Master of Science in Counseling

Counseling Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Please use the following key to determine requirement satisfaction for each course.
M = required for LMFT
C = required for LPC
S = required for School Counseling
E = Elective

Note: Available courses from any track may be taken as electives as long as any pre-requisites have been met

HDCN 6301. Counseling Theories*
This course is an advanced study of the major theories in the field of counseling, as well as an exploration of the historical perspectives and philosophies upon which they are based. Theories to be addressed include the Psychoanalytic theories, Individual Psychology, Family Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Multicultural Theory, and Existential Therapy. A special emphasis will be place on the axiom, “know thyself.” 

HDCN 6302. Basic Clinical Methods for Individuals, Couples and Families*
The goal of this course is to teach you the personal characteristics and process skills that are the basis of an effective counselor for individuals, couples, and families. This class will provide you with an overview of basic skills that are employed in a counseling setting. Students will be able to demonstrate basic characteristics of effective communication, and general counseling skills. Evaluation will be based on several factors, including strengths and deficits in intrapersonal and interpersonal counseling skills as demonstrated in videotapes, role-play and/or written assignments. Adjusting counseling for various individuals and groups to reflect their diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages, etc. is emphasized, as well as students developing their own personal approach to communication, counseling, and personal awareness. Professional identity and interpersonal development on the person of the counselor will be greatly focused on throughout this course. 

HDCN 6303. Counseling Methods: Group*
The goal of this course is to provide students with an overview of the study of group dynamics and the major approaches to group modalities. Students will study various group modalities, including group guidance, task-groups, group counseling, and group psychotherapy. Various theoretical approaches to group counseling will also be reviewed. Emphasis will be on how to effectively start, lead, terminate, and evaluate a therapy group process. Students will work on developing an understanding of the skills requisite to group membership and leadership. Students will examine their approach to group counseling exploring the dynamics of relationships unique to a group setting. As a result, group skill development opportunities, observation experiences, and mandatory laboratory group experience will occur each week. Group counseling will highlight a variety of different groups, including children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric group work spanning across diverse settings. Evaluation will be based on several factors, including strengths and deficits in intrapersonal and interpersonal group counseling skills as demonstrated via role-plays, class exercises, examination, and/or written assignments Prerequisite: HDCN 6301 Counseling Theories. 

HDCN 6304. Counseling Diverse Communities*
In this course, students become familiar with culturally competent, socially just counseling practices through an examination of contexts including culture, class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and differing life styles. This course is designed to foster cultural competence through education, training, self-awareness, and experiential learning. Cultural competence involves awareness and sensitivity to the political and pragmatic effects that contexts of personal, community, and popular culture have on lived experience. These contexts will be examined as they apply to individual, familial, and social interactions and functioning and to the counseling process. Course goals include promoting awareness of marginalizing discourse, exploring implications of minority or marginalized group membership, acknowledging power and privilege, and considering social justice issues in a counseling context. The content of this course is intended to promote self-reflection and examination of personal and professional assumptions regarding culture, class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ability.  

HDCN 6305. Advanced Clinical Methods for Individuals, Couples and Families*
This course is a continuation of the first Basic Counseling Methods: Individuals, Couples, and Families class with an emphasis on practicing counseling skills. The major methods and techniques used in counseling individuals, couples and families are examined with a focus on applicability to different client(s) needs in a variety of settings. The relationship between specific individual and systemic theories and their counseling applications will continue to be assessed. Evaluation will be based on several factors, including strengths and deficits in intrapersonal and interpersonal counseling skills as demonstrated in role-play and/or written assignments. Adjusting counseling for various clients and counseling settings to reflect their diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages, systemic dynamics, etc. is emphasized, as well as students developing their own personal approach to counseling. Personal growth continues to be a focus. Prerequisite: HDCN 6302 Basic Clinical Methods for Individuals, Couples and Families. 

HDCN 6308. Counseling: Elementary School
The ultimate goal of this course is prepare you for successful completion of school counselor certification, provide you with the skills and knowledge to plan, implement, and evaluate a developmental guidance program, and to assume a campus leadership role. S

HDCN 6309. Counseling: Secondary School
The ultimate goal of this course is prepare you for successful completion of school counselor certification, provide you with the skills and knowledge to plan, implement, and evaluate a developmental guidance program, and to assume a campus leadership role. S

HDCN 6311. Couples Therapy: Theories and Treatment
This course will address the principles and techniques of effective therapy with couples primarily utilizing the approach of John Gottman. Various other models will be explored with a focus on applicability to different client needs in a variety of settings. Relevant topical issues will be intertwined with class assignments, class discussions, and role-plays. Evaluation will be based on several factors, including strengths and deficits in intrapersonal and interpersonal counseling skills as demonstrated in role-play and/or written assignments. A special emphasis will continue to be placed on the axiom, “know thyself.” M

HDCN 6314. Sexual Counseling - Therapy
The focus of this course will be on sexual experiences as a part of life experiences and the development of the skills and tools necessary to strengthen a client’s positive relational and sexual functioning in a therapeutic setting. This course is designed as a study of sexual issues, positive sexual functioning, sexual problems, and sexual disorders that confront the counselor or therapist. This is a “how to” course, with the expectation being that each student will develop the knowledge and skills needed to orchestrate counseling sessions when the topic is sexuality. The student will work on understanding his or her own sexual attitudes and beliefs in order to bring as much congruence as possible into the therapy room. Thus, personal values clarification, sex education, cultural messages, gender role development, and relational patterns will be examined throughout the course. M

HDCN 6316. Family Therapy I: Intergenerational Theories and Treatment
The purpose of this course is to provide a theoretical and clinical foundation for counseling with individuals, couples, families, and other groups from systemic, relational, and contextual perspectives. Students will become familiar with foundational models of family therapy (FT), the history and development of family therapy models, and the application of these models to clinical situations. The emphasis in this course is on traditional FT models whose focus is on family of origin functioning and intergenerational dynamics. Strong emphasis will be placed on viewing the family as an emotional unit, on understanding the individual client within the context of his or her family of origin, and on strategies for applying this knowledge in a clinical setting.

HDCN 6317. Family Therapy II: Contemporary Theories and Treatment

HDCN 6320. Life Span Development*
Examines physical, cognitive, communicative and linguistic, and social and emotional development processes of individuals and families through the life span. Topics are addressed within the context of the major theories of development with a focus on chronological and developmental age and cultural and socioeconomic diversity. Students learn appropriate developmental and systemic practices useful in interventions across the life span.

HDCN 6321. Lifestyle and Career Development*
The major theories of vocational choice, career decision-making, and lifestyle development are examined with sources of occupational and educational information and career decision-making processes. 

HDCN 6323. Adolescent Counseling
Theoretical and practical approaches specifically for adolescents are presented.  The cognitive, physical, and psychosocial development of the adolescent is the focal point of this course. Normal development will be emphasized, but special issues will also be investigated, as will the influence of cultural factors. Topics will include substance abuse dynamics, gang related activities, sexual relationships, and legal and ethical issues. Both individual and group counseling techniques will be explored. E

HDCN 6325. Therapeutic Parenting.
This course will teach students how to actively engage parents as partners in play in the therapeutic process in working with minors in a counseling setting. A variety of parenting approaches will be explored, with heavy emphasis on Landreth's 10-week filial/play therapy modality, entitled Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT). Additionally, in this course, current literature on how brain development can be enhanced by caretakers of children and teenagers will be reviewed. Students will also get exposure to various parenting issues, including developmental concerns, DSM-5 diagnoses, resistance, and external circumstances affecting the parent-child relationship. E

HDCN 6330. Psychopathology: Adult*
This course covers the domain of psychopathology as it is represented in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5, 2014). The scientific bases of contemporary theories and research of major psychological disorders will be studied. The societal implications of mental disorders will be explored. Students will be educated about the types and causes of mental disorders, their assessment, treatment plans, referrals for services, prognosis, related research in psychotherapy, and prevention. The legal, ethical, and cultural issues related to psychopathology, behavior of mental health professionals, and society will be deliberated. 

HDCN 6331. Psychopathology: Child and Adolescent
Abnormal behavior in children and adolescents is examined. Psychopathology is presented using an integrative approach including the biological, psychological, social, cultural, familial, and political forces that currently define abnormal behavior. The history, theories, research, DSM IV-TR diagnostic categories, and psychopharmacological treatments are covered. E

HDCN 6340. Assessment of Individuals, Couples and Families*
The basic appraisal terms, concepts, various instruments, procedures, methods, and interview techniques used for developmental, behavioral, cognitive, learning, and personality assessment are covered. Emphasis is placed on understanding, critiquing, and using assessment results to develop an appropriate diagnosis and counseling approach. Basic assessment skills are critical to the professional counselor as a consumer of tests and test information. The ultimate goal of this course is to increase your knowledge and competency while stimulating your interest in conducting assessments. Prerequisite: HDCN 6349 Research Design & Statistics. 

HDCN 6342. Cognitive, Career and Educational Assessment
This course will address basic appraisal and assessment concepts applicable to the school setting. Procedures, methods, and the use of various testing instruments will be reviewed, as will ethical consideration in terms of research and practice. Case studies are an integral part of this examination of cognitive assessment, educational assessment, and career guidance and development. Prerequisite: HDCN 6340 Assessment.S

HDCN 6343. Play Therapy
Designed to promote self-exploration and self-understanding and to help students 1) learn the clinical importance of relating to and working with children through play, 2) understand the major theories of play therapy, 3) develop an awareness of the child's world as viewed by the child, 4) increase their understanding of children and their behavior, 5) engender their facility in working with caregivers of child clients, and 6) develop an effective philosophy of and approach to play therapy. E

HDCN 6344. EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY: CREATIVE AND THERAPEUTIC PROCESSES
Explores theories and techniques for fostering creativity and therapeutic change in the counseling process through the use of expressive arts, particularly visual art forms and expressive writing. E

HDCN 6347. Mindfulness-based Expressive Art Therapy
Examines expressive arts therapies that cultivate mindfulness and the ways mindfulness benefits mental health and well-being, with a particular focus on evidence-based therapies and neurobiological mechanisms of such approaches.E

HDCN 6348. Embodied Expressive Art Therapies
Investigates expressive therapies that highlight the mind-body connection through body awareness, movement and/or dance, drama, physiological processes, and physical action. Instruction emphasizes evidence-based methods and neurobiological research supporting these practices.E

HDCN 6349. Research Design and Statistics
Examines the methods and types of research design and statistics commonly used in human development, education, and counseling research, with an emphasis on the process, ethics, and steps required to conduct and read research critically. MCS

HDCN 6351. Psychopharmacology and Substance Misuse
Examines the pharmacological, psychological, and sociological impact of drug-taking behavior; introduces each major drug category; explores major theories of addiction with application to the process of misuse, dependency, and recovery; and identifies the continuum of care and various treatment approaches utilized in the field with people who present with substance misuse and their families.E

HDCN 6352. Psychology of Addictions
Covers the origins and trends of addictive behavior, including substances, gambling, the Internet, and relationships. Explores the origins of addictions, treatment options, and barriers to treatment. Also,addiction co-morbidity with mental health issues and addictive patterns in minority and culturally diverse communities. E

HDCN 6353. Treatment Management
This course prepares the counseling student to take the state licensing exam as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor. Substance abuse assessment, case management, documentation, legal concerns, practice management, and treatment options will be addressed. E

HDCN 6355. Affirmative Therapy with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients
Focuses on the development of professional competency in behavioral health assessment and affirmative intervention with sexual minorities. Examines cultural context and practice implications of heteronormativity in therapists and clients. Addresses the external and internal factors and processes that can affect the lives and mental health of LGB persons. Reviews current understandings of microaggression and minority stress. Explores implications of intersecting identities of race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, and religion on the development of sexual orientation and identity integration. Also, affirming and culturally responsive strategies for addressing co-occurring diagnoses of major mental health, substance misuse, and major physical health issues such as HIV and AIDS. E

HDCN 6356. Affirmative Therapy with Transgender Clients
Focuses on affirmative counseling practices for transgender individuals, including how to support a person through a gender transition and concomitant adjustment to cultural, social, familial, biological, and psychological responses. E

HDCN 6357. Affirmative Therapy with LGBT Couples and Families
Focuses on developing affirmative therapy skills in working with LGBT couples and families.E

HDCN 6370. Crisis Intervention
Examines crisis intervention for individuals, couples, families, and groups through an in-depth analysis of diverse client experiences such as population trends, lifestyle changes, individual and/or family challenges, barriers to services, and unique needs.  Also, intervention for specific topics such as court-ordered services, homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, bullying, self-harming behaviors, suicidal and homicidal ideation and/or intention, and school shootings. Counselors learn clinical skills in professional responsibility and plan of action such as reporting abuse or no-harm contract usage, as well as practical resource inventories for clients in crisis.  All strategies are centered on best practices and evidence-based practices, including the empirically found solution-based approach. E

HDCN 6381. Ethics and Mental Health
Presents fundamental ethical principals and their application to legal and related professional issues in the field of counseling. Reviews ethical codes, standards of conduct, and the law. Examines ethical cannons and guidelines promulgated by the American Counseling Association, American Association for Marriage andFamily Therapy, American School Counselor Association, Texas Ethics Commission, Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, Texas State Chemical Dependency Counselors Program, and Texas State Board of Education. MCS

HDCN 6382. Psychology of Conflict
Cross-listed with HDDR 6319.  E

HDCN 6383. Negotiation & Dispute Resolution
Cross-listed with HDDR 6302.E

HDCN 6384. Mediation & Dispute Resolution
Cross-listed with HDDR 6303. E

HDCN 6386. Family Law
Cross-listed with HDDR 6332. E

HDCN 6387. Family Mediation
Cross-listed with HDDR 6331. E

HDCN 6391. Selected Topics: Counseling - Various topics in counseling are selected for advanced study. Students may choose a specific interest area in which he or she wishes to pursue additional expertise. Course may be repeated.
Behavioral Science: 
Introduction to fundamental principles of behavioral science research and history of research, statistics, and ethics plus the methods and designs commonly employed and procedures utilized to collect and analyze data.E

HDCN 6392. Selected Topics: Marriage and Family
Various topics in marriage and family therapy are selected for advanced study. Students may choose a specific interest area in which he or she wishes to pursue additional expertise. Course may be repeated. E

HDCN 6393. Selected Topics: School Counseling
Various topics in school psychology are selected for advanced study. Students may choose a specific interest area in which he or she wishes to pursue additional expertise. Course may be repeated. E

HDCN 6395. Supervised Clinical Practicum
Advanced counseling methods and techniques are used in individual and group counseling settings under close supervision. A minimum of 300 clock hours with at least 100 clock hours of direct client contact must be documented for the LPC track; hours may vary for LMFT candidates and School Counselor candidates. Audio or video tapes of counselor-client interactions must be submitted to the departmental Practicum Director. Emphasis is placed on developing a flexible personal theory of counseling useful in a wide range of counseling settings. MCS

HDCN 6398. Internship in Counseling I
Prerequisite:  HDCN 6395 Supervised Clinical Practicum.  Refines counseling skills in real-world settings under close supervision. Qualified supervisors at the student-selected internship site provide direct supervision. Types of direct and indirect service hours vary according to LPC, LMFT, LCDC, and school counseling requirements and populations served at the internship site. The curriculum is focused on group supervision and professional development. MCS

HDCN 6399. Internship in Counseling II
Prerequisite:  HDCN 6398 Internship in Counseling I.  Refines counseling skills in real-world settings under close supervision. Qualified supervisors at the student-selected internship site provide direct supervision. Types of direct and indirect service hours vary according to LPC, LMFT, LCDC, and school counseling requirements and populations served at the internship site. The curriculum is focused on group supervision and professional development. MCS

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