Master of Science in Counseling

Counseling Course Descriptions

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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 Theory
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 Classical Psychoanalysis, Individual Psychology, Analytical theory, Person-Centered Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and Existential Therapy. A special emphasis will be placed on the axiom, “know thyself.” CS

HDCN 6302. Counseling Methods: Individual
The major methods used in counseling individuals are examined with a focus on their effectiveness and applicability to different individual needs. The relationship between specific theories and their counseling applications are examined in detail. Case study approaches are combined with counseling practices to demonstrate developing strategies working with individuals. Adjusting counseling for various individuals to reflect their diverse backgrounds and varying ages is emphasized. Students develop their own approach to individual counseling. CS

HDCN 6303. Counseling Methods: Group
Examine the dynamics and major approaches to group counseling with emphases on starting a counseling group, leading groups effectively, and evaluating results. Understanding of group processes, leadership, and membership is stressed. Special populations including minorities, intellectually or physically challenged, women, perpetrators or abuse victims, as well as those with chronic or life threatening diseases are considered. Support and self-help groups are covered along with the ethical issues unique to group settings. Program planning and development in agencies, schools, higher education, and private practice are covered. Students will be expected to arrange and facilitate outside of class a series of group counseling sessions during the term. CS

HDCN 6304. Counseling in Diverse Communities
The basic constructs of race and ethnicity are analyzed with respect to how these constructs impact an individual’s relationship to social, cultural, historical, and educational environments. Each student will develop counseling skills and strategies reflecting the needs of specific ethnic, racial, and minority populations. MCS

HDCN 6305. Advanced Counseling Methods: Individual
Prerequisite: HDCN 6302 Counseling Methods: Individual. This course is a continuation of the first Counseling Methods: Individual class with an emphasis on practicing counseling skills. The major methods and techniques used in counseling individuals are examined with a focus on applicability to different client needs in a variety of settings. The relationship between specific 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 individuals to reflect their diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages, etc. is emphasized, as well as students developing their own personal approach to individual counseling. Personal growth continues to be a focus. CS

HDCN 6306. Advanced Counseling Methods: Group
Prerequisite: HDCN 6303 Counseling Methods: Group. The focus of this advanced course will build on the foundational skills learned in HDCN 6303 and expand and enhance techniques applicable to different types of groups in a variety of settings. This course is intense and demanding with a lot of learning in a short amount of time. E

HDCN 6308. Counseling: Elementary School
In this course, the focus will be on the role of the elementary school counselor as determined by the developmental guidance plan in the State of Texas. Such issues as counseling, consulting, coordinating, and guidance responsibilities will be addressed, as well as others. The variety of ways as to how a counselor functions within a school will be presented, and integration of skills learned in other courses will also be studied. S

HDCN 6309. Counseling: Secondary School
In this course, the focus will be on the role of the secondary school counselor as determined by the developmental guidance plan in the State of Texas. Such issues as counseling, consulting, coordinating, and guidance responsibilities will be addressed, as well as others. The variety of ways as to how a counselor functions within a school will be presented, and integration of skills learned in other courses will also be studied. S

HDCN 6310. Family Systems
This course is designed as a study of systems theory as it relates to family function and dysfunction. The focus will be on the theoretical underpinnings of family intervention and the development of the skills and tools necessary to impact the dysfunctional family in a therapeutic setting. This is a "how to" course with the expectation that each student will develop the basic skills needed to orchestrate a family session. It will also address the influence of culture, race, sex, and gender within families. The student will continue to work on understanding his or her own personal family system in order to bring as much congruence as possible into the therapy room. M

HDCN 6311. Marriage and Family Therapy
This course will address the principals and techniques of effective therapy with couples. Various 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 6312. Family Therapy
This course is designed as an overview of the field of family therapy with specific focus on the precursors of the family therapy movement, the major models of family intervention, counseling skills and theoretical techniques, and application of counseling principles to the family setting. In addition to the various theories of family structure and process, guiding principles and strategies for assessing will be presented, as will other techniques for engaging and connecting with families. M

HDCN 6313. Family of Origin
This course is designed as an in-depth study of the principles of Bowen systems theory, as well as related issues in family systems therapy. Strong emphasis will be placed on theory, on viewing the family as an emotional unit, on understanding the individual client as a continuing presence in his or her family of origin, and on strategies for applying this knowledge in a clinical setting. Equal attention will be given to the dynamics of each student’s own family of origin/extended family with the opportunity to explore, study, and comprehend that family of origin over at least three generations. The student’s differentiation of self within current relationships and other contexts such as the workplace, etc., will be a primary focus of this course. M

HDCN 6314. Sexual Counseling - Therapy
This course is designed as a study of sexual problems and sexual disorders. The focus will be on sexual experiences as a part of life experiences and the development of the skills and tools necessary to strengthen positive relational and sexual functioning in a therapeutic setting. This is a “how to” course, with the expectation being that each student will develop the basic skills needed to orchestrate sexual counseling sessions. The student will continue to 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 6320. Life Span Development
Physical, cognitive, communicative/linguistic, and social/emotional development through the life span are examined. These topics are addressed within the context of the major theories of development with a focus on age level, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. Students learn appropriate developmental practices useful in interventions across the life span. MCS

HDCN 6321. Lifestyle and Career Development
This course will address the interrelationship between culture and related life factors with the world of work. Career counseling, occupational development theories, educational planning, labor market information resources, and the use of technology as a tool in career counseling cases will be presented. CS

HDCN 6323. Adolescent Counseling
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 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 therapy modality, entitled Child Parenting Relationship Enhancement training (CPR-T).  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 diagnoses, resistance, and external circumstances affecting the parent-child relationship. E

HDCN 6330. Psychopathology: Adult
Psychopathology is examined using an integrative approach including the biological, psychological, social, cultural, familial, and political forces that currently define abnormal behavior. More specifically, the history, theories, research, DSM IV-TR diagnostic categories, and psychopharmacological treatments are covered. Anxiety, dissociation, mood, eating, substance abuse, sleep, sexual, psychotic, childhood, adolescent, cognitive, personality, impulse control, somatoform, and adjustment disorders are examined. Critical thinking, using clinical examples and case studies, is emphasized. MCS

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
The basic appraisal concepts, various instruments, procedures, methods, and interview techniques used for developmental, behavioral, cognitive, learning, and personality assessment are covered. Emphasis is placed on understanding, criticizing, and using the assessment report to develop a counseling approach. Case studies are used to demonstrate this process MCS

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. S

HDCN 6343. Play Therapy
The nature of this course is centralized around the premise that helping children recognize and accept the feelings they are experiencing is a foundation to their learning healthy ways of coping with anxiety and stress. Play is the method children use to master the confusing problems in their world, so this course will focus on helping counselors select play therapy materials, create the proper therapeutic atmosphere, and develop the skills necessary to interact with children in a play therapy setting. A variety of play therapy philosophies and theories will also be examined. E

HDCN 6344. EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY: CREATIVE AND THERAPEUTIC PROCESSES
This course introduces the 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
Students learn expressive arts therapies that cultivate mindfulness and its benefits to 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 
Students will learn expressive therapies highlighting the mind-body connection through body awareness, movement/dance, drama, physiological processes, and physical action. Instruction will emphasize evidence-based methods and neurobiological research supporting these practices. E

HDCN 6349. Research Design and Statistics
Basic experimental, quasi- and non-experimental research designs and methods are examined with an emphasis on developing a critical approach to examining the research literature in counseling. A basic introduction to the application of statistics in research is offered. Topics covered include statistical inference, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, correlation, regression, multiple regression, factor analyses, and non-parametric statistics. MCS

HDCN 6351. Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse
The psychological and behavioral effects of drugs are examined with a focus on substance abuse. This course will cover historical factors, developmental issues, family system patterns, addiction theory, and societal trends that are a part of substance abuse. Case studies, role-playing, and the development of counseling strategies will also be a major part of this study. E

HDCN 6352. Psychology of Addictions
The origins and trends of addictive behavior will be covered including substances, gambling, internet, relationship addiction, and others. Understanding the origins of addictions, treatment options, and barriers to treatment will be explored. Students will also learn about addiction co-morbidity with mental health issues as well as 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. Cultural context and practice implications of heteronormativity in therapists and clients are examined. The external and internal factors and processes that can impact the lives and mental health of LGB persons are addressed. Current understandings of micro-aggression and minority stress are reviewed. Implications of intersecting identities of race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status and religion on the development of sexual orientation and identity integration are examined. Explores affirming and culturally responsive strategies for addressing co-occurring diagnoses of major mental health, substance misuse, and major physical health issues including HIV and AIDS. E

HDCN 6370. Crisis Intervention
This course presents theories, strategies, and skills and an overall introduction to clinical crisis intervention. Models for assessing and responding to crises are presented. Topics such as medical and psychological traumas, post traumatic stress disorder and professional burnout will be part of the curriculum. Theoretical and ethical implications will be ad-dressed. Special emphasis is given to disaster psychology, natural disasters, terrorism, school violence, and suicidology. E

HDCN 6381. Ethics and Mental Health
This course presents fundamental ethical principals and their application to legal and related professional issues in the field of counseling. Ethical codes, standards of conduct, and the law will be reviewed. Professional organization guidelines from APA, ASCA, and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors will be examined. 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 6385. Advanced General Psychology
This course is an overview of the wide spectrum of the field of psychology. It is designed for those students who are entering the counseling program with a limited background in psychological studies. Topics such as perception, motivation, personality development, memory, therapy, and learning theory are but a few to be presented. This is a required course during the first term for students who do not have an undergraduate degree in psychology or a minor in psychology.  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. Students must get permission of both a cooperating professor and the Chair of the department prior to enrollment. Course may be repeated. 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. Students must get permission of both a cooperating professor and the Chair of the department prior to enrollment. 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. Students must get permission of both a cooperating professor and the Chair of the department prior to enrollment. Course may be repeated. E

HDCN 6395/6396. 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
Advanced methods and techniques are refined in individual and group counseling settings under close supervision. To fulfill the requirements of each course, supervised internship hours must be documented including supervised hours of direct contact with clients; number of hours will vary according to LPC, LMFT, and School Counseling requirements. Audio or video tapes of counselor-client interactions must be submitted to the departmental Internship Director. Direct supervision is given in the placement settings by qualified supervisors. MS

HDCN 6399. Internship in Counseling II
Advanced methods and techniques are refined in individual and group counseling settings under close supervision. To fulfill the requirements of each course, supervised internship hours must be documented including supervised hours of direct contact with clients; number of hours will vary according to LPC, LMFT, and School Counseling requirements. Audio or video tapes of counselor-client interactions must be submitted to the departmental Internship Director. Direct supervision is given in the placement settings by qualified supervisors. MS