Psychology & Counselling - BPS102

Study Psychology & Counselling by distance learning - learn at home and develop your knowledge of psychology and counselling

  • Develop your ability to analyse psychological conditions, and apply that knowledge in real world situations such as counselling or advisory roles.
  • Learn techniques to resolving conflict.
  • Study interpersonal communication.

Suitable for -

This course is suitable for:

  • Counsellors.
  • Helpline Workers.
  • Advice Workers.
  • Teachers.
  • Parents / Foster Parents.
  • Care Workers.
  • Support Workers
  • Social Workers.
  • Managers.
  • People with an interest in psychology and counselling

According to the World Health Organisation, 25% of people will develop a mental or behavioural disorder during their lifetime. While most individuals develop methods of coping with stress, some develop unhealthy defence mechanisms and behavioural patterns which interfere with their daily life. Others suffer mental breakdowns in response to too much stress. The most common psychological disorders are depression, schizophrenia, and dementia.

Other common problems are related to behavioural issues such as alcohol abuse and substance use disorders. Serious problems don't just affect adults, disorders of childhood and adolescence are also common. There is a wide range of maladaptive or abnormal behaviours, and many ways that counsellors and others seek to help people cope with them. 

Course Structure and Lesson Content
There are seven lessons in this course, as follows:

Lesson 1. Stress

  • Introduction.
  • The mind to body connection.
  • How to recognise stress.
  • What happens to the body when you experience stress.
  • The physiological response.
  • Chronic and acute stress.
  • Erikson's psycho social stages.
  • Oral sensory stage.
  • Anal muscular stage.
  • Genital locomotor stage.
  • Latency stage.
  • Adolescence.
  • Young adulthood.
  • Middle adulthood.
  • Late adulthood.
  • Social adjustment.
  • Relationship between stress and heart disease.
  • What are the basic sources of stress.
  • Why some people suffer more.
  • How to deal with stress.
  • Defence mechanisms.

Lesson 2. Abnormal Behaviour

  • Definition of abnormality.
  • Deviation from statistical norms.
  • Deviation from social norm.
  • Mal adaptiveness in behaviour.
  • Personal distress.
  • Disability.
  • Wakefield's harmful dysfunction concept.
  • Psychologically healthy individuals.
  • Deviation in character.
  • Classification of mental disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Prevalence of depression.
  • Treatment of depression.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Substance related disorder.
  • Disorders diagnosed in childhood.
  • Delirium, Dementia, Amnestic and Cognitive disorders.
  • Problems with classification.

Lesson 3. Individual Behaviour

  • Pro-social or Altruistic behaviour.
  • When do children first exhibit pro social behaviour.
  • Socialisation.
  • Conformity.
  • Family influence.
  • Disciplinary measures.
  • Sibling influence.
  • Influence of family structure.
  • Influence of school.
  • Praise.
  • Influence of peers.
  • Heider's Balance theory.
  • Dissonance theory.
  • Cognitive dissonance.

Lesson 4. Group Behaviour

  • Social considerations.
  • Temporary group.
  • Organised group.
  • Organisational groups.
  • The influence of groups.
  • Industrial groups.

Lesson 5. Methods of Dealing with Abnormalities

  • Professionals in counselling and psychology.
  • Therapist techniques.
  • Transference.
  • Directiveness and non-directiveness.
  • Systematic Desensitisation.
  • Behaviour therapies.
  • Psychoanalytical approach.
  • Psychoanalytic techniques.
  • Humanistic therapy.
  • Eclectic approach.

Lesson 6. Conflict Resolution

  • Introduction.
  • Conflict handling techniques.
  • Anger.
  • Negotiation.
  • Joint problem solving.
  • Problems with negotiation.
  • Mediation.
  • Procedure.
  • Running a mediation process in a conflict situation.
  • Agreements or contracts.
  • Suggested timetable for a mediation session.

Lesson 7. Interpersonal Communication Skills

  • Introduction.
  • Communication channels.
  • Effective communication.
  • Awareness.
  • Communication skills.
  • Hearing verbal messages.
  • Perceiving non verbal messages.
  • Responding.
  • Verbal and non verbal communication.
  • Body language.
  • Communication barriers.
  • Self awareness.
  • Self-esteem.
  • Specific skills: listening, paraphrasing, reflective responses, etc.
  • Conversation development.
  • Professional relationship building.

Course Duration: 100 hours. 

Course Aims

  • Identify the nature of conflict and stress and why this issue affects so many people today.
  • Identify and examine behaviours that are characterised as abnormal and compare and contrast these with behaviours characterised as healthy.
  • Explain social influence on individual behaviour.
  • Explain social influence on group behaviour.
  • Describe alternative methods of dealing with psychological problems
  • Develop skills for resolving conflict.
  • Develop communication skills for counselling individuals. 

Examples of what you may do in the course

Here are some examples of what you may do:

  • Find someone you know who you suspect has a type A personality. Talk to them to try to confirm if your suspicion is correct. Note (write down) the ways in which they appear to be a type A personality.
  • Talk with someone who is suffering, or has suffered stress. This might be a friend, relative, work mate, or anyone else you are able to find. Discuss their stress with them (current or past). Don’t push them, but try to discern from what they are happy to tell you, whether their stress was (or is) chronic or acute.
  • Consider conflict which occurs in either a workplace or recreation situation you are familiar with. This might be a place where you work, or a workplace you visit frequently (eg. A shop or office);or perhaps a sporting club, gymnasium or social group which you regularly attend. Make up a list of disputes or conflicts which you remember to have occurred in the past.
  • Consider an individual in your life, or else a character in a film or book, who you regard as abnormal. Consider why they are abnormal. Write down a list of reasons you are able to identify. Which method or defining abnormality was influencing your judgement of this character
  • Find a teenager who you can interview. This might be a person you know (a relative, work colleague, member of an organisation you belong to etc), or perhaps you might contact and visit a youth club or organisation that deals with teenagers and arrange to interview someone. The person needs to be someone who exhibits some type of deviant behaviour, even if not extreme. Most teenagers will at some stage exhibit behaviour that is a deviance from social norms (even if the behaviour is not a deviance from age or peer group norms). Interview this teenager for at least 15 minutes. Make notes of your conversation, their responses (verbal and non-verbal).

Deviation in Character

What is commonly known as mental disorder, or psychopathology, occurs when an individual's ability to cope, realistically and effectively with the challenges and tasks of daily life, is no longer adequate. One view of such problems is that this indicates a failure of the person’s psychological defences to do their job, protecting them from the crippling anxiety arising from psychological conflict. Alternatively, it may be that defences have worked too well, and a particular defence mechanism now dominates the person’s behaviour in such a way, that it persistently distorts their every day perceptions. Defensive mechanisms can be either positive or negative depending on the developmental stage, environment/context and strength that they are enacted in and/or with.

The forms of mental disorder are varied and likely to differ to the extent with which they are caused purely by psychological factors. Whatever their origins, many can be successfully prevented, managed and treated.

Many clinical psychologists and psychiatrists assume that aberrant behaviour is primarily related to psychological disturbances in the individual, rather than being ascribed to physical disorders.

Although mental disorder is largely identified as deviant behaviour, the term itself implies that there is a lack of health in internal psychological states. Because of this, the term may seem to be inappropriate if the individual is also chronically miserable, anxious, unpleasantly moody, or depressed. If they worry about inadequacies (e.g. in sex life), they may be suffering neurosis, which is a milder form of 'mental disorder`

If a person hears voices, which no one else hears, or believes he is being systematically persecuted, or suffers radical swings in despair to euphoria; then they may be suffering from a severe form of mental disturbance called "psychosis".

The above are more likely to be seen as symptoms of mental disturbance when they violate current socially approved behaviour.

Whether mildly or severely mentally disturbed, a person can still often function quite acceptably in terms of the general criteria for a "solid citizen"; holding down a job, providing for dependants, and not violating the law. Otherwise deviant behaviour may largely go unnoticed, and the person might not be considered by either themselves or others to have a mental disorder.

If some aspect of the behaviour begins to violate social norms though, the person could be labelled "deviant" and considered to have a mental illness.

Extreme deviations can occur in connection with the process of development in any factors concerning the individual’s personality at any stage during the process of development. People are all subject to changes in mood, but some alternate between two extremes. These are known as "cycloid types". It is common for such people to have a regular 48 hour cycle: 24 hours of elation followed by 24 hours of depression. Others may have cycles as long as 18 months.

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If you would like to learn more about psychology and counselling for professional development, or for personal reasons, then why not enrol today?

If you have any questions, please contact us by -

Phone (International) +61 7 5562 1088, or (in Australia) 07 5562 1088, or

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PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $822.80  1 x $748.00
B 2 x $438.90  2 x $399.00

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