The Counselling Relationship

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
12 December 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module will help the students learn about how psychodynamic counselling has evolved and how different thinkers have influenced this discipline since Freud. The emphasis is on case studies and how different psychodynamic perspectives influence the therapists' approach to their clients and their technique.

Each week will look at a particular approach within the psychodynamic tradition and an explanatory text will be considered alongside a case study. This method will enable students to learn about the theoretical background to psychodynamic counselling and its application.

Module aims

• The module is designed to help the students become familiar with the historical evolution of psychodynamic practice.
• It will enable students to become familiar with how psychodynamic thinking has evolved and been transformed through the decades and how different schools of thought put the emphasis on different aspects of the work.
• The use of case studies in this module is aimed at helping the students achieving a more practical understanding of what happens in sessions between practitioners and their clients.
• The students will become familiar with how psychological symptoms and problems are thought about and talked about by psychodynamic practitioners and will also gain an understanding of the clinical implications of frequency and length of treatment.

Module learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes
1. An understanding of how different psychodynamic approaches can be applied in work with clients.
2. An understanding of what it means to work with transference and counter-transference in different settings with different types of clients.
3. The ability to describe the evolution of psychodynamic practice since its beginning and be able to make links with how and why the thinking has changed, e.g. how infant research and psychotherapy research have had an impact on the evolution of psychodynamic practice.
4. An understanding of the clinical aspects of the work (frequency, duration of treatment, technique) and their relevance when working with people with psychological and emotional problems.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Learning and Teaching Methods The seminar will take place once a week for 1 hour and 50 minutes. The first hour will be mainly allocated to teaching, while the second part will be open to discussion, reflection and questions. The students will be required to read before they attend the seminars. Power point presentations may be provided to help the students make sense of the theory paper they have read. A discussion will follow on the case study they read. Additional audio-visual material will be provided to help the students familiarise with the thinkers they are studying. For example short video excerpts from conferences, as well as sample of video recorded infant observations will be occasionally shown to the students.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1    15% 
Coursework   Essay 2    85% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Raluca Soreanu, email:
From the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Student Administration 5A.202; telephone 01206 874969;



External examiner

Dr Anne Elizabeth Worthington
Middlesex University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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