COUN1102 Counselling Theories & Models 1

Bachelor Course Unit

Level: 1st year core

Credit points: 6 (out of 144)

Prerequisites: none

Mode of Study: On Campus and Blended Delivery


This unit is one of five introductory units in Counselling for commencing students. This unit will introduce you to the major psychotherapeutic theories and methodologies applied in counselling and psychotherapy.

Unit description

The unit presents the historical development, underpinning philosophy, and contemporary contribution and practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Humanistic Therapies. The student learns to develop a critical understanding and appreciation of the methodologies and approaches presented and their contemporary application. The student studies these theories within their contemporary ethical and legal frameworks and learns to apply the methodologies through supervised practice sessions. The student is guided to evaluate and identify the counselling methodology that resonates with their preferred approach in counselling. This unit and the following COUN2101 Counselling Theories and Models 2 unit, provide an intensive and thorough foundation in counselling theory and models. 

Learning outcomes

 On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • identify key schools in psychotherapy (psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioural, and humanistic) and their historical context
  • critically evaluate how the evolution of psychotherapy has informed contemporary understandings of therapeutic processes
  • analyse the application of modalities to clients’ presentations
  • evaluate the effectiveness of modalities for different client presentations

Unit content

  • Introduction to Counselling Theories
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Psychodynamic Theories
  • Goals and Processes of Psychodynamic counselling
  • Behaviour Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • CBT - Current Practice and Techniques
  • Person-centred Therapy - Humanism and Carl Rogers
  • Person-centred Counselling in Practice
  • Existential Counselling
  • Existential Counselling in Practice
  • Unit Review

Learning and teaching process

The on-campus version of this unit comprises 12 weekly three hour on-campus lectures. Studying by Blended Delivery mode involves an online study guide and readings, video recorded lectures, four one and three-quarter hour synchronous online tutorials, and a two-day on-campus workshop.

Assessment summary

Please refer to the document available here 

Recommended text

For more information regarding recommended texts for specific units, please see the Counselling Textbook List.

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

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 the Academic Misconduct Policy for more information.

Enrolment Recommendation

It is the recommendation of Psychological Sciences and Counselling that students follow the recommended enrolment guide for the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences and Counselling, and complete COUN1101 Counselling Skills and Practice 1 and COUN1102 Counselling Theories and Models 2 within their first two terms of enrolment in the program. Please see our recommended sequencing of unit completion here.


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.