Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology Module Synopsis

Module 1: Psychological Theories and Perspectives
This module introduces the history and systems of Psychology. Candidates will have a broad overview of the diverse fields of the psychological discipline. Candidates will also be exposed to the important theories and concepts concerning developmental psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology and abnormal psychology.

Module 2: Family Systems Therapy
This module introduces candidates to Family Systems Theory and its therapeutic techniques, with the focus on the relational aspects of human problems. The works of Alfred Adler, Murray Bowen, Virginia Satir and other family therapists are emphasised and applied to understanding a wide range of human behaviours, where family relationships are seen as an important factor in the psychological well-being.

Candidates are taught how to adopt the “systems” perspective into their work as counsellors and therapists by developing a greater understanding of the formal intervention techniques, strengths and limitations of this approach, and the challenges they might encounter in applying these in clinical practice.

Module 3: Counselling Skills
This module focuses on equipping candidates with the counselling skills necessary for a counsellor. Candidates will acquire skills in attending, active listening, paraphrasing, summarising, reducing resistance and promoting change through psychotherapy.

Module 4: Counselling Methods
Candidates will learn the different approaches to the major methods of psychotherapy. The module focuses onto the techniques, concepts, strengths and weaknesses of the diverse approaches in psychoanalytic therapy, Cognitive Behaviour therapy, and Client centred therapy.

Module 5: Counselling Ethics
This module trains candidates to develop a keen understanding legal and ethical framework in counselling. Topics will include confidentiality, malpractice, cultural issues, multiple relationships, discrimination and organisational regulations.

Module 6: Group Counselling
This module exposes candidates to the benefits and disadvantages of group counselling. Candidates will acquire skills to facilitate group counselling, understand the dynamics of group counselling and learn to manage issues arising from group counselling.

Module 7: Crisis Intervention
Candidates will acquire skills to identify and assess the different types of crisis such as suicide intervention and counselling dangerous clients. This module trains the candidates to employ the different intervention methods when counselling a person in a crisis situation.

Module 8: Addiction Intervention
This module helps candidates gain an in-depth understanding of the different forms of addiction and the social impact they create. The module will focus on assessing the stages and cycles of addiction and train candidates to implement strategies to break the cycle in order to promote change. Candidates will also learn the techniques of relapse prevention and working with the addict’s family.

Module 9: Counselling Children
This module will help candidates develop an understanding to the different emotional and behavioural issues children go through when dealing with grief, loss, academic issues, peer pressure and broken families. Candidates will acquire skills to counsel children in home and educational settings and be able to apply techniques such as Art therapy and Play therapy to help children express themselves.

Module 10: Research Methods
This module is designed to help candidates develop critical and analytical skills crucial for research in the field of psychology. Candidates will be introduced to the different research methods and learn the different ways to collect data and analyse information from the research project. The module will also cover the research design.

Module 11: Developmental Psychology
This module focuses on the major issues in lifespan developmental and maturational processes. Candidates will learn the stages of development from infancy to adulthood with relations to cognitive development, language development, personality and social development.

Module 12: Abnormal Psychology
This module will focus on issues including personality and behavioural disorders, pervasive developmental disorder, learning disabilities and mental health problems. The theories, causes and treatment will also be covered in this module.

Module 13: Practicum: Advanced Counselling Skills Practice (ACSP)
Advanced Counselling Skills Practice (ACSP) builds on the foundation of Counselling Skills, Counselling Methods, and Counselling Ethics to develop more advanced assessment and counselling skills for working with diverse client groups. This module is a 100-hour practice that includes the pre-requisite practicum in Counselling Skills Practice (CSP).  This aims to provide students training to become professional counsellors with the opportunity to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills gained and apply them in practical settings.  Students may refer, but not limited to a list of partners’ centres by the College to arrange for the practical sessions under the supervision of a recognised and experienced clinical supervisor.  In compliance with the Singapore Association of Counselling, a total of 10 individual supervision hours is expected from the students with supervisors of their choice. A Counselling Practice Portfolio with proper documentation of the counselling sessions is required to be submitted for review upon completion of the CSP and ACSP counselling practice.

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