Counselling Course Study Plans

Research and Study Skills

This module develops information literacy competency and assists the student in attaining skills to comply with the required academic standard at the South African College of Applied Psychology. This module introduces the student to the skills of recognising information need, as well as how to access relevant information, identify quality information, evaluate and synthesise information. This module teaches the student how to practically apply APA referencing style, inspiring confidence in research, writing and submitting academic assignments.

Introduction to Psychology A

This module provides an overview of the different perspectives that have emerged in psychology over the past century. Basic research methods will be addressed and themes related to the subject matter will be introduced. Focus will be given to topics such as the nervous system, sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, memory, intelligence, thinking and language.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

This module will enable students to acquire understanding of the factors affecting the interpersonal communication process and how to apply this knowledge in life. Skills acquired are immediately applicable to personal and professional interactions.

Counselling Modalities 1

This module introduces a basic framework for understanding the significant contributions of major psychotherapeutic theories and modalities applied to the counselling interaction. It provides an intensive and thorough foundation in counselling theory and practice. Central to this module is the development of a solid ethical framework based on a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of counselling theory and practice.

Introduction to Psychology B

This module explores the role of psychological development, motivation, emotion, personality, social, cultural and indigenous influences on human behaviour. In considering these influences, a variety of theoretical perspectives are examined together with their ramifications for explaining behaviour. Finally, the module investigates stress and abnormal psychological development with the corresponding implications for psychological treatment.

Fundamentals of a Helping Relationship

This module is designed to prepare the student for a career in professional counselling within a South African context. The module creates a framework for the counselling process using Gerard Egan's ‘skilled helper’ effective counselling model. The module focuses upon core counselling skills whereby students will begin to understand the intricacies of the counselling relationship in which to apply a range of counselling skills. Students will be taught to develop effective counsellor competencies including an understanding of terminology and key concepts related to effective counselling.

Counselling Modalities 2

This module provides an introduction to additional major counselling and psychotherapeutic methodologies, theories, and applications. Students study the phenomenological orientation and how its philosophy underlies several counselling approaches. A variety of other therapeutic modifications and contemporary approaches are explored throughout the study of this module.

Abnormal Psychology

This module focuses on current themes in psychopathology and highlights mental health issues specific to the South African context. A broad understanding of the assessment, diagnosis and classification of mental illness will be developed and research methods and legal and ethical issues will be addressed. The broad categorisation of mental illness as outlined by the DSMIV will be summarised.  Throughout the module, the student will get an overview of the aetiology, symptoms, the diagnostic processes, and generally accepted treatment methods for various psychopathologies.  This course will draw on South African case studies and South African research in order to deepen the students’ comprehension of abnormal psychology in the South African context.

Diversity in the South African Context

This module is designed to critically engage and explore diversity and family within South Africa. The purpose of the module is to create awareness of the impact of context and contextualised dynamics that ultimately shape the development of individuals and counselling practice within South Africa. The module also builds on awareness and expands the students’ knowledge of issues of diversity. Finally the module encourages the student to apply knowledge conceptualising possible action for effective change within the South African context.

Developmental Psychology A

This module draws from a variety of theoretical approaches to provide an integrative viewpoint for managing issues related to development throughout the lifespan. Particular emphasis is placed on managing developmental issues in the counselling context. The module also explores integration of personal and professional development throughout the lifespan.
Year 1 Modules
Term 1 Research and Study Skills
Introduction to Psychology A
Interpersonal Communication Skills
Counselling Modalities 1
Term 2 Introduction to Psychology B
Fundamentals of a Helping Relationship
Counselling Modalities 2
Term 3 Abnormal Psychology
Diversity in the South African Context
Developmental Psychology A

Developmental Psychology B

This module explores descriptions of human development, including: Becoming an adult and the associated physical, cognitive and personality changes are explored and the tasks of forming intimate relationships, work and leisure in young and middle adulthood are discussed. This course provides a focus on the bio psychosocial challenges of middle adulthood and the personal context of later life. Dying and bereavement are also addressed. The course will provide opportunity for the student to demonstrate an understanding of the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, personal and moral development of young and middle age adults through to later life, and to and to enhance the adult’s psychological maturity and satisfaction with life.

Counselling Skills and Process Development

This module continues to prepare the student for a career in professional counselling within a South African context. The module addresses the stages and tasks highlighted in Gerard Egan's ‘skilled helper’ model but on a deeper level. Students will be assisted in developing an understanding of how and when to use specific counselling skills in the counselling context. The student will be taught to engage in a process of critical self-reflexivity as they sharpen counsellor competencies and strengthen their counselling role and identity.

Ethics

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of supervision. The module explores the nature, purpose and process of supervision in a variety of different contexts. The module provides a solid theoretical and practical understanding of the process of supervision in the light of different models, methods and rationales. Students are guided to reflect on the setting and context in which they work, to consider ethical and legal concerns, and to analyse their experience and practice of working with people.

Self-Esteem and Motivation

This module provides a comprehensive and in-depth foundation in knowledge, skills and capabilities to understand and work with issues of self-esteem and motivation, and to apply strategies to enhance these qualities in self and others. Students acquire a theoretical understanding of the psychological factors and processes affecting self-esteem and motivation. That knowledge is then applied in real and simulated environments to reinforce learning. Self-esteem and motivation are explored and studied as critical factors for achievement in both ordinary and extraordinary situations.

Crisis and Trauma Counselling

This module provides the student with the knowledge and skills for the effective intervention and management of crisis, and introduces the student to the trauma cycle and the associated behaviours and emotional responses that victims of trauma experience. The student is made aware of the difference between crisis and trauma, and the types of intervention strategies that each requires. The unit also explores the physiological and psychological reactions to crisis and trauma.

Elective Module Choice 1

Elective Module Descriptors*

Addiction Counselling This module enables the student to develop an understanding of addiction. The student will explore in depth the different types of methodologies towards developing effective intervention strategies. The student will gain insight into the core issues related to addiction and integrate core counselling skills and methods for assisting substance dependent clients. The student will be exposed to substance dependence issues and challenges in order to develop a strong and diverse skills base required for working with those struggling with addictions. Counselling in Loss This module provides students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to effectively and appropriately work with those experiencing a variety of loss and grief issues. Students study the dynamics of the grieving process and the impact that cultural, social, and religious perspectives and beliefs have on the experience of grief and loss. The aim of the module is to assist the student to integrate their developing knowledge and understanding of the counselling process to confidently and appropriately counsel clients as they move through the grieving and loss process. Working with Children This module will provide the student with conceptual and practical frameworks for understanding the issues and concerns involved in working with children and to learn a variety of skills and develop a set of competencies to successfully achieve that goal. The module provides opportunities to develop specific communication and counselling skills and competencies to enhance communication with children. Emphasis throughout this module is focused on identifying and understanding the special needs and issues in working with children and how best to respond to and work with those needs and perspectives. Working with Adolescents This module will provide the student with opportunities to develop and refine skills and capabilities to work with adolescents based on a comprehensive study of the concepts, theories and issues that are an essential part of understanding adolescent development. A major feature of this module is to help develop in the student a familiarity with the major theories on adolescent’s development, to understand adolescent issues and needs from a psychological and sociological perspective, and to learn strategies that enhance communication and counselling skills in dealing with adolescents. Human Sexuality and HIV Counselling This module is designed to integrate human sexuality with HIV. Attention is paid to contemporary and compelling South African literature. This module unfolds dimensions of sexuality as it impacts upon the HIV pandemic in South African society. The module has a particular focus on South African Schools. The classroom is the laboratory to evaluate how gender and gender roles influence attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours. Somatic Counselling This module introduces a somatic approach to counselling. The main focus is working with individuals, as well as applying this approach to working in different contexts in which counselling skills can be utilized, such as with couples and groups of different kinds. The student is provided with opportunities through study and practice, to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for his/her role as a counsellor integrating or specializing in a somatic approach. This module integrates Western approaches to Somatic Psychology with Eastern approaches to mind-body health and well-being, applied to counselling. *Please note that electives run on a cycle, subject to availability and numbers.

Fieldwork Part 1 (Preparatory Workshops)

Fieldwork Parts 1 & 2

The Counselling Fieldwork module spans over two terms and offers students a comprehensive practical placement within an organisational setting specifically related to various specialised fields. The College has established relationships with over 100 organisations within the field providing students with various options to undertake their fieldwork placement (depending on placement availability). Placements may take 4-6 weeks to finalise.

Family Work and Relationships

This module provides a conceptual framework together with the application of specific counselling skills and competencies for working with couples and families in a counselling role. The module builds upon the knowledge and skills acquired in previous counselling modules and isolate the knowledge, skills and competencies for counselling couples and families. Students are expected to integrate skills already acquired with the particular demands of working with couples and families within the counselling role as well as to assess the effectiveness of relationship and family counselling.

Elective Module Choice 2

Elective Module Descriptors*

Addiction Counselling This module enables the student to develop an understanding of addiction. The student will explore in depth the different types of methodologies towards developing effective intervention strategies. The student will gain insight into the core issues related to addiction and integrate core counselling skills and methods for assisting substance dependent clients. The student will be exposed to substance dependence issues and challenges in order to develop a strong and diverse skills base required for working with those struggling with addictions. Counselling in Loss This module provides students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to effectively and appropriately work with those experiencing a variety of loss and grief issues. Students study the dynamics of the grieving process and the impact that cultural, social, and religious perspectives and beliefs have on the experience of grief and loss. The aim of the module is to assist the student to integrate their developing knowledge and understanding of the counselling process to confidently and appropriately counsel clients as they move through the grieving and loss process. Working with Children This module will provide the student with conceptual and practical frameworks for understanding the issues and concerns involved in working with children and to learn a variety of skills and develop a set of competencies to successfully achieve that goal. The module provides opportunities to develop specific communication and counselling skills and competencies to enhance communication with children. Emphasis throughout this module is focused on identifying and understanding the special needs and issues in working with children and how best to respond to and work with those needs and perspectives. Working with Adolescents This module will provide the student with opportunities to develop and refine skills and capabilities to work with adolescents based on a comprehensive study of the concepts, theories and issues that are an essential part of understanding adolescent development. A major feature of this module is to help develop in the student a familiarity with the major theories on adolescent’s development, to understand adolescent issues and needs from a psychological and sociological perspective, and to learn strategies that enhance communication and counselling skills in dealing with adolescents. Human Sexuality and HIV Counselling This module is designed to integrate human sexuality with HIV. Attention is paid to contemporary and compelling South African literature. This module unfolds dimensions of sexuality as it impacts upon the HIV pandemic in South African society. The module has a particular focus on South African Schools. The classroom is the laboratory to evaluate how gender and gender roles influence attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours. Somatic Counselling This module introduces a somatic approach to counselling. The main focus is working with individuals, as well as applying this approach to working in different contexts in which counselling skills can be utilized, such as with couples and groups of different kinds. The student is provided with opportunities through study and practice, to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for his/her role as a counsellor integrating or specializing in a somatic approach. This module integrates Western approaches to Somatic Psychology with Eastern approaches to mind-body health and well-being, applied to counselling. *Please note that electives run on a cycle, subject to availability and numbers.

Fieldwork Part 2 (Placement)

Fieldwork Parts 1 & 2

The Counselling Fieldwork module spans over two terms and offers students a comprehensive practical placement within an organisational setting specifically related to various specialised fields. The College has established relationships with over 100 organisations within the field providing students with various options to undertake their fieldwork placement (depending on placement availability). Placements may take 4-6 weeks to finalise.
Year 2 Modules
Term 1 Developmental Psychology B
Counselling Skills and Process Development
Ethics
Term 2 Self-Esteem and Motivation
Crisis and Trauma Counselling
Elective Module Choice 1
Fieldwork Part 1 (Preparatory Workshops)
Term 3 Family Work and Relationships
Elective Module Choice 2
Fieldwork Part 2 (Placement)

Study Plans

Counselling Course Study Plans

Introduction to Psychology A

This module provides an overview of the different perspectives that have emerged in psychology over the past century. Basic research methods will be addressed and themes related to the subject matter will be introduced. Focus will be given to topics such as the nervous system, sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, memory, intelligence, thinking and language.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

This module will enable students to acquire understanding of the factors affecting the interpersonal communication process and how to apply this knowledge in life. Skills acquired are immediately applicable to personal and professional interactions.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

This module will enable students to acquire understanding of the factors affecting the interpersonal communication process and how to apply this knowledge in life. Skills acquired are immediately applicable to personal and professional interactions.

Counselling Modalities 1

This module introduces a basic framework for understanding the significant contributions of major psychotherapeutic theories and modalities applied to the counselling interaction. It provides an intensive and thorough foundation in counselling theory and practice. Central to this module is the development of a solid ethical framework based on a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of counselling theory and practice.

Introduction to Psychology B

This module explores the role of psychological development, motivation, emotion, personality, social, cultural and indigenous influences on human behaviour. In considering these influences, a variety of theoretical perspectives are examined together with their ramifications for explaining behaviour. Finally, the module investigates stress and abnormal psychological development with the corresponding implications for psychological treatment.

Fundamentals of a Helping Relationship

This module is designed to prepare the student for a career in professional counselling within a South African context. The module creates a framework for the counselling process using Gerard Egan's ‘skilled helper’ effective counselling model. The module focuses upon core counselling skills whereby students will begin to understand the intricacies of the counselling relationship in which to apply a range of counselling skills. Students will be taught to develop effective counsellor competencies including an understanding of terminology and key concepts related to effective counselling.

Counselling Modalities 2

This module provides an introduction to additional major counselling and psychotherapeutic methodologies, theories, and applications. Students study the phenomenological orientation and how its philosophy underlies several counselling approaches. A variety of other therapeutic modifications and contemporary approaches are explored throughout the study of this module.
Year 1 Modules
Term 1 Study Plans
Introduction to Psychology A
Interpersonal Communication Skills
Term 2 Interpersonal Communication Skills
Counselling Modalities 1
Introduction to Psychology B
Term 3 Fundamentals of a Helping Relationship
Counselling Modalities 2

Abnormal Psychology

This module focuses on current themes in psychopathology and highlights mental health issues specific to the South African context. A broad understanding of the assessment, diagnosis and classification of mental illness will be developed and research methods and legal and ethical issues will be addressed. The broad categorisation of mental illness as outlined by the DSMIV will be summarised.  Throughout the module, the student will get an overview of the aetiology, symptoms, the diagnostic processes, and generally accepted treatment methods for various psychopathologies.  This course will draw on South African case studies and South African research in order to deepen the students’ comprehension of abnormal psychology in the South African context.

Diversity in the South African Context

This module is designed to critically engage and explore diversity and family within South Africa. The purpose of the module is to create awareness of the impact of context and contextualised dynamics that ultimately shape the development of individuals and counselling practice within South Africa. The module also builds on awareness and expands the students’ knowledge of issues of diversity. Finally the module encourages the student to apply knowledge conceptualising possible action for effective change within the South African context.

Developmental Psychology A

This module draws from a variety of theoretical approaches to provide an integrative viewpoint for managing issues related to development throughout the lifespan. Particular emphasis is placed on managing developmental issues in the counselling context. The module also explores integration of personal and professional development throughout the lifespan.

Counselling Skills and Process Development

This module continues to prepare the student for a career in professional counselling within a South African context. The module addresses the stages and tasks highlighted in Gerard Egan's ‘skilled helper’ model but on a deeper level. Students will be assisted in developing an understanding of how and when to use specific counselling skills in the counselling context. The student will be taught to engage in a process of critical self-reflexivity as they sharpen counsellor competencies and strengthen their counselling role and identity.

Developmental Psychology B

This module explores descriptions of human development, including: Becoming an adult and the associated physical, cognitive and personality changes are explored and the tasks of forming intimate relationships, work and leisure in young and middle adulthood are discussed. This course provides a focus on the bio psychosocial challenges of middle adulthood and the personal context of later life. Dying and bereavement are also addressed. The course will provide opportunity for the student to demonstrate an understanding of the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, personal and moral development of young and middle age adults through to later life, and to and to enhance the adult’s psychological maturity and satisfaction with life.

Ethics

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of supervision. The module explores the nature, purpose and process of supervision in a variety of different contexts. The module provides a solid theoretical and practical understanding of the process of supervision in the light of different models, methods and rationales. Students are guided to reflect on the setting and context in which they work, to consider ethical and legal concerns, and to analyse their experience and practice of working with people.
Year 2 Modules
Term 1 Abnormal Psychology
Diversity in the South African Context
Term 2 Developmental Psychology A
Counselling Skills and Process Development
Term 3 Developmental Psychology B
Ethics

Self-Esteem and Motivation

This module provides a comprehensive and in-depth foundation in knowledge, skills and capabilities to understand and work with issues of self-esteem and motivation, and to apply strategies to enhance these qualities in self and others. Students acquire a theoretical understanding of the psychological factors and processes affecting self-esteem and motivation. That knowledge is then applied in real and simulated environments to reinforce learning. Self-esteem and motivation are explored and studied as critical factors for achievement in both ordinary and extraordinary situations.

Crisis and Trauma Counselling

This module provides the student with the knowledge and skills for the effective intervention and management of crisis, and introduces the student to the trauma cycle and the associated behaviours and emotional responses that victims of trauma experience. The student is made aware of the difference between crisis and trauma, and the types of intervention strategies that each requires. The unit also explores the physiological and psychological reactions to crisis and trauma.

Elective Module Choice 1

Elective Module Descriptors*

Addiction Counselling This module enables the student to develop an understanding of addiction. The student will explore in depth the different types of methodologies towards developing effective intervention strategies. The student will gain insight into the core issues related to addiction and integrate core counselling skills and methods for assisting substance dependent clients. The student will be exposed to substance dependence issues and challenges in order to develop a strong and diverse skills base required for working with those struggling with addictions. Counselling in Loss This module provides students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to effectively and appropriately work with those experiencing a variety of loss and grief issues. Students study the dynamics of the grieving process and the impact that cultural, social, and religious perspectives and beliefs have on the experience of grief and loss. The aim of the module is to assist the student to integrate their developing knowledge and understanding of the counselling process to confidently and appropriately counsel clients as they move through the grieving and loss process. Working with Children This module will provide the student with conceptual and practical frameworks for understanding the issues and concerns involved in working with children and to learn a variety of skills and develop a set of competencies to successfully achieve that goal. The module provides opportunities to develop specific communication and counselling skills and competencies to enhance communication with children. Emphasis throughout this module is focused on identifying and understanding the special needs and issues in working with children and how best to respond to and work with those needs and perspectives. Working with Adolescents This module will provide the student with opportunities to develop and refine skills and capabilities to work with adolescents based on a comprehensive study of the concepts, theories and issues that are an essential part of understanding adolescent development. A major feature of this module is to help develop in the student a familiarity with the major theories on adolescent’s development, to understand adolescent issues and needs from a psychological and sociological perspective, and to learn strategies that enhance communication and counselling skills in dealing with adolescents. Human Sexuality and HIV Counselling This module is designed to integrate human sexuality with HIV. Attention is paid to contemporary and compelling South African literature. This module unfolds dimensions of sexuality as it impacts upon the HIV pandemic in South African society. The module has a particular focus on South African Schools. The classroom is the laboratory to evaluate how gender and gender roles influence attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours. Somatic Counselling This module introduces a somatic approach to counselling. The main focus is working with individuals, as well as applying this approach to working in different contexts in which counselling skills can be utilized, such as with couples and groups of different kinds. The student is provided with opportunities through study and practice, to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for his/her role as a counsellor integrating or specializing in a somatic approach. This module integrates Western approaches to Somatic Psychology with Eastern approaches to mind-body health and well-being, applied to counselling. *Please note that electives run on a cycle, subject to availability and numbers.

Fieldwork Part 1 (Preparatory Workshops)

Fieldwork Parts 1 & 2

The Counselling Fieldwork module spans over two terms and offers students a comprehensive practical placement within an organisational setting specifically related to various specialised fields. The College has established relationships with over 100 organisations within the field providing students with various options to undertake their fieldwork placement (depending on placement availability). Placements may take 4-6 weeks to finalise.

Family Work and Relationships

This module provides a conceptual framework together with the application of specific counselling skills and competencies for working with couples and families in a counselling role. The module builds upon the knowledge and skills acquired in previous counselling modules and isolate the knowledge, skills and competencies for counselling couples and families. Students are expected to integrate skills already acquired with the particular demands of working with couples and families within the counselling role as well as to assess the effectiveness of relationship and family counselling.

Elective Module Choice 2

Elective Module Descriptors*

Addiction Counselling This module enables the student to develop an understanding of addiction. The student will explore in depth the different types of methodologies towards developing effective intervention strategies. The student will gain insight into the core issues related to addiction and integrate core counselling skills and methods for assisting substance dependent clients. The student will be exposed to substance dependence issues and challenges in order to develop a strong and diverse skills base required for working with those struggling with addictions. Counselling in Loss This module provides students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to effectively and appropriately work with those experiencing a variety of loss and grief issues. Students study the dynamics of the grieving process and the impact that cultural, social, and religious perspectives and beliefs have on the experience of grief and loss. The aim of the module is to assist the student to integrate their developing knowledge and understanding of the counselling process to confidently and appropriately counsel clients as they move through the grieving and loss process. Working with Children This module will provide the student with conceptual and practical frameworks for understanding the issues and concerns involved in working with children and to learn a variety of skills and develop a set of competencies to successfully achieve that goal. The module provides opportunities to develop specific communication and counselling skills and competencies to enhance communication with children. Emphasis throughout this module is focused on identifying and understanding the special needs and issues in working with children and how best to respond to and work with those needs and perspectives. Working with Adolescents This module will provide the student with opportunities to develop and refine skills and capabilities to work with adolescents based on a comprehensive study of the concepts, theories and issues that are an essential part of understanding adolescent development. A major feature of this module is to help develop in the student a familiarity with the major theories on adolescent’s development, to understand adolescent issues and needs from a psychological and sociological perspective, and to learn strategies that enhance communication and counselling skills in dealing with adolescents. Human Sexuality and HIV Counselling This module is designed to integrate human sexuality with HIV. Attention is paid to contemporary and compelling South African literature. This module unfolds dimensions of sexuality as it impacts upon the HIV pandemic in South African society. The module has a particular focus on South African Schools. The classroom is the laboratory to evaluate how gender and gender roles influence attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours. Somatic Counselling This module introduces a somatic approach to counselling. The main focus is working with individuals, as well as applying this approach to working in different contexts in which counselling skills can be utilized, such as with couples and groups of different kinds. The student is provided with opportunities through study and practice, to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for his/her role as a counsellor integrating or specializing in a somatic approach. This module integrates Western approaches to Somatic Psychology with Eastern approaches to mind-body health and well-being, applied to counselling. *Please note that electives run on a cycle, subject to availability and numbers.

Fieldwork Part 2 (Placement)

Fieldwork Parts 1 & 2

The Counselling Fieldwork module spans over two terms and offers students a comprehensive practical placement within an organisational setting specifically related to various specialised fields. The College has established relationships with over 100 organisations within the field providing students with various options to undertake their fieldwork placement (depending on placement availability). Placements may take 4-6 weeks to finalise.
Year 3 Modules
Term 1 Self-Esteem and Motivation
Crisis and Trauma Counselling
Term 2 Elective Module Choice 1
Fieldwork Part 1 (Preparatory Workshops)
Family Work and Relationships
Term 3 Elective Module Choice 2
Fieldwork Part 2 (Placement)