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Master of Arts Mental Health Counseling

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Courses – Mental Health Counseling

Required courses

This course provides a broad understanding of the profession of psychology, the competencies that are essential for professionals in the field, the various requirements of the School of Psychological Sciences, and the developmental processes through which students move towards becoming professional psychologists. Students will be required to engage in critical self-examination and reflection about their own values, assumptions, and beliefs as part of this course. (0 credit hours)

This course involves a detailed presentation of the various methods used by psychologists in experimental research and design, as well as the statistical techniques which are used to analyze data. Both parametric and non-parametric techniques are reviewed along with various experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Topics include hypothesis testing and the experimental method, choosing appropriate statistical techniques, threats to internal and external validity, and varieties of experimental control and randomization. Students will be expected to perform statistical procedures on sample data sets and draw conclusions from the results of statistical analyses. (3 credit hours)

This course provides a foundation in methods, techniques, and instruments common to counseling and clinical settings today. Students will be familiar with the history, development, selection and limitations of a sampling of tests in ability, achievement, adjustment, personality, health psychology, geropsychology, and neuropsychology with emphasis on appropriate uses and psychometric properties. Clinical interviewing and issues related to working with diverse groups are stressed. This course is a co-requisite of PSY-559 Psychological Assessment Lab. (3 hours)

Provides a broad understanding of the roles and functions of professional psychologists. Topics covered include the ethical principles of psychologists, clinical standards of practice, legal issues and regulations, licensure, professional organizations, and coverage of issues affecting professional practice and the delivery of services. (3 credit hours)

This course explores the relationship between brain functions and human behavior. Topics include neuro-anatomical brain structure and development; neuropsychological functioning as it relates to sensory, motor, perceptual, emotional, linguistic, and cognitive abilities; organic syndromes and impairment; and the assessment and rehabilitation of various forms of central nervous system impairment. (3 credit hours)

This course provides an understanding of human behavior as a function of social and cultural factors. Social psychology topics covered include social influence theory, attitude formation and change, social cognition, interpersonal perception, obedience and conformity, altruism, aggression, and stereotyping. The influence of factors such as cultural, racial, gender, and age differences on clinical practice are discussed. (3 credit hours)

This course explores the norms, transitions, and crises in the development of individuals from birth to old age. Theories and research findings involving cognitive, emotional, social, and personality development are covered. Emphasis is given to the interaction of the person and the environment while covering topics such as attachment, care giving, gender, and cognition. Comparisons across cultures, races, and socio-economic statuses will be included. (3 credit hours)

This course is a systematic, advanced survey of the major theories of personality and social psychology. Personality theories from the psychoanalytic, behavioral, phenomenological-existential, trait-factor and social learning traditions are presented and contrasted. The fundamental assumptions, nature of development, and individual variability of personality are presented for each outlook. The application of personality research is discussed in a variety of areas such as the study of aggression, anxiety, altruism, and locus of control. Concepts from social psychology include attitude formation and change, attribution theory, social persuasion, conformity, and social beliefs. (3 credit hours)

This course provides a broad understanding of career and lifestyle development issues addressed by professional counselors and psychologists with clients. To understand the area of career and lifestyle development, students will examine a number of topics including career development theories and decision making models; career development information resources; computer-based career information systems; and career development program planning, organization, implementation, administration, and evaluation. This course will also address the interrelationships between work, family, and other roles that relate to career development, as well as multicultural and gender issues. Additional issues such as the use of assessment instruments in career planning and decision making; career placement, follow-up, and evaluation; computer-assisted career guidance systems; and career counseling with special populations will be included. (3 hours)

This course covers the roles of mental health counseling within the context of the community and human services systems, functions and relationships among interdisciplinary treatment teams, legal and fiscal dimensions of public and private mental health care systems, strategies for needs assessments and methods to design and evaluate mental health care programs, theories and practices of community intervention programs, and administrative and financial issues in public mental health as well as in private practice settings. (1 hour)

In this course, students refine the fundamental skills of therapeutic relationships. Covers skills in forming a therapeutic alliance; the mastery of empathic listening skills such as paraphrasing, reflecting, and the use of probes; the effective use of advanced relationship techniques such as confrontation, self-disclosure, and interpretation; the use of hypothesis testing in formulating treatment goals; and termination procedures and issues. Students are involved in role-play situations, as well as submitting audio taped and videotaped examples demonstrating mastery of skills. Ethical issues and the influence of factors such as gender, culture, age, and race on the therapy relationship are discussed. (3 credit hours)

This course covers cognitive and cognitive-behavioral therapeutics approaches and research. Students explore a broad range of cognitive/cognitive-behavioral assessment and intervention strategies, as well as the theoretical foundations of these modalities. Skill development in cognitive/cognitive-behavioral therapy includes demonstrations, role playing, and video-tapes. Ethical and diversity issues are discussed. Prerequisite: PSY-541. This course is a co-requisite of PSY-560 (2 credit hours)

This course covers the theories and basic principles of learning and their practical applications. Topics include classical and operant conditioning, observational learning, behavior modification, and behavioral assessment. Learning approaches are examined for a variety of practical problems, settings, and populations. Professional and ethical considerations in the use of learning principles are discussed. Prerequisite: PSY-541. This course is a co-requisite of PSY-562 (2 credit hours)

Involves a supervised field experience at an approved placement site. Emphasis is on the refinement of various skills involved in therapy, consultation, diagnosis, assessment, program management, and supervision. The master’s practicum consists of a minimum of 90 hours on site. Students must concurrently participate in a weekly practicum seminar. The seminar groups provide opportunities for students to address issues related to clinical practice, ethics, case management, diversity, treatment strategies, consultation, supervision, program development, and other aspects of professional psychology.Prerequisite: PSY-510, PSY-520, PSY-541, PSY-542, PSY-544, PSY-559, PSY-560, PSY-561, PSY-565 (2 credit hours)

The course is a skills-building counterpart to lecture requiring practice in diagnostic interviewing, test administration, and interpretation of data. This course is co-requisite of PSY-510. (1 credit hour)

Observation and practice of major techniques in cognitive and cognitive-behavioral approaches. This course is a co-requisite of PSY-542 (1 credit hour)

Observation and practice of major techniques in learning and behavioral approaches to treatment. This course is a co-requisite of PSY-543 (1 credit hour)

This course involves an examination of current issues related to the classification and diagnosis of abnormal behavior and psychological states. Dimensional, descriptive, and categorical approaches to classification are reviewed, with emphasis on the current forms of adult psychopathology found in the DSM. Topics include the symptomatology, etiology, developmental patterns, and treatment approaches to various diagnostic categories. Empirical findings, methodological concerns, and conceptual issues are discussed. (3 credit hours)

This is an advanced-level course covering the principles and practices of conducting therapeutic groups. Topics include issues related to various types of groups and group interventions, management of group process, and resolving typical group issues. Theory and research concerning group therapy will also be reviewed. Students are required to participate in in-class group experiences and analyze group dynamics in various scenarios and role plays. Prerequisites: PSY-541, PSY-542/PSY-560, PSY-544/PSY-561 (3 credit hours)

This course will provide an introduction and overview of HIV/AIDS. Using a bio-psycho-social approach, students will gain an understanding of the natural history of HIV/AIDS, and social and cultural factors influencing HIV disease management. Other topics will include HIV prevention, substance use and HIV, and interventions with HIV populations. (1-3 hours)

This course is the first of a two-semester capstone seminar designed to prepare students to conceptualize, evaluate, and present clinical cases and to prepare students for employment in a health care environment that increasingly emphasizes professional accountability. Topics covered include case conceptualization, treatment planning, empirically supported treatments, researching and writing case-focused literature reviews, singe-case and N=1 research methodology, writing case studies and treatment reports. Students are required to be concurrently enrolled in PSY-550. (3 credit hours)

This course involves continued supervised clinical experience in a mental health agency setting. Students will continue to develop more advanced counseling skills and progress in professional development. Students must also participate in a 1½-hour weekly practicum seminar. The didactic seminar focuses on more advanced issues and concepts related to professional development. Students are expected to demonstrate case conceptualization skills, therapy skills, and the ability to engage in more independent treatment planning and implementation. Students are required to demonstrate knowledge of the psychological literature and make both topic and case presentations. Prerequisite: PSY-550. (2-5 hours)

This course involves supervised clinical experience in a mental health agency setting. Students will develop more advanced counseling skills and focus on professional development. Students are also required to participate in a 1½-hour weekly practicum seminar. The didactic seminar includes emphasis on the context of mental health counseling, theories and techniques of counseling approaches, community intervention, and practice issues. Students are also expected to develop skills in case conceptualization, assessment, treatment planning and implementation, and are required to make case presentations. Prerequisite: PSY-550, PSY-596. (2-5 hours)