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Theories of Counselling & Psychotherapy

Course Code: PSYC 3375
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Psychology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course surveys the major theories and techniques of foundational and contemporary counselling and psychotherapy, and explores topics such as evidence-based practice, culture and diversity, and common factors important to successful therapy. This course additionally examines the philosophical underpinning of the theories about human nature and change process. It critiques the models from ethical, multicultural, indigenous and social justice perspectives. This course helps to prepare students who are considering advanced study in counselling and psychotherapy.

Course Content

  1. Science, Diversity, and Ethics in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  2. The Effectiveness of Contemporary Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  3. Evidence-Based Practice.
  4. Common Factors in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  5. Contextual and Collaborative Assessment.
  6. Psychodynamic Theory and Techniques.
  7. Interpersonal Theory and Techniques.
  8. Humanistic Theory and Techniques.
  9. Cognitive Behavioural Theory and Techniques.
  10. Narrative Therapy and Social Constructivism.
  11. Family Theory and Techniques.

Methods of Instruction

Methods of instruction may include:

  • lecture
  • group activities
  • presentations
  • audiovisual media
  • guest lectures.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

 An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Research paper - 20%                                           

Exams - 3 at 20% each -  60%

Presentation -  20%                                 

Total - 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to demonstrate knowledge of:

  1. Contemporary counselling and psychotherapy theories.
  2. Contemporary counselling and psychotherapy interventions.
  3. The effectiveness of contemporary counselling and psychotherapy interventions.
  4. Common factors and skills that are core to all counselling and psychotherapy interventions.
  5. Evidence-based practice and empirically supported therapies.
  6. Cultural and diversity issues in counselling and psychotherapy.
  7. Ethical issues in counselling and psychotherapy.

course prerequisites

PSYC 1100 and PSYC 1200


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.