Latest information about COVID-19

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; Blended Online

Core/Elective: Core

Unit Description

This unit introduces the student to the major psychotherapeutic theories and methodologies applied in counselling and psychotherapy. 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 subsequent COUN5201 Counselling Skills and Models unit provide an intensive and thorough foundation in counselling theory and practice.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit students will 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 workload

The workload for this unit is 12 hours per week.


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the Discipline 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 the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


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.