Diploma in Counselling Psychology


Diploma in Counselling Psychology

Course Details

Full Course name:
Diploma in Counselling Psychology

Course Award

Award: City Colleges Diploma
NFQ: Not Applicable

CPD Credits:
9 CPD credits for members of the Psychological Society of Ireland

Course Dates

Next course commencing:
30 January 2020

10 weeks, Thursday evenings from 6.30 to 9.30pm

Course Fee & Award

Course Fee:

Classroom-based: €995
(€1,095 if paying  in instalments)

Online course: €895
(€995 if paying in instalments)

Non-EU students: €1,295

Learn about the main theories, strategies, and skills of counselling psychology

The Diploma in Counselling Psychology at City Colleges aims to introduce students to the main theories, strategies, and skills of counselling psychology. Theories covered are derived from the three main basic therapeutic frameworks; humanistic, psychodynamic, and cognitive-behavioural. Students will graduate with a sound basic understanding of these three main schools and specific examples of each from a theoretical perspective. Attention will also be paid to broad differences between counselling psychology and related professions such as counselling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, etc. Basic skills training will also be covered. Finally, students will gain experience of research through a project to be completed within one month of completion of lectures.

This course is offered from our Dublin City Centre location (South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2) and from our campus in Dundrum, Dublin 16.

This event has been approved for CPD credits for members of the Psychology Society of Ireland.

The aim of this diploma course is to introduce learners to the basic concepts involved in the clinical practice of Counselling Psychology. The intention is to provide each participant with an enjoyable and engaging entry-point to a complex and multi-faceted subject area.

The programme will consist of lectures, classroom discussion and practical exercises.

The course runs for ten weeks and is composed of the following elements:

Lectures: This is the traditional mainstay of academic programmes. The lectures will provide information, explain concepts and guide the reading of the learner;

Discussion: Participants will be encouraged to discuss important concepts and themes in a relaxed atmosphere. The emphasis here is less on defending view-points than on the exploration of ideas and the sharing of personal understanding.

Practical Exercises: Towards the latter part of the programme we will conduct some practical exercises relevant to the clinical application of counselling. The precise form of this element will depend on the dynamic specific to each group of learners and is, as such, a somewhat organic element. It is envisaged, though, that this component will involve some form of group process and some one-to-one clinical encounters involving learners in the role of clinician and client; and,

Essay / Project: Each participant will be tasked with writing an essay of approximately 2500 words. The topic for each essay will be discussed and agreed with the lecturer. A submission date will be given, typically about one month after the date of the final lecture. Learners will be encouraged to comply with this deadline as extensions can only be given in exceptional circumstances.

Successful completion of the programme will require a pass grade on the essay and a pass grade for class participation. The lecturer will make every effort to assist each learner in maximising his or her performance on the programme.

Session One – What is a Counsellor? 

  • History and Current Trends in Counselling
  • The Nature of a Counsellor’s Work
  • What makes a good counsellor?
  • Stages of Brain Growth and Behaviour
  • DSM-V and Diagnosis
  • Medication Issues


Session Two – Developing Basic Counselling Skills

  • Top Ten Basic Counselling Skills-Listening vs. Reacting
  • The Helping and Healing Side of Counselling
  • Is Compassion Enough?
  • Gloria-a Client Sees Three Experts: First Expert


Session Three –Raising a Healthy Child – Understanding the importance of:

  • Attachment
  • Emotional Communication
  • Child Development
  • Normal Developmental Trends
  • Adolescent Development
  • The Role of the Parent in Discipline
  • Corrective Discipline
  • Harsh Parenting vs Permissive Parenting – Impact on Children


Session Four – Mastering the Techniques of Counselling

  • Common Problems Counsellors are Presented With
  • Didactic Approach-Socratic Method
  • Experiential Approach-Psychodrama
  • Stages of Brain Growth-self regulation
  • Gloria sees second expert


Session Five – Problems of Adolescence – Anorexia, Bulimia, Substance Use, Family Conflict Signs/Symptoms/Treatment

  • Introduction
  • The Adolescent Brain and Its Development
  • Significant Disorders of Adolescence
  • Gender Identity Disorders
  • Parenting and Disciplining your Teen


Session Six – Counselling Modalities

  • Individual vs Group Counselling
  • The Counsellor and the Neurotic Agreement
  • Rational Emotive Therapy
  • Laughter – The Best medicine?
  • Paradoxical Interventions


Session Seven-Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

  • Adler and Social Interest
  • Lazarus and Multimodal therapy
  • Assessment in CBT-a Multimodal Approach
  • CBT and Treatment of Anxiety/Depression
  • Gloria sees expert three


Session Eight – Understanding your Child’s Social and Emotional Needs

  • The Social Brain
  • The Importance of the Visual Brain
  • Trajectory of Social Development
  • The Emotional Brain
  • The Importance of Emotional Development
  • Social/Emotional Cognition
  • Parental Role in Social/Emotional Development


Session Nine – The Adolescent Brain

  • Maturation, Growth, Pruning, Reasoning
  • Problems in Adolescent Development
  • The Wounded Self and Interpersonal Relationships
  • Psychological Movement in Adolescence
  • Anxiety and Depression in the Teenage Years


Session Ten –Solution Focused Counselling

  • Who Owns the Problem?
  • Counselling as Education
  • Transference and Counter-Transference
  • Psychopathy and Sociopathy
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorders

Course Fee

Classroom-based: €995
(€1,095 if paying  in instalments)

Online course: €895
(€995 if paying in instalments)

Non-EU students: €1,295

A ‘Pass’ grade on both the written assignment (Project) as well as participation in the final role-play exercise will be required for awarding of the Diploma in Counselling Psychology.

A fail grade will result in a Certificate of Attendance for the course but without the Diploma being awarded.

Students must attend at least 80% of classes to graduate with either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance unless a serious and verifiable reason for further absence is provided. If completing the course online, attendance and participation is tracked through Moodle.

The assignment/project must be handed in on the due date unless a sound reason for lateness is provided. In such instances, an extension may be awarded at the discretion of the lecturer.

Why City Colleges?
Courses for students who are passionate about their subject, delivered by leaders in their field.
Live lectures which are also streamed live on Moodle and recorded for review
City centre location in South Great George’s Street, convenient for bus, LUAS, DART
Study rooms and library in our City Centre and Dundrum locations
Limited class size

“The course provided positive insights into current thinking across a wide range of topics in Counselling. The lectures were stimulating and provided clear explanations on complex issues and their discussions explored current Psychological thinking.  The lecturer was excellent at stimulating debates, organising workshops and encouraged us to analyse problem situations and possible solutions. I have no hesitation in highly recommending this Diploma Course to anyone interested in this field of study.”

Kathryn Ruszel