Course Introduction – PSYC 406: Introduction to Theories of Counselling & Psychotherapy

Course Introduction – PSYC 406: Introduction to Theories of Counselling & Psychotherapy

Calling all psychology majors! Have you heard about Athabasca University’s new course, PSYC 406: Introduction to Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy? Be prepared to embark on a rewarding learning adventure!

One of the key points of PSYC 406 is that its approach is different than the usual “passive” reading course. PSYC 406 encourages you to actively enrich your personal learning experience by relating the theories presented in the course material to your life, your beliefs, and your personal concerns. In this way, you will leave the course with a firm knowledge of the theories used in counselling and psychotherapy.

Course tutor Judi Malone says that PSYC 406 “has significant focus on student values/beliefs as related to the” theories covered in the course, and that “this personalization allows for personal growth as well as a greater understanding of the theories featured: and, it is fun!”

PSYC 406 is divided into six action-packed sections, each consisting of two to three units. You will be introduced to ten common theories related to counselling and psychotherapy including Psychodynamic Theories in Units 3 to 4 (such as Psychoanalytic and Adlerian), Behavioural and Cognitive-Behavioural Theories in Units 3 to 7 (including Cognitive-Behavioural, Reality, and Control), Humanistic Theories in Units 8 to 10 (such as Existential and Gestalt) and finally, Contextual/Systemic Theories spanning Units 11 to 13 (including Feminism and Multiculturalism). Another distinguishing feature of PSYC 406 is the online component which ensures an enriched learning experience.

Malone says that PYSC 406 is a challenging course, “similar to the course style provided in graduate study… it is great preparation for those preparing or working in the human services or going to grad school.”

Course coordinator Bob Brandes, a registered psychologist, has been teaching psychology-related subjects for over 21 years. Having received his BA in psychology from the University of Windsor in Windsor, ON, he completed his M.Ed in applied psychology from the University of Toronto (Toronto, ON). Bob Brandes currently coordinates four Athabasca University courses, including EDPY 479 (Introduction to Computer-Based Instruction), PSYC 210 (Experiential Learning in the Celebration of Diversity), PSYC 290 (General Psychology), and PSYC 406 (Introduction to the Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy). You can visit Bob Brande’s webpage at:

Your evaluation in Introduction to Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy (PSYC 406) consists of a mid-term quiz worth 20%, which you can do online, as well as a case study (worth 30%), which involves critically examining one of the theories you learned in the course. Additionally, you’ll also have the chance to complete a paper detailing your personal reflections (worth 20%) on a topic introduced in the course and in the learning journal you complete as you work through PSYC 406. The final exam, which is the only exam in the course, totals 30% of your mark.

To view PSYC 406’s syllabus, visit: