Department of Counselor Education
Northeastern Illinois University

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M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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Course Descriptions

Faculty will follow the program syllabus for a given course, but are free to supplement and enrich the course according to the principle of academic freedom and one's personal uniqueness.

Instructors will inform students of the required and/or recommended textbook(s) at the first class session.

COUN 401 Professional Orientation and Legal/Ethical Practices, 3 cr. This course offers an orientation to the counseling profession with opportunities to explore the field of counseling, professional identity issues and the professional career options related to it.  Students will study the history of the profession, ethical and legal standards and practices, preparation standards, credentialing, professional organizations, functions, and related journals.  Students will also be oriented to skills required for multicultural counseling competency.  Prereq: graduate standing

COUN 402 Developmental Counseling, 3 cr. Course focuses on the concept of developmentally oriented counseling. It is based upon lifespan theory which makes the assumption that there is developmental logic to behavior. Counselors learn to assess and understand the client's developmental processes and provide appropriate helping strategies for clients working through developmental blocks. Students study developmental theory, concepts, and principles, including psychosocial, cognitive, moral, emotional, family, career, self, and cultural development. Prereq: graduate standing

COUN 403 Theories of Counseling, 3 cr. Focuses on various theories of counseling and their associated techniques. Students study a range of theories and their application in various professional settings and are required to synthesize their own approach. This course contributes to the theoretical foundations of the helping relationships component of the program and is required of all students. Prereq: graduate standing

COUN 404 Assessment and Evaluation in Counseling, 3 cr.
Principles of test construction, basic statistical concepts, study of commonly used standardized tests, and other evaluative procedures. Interpretations of test data are an integral part of this course. Prereq: graduate standing

COUN 405 Individual Counseling Skills, 3 cr. A laboratory course providing competency-building experiences to prepare counselors for helping relationships. Supervised counseling of fellow students and outside clients is required. Both a knowledge base and a skill base are developed. In all aspects of this course, confidentiality and ethical-behavior are stressed. The course contributes to the helping relationships component of the program and is required of all students. Prereq: COUN 403 and COUN 401 or COUN 433

COUN 406 Group Counseling, 3 cr. Course focuses on groups and group leadership. Knowledge base includes theory, group processes, group dynamics, interventions, roles of members and leaders, facilitative and debilitative behaviors, characteristics of developmental stages, ethics, and therapeutic ingredients of group work. Experiential group activities develop self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and leadership ability. Confidentiality and ethical behavior are stressed. Course contributes to the helping relationships and group work components of the program and is required of all students. Prereq: COUN 405

COUN 407 Mental Health Counseling, 3 cr. This course introduces students to the primary settings in which mental health counselors provide services.  It critically evaluates the legal, ethical, social, professional, organizational, research, and contextual realities that shape and direct the mental health field.  The changing service delivery, the impact of the managed cares, and the comprehensive mental health counseling model will be explored.  This course is designed to enhance student understanding of the contextual complexity of mental health and "mental illness," aiming to encourage students to critically evaluate the field and to understand the importance of preserving the resiliency of the clinicians to prevent burnout.  Prereq: COUN 403 or COUN 433

COUN 408 Research Seminar, 3 cr. Introduces students to the nature of scientific research, with particular reference to the research methods and statistical treatments that are appropriate to the study of problems and issues related to professional counseling. Students demonstrate their critical understanding by designing a research proposal. Course contributes to the research and evaluation component of the program and is required of all students. Prereq: COUN 404

COUN 409 Career Development, 3 cr. This introductory course provides an overview of the field of career development with applications appropriate to the student's sequence. The focus is on career development theories; occupational and educational information; career and leisure counseling: lifestyle and career decision making; and program planning and evaluation. A whole life perspective facilitates the personal, social, and career development of children, adolescents, and adults. This course contributes to the lifestyle and career development component of the program. Prereq: graduate standing

COUN 410 Seminar in School Counseling, 3 cr.  This course provides an overview of the field of school counseling in elementary, middle, and secondary schools.  Emphasis is on the role of the school counselor as well as an examination of the history and current trends in school counseling programs and services.  The developmental school counseling model offers a foundation for understanding various interventions, including individual and group counselig, crisis intervention, consultation, appraisal, and coordination of counseling services.  Prereq: graduate standing

COUN 411 Post Secondary College & Career Counseling, 3 cr.  This course is intended to provide students, who have an interest in working at the high school level, with specialized information about college search, admissions, and financial aid processes.  This course will provide an overview of the field of college counseling and the basics of the college admission and selection process.  It will emphasize the role of the school counselor in providing information, assistance, and support in the students' and families' decision-making.  Prereq: graduate standing, COUN 405, 410, or consent of instructor

COUN 414 Advanced Career Counseling, 3 cr. Advanced Career Counseling provides students with an in-depth laboratory experience in career counseling which will require them to integrate their knowledge of career and counseling theories, individual counseling skills, evaluation techniques, and skills related to the job search process. Students will be required to formulate, present, and write an in-depth client case study. This course is required of all students in the career development sequence. Prereq: COUN409 or consent of instructor

COUN 415 Children and Youth in School and Family Systems, 3 cr. A study of children and youth and their systems. Assessment and Counseling techniques will be addressed. A comparison between the medically modeled view and the systemic view will be presented. Students will interview a child and his/her family as well as an older youth and their family. Prereq: consent of instructor. COUN 420 is recommended

COUN 420 Introduction to Family Counseling, 3 cr. Course focuses on major theories and techniques of family counseling. Lectures, student research, and role-playing are utilized as presentation forms. Prereq: graduate standing, COUN 401 or 433 and COUN 403

COUN 421 Advanced Marriage and Family Counseling, 3 cr. An advanced experience in Marriage and Family counseling. Focuses on developing a personal model of counseling and experiencing the total therapeutic process. Diagnostic skills, case analysis, and relationship strategies are emphasized (e.g. divorce counseling). Prereq: graduate standing and COUN-420

COUN 422 Grief Counseling, 3 cr. An overview of contemporary attitudes regarding loss and death and their implications for the counselor's personal reaction to death related events. Students fain expertise with the grieving process and the physical and emotional consequences associated with maladaptive grief. Specific issues raised by different types of loss will also be discussed. Crisis intervention skills, counseling techniques, and community mutual aid efforts to facilitate a healthy grieving process are presented. Prereq: graduate standing,  COUN-401 or 433 and 403

COUN 423 Counseling for Business and Industry, 3 cr. This course is designed for students in the Career Development Sequence. Focuses on the counseling needs in business and industry. This course builds on the work done in COUN-414 Advanced Career Counseling, with the emphasis on the career counseling needs of the adult worker. Course is of value to students seeking careers in the business world, community colleges, and vocational agencies. Prereq: graduate standing COUN-409

COUN 424 Stress Management, 3 cr. Course is for counselors serving clients in a variety of settings. Its holistic focus is on stress and burnout from proactive and reactive perspectives. Student learning activities are didactic and experiential. Each student will design, implement, and evaluate a personal stress management program appropriate to his/her own needs and resources. Students participate in research, laboratory and support groups activities dealing with aspects of stress management. Prereq: graduate standing and COUN-401 or 433 or consent of instructor

COUN 425 Addictions Counseling, 3 cr. The knowledge base required for certification in alcohol and/or drug counseling in Illinois is covered. The approach to addictions is through the alcoholism model and includes such areas as medical complications, symptoms, assessment, definitions, denial, relapse, special populations, treatment, education, and counseling attitudes and skills unique to addiction counseling. Major drug categories are reviewed from the standpoint of physiological effects and treatment. Prereq: graduate standing, COUN-403 and 401 or 433

COUN 426 Advanced Counseling for Chemical Dependency, 3 cr. Participation in various aspects of a treatment program, including admission interviews, evaluation of patients, short and long range planning with patients, dealing with denial and relapse through counseling. A needs assessment among class members will determine part of this course. Prereq: graduate standing and COUN-425 or consent of instructor

COUN 427 Diagnostic Systems for Counseling, 3 cr. This course acquaints counselors with descriptive, research-based, and clinical knowledge that contributes to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, including disorders of behavior and impulse control, mood, and anxiety as well as the various personality disorders and disorders involving loss of contact with reality. Students study the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Assn. And the ways the manual is used in clinical practice. Prereq: Permission of instructor

COUN 428 Advanced Individual Counseling: Case Conceptualization, 3 cr. Provides students with the opportunity to work with a single client over a ten-week period, using integrative conceptualization and counseling models as a basis for on-going assessment and planning. Small group settings focus on diagnosis and treatment planning within the context of legal and ethical guidelines and with reference to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association. Requirements include preparation and presentation of a professional disclosure statement and a clinical case study.

COUN 429 Psychopharmacology, 3 cr.  This is an introductory course to psychopharmacology for non-medical, helping professionals.  Students will be informed about the pharmacological aspects of addiction, psychotherapeutic medications and drugs of abuse.  Emphasis is placed on the basic principles of pharmacology, the effects of drugs on the human central and peripheral nervous systems, and psychoactive drug effects and side effects.  It is also designed to provide an overview of pharmacological classification systems and pharmacological interventions for psychiatric disorders.  it will address benefits and side effects, trends and physiological principles as well as medical and pharmacological lexicon.  

COUN 430 Social and Cultural Diversity in Counseling, 3 cr. Students will be introduced to the training model for multicultural competency, which includes awareness of cultural assumptions, knowledge of cultural diversity and racial/ethnic issues, and skills for social and cultural diversity counseling.  Students will gain understanding of the impact of their own cultural identity on behavior, functioning, and the therapeutic relationship.  Skills for successful social and cultural diversity counseling will be taught, including assessment of cultural identity and worldview, acculturation, spirituality, gender, socioeconomic status, and oppression.  Prereq: graduate standing

COUN 431 Couple and Family Systems Study, 3 cr. An in-depth look at family systems, including a family's developmental and life cycles. Attention will be given to various contemporary family structure with a focus on family assessment of contemporary problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual dysfunction. Comparison of a systemic view and the traditional medically modeled psychological and psychiatric view will be addressed. Students will also study the assessment of families though the use of standardized instruments. Prereq: admission to the Couple and Family Sequence, or consent of instructor, and COUN-420

COUN 432 Counseling Couples, 3 cr.  This course will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the principal theoretical frameworks, and the existing clinical approaches to counseling couples derived from the theoretical frameworks.  The course will also expose students to a variety of clinical issues a counselor is most likely to encounter in clinical work with couples.

COUN 433  Foundations of Rehab Counseling, 3 cr. This course will provide students with the foundations of rehabilitation and the rehabilitation counseling profession.  The course will introduce students to relevant aspects of rehabilitation history, philosophy, values, and practice, with an emphasis on the operational aspects of the rehabilitation service delivery system.  The course will examine current issues, community resources, services, and the vocational rehabilitation process. Prereq: graduate standing

COUN 434 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disability, 3 cr. Involves study of medical information on a wide range of disabilities from systems perspective.  The psychological, social, and vocational implications of the experience of the various disorders will be integrated into the course.  Medical terminology, medical specialty practices and health care systems providing diagnosis, treatment, restorative services, or therapy to individuals with disabilities will be discussed.  The course, nature, etiology, effects and prognosis of physical, sensory, mental, neurological, developmental, and other disability/disease processes will be covered.  Case studies of system-related disabilities will be presented with emphasis on understanding the psychosocial, functional and vocational implications of disease, congenital and adventitious disability.   Prereq: admission to the program

COUN 435 Work and Disability, 3 cr. This course involves both didactic and experiential modes of instruction enabling students to build competencies in the career development and job placement of persons with disabilities.  Students will learn the procedures in developing effective job development and placement strategies and obtain knowledge of labor market trends, employment law, and vocational issues surrounding the acquisition and maintenance of competitive employment in today's society.  Specific emphasis will be placed on the unique challenges faced by people from non-majority and traditionally underserved groups.  Prereq: COUN-433

COUN 436 Case Management in Rehab Counseling, 3 cr. The course is intended to be a capstone experience whereby the rehabilitation counselor-in-training applies principles, skills, and knowledge to simulated case examples.  Topics include:the goals and models of case management in rehabilitation; client/consumer interviewing and assessment; planning for appropriate and effective intervention strategies, services, and benefits included in a rehabilitation plan; plan monitoring and evaluation; and job placement, closure, and follow-up.  Various models of case management will be presented with a primary focus on the State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation model.  Prereq: COUN 433, 434, 435

COUN 437 Introduction to Integrative Expressive Techniques, 3 cr.  The purpose of this course is to introduce expressive therapies into a counseling practice.  The course covers ten commonly used counseling frameworks with expressive art interventions.  Adlerian therapy, Narrative therapy, Person-Centered therapy, and other forms of therapy will be discussed in relation to expressive arts techniques.  The course will be primarily experiential in which students will experience different expressive arts.

COUN 438 Crisis and Trauma Counseling, 3 cr.  This course provides the counseling student with an introduction to research, theory, and practices within the field of trauma and crisis diagnosis, assessment and intervention.  The course will cover the historical evolution of the field; biopsychosocial underpinnings of trauma and trauma spectrum disorders; issues in diagnosis, assessment, and intervention from a culturally diverse and systemic framework; and a synthesis of best practices as they are currently evolving.  Prereq: COUN 403, 405, 427

COUN 439 Case Conceptualization and Treatment Plan, 3 cr.

COUN 442 Practicum I: Group Supervision in School Counseling, 3 cr.  Course focuses on the integration of counseling skills and conceptual frameworks to create strategies to assist children in the areas of personal, social, education and career development.  This course contributes to the counseling proficiency component of the program.  Required of all students enrolled in the school sequence. Prereq:  COUN-409, and approval of the Department  

COUN 444 Practicum: Ethical/Legal Issues in Mental Health Counseling, 3 cr.  Course focuses on group supervision of clinical experiences and diagnostic and planning procedures within the context of legal and ethical guidelines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association.  Presentation of a professional disclosure statement and a clinical case study are required.  Course contributes to the counseling proficiency component of the program.  Prereq:  COUN-409, and approval of the Department

COUN 445 Practicum I: Group Supervision in Couple and Family Counseling, 3 cr.  Practicum I focuses on group supervision of the clinical experiences as well as on assessment and planning procedures for counselors within the context of legal and ethical guidelines.  A review of major theories and Couple/Marriage & Family techniques are applied to case material generated from the field experience of Practicum II.  This course contributes to the counseling proficiency component of the program and is required of all students in the family counseling program.  Prereq:  acceptance into the C/M&F sequence

COUN 446 Practicum in Rehabilitation Counseling, 3 cr. Students will apply rehabilitation counseling knowledge and skills introduced in previous courses.  The purpose of the course is to enhance basic rehabilitation counseling skills including interviewing, listening skills, assessment, documentation and case recording, referral, and follow-up services.  There will be periodic and direct communications throughout the semester between the site supervisor and the faculty through site visits, conference calls, electronic communications and either video-taping or audio-recording of individual counseling sessions between the student and client. Prereq: COUN-402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 409, 433, 434, 435, 436

COUN 462 Internship I: School Counseling, 3 cr. First of two supervised internship courses required for the school counseling sequence. Focus is on the implementation of the role of the school counselor in school settings. Interns work under the supervision of a site supervisor and a university faculty person. The course will require the intern to complete 300 hours of field related activities and participate in an on-campus seminar every other week. Prereq: All courses required for the sequence, and approval of the department

COUN 463 Internship I: Rehabilitation Counseling, 3 cr. Students will apply rehabilitation counseling knowledge and skills introduced in previous courses through classroom-based activities and supervision provided by university-based certified rehabilitation counselor.  The purpose of the course is to enhance basic rehabilitation counseling skills through Socratic, individualized, and group supervision including interviewing, listening skills, ethical/professional issues, case studies, community resource reports, assessment, documentation and case recording, referral, and follow-up services in actual community-bases settings serving persons with disability.  Prereq: COUN 446

COUN 464 Internship I: Mental Health Counseling, 3 cr. This course is the first of two supervised internship courses required for the Mental Health Counseling sequence that focuses on the role of the counselor in a mental health service program, family guidance clinic, mental health center, hospital, substance abuse treatment program, aging center or course services setting.  Supervision provided by a site supervisor and a counselor education staff person.  This course requires 300 hours of field-related activities, including participation in an on-campus seminar every other week.   Prereq: All courses required for the sequence and approval of the department.

COUN 465 Internship I: Group Supervision in Couple and Family Counseling, 3 cr. This is the first of the supervised internship courses required for the family counseling program sequence. The focus of this course is on the implementation of the role of the family counselor in a community agency, family guidance clinic, community mental health center, hospital, substance abuse treatment program, aging center or court services setting. Interns will be working under the supervision of a site supervisor and a counselor education faculty person. The course will require the intern to complete 300 hours of field-related activities, including participation in an on-campus seminar every other week. Prereq: All courses required for the specialization, Practicum  and approval of the department.

COUN 468 Seminar in Counseling, 3 cr. See the subtitles in electives listing. As these subtitles indicate, these courses provide opportunities for detailed analysis of various topics focusing on current trends and/or issues. The varied interests of the students are considered in relation to the activities and assignments. Prereq: Consent of instructor

COUN 469 Independent Study in Guidance and Personnel Work, 1 cr. Intensive guided study in selected areas of guidance and personnel work. Consultation with instructor prior to registration is mandatory. Prereq: graduate standing and consent of instructor.

COUN 470 Independent Study in Guidance and Personnel Work, 2 cr. (See COUN-469 for description.)

COUN 472 Internship II: School Counseling, 3 cr. Second of three supervised internship courses required for the school counseling sequence. A continuation of COUN-462 focusing on the implementation of the role of the school counselor in school settings. Interns work under the supervision of a site supervisor and a counselor education staff person. The course requires the interns to complete 300 hours of field-related activities and participate in an on-campus seminar every other week. Prereq:COUN-462: Internship I: School Counseling

COUN 474 Internship II: Mental Health Counseling, 3 cr. A continuation of COUN 464 which further involves the intern in the implementation of the role of the counselor in a mental health counseling program, family guidance clinic, mental health center, hospital, substance abuse treatment program, aging center of course services center.  Supervision provided by a site supervisorand a counselor education staff person.  Requires 300 hours of field related activities, including participation in an on-campus seminar every other week.  Prereq:
COUN-464, Internship I: Mental Health Counseling

COUN 475 Internship II: Group Supervision in Couple and Family Counseling, 3 cr. This course is a continuation of COUN-465 and further involves the intern in the implementation of a role of the family counselor in an approved internship placement. Interns will be working under the supervision of a site supervisor and a counselor education staff person.. The course will require the intern to complete 300 hours of field related activities, including participation in an on-campus seminar every other week. Prereq: COUN-465, Internship I: Couple and Family Counseling

COUN 476 Internship II: Rehabilitation Counseling, 3 cr. Students will apply rehabilitation counseling knowledge and skills introduced in previous courses in a community-based, field experience.  The purpose of the course is to further develop rehabilitation counseling skills including counseling interventions, intake interviewing and eligibility determination, assessment, rehabilitation plan development and contruction, documentation and case recording, case management, and follow-up services.  There will be periodic and direct communications throughout the semester between the site supervisor and the faculty through site visits, conference calls, electronic communications and either videotaping or audiorecording of individual counseling sessions between the student and client.  Prereq: COUN 463

COUN 478 Advanced Counseling, 3 cr.  The purpose of this course is to provide the counselor education student with advanced practice in individual counseling.  Students will serve as graduate mentors to those students who are taking COUN 405 Individual Counseling Skills.  The students in this course will assist the instructor in demonstrations of proper counseling skills, in supervision of counseling sessions held in the counselor education laboratory, and in giving feedback to students in COUN 405.  Prereq: Graduate standing, COUN 405, and consent of instructor

COUN-490 Thesis Research, 3 cr.
This course includes the preparation and submission of a master of arts thesis under the supervision of a faculty committee. Thesis topics will reflect students' interest in a variety of counseling areas. Thesis may be based on quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies. Prereq: COUN-408, consent of instructor

COUN-499 Clinical Supervision, 3 cr. This course will examine clinical supervision theory and techniques currently used in counseling and psychotherapy and introduce students to supervision as a specialty. Focusing on developmental issues of both supervisors and clinicians, this course will study methods that can be used to enhance counselor competency and issues related to supervising multiple counseling models. Students are expected to be supervising already, as group and individual supervision-of-supervision will be a component of the class. Prereq: graduate degree, or clinical experience as a supervisor with permission of the instructor. Students must have at least two supervisees they are currently supervising

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Department of Counselor Education
Northeastern Illinois University
5550 N. St. Louis Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Email: counsedu@neiu.edu ~ Telephone: 773-442-5550 ~ Fax:773-442-5559