Models for Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Models for Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Unit Description

The unit considers consciousness and its evolution, the influence of quantum science and the new sciences and how these developments have influenced the development of counselling and psychotherapy.

This unit introduces a holistic approach to counselling and psychotherapy. Differentiation between the professions and theoretical paradigms of counselling, psychotherapy, psychology and psychiatry is drawn.

The unit considers consciousness and its evolution, the influence of quantum science and the new sciences and how these developments have influenced the development of counselling and psychotherapy,

The unit compares and contrasts the following 20th century psychotherapy and counselling models and schools of thought: psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, humanistic counselling and therapy, Wilbur’s integral approach, process oriented and anthroposophical approaches, with the holistic counselling and psychotherapy model. The historical emergence of the holistic model is described, and the underlying assumptions are outlined. Particular attention is given to the contributions of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung as the theoretical foundation for the holistic model. Process-oriented psychology, based on the work of Mindell, and Steiner’s framework of Anthroposophy, are also foundational to the holistic model.

Students will develop critical thinking skills as they consider how perceptions are formed. Critical thinking is applied to differentiate between the philosophies and concepts of the holistic model and other counselling and psychotherapy models.

Unit Code


Unit Type

Core Unit

Study Period

Semester 1, 2021


Southern Highlands Campus UOW

Credit Points


Consultation Times

30 minutes before and after workshop intensives and by appointment during the semester

Topics Covered

Theoretical foundations for counselling and psychotherapy:

  1. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s contributions
  2. Humanistic Therapy
  3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  4. Process Oriented Psychology: Arnold Mindell
  5. Anthroposophy: Rudolf Steiner
  6. Integral psychology: Ken Wilber

The role of peer and critical self-reflection in counsellor development
The role of active dialogue

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate and apply a contextual and holistic understanding of the development of counselling and psychotherapy over its history
  2. Develop and articulate a contextual understanding of consciousness that is dynamic and evolving in the approaches of Wilbur, Steiner and Mindell
  3. Analyse and evaluate the influences of Freud and Jung, Steiner and Mindell on the development of a holistic approach to counselling
  4. Critically reflect on the influence of societal changes on counselling and psychotherapy practice
  5. Critically analyse a range of counselling and psychotherapy models in the contemporary context as seen through the lens of evolution of consciousness and quantum physics
  6. Competently demonstrate open communication skills, self-exploration and mobile ways of thinking
  7. Constructively and critically self-reflect on their professional development as counsellors

Assessment Overview

1. Theoretical Essay

Address the meaning of the terms “holistic”, and “consciousness” and their application to counselling, with reference to the work of Mindell, Wilbur and Steiner

Length: 1,250 words

Year 1, Semester 1,

Week 7


2. Comparative Essay

Compare the holistic model with another model of counselling or psychotherapy

Length: 1,500 words

Year 1, Semester 1,

Week 11


3. Online Discussion Forum Posts

3.1 Three posts of 100 words minimum
3.2 Three posts of 100 words minimum

Length: 600 words in total

Year 1, Semester 1

3.1 Due Week 3
3.2 Due Week 9

30% in total

3.1 15%
3.2 15%

Unit Resources


Mindell, A. (2011). River’s way: The process science of the dreambody. Florence, OR: Deep Democracy Exchange.

Prescribed readings

Corey, G. (2016). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy(10th ed.). Boston, MA: Brooks Cole.

Hillman, J., & Ventura, M. (1993). We’ve had a hundred years of psychotherapy and the world’s getting worse. San Francisco, CA: HarperOne.

Lees, J. (2017). The emerging therapeutic landscape of psychotherapy in the twenty-first century and the contribution of anthroposophic psychotherapy. European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, 19(2), 141–157.

Mearns, B., & Thorne, D. (2000). Person-centred therapy today: New frontiers in theory and practice. London, England: Sage Publications.

Mindell, A. (2003). Metaskills: The spiritual art of therapy (2nd ed.). Portland, OR: Lao Tse Press.

Singer, J. (1994). Arny and Amy Mindell on process oriented psychology. The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, 13(4), 25–40.

Tacey, D. (2004). The spirituality revolution: The emergence of contemporary spirituality. Hove, England: Routledge.

Wilber, K. (2000). No boundary: Eastern and Western approaches to personal growth. Boston, MA: Shambala.

Wilkinson, R. (2002). Rudolf Steiner: An introduction to his spiritual world view. Forest Row, England: Temple Lodge Publishing.

Delivery Mode

Workshop intensive on-campus 1

9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Twelve hours in total.

Online delivery
1.5 hour Zoom discussion

Study Buddy Activities
Eight hours over the semester

Student Workload

The total unit workload is equivalent to 7.3 hours per week over the semester, 117.5 hours in total.

  • Twelve hours of on-campus workshop intensives
  • 1.5 hour Zoom discussion
  • 8 hours study buddy work
  • 96 personal study hours

Written by: Mr Reece Jones • Created: 27 Apr 2021, 4:11 p.m.