PSYC 406 (Rev. C4): Introduction to Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy Report a Broken Link

Psychology 406 examines the basic tenets and therapeutic processes that characterize various theoretical approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. The models are clustered according to the four major forces in psychology:

  • Psychodynamic (Psychoanalytic, Adlerian)
  • Behavioural and Cognitive-Behavioural (Behavioural, Cognitive-Behavioural, Reality)
  • Humanistic (Existential, Person-Centred, Gestalt)
  • Contextual/Systemic (Feminist, Family Systems, Multicultural)
Emphasis is placed on critical analysis of the various approaches as well as self-reflection in relation to values, beliefs, assumptions about human nature, and worldview.

Units 1--14


The required readings for these units are noted in the Study Guide.

Unit 1: Introduction and Overview


Supplementary Readings
The following resources are online supplementary readings and activities for Unit 1. Other resources, including reserve articles and books, are also available from the Athabasca University Library.
Related Websites
Provides an overview of the American Counseling Association and offers information for students, consumers, and professionals.
Provides information about the American Psychological Association and offers many psychology-related resources.
Includes information about the Canadian Counselling Association, the certification and accreditation of Canadian counsellors and counselling programs, and the ethics of Canadian counselling.
Offers information about the Canadian Psychological Association and psychology in Canada.
Provides students with a range of information, both general and specific to counselling in Canada, and is based on publications from Canadian sources and Canadian authors. An Introduction to Counselling in Canada was developed for Athabasca University's Psychology 388: Introduction to Counselling. However, the information presented in this resource will be of interest to students of Psychology 406, and you are encouraged to review it.

Unit 2: The Counsellor: Personal and Professional


Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Addresses whether self-supervision is a viable method for monitoring counsellor trainees’ use of metaphor and empathy in counselling.
Reveals that counselling psychologists who have emotional problems experience a greater sense of isolation from their peers, feel that they have more empathy for their clients, and are less able to concentrate on the therapeutic relationships they maintain with their clients.
Discusses how intrapersonal and interpersonal contexts can contribute to psychopathology in bicultural persons. Also discusses the need for therapists to consider how people who have been socialized when using psychotherapy to treat people socialized in individualist, collectivist, or bicultural contexts.
An update about current supervision issues and practices in clinical and counselling psychology, such as the need for empirically supported treatments and brief therapy models.
Rogers and Soyka write about their experiences of grace and compassion at “Ground Zero” after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.
Explores avoidance factors that can prevent people from seeking counselling services.
Related Websites
Provides an overview of the American Counseling Association, and offers information for students, consumers, and professionals.
Provides information about the American Psychological Association, and offers many psychology-related resources.
Includes information about the Canadian Counselling Association, the certification and accreditation of Canadian counsellors and counselling programs, and the ethics of Canadian counselling.
Offers information about the Canadian Psychological Association and psychology in Canada.
Presents four ethical principles that psychologists must consider: respect for the dignity of persons, responsible caring, integrity in relationships, and responsibility to society.

Unit 3: Psychoanalytic Theory


Supplementary Readings
E-Book
Offers a history of psychoanalysis by chronologically focusing on the issues associated with Freud’s school of thought.
Full-Text Online Articles
Explores intersubjectivity in the therapeutic process by examining the influence of the therapist’s and the client’s subjective self-with-other narratives, as well as the role of shared metaphors.

Illustrates how various psychoanalytic concepts, such as the unconscious, the need for meaning making, self-deception, and the divided self have contributed to current humanistic, cognitive, constructivist, and neurophysiological conceptualizations of human behaviour and development.

Reviews specific factors of individual psychotherapies that are thought to contribute to client change to determine whether common factors underlie the effectiveness of various psychotherapeutic approaches.
Summarizes the highlights of Karon’s career as a psychoanalyst. Includes information about his use of psychoanalysis to treat patients with schizophrenia and his research on the effects of segregation in the Southern United States on both black and white Americans.

Describes Freud’s colourful life and his approach to psychology, as well as how his ideas continue to influence Western culture.

Related Websites
Provides information about psychoanalysis and the American Psychoanalytic Association (APSA). Site includes an online psychoanalytic literature search, the APSA’s Ethics Code, and the APSA’s Principles and Standards for Education in Psychoanalysis.
Describes the graduate programs offered by the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.
Provides information about the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39) and its sections.

Unit 4: Adlerian Theory


Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Assesses the effects of the Adlerian-based parent training program, Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP), on abusive or potentially abusive parents.
Reviews the rationale for school counsellor consultation, describes an Adlerian model of school consultation, explains the school counsellor’s role in systemic consultation, and discusses resistance to consultation.
Related Websites
Discussion forum allows you to view and participate in ongoing discussions about Adlerian psychology led by Henry Stein, Classical Adlerian Psychotherapist and Training Analyst.
The Institute presents a number of Adlerian resources, including information about the theory and practice of Classic Adlerian Psychology, Classic Adlerian quotations, demonstrations of Adlerian Psychology, and biographies of prominent Adlerian theorists.

Unit 5: Behavioural Theory


Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
The field of behaviour therapy is experiencing a number of crises. This article overviews the history of the behavioural movement, and discusses how the cognitive psychology movement has contributed to behaviour therapy’s current crises.
Compares the effects of cognitive-behaviour therapy to those of traditional behaviour therapy to determine which therapy treats obsessive-compulsive disorder more effectively.
Evaluates the effectiveness of dialectical behaviour therapy for treating binge eating disorder.
Addresses patient and therapist implementation of the therapeutic contract through goal consensus and collaboration. Defines terms and reviews research findings relating therapist-patient goal consensus and collaboration to psychotherapy outcome. Provide suggestions for applying research results to clinical practice.
Related Websites
This collection of psychology resources provides links to websites that discuss behaviour analysis and behaviour therapy.
Provides links to ongoing discussions about mental health and the behavioural sciences, as well as to relevant organizations, interest groups, and resources.

Unit 6: Cognitive-Behavioural Theory


Required Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Albert Ellis explains his beliefs about religion and offers insights into his own worldview.
Discusses two review articles that address the economic burden that anxiety disorders place on Canadian society, and the economic benefits that can result from using cognitive behavioural therapy to treat anxiety disorder. Encourages Canadian psychologists to become more involved in cost research.
Argues that behavioural principles could benefit cognitive psychology by encouraging cognitive psychologists to study why we think in addition to how we think.
Related Websites
Albert Ellis Institute Provides information about Albert Ellis and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (R.E.B.T.).
Athabasca University Psychology Centre Links for Cognitive Psychology Provides links to many cognitive psychology topics, such as consciousness, language, and memory.
Supplementary Activities
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBkUqcqRChg&list=PL4F7FB2DA6CB04858&index=1
Retrieved from  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE6vQeR_yTk
Retrieved from  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0gI2rXYoms

Unit 7: Control Theory / Reality Therapy


Supplementary Readings
Related Websites
Provides information about William Glasser, choice theory, reality therapy, and reality therapy training programs.

Unit 8: Existential Theory


Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Explains the structural and technical aspects of an integrative treatment process that combines components of cybernetic systems, existential-phenomenological, and solution-focused narrative approaches to transform negative affective states. Includes a case study to illustrate the treatment model.
Reviews a short-term restructuring psychotherapy; a cognitive behavioural system of psychotherapy; a time-limited dynamic psychotherapy; and an integrated cybernetic systems, existential-phenomenology, solution-focused narrative psychotherapy to determine whether common factors exist among the four approaches that lead to the successful treatment of a client.
Reviews how the self is conceptualized by narrative and humanistic/existential perspectives, and explores how these two perspectives could be integrated in the context of Gendlin’s work on experiencing.
Related Websites
The International Network on Personal Meaning is an international, interdisciplinary society that emphasizes the use of research, education, counselling and consultation to enhance health, spirituality, peace, and personal fulfilment.
Includes a biography of Irvin Yalom, his CV, and the text of two interviews that were published about him. In addition, the website presents summaries of his books.

Unit 9: Person-Centred Theory


Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Critiques the results of the American Psychological Association Division 29 Task Force on Empirically Supported Therapy Relationships by reviewing the theoretical and empirical foundations of person-centred therapy.
Suggests three changes that need to be made to Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs to make his theory more coherent and useful.
Explores the impact of humanistic psychology since the 1950s, describes its current nature and position in psychology, and indicates its possible future directions.
Related Websites
Overviews the history of humanistic psychology and its current state. Includes information about the Association for Humanistic Psychology and links to various humanistic psychology resources.
The Center for Studies of the Person strives to enrich the lives of individuals by helping them find meaning in their experiences and relationships through scientific research and informal education.
Supplementary Activities
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBkUqcqRChg&list=PL4F7FB2DA6CB04858&index=1
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE6vQeR_yTk
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0gI2rXYoms

Unit 10: Gestalt Therapy


Required Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Integrates Gestalt process theory with Edward Tulving’s procedural memory model to produce a Gestalt-cognitive model of character structure.
Reviews the use of chair work in Gestalt therapy, process-experiential therapy, redecision therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and schema therapy. Proposes a foundation for the integration of Gestalt and cognitive-behavioural therapy.
Provides an explanation for Gestalt psychology’s weaknesses by reviewing its history. Discusses recent empirical research suggesting that Gestalt therapy can be as effective as Rogerian and cognitive-behavioural therapies.
Related Websites
Provides online, full-text copies of articles discussing Gestalt Theory.
Gestalt Global Corporation is a non-profit organization that exists to promote research in Gestalt Therapy and to build a global community to encourage the growth and development of Gestalt Therapy.
Presents the Table of Contents for each volume and issue of the International Gestalt Journal, provides access to the Gestalt Therapy Bookstore, and maintains a number of Gestalt therapy resources.
Supplementary Activities
 Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBkUqcqRChg&list=PL4F7FB2DA6CB04858&index=1
 Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE6vQeR_yTk
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0gI2rXYoms

Unit 11: Feminist Theory


Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Combines feminist consciousness research conducted in the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and philosophy to explore how anger mediates associations between feminist identities and psychological distress.
Presents the results of a survey that assesses the attitudes and practices of self-identified feminist and non-feminist male therapists. The survey questioned therapists about their attitudes toward feminism, their attitudes about gender roles, and the feminist therapeutic behaviours in which they engage.
Related Websites
Includes information about many feminist topics, and provides access to online feminist resources.
The CPA’s Section on Women and Psychology (SWAP) promotes the research of issues pertinent to women and encourages the advancement of women in psychology.
The APA’s Division 35, Section for Women and Psychology promotes feminist research, theory, education, and practices, and acts as an organizational basis for professionals teaching, researching, or practising within the realm of the psychology of women.
Videos
This video is a component of Athabasca University’s Women’s Studies 310: Feminist Approaches to Counselling Women. This video has a mock feminist counselling session with a client who has been sexually assaulted. You can borrow this video from the Athabasca University Library.
MacMullin, B. (2003). Communication skills: Feminist practice [video recording]. Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University
Please request this video from the Athabasca University Library.

This two-part video is a component of Athabasca University’s Women’s Studies 302: Communication Skills: Feminist Practice. Two segments are used from this video to illustrate feminist theory. Part 1 demonstrates paraphrasing (2 min., 15 sec.) Part 2 is a counselling demonstration (4 min., 34 sec.).

Unit 12: Family Systems Theory


Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Discusses methodological and theoretical issues that have resulted from research addressing the associations between family relationships and college students’ career decisions. Also discusses how modern and post-modern approaches can provide valuable insights into the interrelations between relationships and work.
Investigates whether practitioners address gender issues when using the Satir growth model, and explores how they incorporate gender issues in the Satir growth model while practising.
Explores how multidimensional family functioning characteristics, such as family processes, family organization, and personal growth serve as predictors for personal growth initiative.
Identifies various dimensions that facilitate family career-development projects that involve career-relevant parent-child conversations.
Related Websites
Provides a historical overview of family therapy and profiles prominent family therapy theorists. Includes Web links to other family therapy resources, and presents a timeline of historical developments in family therapy.
Overviews of the University of Calgary’s Family Therapy Program, including profiles of the program’s faculty members and a list of their publications.

Unit 13: Multicultural Theory


Required Readings

Reproduced with permission of the authors.

Full-text online journal article

Describes a model for teaching and learning multicultural counselling competencies that addresses the context in which competencies are learned and implemented.
Full-text online journal article

Presents twelve goals for multicultural counselling and therapy to achieve.
Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Guidelines serve to raise psychologists’ awareness of issues related to multiculturalism and diversity in education, training, research, practice, and organizational change.
Provides an overview of the 2nd National Multicultural Conference and Summit; outlines the themes that emerged during the Summit; and suggests future directions for education, training, practice, and research.
Uses hermeneutics to explore how individualism influences psychotherapy theory, research, and practice by examining the self in culture, the moral nature of culture, and the use of dialogue to mediate cultural conflict.
Examines how ethnic minority college students’ attitudes toward counselling and their perceptions of their counsellors’ general and multicultural competencies influence their satisfaction with counselling.
Investigates Asian American, European American, and Hispanic students’ preferences for various attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and skills thought to be characteristic of competent multicultural counsellors.
Videos / Interactive Learning Activities
Pope-Davis, D. (1992). Multicultural counseling: Issues of ethnic diversity/issues of diversity [video recording]. American Counseling Association.
This video can be borrowed from the Athabasca University Library.

This video is a component of Athabasca University's Psychology 388: Introduction to Counselling. It overviews multicultural counselling theory and presents three vignettes. There is also a workbook that accompanies the video. In this video, the facilitator reviews the basic premise of multicultural counselling and outlines the content of the vignettes. Approximately 1 minute.

Unit 14: An Integrative Perspective


Supplementary Readings
Full-Text Online Articles
Reviews and critiques the approaches that are currently in use to define, conceptualize, and study psychological and subjective wellbeing.