Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling Course Descriptions

» COUN5000 Fundamentals of Therapeutic Interaction 3 cr.
» COUN5001 Human Growth and Development in Counseling 3 cr.
» COUN5002 Consultation Team 1 cr.
» COUN5003 Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice 3 cr.
» COUN5004 Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health 3 cr.
» COUN5005 DBT Skills Group, Behavioral Analysis and Exposure Treatments 3 cr.
» COUN5006 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning 3 cr.
» COUN5010 Counseling Practicum 3 cr.
» COUN5011 Principles and Methods of Assessment 3 cr.
» COUN5012 Co-occurring Disorders: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness 3 cr.
» COUN5015 Social and Cultural Diversity Issues in Counseling 3 cr.
» COUN5016 Group Approaches in Mental Health Counseling 3 cr.
» COUN5017 Career Counseling and Development 3 cr.
» COUN5018 Research Methods and Program Evaluation in Mental Health 3 cr.
» COUN5019 Research Practicum I 1 cr.
» COUN5020 Research Practicum II 1 cr.
» COUN5022 Advanced Topics in Social Emotional Learning and School Mental Health 3 cr.
» COUN5023 Advanced Dialectical Behavioral Treatment Principles 4 cr.
» COUN5030 Counseling Internship I 3 cr.
» COUN5031 Psychopharmacology for Mental Health Professionals 3 cr.
» COUN5032 Consultation and Program Evaluation 3 cr.
» COUN5040 Counseling Internship II 3 cr.
» COUN5050 Thesis in Mental Health Counseling I 1 cr.
» COUN5051 Mental Health Counseling Project I 1 cr.
» COUN5060 Thesis in Mental Health Counseling II 1 cr.
» COUN5061 Mental Health Counseling Project II 1 cr.

COUN5000 Fundamentals of Therapeutic Interaction 3 cr.

This course examines contemporary and alternative counseling theories that provide the student with models to conceptualize client presentation and that help the student select appropriate counseling interventions. Further, students will e exposed to an overview of the basic counseling skills used by the professional counselor working with children, adolescents and adults. Included is a laboratory experience in which the student is trained in an application of counseling relationship-building and working-stage skills via role play activities with other students in the class.

As a result of taking this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the historical, philosophical, societal, cultural, economic and political dimensions of and current trends and issues unique to the mental health counseling profession.
  • Identify professional roles, employment settings, functions, and identities of mental health counselors, and relationships with other human service providers in promoting optimal human development and mental health.

COUN5001 Human Growth and Development in Counseling 3 cr.

This course is designed to help students understand the major theories of development, understand how heredity and the environment play a role in development and gain an understanding of how individuals develop from biosocial, cognitive, and psychosocial frameworks through the lifespan. Students will learn the relationship between these theories and gain skills to apply this knowledge in the conception and development of biopsychosocial assessments in the clinical setting.

COUN5002 Consultation Team 1 cr.

This seminar provides students with their first exposure to a clinical experience, in a supervised campus-based setting. Students participate in weekly team supervision meetings with an approved clinical supervisor and peers who are actively seeing clients at the clinic site and in field placements. Students will view peer role plays, live and video-recorded client sessions, and will participate in discussions of supervisory relationships, clinical conceptualizations, treatment issues, practice within a managed care system, collaboration with prescribing providers, psychologists, social workers, case managers, and mental health system management. This course is designed to transition students to their participation in COUN 5010.

COUN5003 Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice 3 cr.

This course introduces studies that provide an overview of historical, contemporary, clinical and training issues in the practice of clinical mental health counseling.  The course also provides information related to the following aspects of clinical mental health counseling practice:  (a) professional roles and responsibilities; (b) professional organizations; (c) state and national credentialing; and (d) counselor advocacy and self-care.  Lastly, the student will be provided with an in-depth understanding of the current version of the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics and state professional counselor licensing act and regulations.

COUN5004 Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health 3 cr.

This course introduces students to the basic concepts and strategies related to social emotional learning (SEL), its use in school settings and its integration with mental health counseling strategies.  Students will acquire an understanding of the core concepts related to social emotional learning, and will explore the development of social emotional learning across the lifespan, on neurotypical and atypical trajectories. Prevention and intervention strategies from a variety of SEL approaches will reviewed, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) and Social Thinking® , as well as other specific, evidence-based SEL programs.  Issues related to SEL in local, state and federal policies will also be addressed.

COUN5005 DBT Skills Group, Behavioral Analysis and Exposure Treatments 3 cr.

This course offers learning the skills training component of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an empirically supported treatment approach for individuals with emotion regulation problems. Behavioral analysis assessment focuses on determining precipitating events before a behavioral issue and the ensuing consequences. The study of exposure treatments will focus on treatment for those who have a history of trauma.

COUN5006 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning 3 cr.

This course provides an exploration of etiology, classification, differential diagnosis, and prognosis issues surrounding the full spectrum of mental disorders. Included in this course is a comprehensive overview of the utilization of the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in a culturally diverse society. Also included is an overview of record keeping and treatment planning strategies required of today’s mental health professional. Emphasis is given to developmental considerations in all diagnostic categories.

COUN5010 Counseling Practicum 3 cr.

This course involves intensely supervised practice of professional counseling in a campus-based clinic setting. For this practicum experience, students provide a variety of individual and group direct service activities for clients. Students are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours of counseling related services. At least 40 hours are documented face-to-face client contact or peer role play hours. A minimum of 25 hours of supervision is provided, with at least 10 hours of individual and 5 hours of group supervision.

COUN5011 Principles and Methods of Assessment 3 cr.

This course introduces studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in a culturally diverse society. This course also provides an understanding of assessment in counseling through: (a) an overview of basic counseling assessment concepts, (b) an understanding of test construction, (c) familiarity with instruments and (d) an overview of test interpretation. It also provides a discussion of typical problems and approaches to individual and group testing in the areas of intelligence, aptitude, achievement, interest and personality.

COUN5012 Co-occurring Disorders: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness 3 cr.

This course will address theories of addiction counseling and application of these theories to work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Students will develop conceptual knowledge, practical skills, and self-awareness concerning the etiology of addiction, assessment strategies, diagnosis and treatment planning. This course will provide an understanding of the mentally ill and chemically abusive or dependent client. Intervention, advocacy, education and support for the client and those that are part of his/her environment are the central focus. Social, environmental, and multicultural factors that contribute resources for these clients will be explored.

COUN5015 Social and Cultural Diversity Issues in Counseling 3 cr.

This course explores social and cultural diversity in counseling, including diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural heritages and sexual identities and socioeconomic statuses. It includes the study of historical and current issues of equality as applied to socially marginalized groups, and personal reflection on the impact of one’s own attitude, beliefs, world-view, and racial and cultural identity on the counseling process. Strategies for employing culturally competent counseling in individual, group and family modalities, including specific behavioral skills and application of various theories of racial and cultural identity development, are discussed along with the role of the counselor as an advocate for the members of marginalized groups.

COUN5016 Group Approaches in Mental Health Counseling 3 cr.

This course includes studies that provide both theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, theories, methods, skills and other group approaches in a culturally diverse society. Issues of group counseling leadership, stages, skills, methods, and ethics issues are also examined.

COUN5017 Career Counseling and Development 3 cr.

This course introduces studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life factors. This course also provides an understanding of career development theories, program planning, educational planning, assessment techniques, and applied career counseling processes, including those applicable to specific populations in a global economy.

COUN5018 Research Methods and Program Evaluation in Mental Health 3 cr.

This course provides an understanding of research design, research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment strategies and program evaluation in the field of mental health counseling.  The course is designed to assist students in becoming critical consumers of research methods such as qualitative, quantitative, single-case designs, action research, and outcome-based research studies.  Students are introduced to ethical and culturally relevant strategies for interpreting and reporting the results of research studies accurately and effectively.  This course also provides students with basic competency in the planning, research and writing phases of the grant proposal process, engaging in each phase of the process and demonstrating learning through development of a funding proposal that is relevant to their area of concentration or research.

COUN5019 Research Practicum 1 cr.

Students will select a field placement involving 42 hours of ongoing research or program development and evaluation in mental health. The course constitutes the first half of a two-part placement, and serves to provide the foundation for the development of the master’s thesis or counseling project. Prerequisites:  COUN5018

COUN5020  Research Practicum II  1 cr.

Students will select a field placement involving 42 hours of ongoing research or program development and evaluation in mental health. The course constitutes the second half of a two-part placement, and serves to provide the foundation for the development of the master’s thesis or counseling project. Prerequisites:  COUN5019

COUN5022 Advanced Topics in Social Emotional Learning and School Mental Health  4 cr.

This course will examine informal and formal assessment tools used to identify and evaluate complex social learning issues across the lifespan. Scientific literature regarding effective treatments for individuals with typical co-occurring mental health disorders will be reviewed, with emphasis on assessing the learning and processing styles of these individuals. The course will also provide supervised practical experiences that allow students to apply observation, assessment and intervention skills and strategies related to social emotional learning issues. Practicum will include individual and group processes, as well as school consultation.  Prerequisites: COUN5004; COUN5010 with a B or better.

COUN5023 Advanced Dialectical Behavioral Treatment Principles 4 cr.

This course offers in depth learning of the core principles of DBT needed to conduct individual treatment. The model developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. includes the underlying theoretical principles of dialectics, setting the agenda in session, determining secondary targets, and the use of strategies to prompt commitment to treatment, cognitive modification and change. Additionally, determining level of risk and coaching in crisis will be learned to help individuals in crisis. Alec Miller’s modifications for adolescents will be included. Lecture, discussion, role plays, and video recording are used to facilitate learning the DBT model.  Prerequisites: COUN5005; COUN5010 with a B or better; COUN5016 (may be taken concurrently)

COUN5030 Counseling Internship I  3 cr.

This course requires the completion of an internship experience in clinical mental health counseling, comprised of 300 clock hours of counseling related experience, 120 of which must involve direct client contact. This course is intended to reflect the comprehensive work experience of a clinical mental health counselor at a field placement site. The student must be supervised on an individual and weekly basis by an approved site supervisor and must also participate in weekly consultation team under the tutelage of a qualified college supervisor at the college clinic site.  Prerequisites: COUN5003; COUN5010 with a B or better. (ENROLLMENT IN COUN5040 IS CONTINGENT ON EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE IN COUN5030)

COUN5031 Psychopharmacology for Mental Health Professionals 3 cr.

This course will provide an overview of psychopharmacological medications, their basic classification, indications, contraindications, and side effects will be provided. The goal of this course is to introduce the students to basic terminology and models of pharmacokinetics as they relate to clinical mental health counseling and pharmacological treatment.

COUN5032  Consultation and Program Evaluation 3 cr.

This course provides an introduction to studies related to the provision of counselor consultation services and program evaluation procedures. The course places special emphasis on effective communication with school personnel, and government agencies and on the application of current theories and practices related to the critical role of today’s professional consulting counselor. Students in this program will be involved in experiential learning activities in the community.

COUN5040  Counseling Internship II  3 cr.

This course requires the completion of an internship experience in clinical mental health counseling, comprised of 300 clock hours of counseling related experience, 120 of which must involve direct client contact. This course is intended to reflect the comprehensive work experience of a clinical mental health counselor at a field placement site. The student must be supervised on an individual and weekly basis by an approved site supervisor and must also participate in weekly consultation team under the tutelage of a qualified college supervisor at the college clinic site.  Prerequisites: COUN5003; COUN5010 and COUN5030 with a B or better

Students must complete COUN5030 with a grade of B or better. Students must also earn a B or better on the college supervisor summative clinical evaluation and receive satisfactory performance evaluations in all relevant competency areas noted on the site supervisor summative clinical evaluation.

COUN5050  Thesis in Mental Health Counseling I 1 cr.

The Master’s Thesis represents the culmination of a student’s work at Becker College. The Master’s Thesis will typically include formal hypothesis testing of theoretical concepts, and generally will be oriented toward eventual publication of the work in a peer-reviewed, professional journal. Students will be expected to develop a thorough review of relevant literature and methodology, and prepare a final manuscript that adheres to the Department’s Thesis Guidelines. There is no formal seminar connected with this course; however, students are expected to meet regularly with their thesis advisor. At the culmination of this course, students will defend their thesis to their Committee, and hold an open colloquium on the topic of their research.  Prerequisites: COUN5013 and registration of the thesis with the Department

COUN5051  Mental Health Counseling Project I  1 cr.

The Master's Mental Health Counseling Project represents the culmination of a student’s work at Becker College. It is a thorough study of a specific counseling topic that results in a written synthesis of the literature, assessing both the problem and at least one way to best address the issue from a counselor’s perspective, and generally will be oriented toward eventual publication of the work in a peer-reviewed professional journal. Students will be expected to prepare a final manuscript that adheres to the Department’s Counseling Master’s Project Guidelines. There is no formal seminar connected with this course; however, students are expected to meet regularly with their project advisor. By the end of this course, students will be engaged in development of a program or intervention based on research of the literature, as well as a working draft of the complete manuscript.  Prerequisites: COUN5003, COUN5018

COUN5060 – Thesis in Mental Health Counseling II  1 cr.

The Master’s Thesis represents the culmination of a student’s work at Becker College. The Master’s Thesis will typically include formal hypothesis testing of theoretical concepts, and generally will be oriented toward eventual publication of the work in a peer-reviewed, professional journal. Students will be expected to develop a thorough review of relevant literature and methodology, and prepare a final manuscript that adheres to the Department’s Thesis Guidelines. There is no formal seminar connected with this course; however, students are expected to meet regularly with their thesis advisor. At the culmination of this course, students will defend their thesis to their Committee, and hold an open colloquium on the topic of their research.  Prerequisites:  COUN5050 and approval of the project by the Department

COUN5061 – Mental Health Counseling Project II  1 cr.

The Mental Health Counseling Project represents the culmination of a student’s work at Becker College. It is a thorough study of a specific counseling topic that results in a written synthesis of the literature, assessing both the problem and at least one way to best address the issue from a counselor’s perspective, and generally will be oriented toward eventual publication of the work in a peer-reviewed professional journal. Students will be expected to prepare a final manuscript that adheres to the Department’s Mental Health Counseling Project Guidelines. There is no formal seminar connected with this course; however, students are expected to meet regularly with their project advisor. At the culmination of this course, students will defend their Mental Health Counseling Project to their Committee, and hold an open colloquium on the topic of their project.  Prerequisites:  COUN5051 and approval of the project by the Department

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