Summer 2020 - EDUC 323 E100

Introduction to Counselling Theories (3)

Class Number: 1370

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units including EDUC 220.



Survey of theories undergirding counsellor and teacher interventions aimed at promoting emotional growth, development and personal change. Examination of theories and their sociological, cultural and philosophical contexts. Exploration of links between frequently used interventions and the implicit theories underlying these strategies.


This course will be delivered remotely. Students are expected to be free and available during the regular scheduled class time stated above.  Please see 'Grading Notes' section for more information.

An overview of the theories and ideas that guide the work of counsellors and psychotherapists as they seek to promote emotional growth, human development and personal change. The historical background and sociocultural context of the field is explored and the links between different therapeutic approaches and the theories underlying those perspectives are examined. This course introduces students to the theoretical frameworks underlying the work of counsellors and psychotherapists, with applications for the work of educators. The course will examine the evolution of theories of psychotherapy and will be taught using a combination of teaching methods and learning strategies, including a lecture-based format as well as group discussions and audio-visual presentations. Using a seminar and lecture format, the course will require students to engage with the readings and come to class prepared to discuss the material that is covered each week.


This course will provide an opportunity for students to:

  • Become knowledgeable about the major theoretical frameworks used in psychotherapeutic practice
  • Critically examine the philosophical underpinnings of each of these theoretical frameworks
  • Examine personal, sociocultural and economic contexts of therapy and assess how these factors influence the experience of both the psychotherapist and their clients
  • Be able to compare and contrast different therapeutic approaches, and understand their evolution as a response to social, cultural and economic changes over time


  • Weekly Written Assignments 30%
  • Group/Individual Presentation 10%
  • Test 1 30%
  • Test 2 30%


Please note that this syllabus is subject to change as the move to online teaching is finalized due to COVID-19. All classes will be held on Zoom. All communication will be via SFU email. Online tests and select assignments will be on Canvas. I will provide you with an updated version of the syllabus at the start of the semester. The videos are likely to change depending on what is available online. Flexibility will be our watchword.


Each class builds on the information and material covered in the previous class. If you are unable to make a specific class, you need to inform me prior to your absence. Please arrange at the start of the course to pair up with another student who can provide you with lecture notes if you should miss a class.

If you miss a class, you are responsible for letting me know. Attendance will be taken each week.



Corey, G. (2016). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage.
ISBN: 9781305937062

Burston, D. & Frie, R. (2006). Psychotherapy as a Human Science. Pittsburgh: Duquense University Press.
ISBN: 9780820703787


Mitchell, S. A. & Black, M. J. (1995). Freud and Beyond: A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought. New York: Basic Books.
ISBN: 9780465098811

Yalom, I. (1990). Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy. New York: Harper.
ISBN: 9780465020119

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.