Singapore University of Social Sciences

Counselling for Anxiety and Depression

Counselling for Anxiety and Depression (COU364)


In the pre-requisite course COU362 - Understanding Psychological Disorders, two Study Units are devoted to Anxiety Disorders and Mood Disorders (which include depression). They are taught, as the course title suggests, at the understanding and theoretical levels. The focus of COU364 – Counselling for Anxiety and Depression is to equip students with basic skill sets and techniques (specifically Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy - CBT) for low-intensity treatment of anxiety and depression. Besides learning practical ways to apply CBT for anxiety and depression, other strategies employing mindfulness and gratitude will also be discussed.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July


  • Therapeutic relationship and interpersonal communication
  • Cognitive-Behavioural assessment and session structure
  • Problem identification and goal-setting
  • Understanding anxiety
  • Understanding depression
  • Understanding anger, guilt and shame
  • New thoughts, action plans and acceptance
  • Underlying assumptions and behavioural experiments
  • New core beliefs, gratitude and acts of kindness
  • Sleep recovery and wellness
  • Mindfulness, acceptance and forgiveness
  • Maintaining gains and experiencing more happiness

Learning Outcome

  • Reflect on the significant developments in the study of anxiety and depression over the years
  • Discuss the principles, theory and practical aspects of the CBT approach in therapeutic relationship, assessment, problem identification, goal-setting and treatment of anxiety and depression
  • Have an understanding of supportive strategies and exercises in treating persons with anxiety and depression
  • Practise CBT skills efficaciously with persons suffering from anxiety and depression
  • Employ innovative strategies focused on acceptance, forgiveness, happiness and gratitude, with persons suffering from anxiety and depression
  • Apply mindfulness exercises to help individuals reduce anxiety and stress, and increase confidence levels
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