Children and Young People (CYP) Specialist Pathway
The Person-Centred Experiential Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice MA provides a specialist pathway for those preparing to work with children and young people. The programme shares core modules with the Adults Across the Lifespan pathway, but also includes one 60-credit specialist module.
This pathway helps students prepare for therapeutic work with children and young people in a range of settings within education such as schools, colleges and university, young people in social care or mental health services or those in youth and criminal justice settings.
Children and Young People specialist module: The Lives of Children and Young People: systems, contexts and approaches
The Lives of Children and Young People: systems, contexts and approaches is a year-long specialist pathway module. The module is based on a deep and reflective process of inquiry into the experiences of young people. Using and drawing on personal experiences, media, the arts and artefacts from our social world, a thorough appreciation of the issues facing young people in contemporary society can be generated. This awareness is grounded in and subjected to critical analysis through comparative theory.
Adults Across the Lifespan (AAL) Specialist Pathway
The course provides a specialist pathway for those looking to train for working with adults across the lifespan. The programme shares core modules with the Children and Young People pathway but also includes one 60-credit specialist module.
This pathway helps prepare for working therapeutically with adults across the lifespan in a range of settings across the public and private sectors. Graduates from this pathway are prepared for working across the whole adult lifespan including those seeking therapy for severe mental distress and those seeking therapy for personal growth and development.
Adults Across the Lifespan Specialist module: Power, Politics and Social Cultural World
Power, politics and the social cultural world is the specialist pathway module focused on gaining a deep yet broad appreciation for the factors that influence human functioning. This module will look at the effects of power and equality in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. The module offers the chance to study through large group experience.
These 30-credit modules will be taken by all students:
Developing Person-Centred Experiential Theory
This module will provide the foundation of knowledge in the core theories for person-centred experiential (PCE) psychotherapy and counselling.
The module will begin by examining the philosophical underpinnings of PCE psychotherapy and counselling. This will provide the basis for acquiring a critical perspective on theories of the development of self and psychological distress and the development of personal growth.
The sessions are taught through experiential learning activities and the student will gain a deep understanding of the personal meaning of the theory that is to be applied in the psychotherapy and counselling setting.
Developing Professional Practice and Skills
This module introduces you to professional practice related issues. Core aspects for beginning counselors will be addressed and will include, for example:
- Developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship - understanding the contributions of client and therapist
- An in-depth examination of professional codes of ethics and their application - critical perspectives on systems of accountability
- Experiential workshops focused on ethical issues relating to therapeutic confidentiality, time keeping, record keeping, consent, boundaries (eg use of touch), and working within a safe level of competence
- The development of self-awareness through process group activity
- Skills development using tape assisted recall methods/IPR
You will gain skills and understanding in building therapeutic relationships, assess your capacity for working with clients and staying within your competence level. You will develop greater self-awareness by engaging in a range of activities including process groups, small and large group exercises and counselling skills sessions.
Advancing Person-Centred Experiential Theory
This module will take you further into an examination of advanced theory for person-centred experiential (PCE) psychotherapy and counselling.
The module builds on their existing knowledge of the philosophical underpinnings of the PCE to psychotherapy and counselling taught in Developing Person-Centred Experiential Theory in semester one. This module advances your learning by examining contemporary theoretical developments, evidenced based practices and the issues and influences that have created these changes.
Building on previous learning,you will consider research and theory from applied social and positive psychology and learn how these knowledge bases inform therapeutic practice and personal development in a range of applied contexts. Through experiential learning you will gain a deep understanding of your own values as a therapist and helping professional.
All students will also undertake the 60-credit Dissertation and Research Methods.
Dissertation and Research Methods
This module will provide the foundation of knowledge in the core research methodology and methods for person-centred experiential (PCE) psychotherapy and counselling.
The module will begin by examining the philosophical underpinnings of research and its applicability to psychotherapy and counselling. This will provide the basis for acquiring a critical perspective on research and the development of a dissertation proposal.
You will gain a deep understanding of the range of quantitative and qualitative methods and how they can be applied in the psychotherapy and counselling setting. You will gain the experience of doing a piece of research relevant to counselling and psychotherapy.
Module for Children and Young People pathway
The Lives of Children and Young People: systems, contexts and approaches
The module considers the legal and policy context influencing counsellors' work with children and young people. This includes institutional contexts for the work with a particular focus on education, health and youth services settings. You will reflect on challenges and opportunities involved in reconciling multilayered systems (political, legal, organisational, individual and family) with person-centred experiential philosophy of practice.
You will examine the notion of presence as a professional in support of the child and their family. You will engage in experiential group work activities to develop your awareness, understanding and skills for engagement with key stakeholders, agencies and institutions.
Building on the systemic framework for mapping the social, psychological and emotional development of children and young people, you will look across influencing experiences, including developmental landmarks and events which either help or hinder children and young people flourishing.
The module hones understanding on a range of approaches to therapeutic practice; focusing on creative and play therapy approaches. The module addresses work with children and young people covering contemporary themes and issues facing children and young people, and the contexts they inhabit. Specific issues are addressed that adapt and reflect the changing lives of children and young people.
Module for Adults Across the Lifespan pathway
Power, Politics and Socio-Cultural World
This module provides you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in research and theory beyond the confines of the psychotherapeutic literature to learn about issues of power, equality, gender as well as the influences of the social and the cultural world on human behaviour.
Such learning provides you with the ability to think broadly about issues relevant to psychotherapy and how they may be conceptualised from different perspectives.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.