COUN5141 Counselling Theories

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

Duration: One trimester

Level: 1st year

Credit points: 8 (out of a total of 96 points)

Prerequisites: None

Mode(s) of delivery: On Campus and Blended Delivery

Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

This unit introduces students to the key psychotherapeutic schools, including psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioural, and humanistic, within their historical context. Students will learn to develop a critical understanding and appreciation of the methodologies and approaches presented, and understand the philosophical bases of the methodologies.

Students learn to identify the relevance of and apply the methodologies to different client presentations through case study analyses. Students will be asked to review one of the recommended readings on a psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioural, or humanistic counselling modality; and  to engage with relevant theoretical material and subjective experience to analyse one of their dreams and critically reflect on the application of Freud’s theory of dreams. The unit supports students to identify and practise the methodology that suits their interests and capacities.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

a)       identify key schools in psychotherapy (psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioural, and humanistic) and their historical context

b)       critically evaluate how the evolution of psychotherapy has  informed contemporary understandings of therapeutic processes

c)       analyse the application of modalities to clients’ presentations

d)        evaluate the effectiveness of modalities for different client presentations

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 12 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the School of Counselling textbook list by selecting the course and trimester at the following link:

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


Unit information may be subject to change prior to the teaching trimester commencing.  Once term has commenced please review the Unit Outline in your class space to ensure your trimester study plan is correct.