Group and Organisational Dynamics for Counsellors

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
24 August 2023


Requisites for this module
PA215 and PA216 and PA217 and PA218 and PA221 and PA256



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 group and organisational processes. It provides them with psychodynamic and systemic understanding of how groups, organisations and networks function and interact. This will provide them with a deeper understanding of the wider dynamics affecting professionals and clients.
It includes both theoretical and experiential learning.
Beginning with Freud's original and critical work on group psychology the module explores the impact that social and organisational psychology and psychoanalysis have had upon working and organisational life. We will consider the ways in which organisations and working life are influenced by powerful unconscious defences operating within and between people and organisational structures. How have psychoanalytic and systemic ideas helped to make sense of seemingly irrational group and organisational phenomena and striven to keep alive the 'human touch' in organisational and group life? What can the individual do to improve organisations, help keep them 'on task' and strengthen their therapeutic or enabling qualities? How does an understanding of group and organisational process become useful in a counselling situation?

Module aims

This module aims to help students understand more fully the conscious and unconscious dynamics in groups and organisations so as to better understand group and organisational processes in their own workplaces and the impact of these on their clients. The aim is to equip students with the knowledge and confidence to establish, maintain and protect the role of counsellor in complex organisations and to have a fuller grasp of the group and organisational pressures on themselves and their clients.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:
* a deeper understanding of organisational dynamics
* the ability to apply psychodynamic insight to a wide range of organisational settings
* an increased understanding of the unconscious dynamics at work in individuals, groups and organisations
* capacity to recognise how psychodynamic concepts come alive and apply to individuals, groups and organisations
* awareness of the key features of organisational life such as role, authority, leadership, followership, open and closed systems, organisational hierarchies and boundaries, conflict, primary task, and participation
* awareness of the role they play in group and organisational life including their capacity for self-reflective practice and management of self
* awareness of how organisational and group processes impinge on the clinical task
* awareness of the impact of group and organisational processes on their clients

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module is delivered using theory seminars, experiential workshops and a two-day experiential weekend.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay  10/04/2024  50% 
Coursework   Group Relations essay  08/05/2024  50% 

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; Telephone: 01206 873745; Email:



External examiner

Mr Mike Keating
Wessex Counselling and Psychotherapy
Head of Training
Available via Moodle
Of 21 hours, 21 (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

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