The counselling relationship and counselling techniques

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
24 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

DIPLC89A09 Psychodynamic Approaches,
DIPLC89A24 Psychodynamic Approaches,
MA C89D36 Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (3 year),
MA C89D48 Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (4 year),
MA C89DFD Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (3 year)

Module description

In this module students study the nature of the counselling relationship, how to develop a therapeutic alliance and the overall process of counselling. The module covers the understanding of verbal and non-verbal communication including the use of art and play, skills in listening and therapeutic intervention, issues of assessment and formulation and the place of these within the psychodynamic framework.
Students acquire an understanding of the personal qualities needing in psychodynamic work and ethical and boundary issues involved in therapeutic relationships.
The module balances academic study and discussion of the issues along with active participation in weekly workshops and the chance to undertake an on-going observation, or piece of direct work, with a child, adolescent or adult. Process recordings are written and presented within seminars providing an opportunity to enhance observation skills and the capacity to develop a psychodynamic formulation.

Module aims

This module aims at helping students:
* understand key features of the therapeutic relationship in counselling
* appreciate the complexity of therapeutic communication
* develop supportive and therapeutic skills in a workplace setting
* learn ways of putting into practice their growing psychodynamic understanding.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:
* understand how they can work effectively using psychodynamic thinking and counselling skills in their approach
* have a deeper understanding of the dynamics of relationships and encounters between client and counsellor
* have a grasp of key psychodynamic techniques in counselling
* appreciate the many levels of communication operating in a counselling relationship
* begin to be able to work with play and art as well as verbal communication
* understand key aspects of a therapeutic role and its boundaries
* develop the capacity to apply psychodynamic thinking to a piece of supportive/observational work

Module information

A Disclosure and Barring Service check is required for this module which the University will undertake.

Learning and teaching methods

Seminar 1 (1 ½ hours) - Students will discuss readings on theoretical and practical aspects of counselling relationships with children and adolescents. There will be a reflective group and the beginning and end of this module Workshop (1 hour) – Students will participate in experiential workshops to practice new skills and to deepen their understanding Seminar 2 (2 hours) – Students will bring descriptions of their work with adults, children and/or adolescents which will be discussed applying psychodynamic insights to the interaction.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Case Study    100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Miss Oyku Turker, email:
Student Administration 5A.202; Telephone: 01206 873745; Email:



External examiner

Mr Mike Keating
Wessex Counselling and Psychotherapy
Head of Training
Dr Nini Kerr
Available via Moodle
Of 105 hours, 105 (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), module, or event type.


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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