psychology 406 comprises six sections. Section I
introduces the importance of counselling theory and explores the
interplay between the counsellor (as a person) and the theoretical
approaches and counselling processes. Sections II through V examine
the major theoretical trends in counselling and psychotherapy,
emphasizing conceptual understanding and practical application through
the use of case studies and personal reflection. Section VI focuses on
integration of learning, and it highlights the trend toward
eclecticism in theory and practice.
||Basic Issues in Counselling Practice
||Introduction and Overview
||The Counsellor: Person and Professional
||First Force: Psychodynamic Theories and Techniques
The “First Force” refers to the psychodynamic or analytic theories:
Psychoanalytic and Adlerian. Proponents of these models emphasize the
importance of early childhood experiences and internal forces on human
development and functioning. They believe that an understanding of
past experiences is essential to growth and change.
Practice Exam (Optional)
||Second Force: Behavioural and
Cognitive–Behavioural Theories and Techniques
||Control Theory/Reality Therapy
The “Second Force” refers to the cognitive–behavioral models that
are more action–oriented and that emphasize the importance of changing
current thinking and behaviour: behavioural, cognitive–behavioural,
and reality therapies.
||Third Force: Humanistic Theories and Techniques
The humanistic theories, “Third Force,” tend to define human nature
more proactively, are more experiential and relationship–oriented, and
focus on inherent processes of self–actualization. Included in this
area are the Existential, Person–Centred, and Gestalt models.
||Fourth Force: Contextual and Systemic Theories and Techniques
||Family Systems Theory
Feminist and multicultural theories illustrate what is currently
being referred to as a “Fourth Force” in psychology. Particular
emphasis is placed on understanding the ways in which socio–cultural
or systemic factors related to ethnicity, gender, socio–economic
status, and so on contribute to the struggles of individuals and
Also included in the “Fourth Force” is a chapter on Family Systems
Theory, since increased attention is paid, in this case, to contextual
factors that influence individual well–being.
While Corey (2009) does not include a specific chapter on
multicultural theory, a separate unit has been created to address this
||Integration and Application
||An Integrative Perspective
Personal Reflection Paper
*Note: Sections IV and V may be completed in
reverse order, depending on the theoretical model selected for the
Case Study assignment.