Midwestern State University
Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education
COUN 5283 TITLE: Theories & Techniques of Counseling
Professor: Dr. Pat Andersen Office: FE 106
Work phone: 237-4311 Cell phone: 642-7890
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
A study of major theoretical counseling concepts as well as the application of
related techniques needed for skillful practice.
Jones-Smith, Elsie, (2012). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: An
Integrative Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication, Inc.
III. COURSE OBJECTIVES AND LEARNER OUTCOMES
1. Counselors demonstrate knowledge describing individual human
Objective: Students will be able to articulate the major concepts of
recognized theories to their colleagues and to clients.
Corollary: Students will be able to define theoretical terms for
professional use, including the state and national certification and
2. Students will be able to apply theoretical concepts with case
conceptualizations that describe client dynamics and appropriate
interventions to encourage change.
Corollary: Students will keep notes of counseling sessions using the
3. Students will be able to apply ethical standards to counseling interactions
and to professional relationships.
1. Counselors demonstrate professional skills promoting healing relationships where
clients gain a sense of personal worth and self-efficacy in managing their reactions
to life’s struggles.
Objectives: Students will learn to consistently evaluate the impact of the
counselor’s presence and interventions on the client’s progress
as well as the movement of the counseling relationship.
2. Students will be able to consider the appropriateness, timing, and the impact of
specific counselor techniques used in counseling sessions. Considerations will
include planning possible techniques prior to the next client meeting; using a technique
in the moment in counseling session; and evaluating the impact of using a technique
during a previous counseling session.
3. Students will offer feedback for their colleague’s counseling work in a
constructive way. Processing the experience of a counseling relationship
includes personal reactions and may raise emotions from other significant
relationships or feelings about competencies, self worth and meaningful
values. STUDENT COUNSELORS WILL ADHERE TO STRICT
CONFIDENTIALITY STANDARDS regarding the personal information
revealed by colleagues.
IV. TRAINING AND COURSE EXPECTATIONS
Professional counselors serve as role models to others, offering examples of dependable, reliable, and responsible behavior. Counselors demonstrate positive human interactions while showing emotionally intelligent methods for handling life’s issues and concerns. If counselors do not maintain the integrity of positive mental health, lay people will assume the entire field and the profession lack credibility.
In graduate school, students work productively with faculty, peers and clients. Accepting and offering constructive criticism is necessary for personal growth and human relationship training. Working collaboratively in groups, sharing ideas, and disagreeing respectfully are common experiences in and outside classes.
Ethical conduct is expected and to fall short of professional standards means counseling accreditation or licensure can be denied, regardless of academic performance.
Class attendance is crucial to successful completion of this course since much of the training cannot be learned in textbooks. Therefore, GRADUATE STUDENTS are expected to be on time and to attend every class. Tardiness, leaving early, and absences are considered evidence of lack of dependability, and are taken seriously.
Attendance is crucial and is reflective of professional motivation and class participation that can not be made up. Even unavoidable (illness, family emergency, dangerous weather) absences affect attendance grade. Any more than two unavoidable absences necessitate special arrangements for completion of the course. One avoidable absence counts as two unavoidable absences as reflected in participation grade. Two avoidable absences require withdrawal from the class.
Class Participation: 20 %
Sharing insights regarding theoretical concepts.
Sharing thoughts and reactions regarding your own theoretical
orientation and experiences in taped counseling sessions.
Offering appropriate feedback regarding theoretical discussions
and counseling sessions in ways that are helpful to colleagues.
Written Theoretical Orientation 40%
A paper describing the theoretical orientation that guides your
work with clients, including major philosophical beliefs and
concepts of client change. Examples of client dynamics and
counseling interactions are required. A rubric will be provided.
Written Exam 40%
Client Session Tape: required for faculty review prior to taking Theories II.
VI. PROPOSED SCHEDULE
August 29 Introductions
Course Expectations: Syllabus
Common Factors in Therapy
Case Conceptualization; Personal Theory
Professor Role Plays
Assignment: Read Chapters 1, 2 for Discussion
September 5 Discussion: Theoretical Integration
Case Study: Justin
Discussion: Psychoanalytic Theory
Assignment: Read Chapter 3
Be ready to share ER’s, Fictions, Sibling placement _______________________________________________________________________
September 12 Discussion: Adlerian Psychology
What’s your take on importance of childhood experiences?
How will you approach early life experiences in your counseling?
Life Style Analysis
Professor Role Play--group
Assignment: Read p. 199-204; Chapter 8;
Read Andersen’s Case Studies
September 19 Discussion: Humanistic, Person-Centered
Yom Kippur Case Studies
Assignments: Read Chapter 7, 9; Read Andersen’s Case Studies
What role does spirituality play in your counseling?
September 26 Discussion: Existential Theory
Wednesday Gestalt Theory
Role Play—empty chair
Assignment: Read Chapter 4; Read Case Studies
October 3 Discussion: Behavior Theories
Assignment: Read Chapter 5 and 6; Read Case Studies
October 17 Discussion: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Rational-Emotive & Choice Theory
Assignment: Read Chapter 13, 14 and16 ________________________________________________________________________
Discussion: Solution Focused Therapy
Instructions for seeing clients
Assignment: Read Chapter 15,; 18,19
October 31 Discussion: Integrating Spiritual/Religious Issues in Counseling
Students will be seeing/taping clients for about 3 sessions
Staffing clients; Processing counselor experiences
Discussion: Competency Issues
November 28 Discussion: Combining and Integrating Theories
Students’ Personal Theories
What concepts do you use when?
December 5 Theoretical Orientation Papers Due