Graduate Counselling and Applied Psychology (GCAP) 643

Health Psychology (Revision 1)


Revision 1 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Paced study; online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Graduate Studies

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology

check availability


GCAP 643: Health Psychology is designed as a broad introduction to the study of how human psychology and human health intersect. It will help students develop the skills to critically evaluate theories, findings, and methods relevant to the field of health psychology, while enhancing their practical counselling skills. This course will interest students wanting to extend their counselling competencies into health contexts and those who want to apply health psychology knowledge and skills to other professional contexts.


  • Lesson 1: An Introduction to Health Psychology
  • Lesson 2: Health Theories and Models
  • Lesson 3: Stress and Coping
  • Lesson 4: Health Psychology Interventions: Part I - Addictions: Smoking and Alcohol
  • Lesson 5: Health Psychology Interventions: Part II - Eating Behaviours and Exercise
  • Lesson 6: Health Psychology Interventions: Part III - Pain and Pain Management
  • Lesson 7: The Psychology of Chronic Conditions: Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and AIDS
  • Lesson 8: Death, Dying, and Grief
  • Lesson 9: Beyond the Biopsychosocial Model - A Holistic Approach
  • Lesson 10: Strategies for Counselling Practice: Self-Talk, Breathwork, Meditation, Imagery, and Journal Writing
  • Lesson 11: Hope and the Counselling Relationship
  • Lesson 12: Research in Health Psychology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
  • Lesson 13: Applications of Health Psychology in the Field: Future Directions

Course Evaluation

To receive credit for GCAP 643, students must submit all of the course assignments. The passing grade for the course is B- (70%). The assessment structure for GCAP 643: Health Psychology is based on the following course activities, with the percentage weighting of each activity as indicated. Your final grade for the course will be a composite mark based in your performance on these course activities.

Course Activity Weight
Participation in Online Discussions 20%
Assignment 1: Self-Change Project
Assignment 2A: Review Paper
Assignment 2B: Professional Practice Paper
Submission of Participant Consent Form if Assignment 2B Selected P/F
Assignment 3: Reflective Paper 5%
Total 100%

Course Materials

Course Text

Sarafino, E. P. (2007). Health psychology: Biopsychosocial interactions (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Other Materials

All course materials are available online.

Other Information

Students with a disability, who require academic accommodation, need to register with the Access to Students with Disabilities Centre at Athabasca University. Notification of the need for academic accommodation must normally be provided to the program office no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the first day of class. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Disability Centre to request academic accommodation if required and to notify the instructor that such accommodation has been requested. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate individual student needs. However, because GCAP courses are paced, all student are required to participate weekly in the online discussion forums. There are also several courses where online exams are required.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice.

Opened in Revision 1, January 2008.