This module introduces the student to a critical evaluation of views and models of psychopathology, concepts of assessment and diagnosis, some categories of disorder from the ICD-10 and DSM-IV and V and implications for the practice of existential psychotherapy.


The overall orientation of the material to be considered is to enable the student to evaluate and critically assess the field of contemporary psychopathology. The objective is for students to become completely familiar with existing best practice and evidence based psychological theories, whilst using their growing body of philosophical thinking to examine such theories from a more interactional and subjective perspective.

The practice sessions will provide an opportunity for students to consider practical aspects of psychotherapy and counselling psychology in preparation for their placements.  Concrete factors such as contracting, the needs of service users in different settings, stages of psychotherapy and counselling, ethics, and good use of supervision will be discussed. Personal experience, clinical material and case studies will be drawn upon for illustrating and examining the theoretical concepts to become familiar with a broad range of client presentations and different ways of responding. For the latter part of the session a professional and personal development group will continue to investigate private issues that are relevant to the students’ training. The seminar is an opportunity to integrate the elements of counselling psychology and psychotherapy thus far studied in readiness for the start of the counselling placement in year two.