Course Structure and Content

Bachelor of Holistic Counselling
Year 1
SEM 1 Foundations of Holistic Counselling
  Introduction to the Unconscious
  Myth, Symbol & Ritual
  The Therapeutic Relationship
SEM 2 Creativity & Healing: Psycho drama
  Creativity & Healing: Visual Arts
  Experiential Focusing Techniques in Counselling
  Therapy & the Construction of Meaning
Year 2
SEM 1 Person Centred & Experiential Psychotherapy
  Mental Health & Mental Illness: Psychological Perspectives
  Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health & Counselling
  Supervised Practice A
SEM 2 Jung & Archetypal Psychology
  Holistic Counselling Process
  Ethics & Professional Practice
  Supervised Practice B
****EXIT POINT FOR ASSOCIATE DEGREE OF HOLISTIC COUNSELLING
Year 3
SEM 1 Counselling Specific Populations
  Guided Reading in the Psychology of Consciousness
  Introduction to Research Methods in Counselling & Psychotherapy
  Supervised Practice C
SEM 2 Person Centred Group Counselling
  Therapeutic Dream Work
  Research Project
  Supervised Practice D

Semester equals 16 weeks


COURSE CONTENT

SUBJECT 1:
Subject Code & Title: COP 111 Foundations of Holistic Counselling
Pre-requisites: None
Credit Points 6

Subject Synopsis
In this subject students are introduced to the main tenets of counselling in order to gain a broad understanding of the general principles behind counselling theory and practice. The important distinction students will make is the understanding that counselling practice is premised against specific theory that resides within cultural contexts. This subject is designed to broaden understanding of these contexts and introduce Holistic counselling as a more client-centred process helping clients access resources that can be drawn from conscious and unconscious potentials often by engaging in creative processes in the therapeutic relationship.

SUBJECT 2:
Subject Code & Title: UIH 112 Introduction to the Unconscious
Pre-requisites: None
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject broadens the theoretical understanding of the nature of the unconscious and explores, through recognising its depth and potential, how this understanding can assist in the healing process. This subject strengthens the students’ understanding of how to work collaboratively with the client’s unconscious in the therapeutic relationship. The subject is used to demonstrate how unconscious forces affect conscious functioning and how these forces or archetypes can be mapped and brought into consciousness.

SUBJECT 3:
Subject Code & Title: CMH 113 Myth, Symbol and Ritual
Pre-requisites: None
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject follows from Introduction to the Unconscious; the students’ understanding of personal symbolism and archetypes will enable them to recognize patterns in healing and ritual processes. Myths are stories and these stories, whether personal or collective, are acted out in social rituals to reinforce the meaning in the personal or cultural contexts. This subject will show students how rituals impact deeply and therapeutically on the psychic when the appropriate story and ritual is enacted. The subject will outline the therapeutic value of ritual process within the holistic healing approach as a technique for specific circumstances. This subject will also assist the group to deepen their relationships and communication.

SUBJECT 4:
Subject Code & Title: COP 115 The Therapeutic Relationship
Pre-requisites: None
Credit Points 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject will introduce students to counselling practice and the therapeutic relationship. It will build on the theory and practice of the earlier subjects. It is also located here to strengthen relations and bonding in the group and to prepare them to be engaged in appropriate styles of communication from an early stage in the course. The subject introduces students to person-centred (Rogerian) theory, which provides the essential framework for the skills-oriented subjects that follow. The subject also prepares students in terms of working relationships for the next three practical skills based subjects, in which they will be required to work together in practising specific techniques. This subject also strengthens students’ understanding of relationships before they undertake the next subjects that will require working together in depth.

SUBJECT 5:
Subject Code & Title: UIH 152 Creativity and Healing: Psycho-drama
Pre-requisites: UIH 112 Introduction to the Unconscious
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject is one of three that provides students with specific intervention techniques and skills that may be used in the holistic therapeutic relationship. Students apply a range of techniques to their own experience to gain an understanding of the process. This subject assists students in creative and dynamic interpersonal activities that instil confidence and an understanding of group process and relationship building.

SUBJECT 6:
Subject Code & Title: UIH 122 Creativity and Healing: Visual Arts
Pre-requisites: COP 111 Foundations of Holistic Counselling & UIH 112 Introduction to the Unconscious
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject is second in a series of three that provide students with specific intervention techniques and skills that may be used in the holistic therapeutic relationship. This subject assists students in creative and dynamic interpersonal art therapy techniques. Students use art therapy techniques on each other in supervised settings in order to deepen their understanding of art therapy process in the therapeutic, holistic relationship.

SUBJECT 7:
Subject Code & Title: COP 116 Experiential Focusing Techniques in Counselling
Pre-requisites: COP 111 Foundations of Holistic Counselling, UIH 112 Introduction to the Unconscious & COP 115 The Therapeutic Relationship
Credit Points 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject introduces the concept and techniques of experiential focusing. A review of the major research findings associated with the practice of focusing in psycho-therapy gives particular attention to the theoretical and practice-oriented writings of Eugene Gendlin, and associated developments, especially the practice of process-experiential ‘emotion-focused’ therapy as described and theorised by Leslie Greenberg and Robert Elliott. The subject aims not only to teach students another particular intervention skill for their holistic practice, but also to highlight the importance of pre-linguistic sensing in both the counsellor’s and client’s process.

SUBJECT 8:
Subject Code & Title: COP 141 Therapy and the Construction of Meaning
Pre-requisites: COP 111 Foundations of Holistic Counselling, UIH 112 Introduction to the Unconscious & COP 115 The Therapeutic Relationship
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject draws from the students’ experiences in previous subjects studied and consolidates their ability to formulate meaning and to explore how meaning is constructed. The subject further develops the humanistic-existential theoretical perspective, which provides an essential theoretical foundation for a holistic approach to counselling practice. An introduction to phenomenology is provided. In the examination of a number of theories, students are invited to explore the theorist’s assumptions about human nature and human experience and the ways in which these are translated into a theory and practice of counselling. In team students focus on the approach of a specific humanistic-existential counselling theorist and present their findings to the class in tutorial sessions.

SUBJECT 9:
Subject Code & Title: COP 231 Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy
Pre-requisites: COP 111 Foundations of Holistic Counselling, COP 115 The Therapeutic Relationship, COP 141 Therapy and the Construction of Meaning & COP 116 Experiential Focusing Techniques in Counselling
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject begins the more detailed and in-depth work on the person-centred counselling process. This subject is designed to enhance the students’ understanding of the counselling process and builds on already acquired techniques to develop an appropriate balance between non-directiveness and interventionist techniques. The subject also assists students to become more aware and involved in the client-centred approach through rigorous one-on-one practice and review.

SUBJECT 10:
Subject Code & Title: CMH 212 Mental Health and Mental Illness: Psychological Perspectives
Pre-requisites: None
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject informs students of key psychological models, methods of diagnosis and treatment outcomes for mental health clients. The subject gives students a detailed working knowledge of the language and processes of psychiatric and psychological approaches. The purpose of this subject is to broaden students’ understanding of mainstream approaches; it seeks to make students conversant with main diagnostic labels in the DSM-IV. Mental health models and their theoretical framework within the DSM4 and the application of the DSM4 diagnostic categories are outlined and discussed. The history of mental health problems in relation to cultural contexts is examined with emphasis on the relationship between culture and mental health. The subject examines the scientific, medical and biochemical approaches to treatment and adjustment within the psychiatric framework and contrasts them with person-centred and holistic approaches to treatment and therapy, particularly the issue of self-management verses medication.

SUBJECT 11:
Subject Code & Title: CMH 233 Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health and Counselling
Pre-requisites: COP 111 Foundations of Holistic Counselling, UIH 112 Introduction to the Unconscious, COP 141 Therapy and the Construction of Meaning & CMH 212 Mental Health and Mental Illness: Psychological Perspectives
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis:
This subject introduces students to alternative psycho-spiritual mental health models in order that they may gain a greater understanding of altered states of consciousness and non-ordinary experience that may be considered to be mental health problems. The subject explores issues relating to mental health problems, as they are understood from different cultural perspectives, contexts and belief systems. The subject is designed to broaden students’ understandings of human experience, particularly in regard to ways in which altered states or psychotic type experiences may be interpreted differently from a range of paradigms. Students are introduced to anti-psychiatry and transpersonal perspectives, including new categories such as ‘spiritual crisis’ and ‘spiritual emergence’ work. This subject is structured so that students will have a broader cultural understanding and be able to explore objectively and empirically alternative ways of mapping, identifying and normalizing non-ordinary experience. It is expected that students will be able to analyse the difference between psychological and spiritual problems.

SUBJECT 12:
Subject Code & Title: PPR 225 Supervised Practice A
Pre-requisites: COP 111 Foundations of Holistic Counselling & COP 115 The Therapeutic Relationship
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
Students attend on-campus sessions conducted by an Institute Supervisor. In addition each student will be assigned a Placement Supervisor whom is a counsellor in the practical setting in which the student is placed. The Placement Supervisor will be responsible for the supervision of the student’s fieldwork, which in this subject involves observation of the agency’s activities; some supervised counselling of individual clients and negotiated client contact. In tutorials common issues and problems are raised and discussed. Attention is given to the techniques students may use to analyse their own performance and the skills that may need to be adopted and developed in order to improve their effectiveness as a counsellor.

SUBJECT 13:
Subject Code & Title: UIH 234 Jung and Archetypal Psychology
Pre-requisites: UIH 112 Introduction to the Unconscious & CMH 113 Myth, Symbol and Ritual in Therapy
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject introduces students to Jung’s theory and the place of archetypal psychology in the therapeutic relationship and case management in greater detail. Students map the therapeutic process onto Jung’s model of archetypal psychology. The subject provides further understanding of the nature of holistic counselling, introducing students to James Hillman’s ‘polytheistic’ model of wellbeing, and examining its particular application to counselling process. Jung’s theories are taught with a view to enabling students to recognise the relationship between Jung’s archetypes and their own inner symbolic life. Students' attention is focused on gaining knowledge and developing skills that will assist them to address psycho-spiritual concerns and issues within the holistic counselling process. Practical tutorial activities provide students with opportunities to apply theory and practice to their own lived experience, for example, by mapping their own experience and developmental stages using holistic methodology.

SUBJECT 14:
Subject Code & Title: COP 221 Holistic Counselling Process
Pre-requisites: COP 115 The Therapeutic Relationship & COP 231 Person-centred and Experiential Psychotherapy
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject provides an opportunity for students to reflect critically on their performance as counsellors and receive feedback from staff and students. It also provides an opportunity for staff to assess the competence of students as they approach graduation. The criteria provided for feedback and assessment reinforce prior learning by highlighting the critical importance of the therapeutic relationship, the primacy of the client’s conceptual framework, and consistent engagement with both counsellor’s and client’s ‘felt sense’. This subject focuses on the process of advanced holistic counselling within the framework of the person-centred theory and practice. The central activity of this subject is the student’s demonstration of counselling skills in one to one counselling interactions with their peers.

SUBJECT 15:
Subject Code & Title: PPR 245 Ethics and Professional Practice
Pre-requisites: COP 115 The Therapeutic Relationship & PPR 225 Supervised Practice A
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject informs students of a range of practical issues concerning legal obligations, professional practice issues, setting up a professional practice and mandatory reporting. It also builds an understanding of ethical issues and considerations. In preparation for the student’s entry into the profession as an independent professional counsellor, attention is given to ethical and legal considerations that must be observed when setting up a professional practice as a holistic counsellor. In tutorials the basic administrative functions of operating in a private practice or within an agency are considered. Practical legal, ethical, business and promotional implications of practising in these contexts are analysed. Case studies are presented for examination, dealing with such issues as: construction of an ethical business plan; occupational health and safety; insurance; maintenance and security of client records; and advertising. Discussions are centred on the ethical principles and legal issues that may need to be considered in each case. At the conclusion of the subject attention is given to the personal impact on the professional counsellor of working within the constraints that may result from taking cognisance of the ethics that apply to the counselling profession.

SUBJECT 16:
Subject Code & Title: PPR 235 Supervised Practice B
Pre-requisites: PPR 225 Supervised Practice A
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject is designed to extend the practical experience of students and to provide opportunity for them to gain additional opportunity to counsel under supervision. The subject has an on-campus component conducted by the Institute Supervisor and an off-campus component in a placement organisation under the supervision of the Placement Supervisor. Throughout the semester there will be a focus on the counsellor-client relationship and the impact of counsellor interventions. The subject provides more intensive supervision and greater opportunity for student reflection, and also gives access to a range of case study material that involves ethics, difficult issues and higher levels of complexity.

SUBJECT 17:
Subject Code & Title: CMH 361 Counselling Specific Populations
Pre-requisites: COP 141 Therapy and the Construction of Meaning, CMH 212 Mental Health and Mental Illness: Psychological Perspectives & CMH 233 Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health and Counselling
Credit Points 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject builds on studies in previous subjects and will introduce students to different populations and to the range of differing issues that arise from this diversity. The subject examines a number of particular populations: for example, adolescents, victims of drug and alcohol use, the aged, and abuse victims. This subject provides guidance and context for these different populations and ways of approaching and managing them. This subject is also designed to teach students how to manage and counsel a range of different client populations and issues. Students learn to develop strategies and case manage different client issues and problems in their counselling practice. Students are expected to demonstrate how to be pro-active in dealing with not just the symptoms, but also by the consideration of the underlying causes and life-style issues that may precipitate the client’s concerns. The strategies that facilitate wellbeing, purpose and meaning in managing dysfunction are addressed and examined.

SUBJECT 18:
Subject Code & Title: UIH 364 Guided Reading in the Psychology of Consciousness
Pre-requisites: None
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject introduces students to a guided reading process that enhances their knowledge and builds on their learning. The guided reading enhances cognitive and academic skills that provide increased analytical ability and objective reflection. It also allows them to become familiar with current research in holistic and other counselling models and provides a rich background to their study of counselling process. Both Eastern and Western psychologies and philosophies are drawn upon to examine the relationship between behaviour, experience and states of consciousness as they arise in cultural contexts. Current writing on the evolution of consciousness, concrete and abstract experience, the notion of the unconscious, and transpersonal and transcultural aspects of consciousness is presented and examined critically. To support the theoretical presentation data is drawn from ancient and living religious and philosophical traditions, from psychoanalytic studies and from research on the nature of consciousness. Particular attention is given to the implications of such understanding for counselling practice.

SUBJECT 19:
Subject Code & Title: ERT 354 Introduction to Research Methods in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Pre-requisites: UIH 364 Guided Reading in the Psychology of Consciousness
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject is designed to assist students to develop a sense of themselves as a researcher. The study of research methods appropriate to counselling research leads to the student’s selection of a research project, which they will undertake in the following semester. A range of research papers that deal with the process and outcomes of counselling are examined. Students identify philosophical and ethical considerations that are relevant in each case. Emphasis is placed on issues such as the intellectual integrity and honesty of the researcher and client confidentiality. Attention is drawn to the conventions used in reporting research studies and the reasons for their use. In practical sessions, students are presented with a number of issues/problems in holistic counselling and formulate hypotheses that may be used to underpin a potentially profitable research study. Appropriate methodologies for the testing of the hypotheses are discussed.

SUBJECT 20:
Subject Code & Title: PPR 355 Supervised Practice C
Pre-requisites: PPR 235 Supervised Practice B
Credit Points 6

Subject Synopsis
In the on-campus component of this subject students analyse and reflect on their counselling in the placement. Common problems and issues arising in the placements are addressed and particular attention is given to: the relationship between theoretical concepts studied in other subjects and the interventions applied in counselling sessions. The practical placements ensure the inclusion of clients who are: from a range of cultural backgrounds; deemed to be “difficult” because of their demonstrated behaviour; victims of trauma or violence; suffering from loss or grief; and in need of referral to a professional from another discipline. At the conclusion of the subject students are expected to evaluate the extent to which the objectives of the supervised placement have been achieved in respect of their own performance.

SUBJECT 21:
Subject Code & Title: COP 367 Person-Centred Group Counselling
Pre-requisites: COP 115 The Therapeutic Relationship, COP 231 Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and COP 221 Holistic Counselling Process
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject provides an opportunity to extend students’ understanding and practice in person-centred counselling to group work. It also allows students to deal with issues of personal and professional identity, which arise as they approach graduation. This subject prepares students to become proficient when working in groups or to facilitate groups within the therapeutic context. There is a focus in this subject on experiential learning through participation in group counselling and through witnessing the modelling of good practice by the group leaders. Through participation students have both personal and observational experience of issues and problems around the development of a supportive group climate that promotes disclosure of individual concerns. Students experience the emergence of meaningful interpersonal learning through a focus on present relationships between members of the group and observe the critical importance of authenticity and responsibility in the behaviour of group leaders.

SUBJECT 22:
Subject Code & Title: UIH 362 Therapeutic Dream Work
Pre-requisites: UIH 112 Introduction to the Unconscious, CMH 113 Myth, Symbol and Ritual in Therapy, COP 231 Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and UIH 234 Jung and Archetypal Psychology
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis:
This subject focuses on therapeutic dream work within the psycho-analytical framework of transpersonal and humanistic psychology. There is a particular emphasis on C. G. Jung’s work and client-centred theory and practice. The subject examines dream work as a therapeutic method within the counselling relationship and therapeutic process. The theoretical foundations of dream work amplification and analysis are outlined and analysed and based primarily on analytical psychology and archetypal psychology. In the study of the dream work theory and practice, students: examine various approaches to dream analysis and interpretation; determine the function of personal and cultural symbols; and explore the psycho-spiritual dimension within dreams. The techniques adopted focus on phenomenology and amplification rather than diagnosis and interpretation. Students are shown how dreams can convey content that can raise the client’s awareness of unconscious patterning.

SUBJECT 23:
Subject Code & Title: ETR 368 Research Project
Pre-requisites: UIH 364 Guided Reading in the Psychology of Consciousness and ETR 354 Introduction to Research Methods in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
This subject aims to convey the message that a truly professional counsellor is always engaged in research in their own practice, whether or not they chose to articulate and publish their conclusions. It has a specific aim to support students in research with the motivation of achieving publication for an original piece of research. Several practical sessions are conducted in the Institute’s Library during which a number of research reports are located and discussed. In these sessions attention is given to: locating reports in refereed journals; using electronic data bases to identify relevant research studies; the distinction between primary and secondary sources; the ways in which research reports can be structured; how to compile a supporting literature survey. Specific ethical issues that may relate to the conduct of research in the field of holistic counselling are addressed. Emphasis is place on the need to: respect the confidentiality of the client-researcher relationship; the maintenance of privacy about research results and data obtained; and the convention that apply to the publication of research results. A key feature of the subject is the design by the student of a research study.

SUBJECT 24:
Subject Code & Title: PPR 365 Supervised Practice D
Pre-requisites: PPR 355 Supervised Practice C
Credit Points: 6

Subject Synopsis
At the conclusion of the subject it is expected that students will have all the skills required to work independently as professional counsellors. The focus in the off-campus component of the subject is on case management through working with clients on an on-going basis. Although under the supervision of the Placement Supervisor, students are expected to act independently in relation to the assessment of problems or conditions, which necessitate counselling and to propose an appropriate treatment regime. The scheduled counselling is expected to take cognisance of: relevant ethical issues; personal and professional boundaries affecting holistic counselling; the need for sensitivity with respect to cultural factors and/or belief systems; and the theoretical justification for proposed treatments. In the supervised counselling situations, students are expected to demonstrate their development as a holistic counsellor by proving that they can cope with client concerns and anxieties and that they are able to respond appropriately and holistically to manage break and interruptions in the relationship.