Spring 2023 - EDUC 323 D100

Introduction to Counselling Theories (3)

Class Number: 7258

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 2510, Vancouver

  • 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.


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. 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: 9781305263727

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


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html