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
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
Prerequisite: HDCN 6301 Counseling Theory. The major methods 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 also be assessed. 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
Prerequisite: HDCN 6301 Counseling Theory. Examines the dynamics and major approaches to group counseling, with a focus on starting a counseling group, leading groups effectively, and evaluating results. Reviews group processes, leadership, and membership; support and self-help groups, special populations, and ethical issues pertaining to groups; and program planning and development in agencies, schools, higher education, and private practice.  Students are expected to arrange and facilitate outside of class a series of group counseling sessions during the term, and to attend their own personal growth group. CS

HDCN 6304. Counseling Diverse Communities
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. 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. Builds on the foundational skills learned in HDCN 6303, and expands and enhances 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
Focuses on planning, organizing, implementing, and evaluating an elementary developmental guidance program in accordance with the Texas model, applicable state law, and the American School Counselor Association model. Required for the elementary school counseling track. S

HDCN 6309. Counseling: Secondary School
Focuses on planning, organizing, implementing, and evaluating the secondary developmental guidance program using the Texas model, applicable state law, and the American School Counselor Association model. Required for the secondary school counseling track. S

HDCN 6310. Family Systems
Prerequisite: HDCN 6312 Family Therapy. Students apply systemic clinical models to the practice of family therapy. Emphasis is placed on clinical skills and knowledge needed to prepare students for the practicum experience. M

HDCN 6311. Foundations of Marriage and Family Therapy
Addresses the principles and techniques of effective therapy with couples, primarily utilizing the approach of John Gottman.  Explores various other models, 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. Introduction to Family Therapy
Overview of the field of family therapy, with a focus on the precursors of the family therapy movement, the major models of family intervention, counseling skills and theoretical techniques, and the 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
An in-depth study of the principles of Bowen systems theory, as well as related issues in family systems therapy, with an emphasis on theory, the family as an emotional unit, the individual client as a continuing presence in his or her family of origin, and 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
A study of sexual issues, positive sexual functioning, sexual problems, and sexual disorders that confront the counselor or therapist, with a focus on sexual experiences as a part of life experiences.  Also, the development of the skills and tools necessary to strengthen within a therapeutic setting a client's positive relational and sexual functioning.  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
Examines physical, cognitive, communicative and linguistic, and social and emotional development processes 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 practices useful in interventions across the life span. MCS

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. CS

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.
Students actively engage parents as partners in the play therapeutic process in working with minors in a counseling setting.  Explores a variety of parenting approaches, with emphasis on Landreth's "Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT): A 10 Session Filial Therapy Model."   Reviews current literature on how brain development can be enhanced by caretakers of children and teenagers.  Also, various parenting issues, including developmental concerns, DSM diagnoses, resistance, and external circumstances affecting the parent-child relationship. E

HDCN 6330. Psychopathology: Adult
Examines the principles of understanding dysfunction in human behavior, with an emphasis on the criteria of psychiatric diagnosis using the current "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" and empirical theories of psychopathology. 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
Prerequisite: HDCN 6349 Research Design & Statistics. A comprehensive overview of the essentials of assessment principles, concepts, ethics, standards, statistical concepts, instruments, and systemic appraisal of an individual's attitudes, aptitudes, achievements, interests, and personal characteristics using both formal and informal approaches frequently used by counselors. MCS

HDCN 6342. Cognitive, Career and Educational Assessment
Prerequisite: HDCN 6340 Assessment.  Career, intelligence, and academic assessment for school-age population (K-12) presented for application in school settings. 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 Abuse
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. 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