This one year programme can provide a solid foundation for subsequent clinical training in a specific modality of psychotherapy through the provision of an academic foundation in the theoretical and clinical literature in the field. It can also serve to provide comprehensive knowledge of psychotherapy practices for anyone for whom such knowledge will enhance their leadership and clinical decision making.
It is taught by practitioners in the field and is suited not only to trainees or practitioners in disciplines within the mental health arena but also to applicants from non-cognate areas who may be considering embarking on a clinical training in psychotherapy.
Students will achieve an understanding of the complex theories and concepts that underlie the main modalities of psychotherapy, of psychoanalysis and of current psychiatric practice. As well as psychoanalytic psychotherapy, child art psychotherapy, group analytic psychotherapy, systemic family psychotherapy are covered in detail. Students learn about psychotherapy based on theories of development, humanistic psychotherapy on the integrative model, dramatherapy, cognitive behavioural psychotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy and other current forms of psychotherapy practice. is the exemplar, the cognitive therapies, the integrative therapies and family and group therapies. Graduates of the Higher Diploma can make an informed decision on a modality of psychotherapy in which to train and may be interested in applying for one of the four clinical training MSc programmes offered by UCD Psychotherapy.
The course is delivered in 6 modules (5 taught and 1 dissertation), all of which are core requirements for the award of Higher Diploma. Assessment is by continuous assessment for the taught modules and a mark for the thesis. There are no written examinations. For four of the modules assessment takes the form of essays and class presentation with written reports. One module is assessed on the basis of a learning journal compiled week by week over the course of the year. Students submit a 6,000-word dissertation for which they receive both group tutorial support and individual supervision.
Theoretical Overview of the Psychotherapies
Beginning with a historical introduction, the fundamental concepts and premises of the major approaches in psychotherapy will be explored. Commonalities and differences between the major traditions of psychotherapy are indicated with a tolerance of very diverse and non-complementary principles underlying these very different practices. Classical theories of development from infancy to old age will be examined as will the psychoanalytic position founded on the existence of unconscious mental processes. Awareness of mental health and psychiatric diagnostics will be developed and the potential for the development of psychotherapeutic interventions in the context of the mental health and primary care services will be identified.
The Therapeutic Relationship in Psychotherapy
The module represents different perspectives on the notion of the therapeutic relationship using the psychoanalytic concept of transference a base for appreciating the dynamics of a situation in which one person addresses another on account of some difficulty or perplexity or on account of a question.
This module introduces Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), child art psychotherapy, infant observation and dramatherapy. It represents further applications of psychoanalysis in contexts such as addiction, psychosis, psychiatry, college counselling services and criminality.
Group Analytic Psychotherapy and Family Systemic Psychotherapy are covered in this module. Humanistic Psychotherapy in the integrative model, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Constructivist Therapy, Jungian psychotherapy and solution focussed brief therapies are also introduced in this module. The module concludes with a presentation of the principles of Group therapy and Family therapy.
Research and Clinical Applications Seminar
Emphasis will be placed on the challenges, both ethical and logistical posed to research in the field of psychotherapy. Research methodologies suitable for the investigation of psychotherapy practice and its effects will be studied. The challenge of appropriately relating research in the field of psychotherapy to the research paradigms of the social sciences is addressed.
Students will submit a 6,000 word thesis at the end of the year. Direction in formulating their proposal and in progressing their written work will be supported in designated seminars interspersed in the research and clinical applications seminar. Students will also have an individual thesis supervisor assigned to them.
The list of contributors to the teaching of this course includes:
Jude Bowles, Dr Richard Blennerhassett, Gerard Butcher, Aine Casey, Orla Crowley, Dr Mary Cosgrave, Mary Cullen, Dr. Michelo DelMonte, Dr Grainne Donohue, Dr. Leonard Douglas, Dr Nicola Elmer, Monica Errity, Dr. Malcolm Garland, Dr Claire Hayes, Dr Terence Larkin, Maura Leahy, Dr Rik Loose, Dr Anthony McCarthy, Ros McCarthy, Malachi McCoy, Karina Melvin, Stephanie Metcalfe, Mary O’Doherty, Dr Barry O’Donnell, Paula Rock, Dr Emer Rutledge, Dr John Sheehan, Kim Spendlove, Diarmuid Stokes, Martina Vaughan.
Further contributors may be added to this list.