WELF 7010 Foundations of Psychotherapy and Counselling 2

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102355

Coordinator Alison Hood Opens in new window

Description Foundations of Psychotherapy and Counselling 2 presents and critically evaluates the major theoretical paradigms of counselling and psychotherapy. These include; psychoanalytic /psychodynamictherapies; humanistic psychotherapies; behavioural and cognitive behavioural therapies; systemic therapies; constructivist/ postmodern therapies; and expressive therapies. Students will consider the assumptions about human development and behaviour that are central to each of these ways of working, as well as their underlying 'theory of change'. Students will also be introduced to common ways that clients present with psychological difficulties, and will explore various clinical responses to such client issues. These issues will be explored considering intrapsychic, relational and life stressor factors. Students will consider how presenting issues relate to the norms and extremes of various personality types, and what consideration should be given to life-stages in understanding client problems.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Counselling

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Pre-requisite(s) WELF 7009

Equivalent Subjects WELF 7005 - Counselling 2


Students must be enrolled in 1647 Graduate Diploma in Counselling, 1648 Graduate Certificate in Counselling, 1817 Master of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 4595 Master of Art Therapy or 1770 Master of Social Science.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Describe  the major therapeutic models for treating mental distress, and critically analyse their major assumptions and practices 
2. Articulate the difference between intrapsychic and interpersonal/relational concepts of ‘self’, ‘personality’ and ‘dysfunctional behaviour’
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic issues and themes particular to each of the nine Enneagram personality types, and how these issues at their ‘extreme’ may manifest in the forms of ‘emotional illness’ and dysfunction as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM).  
4. Identify the difference between problems which arise from immediate stressors (including life stage stressors), and those which are rooted in genetic factors and early experience and analyse how both immediate stressors and longstanding determinants may be involved in a client’s presenting problem.
5. Consider the therapeutic advantages of altering the interpersonal environment  as well as  the language which sustains problems. 
6. Examine their own stage of adult development (cognitive and psychosocial) and how it might correlate with their own preferred therapeutic approach.

Subject Content

1. The major theoretical paradigms of counselling and psychotherapy and their assumptions about human development and behaviour. 
2. The principles of change  central to each of the major theoretical models and the interventions and ways of working  they utilise.
3. The differences and similarities in how the major theoretical paradigms of psychotherapy and counselling  inform approaches to working with human difficulties.
4. How established personality traits feed into, and may be potentiated or modified by, life events and new relationships, taking into account the individual/intrapsychic model and the relational/constructivist model for understanding problem formation and dysfunctional behaviour.
5. Personality: norms and extremes. Personality as a ‘package’, with both potentially constructive and potentially destructive aspects and how these relate to common client issues and presentations.
6. How childhood experiences of being parented (functionally or dysfunctionally) interact with personality variables and are repeated, or altered, when individuals themselves become parents.
7. The key issues that commonly arise at each new stage in the adult lifespan, and their implications for counselling/therapy.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 1,800 words + Genogram 50 N Individual
Practical 15 minute audio recording (750 word equivalent) + 450 word written analysis 35 N Individual
Participation 20 minutes (maximum) 15 N Group

Prescribed Texts

  • McLeod, J. (2013). An introduction to counselling. (5th ed.) Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Riso, D.R. and Hudson, R. (2003). Discovering your personality type: The essential introduction to the Enneagram. (Rev ed.). New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Alison Hood Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Spring (2024)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Alison Hood Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window