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Psychotherapeutic Psychology and Mental Health: from Theory to Practice

  • Module code: PS6014
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of Level 5 Psychology (or equivalent).
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module examines how psychology is applied in psychotherapeutic work in mental health contexts. It is relevant to students who are interested in Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, psychotherapy, counselling and/or in mental health service provision more generally.The module begins with a consideration of how common forms of psychological distress and disorder are conceptualised within mainstream classification systems. After psychotherapeutic approaches are placed in historical context, the module considers the theory and practice of various psychotherapeutic approaches. Attention is given to how specific mental health issues can be addressed in therapy, how therapy can respond creatively and ethically to diversity issues, and how therapeutic impact or effectiveness might best be evaluated. By completing this module, students will develop a critical understanding of the nature of psychotherapeutic practice and of some key aspects of its complexity and challenges. The module will consider the principles and challenges of psychotherapeutic practice but students will not engage in any form of psychotherapeutic practice during the module, nor will it qualify them to do so afterwards. However it will help inform students' decision-making about careers in the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields.

Aims

  • To introduce key approaches and concepts within the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields
  • To enable students to understand how different psychotherapeutic models respond to specific forms and contexts of psychological distress and disorder
  • To enable students to develop a critical understanding of and an informed position on some classic and contemporary debates in the mental health and psychotherapeutic domains

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key approaches, concepts and debates within      the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields
  • Demonstrate a capacity to evaluate psychotherapeutic approaches and concepts on the      basis of research and other relevant evidence
  • Demonstrate  a capacity to apply psychotherapeutic approaches to understand clinical      material and identify appropriate responses
  • Adopt informed positions on debates within the mental health and psychotherapeutic      domains
  • Reflect upon the role of personal responses and investments in shaping evaluations of approaches, concepts and debates within the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields

Curriculum content

  • Conceptualisations of mental health problems and disorders
  • The history of ‘talking therapies'
  • Psychodynamic approaches
  • Person-centred approaches
  • Cognitive behavioural approaches
  • The evaluation of psychotherapy
  • Ethical issues in psychotherapeutic practice
  • Working with diversity (for example, religion and psychotherapy)
  • Contextsof practice (for example, therapeutic interventions for drug and alcohol problems)

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be delivered through 22 weekly lectures and workshops. In the lecture, core material will be presented and discussed. Students will be expected to read specified sources in advance of each lecture to provide a basis for informed engagement with relevant concepts and contexts. Overall the lecture component will enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of key approaches, concepts and debates within the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields.

In the interactive workshop, students will extend their understanding of core material through (a) engaging critically with specific questions and articles in whole-class and small group discussions and/or (b) applying this material in considering relevant clinical case studies and vignettes. Video materials will be used where appropriate to provide insight into psychotherapeutic practice contexts. Overall the interactive component will enable students to develop and refine their capacity to evaluate and apply psychotherapeutic approaches and concepts and will facilitate their development of informed, reflective positions on debates within the mental health and psychotherapeutic domains. 

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures and interactive discussions/exercises 66
Guided independent study Specified pre-session reading Completion of coursework Writing of reflective journal 234
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by one 2000 word essay (+/- 10%), which will carry 45% of the marks for the module, and one 2500 word essay (+/- 10%), which will carry 55% of the marks for the module. Students will also be asked to keep a reflective journal throughout the year which will be used for formative assessment purposes and will also be a resource for completing the second essay. Input on writing a reflective journal will be provided early in the module.

The first essay will require students to apply two psychotherapeutic approaches to a clinical case study and compare and contrast these approaches. This will enable students (a) to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the selected key approaches and relevant concepts and debates within the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields; (b) to demonstrate a capacity to apply the selected psychotherapeutic approaches to understand clinical material and identify appropriate responses to that material; and (c) in the comparative aspect, to demonstrate a capacity to evaluate the selected psychotherapeutic approaches and concepts on the basis of research and other relevant evidence.

The second essay will address broader issues and debates in the field. Students will write 2000 words (+/- 10%) in the format of a standard academic essay, plus 500 words (+/- 10%) in which they reflect in personal terms on how they developed their position on the essay topic. These personal reflections may directly draw upon material from students' reflective journals. The personal reflection aspect has been included in the assignment and in the module more generally because of its importance within psychotherapeutic practice and training. Completing this assignment will enable students to (a) demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key approaches, concepts and/or debates within the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields; (b) demonstrate a capacity to evaluate psychotherapeutic approaches and/or concepts on the basis of research and other relevant evidence; (c) present informed positions on debates within the mental health and psychotherapeutic domains; and (d) reflect upon the role of personal responses and investments in shaping evaluations of approaches, concepts and/or debates within the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields.

The learning outcomes associated with each assignment will also be met formatively through students' performance on the module's interactive component (see details under ‘Teaching and learning strategy').

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key approaches, concepts and debates within the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields This learning outcome will also be met formatively through students' performance on the module's interactive component.
2) Demonstrate a capacity to evaluate psychotherapeutic approaches and concepts on the basis of research and other relevant evidence Essay 1 and essay 2 This learning outcome will also be met formatively through students' performance on the module's interactive component.
3) Demonstrate a capacity to apply psychotherapeutic approaches to understand clinical material and identify appropriate responses Essay 1 This learning outcome will also be met formatively through students' performance on the module's interactive component.
4) Adopt informed positions on debates within the mental health and psychotherapeutic domains Essay 2 (and potentially essay 1) This learning outcome will also be met formatively through students' performance on the module's interactive component.
5) Reflect upon the role of personal responses and investments in shaping evaluations of approaches, concepts and debates within the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields Essay 2 This learning outcome will also be met formatively through students' performance on the module's interactive component.

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK 2000 word essay 45
CWK 2000 word essay plus 500 word personal reflection 55
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Douglas, B., Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Kasket, E., & Galbraith, V. (in press). The handbook of Counselling Psychology (4th edn.). London: SAGE. [Earlier editions are currently held in the library]

Dryden, W., & Reeves, A. (Eds) (2014). The handbook of individual therapy (6th edn.). London: SAGE.

Bibliography recommended reading

Beck, J.S. (2011). Cognitive behaviour therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd edn.). New York: Guilford Press. 

Cooper, M., O'Hara, M., Schmid, P.F., & Bohart, A. (Eds) (2013). The handbook of person-centred psychotherapy & counselling (2nd edn.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [Not currently held by the library] 

Cromby, J., Harper, D., & Reavey, P. (2013). Psychology, mental health and distress. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Jacobs, M. (2010). Psychodynamic counselling in action (4th edn.). London: SAGE. 

Johnstone, L., & Dallos, R. (Eds) (2014). Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: Making sense of people's problems (2nd edn.). Hove: Routledge. [Not currently held by the library] 

Milton, M. (Ed.) (2010). Therapy and beyond: Counselling Psychology contributions to therapeutic and social issues. Chichester: Wiley. [Not currently held by the library] 

Roth, A., & Fonagy, P. (2005). What works for whom? A critical review of psychotherapy research (2nd edn.). New York: Guilford Press. [Not currently held by the library] 

Tribe, R., & Morrissey, J. (Eds) (2015). Handbook of professional and ethical practice for psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists (2nd edn.). Hove: Routledge.

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