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Couple and Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy: The Development of Psychoanalytic Thought


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Lorna Robinson/Rohina Ilyas
  • Assessment: a 3500-word seminar review paper (100%)

Module description

This module offers a foundation in psychoanalytic thought from Freud onwards, with a particular emphasis on British Object Relations thinking. It shows how key themes have been developed and used in the clinical setting as well as introducing you to key controversies and debates, including addressing race and gender.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Freud: models of the mind, the unconscious, ego and super ego, childhood sexuality, reality principle and thinking
  • Jung: marriage as a psychological relationship
  • Klein: paranoid schizoid and depressive positions, love, hate and envy, projective identification, symbol formation and links to contemporary couple theory
  • Anna Freud: the ego and mechanisms of defence
  • Fairbairn: his model of the mind and contemporary couple theory
  • Bion: the theory of thinking, container/contained, attacks on linking
  • Winnicott: use of an object, true and false self, holding and containment
  • Bowlby: attachment theory and loss and links to adult attachment patterns
  • Neuroscience and psychoanalytic thought

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of key psychoanalytic models of the mind
  • demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of psychoanalytic thought
  • demonstrate an understanding of theory that underpins couple psychoanalytic theory
  • distinguish between different models of the mind
  • make links between psychoanalytic theory of the individual and the couple
  • demonstrate a capacity to discuss and critique different theoretical perspectives
  • discuss the relevance of different psychoanalytic approaches to your clinical work or observations
  • demonstrate integrated learning as preparation for work as a therapist.