Psychology (PSYC) 388

Introduction to Counselling (Revision 6)

PSYC 388

Revision 6 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: PSYC 289 or PSYC 290 and credit in at least one senior-level psychology course or equivalent work experience are strongly recommended.

Precluded Course: PSYC 488 (PSYC 388 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for PSYC 488.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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Course website

PSYC 388 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Psychology 388: Introduction to Counselling is a survey course designed to increase your awareness of the field of counselling, including its evolution, processes, theories, and specialties. This course offers a broad survey of the field of counselling, including an introduction to the foundational skills and processes involved in counselling relationships. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of counselling skills and processes through quizzes and written assignments; students in this course are not expected to apply these counselling skills in a placement or field experience.


Part 1: Historical and Professional Foundations of Counselling

  • Unit 1: Counselling in Canada: History and Trends
  • Unit 2: Personal and Professional Aspects of Counselling
  • Unit 3: Ethics and Legal Issues
  • Unit 4: Culture and Counselling

Part 2: The Counselling Process and Assessment Interview

  • Unit 5: Building a Counselling Relationship
  • Unit 6: Assessment, Testing, and the Diagnostic Process
  • Unit 7: Working in a Counselling Relationship
  • Unit 8: Termination of Counselling Relationships

Part 3: Theories of Counselling

  • Unit 9: Psychoanalytic, Adlerian, and Humanistic Theories of Counselling
  • Unit 10: Behavioural, Cognitive, Systemic, Brief, and Crisis Theories of Counselling

Part 4: Specialties in the Practice of Counselling

  • Unit 11: Groups in Counselling
  • Unit 12: Career Counselling
  • Unit 13: Marriage, Couple, and Family Counselling
  • Unit 14: Professional School Counselling
  • Unit 15: Addictions Counselling and Psychopharmacology
  • Unit 16: Toward Closure: Advice for the Passionately Committed Counselling Student


To receive credit for PSYC 388, you must satisfactorily complete four online quizzes, two written assignments, and the final exam. You must achieve a grade of 50 percent or better on the final exam and a course composite grade of “D” (50 percent) or better.

Online Quizzes
(4 @ 5%)
Case Study Research Paper Final Exam Total
20% 15% 30% 35% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Brandes, B., Dimirsky, M., & Hayes, T. (Eds.). (2010). Introduction to counselling (Special Ed.). Toronto, ON: Athabasca University/Pearson Learning Solutions. (Units 3-5, 7-11, 13, & 14).

Brandes, B., Dimirsky, M., & Hayes, T. (Eds.). (2010). Introduction to counselling (Special Ed.). Toronto, ON: Athabasca University/Nelson Education. (Units 6, 12, 15, 16).

Brandes, B., Dimirsky, M., & Hayes, T. (Eds.). (2010). PSYC 388 reading file. (Units 1-4).

Other Materials

All other course materials will be accessed online. The online materials include a Study Guide, a Course Manual, a Student Manual, an APA 6th edition tutorial, and a counseling, guidance, and psychotherapy interactive tutorial.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 388 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least "D" 50 per cent on the final exam and a composite grade of “D” (50 percent).

Research paper Exam Total
30% 70% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 6, June 7, 2011

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