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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

EDUC 5511: Theories in Counselling

NOTE: To register for this course, please email or call 250-377-6067.

This course focuses on major theoretical approaches to counselling and the strategies they use. Through an exploration and examination of each approach, coupled with the integration of multicultural and diversity competencies, students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to apply the strategies and techniques of counselling theories. Ethical decision-making will be incorporated into each theoretical approach.

Learning outcomes

  • Examine and describe the formal attributes of counselling theories.
  • Apply an ethical decision-making model using a case study.
  • Identify, illustrate, and demonstrate the basic attributes of various theories of counselling.
  • Examine, assess, and critique theoretical perspectives when applied to multicultural and diverse populations.
  • Synthesize, evaluate, and develop an integrated approach to counseling from the perspective of a counselor's worldview.
  • Compare and contrast theories and techniques with respect to their application to case conceptualization.

Course topics

  • Lesson 1: Introduction and Orientation--The Counsellor as a Person
  • Lesson 2: Counselling as a Practice
  • Lesson 3: The Counsellor as a Professional--Ethical Issues in Counselling
  • Lesson 4: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Psychoanalytic Therapy
  • Lesson 5: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Adlerian Therapy and Existential Therapy
  • Lesson 6: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Person-Centered Therapy
  • Lesson 7: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Gestalt Therapy
  • Lesson 8: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Reality Therapy and Behavior Therapy
  • Lesson 9: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Lesson 10: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Feminist Therapy and Family Systems Therapy
  • Lesson 11: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Postmodern Approaches and an Integrative Perspective
  • Lesson 12: Theories and Techniques of Counselling--Integrating Techniques and Case Studies

Required text and materials

Online MEd students are responsible for sourcing and/or ordering their own books. Please see the list of required textbooks here:

Students may be able to order the text through the TRU Bookstore at

If students have any questions about obtaining the correct textbook, please contact


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 70% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory project.

Assignment 1: Ethical Decision Making 10%
Assignment 2: Theory Maps Submission 1 10%
Assignment 3: Theory Maps Submission 2 20%
Quizzes 15%
Online Discussions 15%
Final Project: Personal Approach to Counseling (mandatory) 30%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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