Psychology & Counselling

Course CodeBPS102
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study Psychology and Counselling to learn more about psychological conditions, abnormal psychology, stress and counselling.

This course will develop your ability to analyse psychological conditions, and apply that knowledge in counselling, or advisory situations.

In the course, you will cover a range of topics, including - 

  • Stress

  • Abnormal Behaviour

  • Individual Differences

  • Balance

  • Group behaviour

  • Dealing with abnormal behaviour

  • Conflict resolution

  • Interpersonal communication skills

  • and much much more ... 

According to the World Health Organisation, 25% of people will develop a mental or behavioural disorder during their life-span. 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 physical disorders are depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, mental retardation, substance abuse disorders, and disorders of childhood and adolescents. Abnormal psychology is concerned with the study of maladaptive or abnormal behaviour and the classification and prognosis of such maladjusted behaviour.

Psychologists and counsellors work closely with people who are experiencing mental health issues.

  • Study Psychology And Counselling to enable you to develop your ability to analyse psychological conditions, and apply that knowledge in counselling, or advisory situations.

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  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
  2. Abnormal Behaviour
    • Definition of abnormality
    • Deviation from statistical norms
    • Deviation from social norm
    • Maladaptiveness 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
  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
  4. Group Behaviour
    • Social considerations
    • Temporary group
    • Organised group
    • Organisational groups
    • The influence of groups
    • Industrial groups
  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
  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
  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


  • 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.

What You Will 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).

Sample Course Notes - Psychological Classification

Mental disorders fall into 3 groups:
  1. Psychosis
    This involves a high degree of psychological disorganisation. Commonly it involves a person showing severe thinking, emotional or behavioural aberrations. The individual may have lost the ability to perceive reality in the same way as others, and can display heightened emotional interactions with others. They may also experience hallucinations or delusions.
  2. Neurosis
    This disorder does not result in as severe a disorganisation as a psychosis. The person normally maintains reasonably appropriate responses to reality. Their behaviour however can be uncomfortable to themselves, and irrational to others. They may experience acute panic with no discernible cause. They may feel compelled to consider particular obsessive thoughts or to perform compulsive actions -which can appear irrational. Neuroses are emotional disorders generally centring on anxiety.
  3. Personality disorders
    Also called a character disorder, this involves patterns of anti-social behaviour. Often the behaviour may be illegal (e.g. drug abuse, alcoholism leading to abuse of others, etc.). In other instances, the behaviour may be legal, but self-destructive.

What do our students think of the course?

"The notes and study tools encourage me to conduct research to develop my knowledge of components in my course. It is very worthwhile. [My tutor] gives me good feedback and food for thought with her comments and sometimes elaborates on my answers - really value her input." Larissa Kalnins -Psychology & Counselling course.

" The online courses are very easy to use and follow. Prompt friendly replies from tutor to any queries. Course structure flows freely. Very satisfied with course and results..."

- Diana (completed ACS Online course in Intro to Psych and Psych & Counselling)

This course is suitable for

  • Teachers, social workers, counsellors, foster carers, parents, support workers, youth and community workers, trainers, personnel staff, care staff and so on.
  • Anyone who is interested in learning more about psychology and counselling.

  • Anyone who works with humans and would like to learn more about how they think and why they behave the way they do.

Why Study This Course?

This course is a great introduction to psychology and counselling.

It is a useful course for anyone working with people and wants to understand more about how they think and how to communicate effectively with them.

A great addition to your CV.

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