Counseling Psychology Course Descriptions

Counseling Psychology Courses (PY)

430 Seminar in Theories of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Summer, even years) This course is an introduction to the principles and techniques used in behavior modification. Students read and analyze empirical and theoretical research reports examining the application of behavior modification to psychopathology. Students are required to act as discussion leaders on selected topics in the literature. (Not regularly scheduled)

500 Educational and Career Counseling, Mental Health Counseling (Summer) This course is preparation for the planning and implementation of vocational and career development programs. Students analyze vocational development theories, research and the literature in the field. The problems of vocational assessment and counseling are stressed. A laboratory in vocational counseling is part of the course.

501 Foundations of School Counseling (Fall) This course provides a comprehensive overview of school counseling and guidance services in the educational system from kindergarten through 12th grade. The course uses the ASCA National Model as the foundation of Arcadia University’s School Counseling programs and highlights the historical perspective of counseling and guidance services. Emphasis is placed on the counselor’s newly defined role as advocate, leader, collaborator and systemic change agent. Legal and ethical issues are discussed. Students have the opportunity to apply some of the theories and concepts used in the course to real-life case studies. It is recommended that students take this course toward the beginning of the program. This course must be completed before starting the internship.

502 Educational and Career Counseling, School (Spring) This course analyzes selected theories of career development with application to school counseling programs K–12. Students administer career assessments, learn techniques of career counseling, conduct research, and develop a career project for use in an elementary, middle, or high school. Projects and activities are grounded in the ASCA National Model for School Counseling Programs, Pennsylvania Career Education and Work Standards, and the National Career Development Guidelines. A technology laboratory is included in the course, which must be completed before starting the practicum.

516 Human Development: Life Span (Fall) This course is an examination of cognitive, social, emotional and physiological development from birth to death. It explores a wide range of theoretical knowledge with practical applications in a variety of educational areas: parenting, counseling, teaching and other service-oriented fields.

521 Research Design, Methods and Evaluation (Fall, Spring) This course is an introduction to research design and methodology in clinical settings. The emphasis is upon the selection of appropriate research designs, the appropriate use of statistics, program evaluation and the evaluation of published research. Students are required to read and critique published research studies.

570 Professional Issues in Counseling (Fall) This course is an examination of the profession of counseling covering the history of the profession, professional roles and functions, professional organizations, credentialing and licensure, multicultural issues, ethical codes, and legal issues. In addition, the course covers current issues that impact upon the profession, such as managed care, insurance procedures, and record keeping.

572 Concepts of Mental Health and Mental Illness (Fall, Spring) This course is an overview of the basic concepts of mental health and illness with in-depth review of diagnostic interviewing and differential diagnosis using DSM IV and an introduction to selected psychotherapies.

574 Clinical Psychopharmacology (Summer) This course is intended to provide counseling students and other students in the mental health professions with a basic understanding of how psychiatric medications work in the brain and modify behavior. Students learn about the relationship between DSM IV diagnoses and the choice of psychiatric medications that are prescribed by physicians. Finally, students are trained to use reference material to evaluate key characteristics of psychiatric medications and evaluate the clinical efficacy of medications. Prerequisite: PY 572 or may be taken concurrently.

585 Special Topics in Counseling Psychology The content and prerequisites vary depending on the nature of the topic covered.

586 Theories and Techniques of Counseling (Fall, Spring) Introduction to major approaches to counseling and basic counseling techniques with an emphasis on multicultural and evidence based practices. Prerequisites: PY 572 and matriculation into a graduate program at Arcadia University. For Counseling Psychology students, PY 587 also must be taken either prior to or concurrently.

587 Practicum (Fall, Spring, Summer) The Practicum is an applied experience in a counseling setting selected to meet individual career goals. This experience is designed to introduce students to clinical observation, interviewing, assessment, and counseling. The course requires a minimum of 100 hours of applied experience, to be completed within six months. For students in school counseling, the Practicum experience must be in school or youth settings. Prerequisite: Matriculated students only.

589 Independent Research (See Independent Research) Independent work is under the guidance of a member of the staff. It requires research or an extensive literature survey, culminating in a paper prepared in a form suitable for publication in a professional journal. Prerequisites: PY 521 and permission of the Psychology Department Chair and the Director of Counseling Psychology. Matriculated students only.

598 Advanced Seminar This seminar is an opportunity for a small number of qualified students to explore with the professor an area of psychological interest. The topic is announced prior to registration. Discussion and readings are of an advanced nature. Prerequisites: Permission of the Psychology Department Chair and the Director of Counseling Psychology.

601 Community Perspectives on Sexual Assault Counseling (Fall, Spring, Summer) This course provides students with the theoretical and practical foundation necessary to assist rape survivors in their recovery process. Students gain exposure to the complex system with which rape survivors come in contact. This system includes crisis, legal, medical, educational, and mental health elements. Students receive both didactic and hands-on training in a variety of settings (Women Organized Against Rape, court, hospital, community). Prerequisite: Matriculated students only.

605 Addictive Behaviors: Substance Abuse and Eating Disorder Counseling (Spring, odd years) The course surveys the history, etiology, prevalence, and treatment modalities relevant to substance abuse and eating disorders. Special attention is given to short-term and long-term intervention strategies addressing both individual (i.e., the client’s) and systemic (i.e., cultural and familial) issues. The course includes a strong skill building component. Prerequisites: PY 572 and PY 586.

610 Group Counseling (Summer) This study of the major theories, concepts and techniques of group counseling includes a laboratory in which specific group counseling techniques are practiced. Prerequisites: PY 572 and PY 586.

611 Couples and Family Therapy (Spring) This overview of the major theoretical approaches to family and marriage counseling emphasizes practical skills and the ability to plan interventions in a clinical setting. It includes a laboratory in which specific techniques are taught by role-play, discussion and other activities. Prerequisites: PY 572 and PY 586.

612 Practical Applications for School Counselors (Summer) This course provides an in-depth exploration of current trends in the school counseling field. Students review the practical tools counselors need to design and implement appropriate school counseling programs based on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model. Students explore and critically analyze each of the four components of this model while engaging in hands-on and performance-based activities. Prerequisites: PY 501 and PY 587.

615 Child and Adolescent Counseling: Clinical and School Applications (Spring)This course examines theories of child development and pathology with an emphasis on clinical work with youth presenting with mental health issues in community and school settings. Major types of intervention techniques are explored, including individual, play therapy, cognitive behavioral methods, family and group therapy. Particular emphasis is on childhood mental health and illness and their relationship to school and family functioning. Prerequisites: PY516 (or PY 517), PY 572 and PY 586.

618 Evidenced-Based Treatments of Trauma (Fall) This course provides an intensive overview of evidence-based research supporting clinical therapy with victims of a variety of trauma-related events. Theoretical issues, legal and ethical dilemmas, and assessment techniques are presented. Individual, group, family and specialized treatment approaches designed to assist persons with trauma-related mental health problems such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are examined and learned through role-plays and discussion. Prerequisites: PY 572 and PY 568.

620 Advanced Counseling Techniques (Fall) This study of advanced micro-skills and techniques of counseling, with a specific focus on cognitive and behavioral techniques, addresses ethical and professional issues. It includes practice/role-plays of specific techniques. Prerequisites: PY 572 and PY 586. Matriculated students only.

621 Advanced Child and Adolescent Counseling (Fall) This course offers advanced cognitive-behavioral skills-based training in assessment and treatment of children and adolescents presenting with a broad range of mental health and illness issues. This course includes a weekly lab designed to provide students with hands on experience in the treatment of youth, while being observed by faculty who are experts in the field. Prerequisites: PY516 (or PY 517), PY 572, PY 586 and PY 615.

622 Trauma, Advocacy, and Social Justice (Spring, even years) This course is taught using ecological and emancipatory frameworks, paying close attention to sociopolitical (e.g., poverty, discrimination) and ethno-cultural considerations in understanding the prevalence of trauma and the development, conceptualization and treatment of trauma-related symptoms. Specifically, the course addresses topics such as disaster counseling, intimate partner and community violence, historical trauma, and refugee mental health. Students learn skills in both treatment (e.g., disaster response, crisis-intervention, cross-cultural counseling) and prevention (e.g., political advocacy, public education).

623 Strategies for Treating Grief and Bereavement (Spring, odd years) This course introduces the student to the theory and practice of bereavement and grieving. Development issues are discussed as they relate to the bereavement process. This is an introductory course in grief counseling, designed to provide students with basic terminology, theory and concepts about grief and loss, as well as theoretical and practical techniques and interventions relevant to specific types of losses. This course is not a forum for working through personal unresolved losses, but students should be aware that the class will be intense and some personal issues regarding death and grief may surface. Prerequisites: PY 572 and PY 586.

625 Psychological Testing (Fall, Spring) This study of major concepts in psychological testing and measurement surveys major tests used in each of the traditional areas of psychological assessment: intelligence, aptitude, achievement, interests, personality and behavioral assessment. Emphasis is on correct interpretation of test data. It requires communication of results in written and verbal formats and provides opportunities for the informal administration of psychological tests. Prerequisite: PY 521 and PY 572. Matriculated students only.

630A/B/C/D/E Internship in Counseling (Fall Semester) (Option A = Mental Health Counseling, 150 hours; Option B = Mental Health Counseling, 300 hours; Option C = School, 150 hours; Option D = School, 300 hours; Option E = Mental Health Counseling, 200 hours) (First part of a yearlong internship) Practical experience in a school or counseling setting is selected to meet individual career goals. The internship requires a minimum of 300 hours over the academic year except for some students in the Mental Health Counseling certification programs. It includes a weekly seminar for an entire academic year. This course includes case-based discussions of professional and ethical issues relevant to either mental health or school counseling, with special emphasis on the ASCA national model for the latter. It requires written and oral presentations. Mental Health Counseling students are asked to present a formal case study, while School Counseling students are asked to develop a portfolio. The internship is done during the final year of study. Successful completion of this course is required before the degree or certificate is conferred. Prerequisites: PY 521, PY 572, PY574, PY 586, PY 587, PY 625 and PY 610. PY 620 may be taken concurrently. Students in the School Counseling program also must have completed PY 501,PY 502 and PY 612. PY 615 and/or PY 618 also must have been completed if required by the student’s program. Matriculated students only.

631A/B/C/D/E Internship in Counseling (Spring Semester) (Option A = Mental Health Counseling, 150 hours; Option B = Mental Health Counseling, 300 hours; Option C = School, 150 hours; Option D = School, 300 hours; Option E = Mental Health Counseling, 200 hours) (Second part of a yearlong internship) See description and prerequisites for PY 630.

688 Cultural Bases of Counseling (Fall, Spring) This course focuses on theories, techniques, and cultural issues related to counseling American ethnic and sexual minorities, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Latin Americans, Americans of mixed heritage, lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Other social differences are discussed as well, including religious difference, social class difference, and other cultural differences. Specifically, students in this course learn general principles of cultural sensitivity, learn to consider and begin to appreciate cultural perspectives that are different from their own, learn to assess the needs of those from different cultures, learn about ethical issues related to counseling those who are different from themselves, learn how cultural heritage and social experience contribute to development, and learn how the culture and experience of the counselor may impact on the counseling relationship.

697 Master’s Thesis in Psychology (3-credit option)

698 Master’s Thesis in Psychology (3-credit option)

699 Master’s Thesis in Psychology (6 credits) This individually initiated and directed set of experiences involves the writing of an acceptable proposal, the carrying out of an empirical research project, and the writing of a manuscript of professional quality according to APA format. The thesis is normally done over the fall and spring semesters. It is designed especially for students who wish to pursue advanced study beyond the master’s level. Prerequisites: 21 credits of graduate study, including PY 521; permission of the adviser, thesis supervisor, Department Chair and Director of Counseling Psychology.

Education Courses (ED)

580 Introduction to Inclusive Education An introductory course on special education with an emphasis on inclusion and diversity, this course provides an overview of the complex issues surrounding inclusive and heterogeneous schooling. Through a variety of learning strategies and experiences students become familiar with current special education theory, practice, advocacy and legislation, and gain expertise on best practices to insure access equity and quality education for every student. Includes field expeience and case study. IMPORTANT: This course requires fieldwork. Original and updated copies of PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal Record Check, Cogent FBI & TB test results must be presented on the first day of class. Go to the Education Department website at for guidelines and procedures.

582 Supporting Students with High Incidence Disabilities Strategies for supporting students with high incidence disabilities including effective and authentic assessment and instruction, goal and objective setting, IEP and ITP writing, lesson planning, and accomodations. Designed to focus on persons with learning, behavior, speech and communication, and /or mild cognitive disabilities. Includes field experience and intervention-based case study. Prerequisites: ED466d, 580, 581, 585; required foundation and content area courses. IMPORTANT: This course requires fieldwork. Original and updated copies of PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal Record Check, Cogent FBI & TB test results must be presented on the first day of class. Go to the Education Department website at for guidelines and procedures.

585 Positive Behavioral Approaches Designed to provide students with expertise in positive behavioral approaches including school wide systems of support, effective classroom management, and individual behavioral support. This course uses both instructional and functional approaches to behavior to encourage schools to be systems of support for students and professionals. The teaching of prosocial skills is also addressed. Includes field experience and intervention-based study. Prerequisites: ED 580, ED 581 IMPORTANT: This course requires fieldwork. Original and updated copies of PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal Record Check, Cogent FBI & TB test results must be presented on the first day of class. Go to the Education Department website at for guidelines and procedures.

622 ESL: Multilingual/Multicultural Literacies This course focuses on the academic language needed for multilingual students to be successful in U.S. schools. Students spend time investigating reading and writing standards and curricula for students in a particular context and the ways that materials might be adapted for English Language Learners (ELLs) and ELLs with disabilities. A variety of models for providing services to ELLs are addressed with particular attention placed on the kinds of collaboration needed to address the literacy needs of all students across the content areas and the benefits of knowing more than one language. IMPORTANT: This course requires fieldwork. Original and updated copies of PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal Record Check, Cogent FBI & TB test results must be presented on the first day of class. Go\to the Education Department website at for guidelines and procedures.

661 ABA I: Behavior Principles and Teaching Strategies Behavior analysis is a natural science approach to the study of human behavior. Behavior analysis has been phenomenall successful in a wide variety of human endeavors including business and industry, physical therapy, socialization of difficult populations such as adult offenders, those addicted to substances, and children with conduct and oppositional behavior. This class explores how the basic principles of human behavior, such as schedules of reinforcement and response choice, were discovered and current research in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

681 ABAII: Procedures for Behavior Change In the basic principles course, students learned how the principles of learning were discovered in the lab. In this course, students will focus on the methods of behavior analytic research. The topics to be covered are defining applied behavior analysis, selecting, defining and measuring behavior, constructing graphs to interpret behavior, analyze behavior change, research designs such as alternating treatments design, reversal designs, multiple baseline designs, changing criteria designs, and planning and evaluating behavior analytic research.

682 ABA III: Strategies for Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Working or consulting in classrooms requires taking the scientific principles of human behavior and applying those principles to the socialization of children at risk for or with delinquency, conduct problems (such as those with serious emotional disturbance and social maladjustment- i.e., conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and attention deficit disorder), developmental and other disabilities. This course analyzes the basic process of behavior change. Topics to be covered are: basic principles of behavior analysis (reinforcement, schedules of reinforcement, punishment, motivating operations, stimulus control, imitation, shaping, chaining, extinction, differential reinforcement); behavioral assessment including functional analysis and behavior chain analysis; the application of those principles to children's behavior; intervention methodologies such as verbal behavior contingency management; development of behavioral objectives to build self control; programming for generalization; and working with parents and paraprofessionals to implement behaviorally-based treatments. Special attention is paid to comprehensive programming and the use of multiple intervention methods. Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the student will functionally analyze social behavior deficits and excesses of children and youth. In addition, students will design behavioral intervention plans based on functional behavioral assessments. Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of ABA I and ABA II (B- or better)

683 ABA IV: Behavior Analysis of Child Development Conceptualization of behavioral problems and the origins of behavioral disorders is critical to treatment and critical to the functioning of people through the life span. This course focuses on Basic Principles in Behavior Analysis (i.e., positive and negative reinforcement, shaping, stimulus equivalence, etc) and how they shape the development of typical and atypical children. The role of these principles in normal development and developmental problems such as language delays, motor developmental delays, conduct and oppositional defiant disorder, childhood depression, problems of attachment, and autism are explored. The course reviews field applications including direct observations of children's development (using frequency methods, duration methods, rate methods, ABC-event recording, running records), functional behavioral assessment, curriculum design, verbal behavior assessment and intervention, curriculum based-measures and interventions strategies that involve both the school and the family. Prerequisites: A thorough understanding of the basic principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis, as demonstrated by a grade of A - B- in ABA I and ABA II.

684 ABA V: Behavioral Consultation in Homes, Schools, and Communities This course uses on-line technology in combination with role plays and feedback to build behavior analytic case conceptualization and execute effective behavioral consultation. Behavioral case conceptualization is the integration of information from a functional assessment, complete with skills and adaptive behavior assessment, as well as ecological assessment. This course focuses primarily on behavioral consultation skills needed to produce a strong behavior analytic case conceptualization and to link that conceptualization to intervention. The course thus attempts to reach the following goals: pinpointing target behavior, collaborative goal setting, setting up data collection procedures, identifying critical setting/situation for change (analysis of both antecedent variables and establishing operations), preliminary functional assessment, including descriptive analysis, experimental functional analysis, and behavior chain analysis; understanding graphic representation of data; setting up a competing-behaviors model; linking conceptualization to functional intervention; ensuring that intervention is comprehensive enough to get the job done and least restrictive; analyzing contingencies, treatment integrity checks and data analysis thorough single subject graphs. Special topics will include behavior analytic models of teacher and parent resistance, as well as interventions for resistance. This course is an intensive lab course that focuses on the practical aspects of "how to" consulting (i.e., what is done each session, each step of the way). It is critical that students participate in each class to engage in the role-plays and get feedback from other students. Prerequisites: A thorough understanding of the basic principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis, as demonstrated by a grade of A or B in basic principles or applied behavior analysis II.


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