COUN6104 Philosophy and Theories of Counselling

Master Course Unit

COUN6104: Philosophy and Theories of Counselling

Duration: One trimester

Level: 1st year

Credit points: 6 (out of a total of 96 points)

Prerequisites: None

Mode(s) of delivery: Blended Delivery

Core/elective: Core

Unit description

‘Philosophy and Theories of Counselling’ is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in the philosophical and theoretical bases of 4 major schools of counselling and psychotherapy, including contemporary humanistic, cognitive-behavioural, postmodern and psychodynamic approaches. Students will study how philosophy forms the basis and underlying structure of different therapeutic practices and begin to identify specific counselling methodologies that resonate with their own developing framework of practice. They will learn to practice critical reflection as it applies to their own and others’ practice. The workshop is devoted to learning and deepening Person-Centred counselling attitudes and interventions, along with critical analysis as it applies to the recognition of key themes, ideas, assumptions and signifiers.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit, students will be able to:

a) Identify and evaluate clinical contexts, philosophical influences and theoretical bases of major psychotherapeutic schools

b) Analyse and critically evaluate the impact of underlying philosophical positions on the practice of counselling schools presented

c) Evaluate and practice appropriate contemporary humanistic counselling processes and interventions

d) Demonstrate the practice of critical reflection as underpinning psychotherapeutic practice and professional development

e) Critically reflect on the clinical philosophy of their own developing practice.

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here.

Special provisions

Students will attend an intensive workshop of 14 hours in this unit, which will include lectures, roleplays of hypnotherapy sessions and case discussions.


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:

Relevant journals and resources

Knowledge and understanding of these topics will be enhanced by wide reading of international peer-reviewed journal articles from various domains of counselling and psychotherapy, which can be accessed via the ACAP Library’s journal databases.

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.