Theories of Counselling

PSY20001 12.5 Credit Points Online Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • One semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • Students are required to devote 10-12 hours per week to the unit

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning. For Online unit delivery, learning is conducted exclusively online.

2023 teaching periods

Swinburne Online

Teaching Period 1
Swinburne Online

Teaching Period 3

13 Mar 23 - 11 Jun 23

4 Jul 23

Last self enrolment:
26 Mar 23

7 Apr 23

Last withdraw without fail:
28 Apr 23

6 Nov 23 - 11 Feb 24

5 Mar 24

Last self enrolment:
19 Nov 23

1 Dec 23

Last withdraw without fail:
29 Dec 23

Aims and objectives

This unit provides a theoretical introduction to counselling psychology. In the profession of counselling, theory, process and research are intertwined. The unit content, readings and online activities will give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the application of counselling theory to the therapeutic process. Major therapeutic approaches will be covered including psychoanalytic, existential, person-centred, behavioural, cognitive, family and solution focused therapy, as well as coverage of the research and ethical issues involved in counselling.
Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO) 
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
1. Appraise a range of different theoretical counselling approaches
2. Compare and contrast the different approaches and their application to counselling
3. Explain how research and ethical issues inform both theory and practice in counselling
4. Reflect on and write critically about how research, process and theory are intertwined

Courses with unit

BA-SSS Bachelor of Social Sciences, Behavioural Studies Major – SOL only