818 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy Spring 2009

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818 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy Spring 2009
1/15 Introduction; Chapters 1-4 and Readings (A); Introduction, Current Trends and Psychoanalysis
1/29 Chapter 7: Person-Centered Therapy
2/5 Rogers' tape (48"); Finish PCT Instructor Presentation
2/12 Begin Chapter 8 and Readings (A): Gestalt Therapy; PCT REACTION PAPER DUE
2/19 Finish Gestalt and Begin Chapter 10 and Readings (A): REBT Instructor Presentation
2/26 Finish Chapter 10: REBT Instructor Presentation; GESTALT REACTION PAPER DUE
3/5 Perls' Tape (32") and Ellis' Tape (37"); REBT REACTION PAPER DUE
3/26 Chapter 10 and Readings (A): Beck's Cognitive Therapy
4/2 Transactional Analysis (Chapter Posted on Angel); Exam Feedback; COGNITIVE THERAPY REACTION PAPER DUE
4/9 Beck Tape (46"); TA Tape (33")
4/16 Chapter 9: Behavior Therapy and MMT; Lazarus' tape (65"); TA REACTION PAPER DUE
4/23 Prochaska & Norcross” Transtheoretical Model (Lecture Notes only on Angel); Chapter 15 & 16 & One Other Theory of Your Choice (C); Comprehensive and Integrative Eclectic Models (A); Current Trends in Theory; Common Factors and Evidence-Based Practice Revisited; Course Evaluation; Substance Abuse & Addictions Treatment Models;

Motivational Interviewing Tape (@60 minutes)

Personal Theories Paper Due (earlier submission appreciated)
4/30 Library Work
Note: All Chapters are from the Corey text: (A) stands for readings posted on "Angel," all of which are available at the Angel site

Department of Psychology and Counseling

School of Education

Pittsburg State University

Spring 2009

Course Number: PSYCH 818 Title: Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy

Credit Hours: 3 Time: 4:00-6:30 Th

Instructor: Donald E. Ward, Ph.D. Office Phone: (620) 235-4530; FAX: (620) 235-4520

Office: 207B Whitesitt Hall Office Hours: Posted by Office; email: dward@pittstate.edu

Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy is designed to provide an understanding of the principles and procedures of counseling in schools and agencies.


PSYCH 745 Introduction to Counseling and Psychotherapy or PSYCH 685 Psychology of Personality or permission of instructor.


The course is designed to provide a graduate level exposure to prominent theories of counseling and psychotherapy. It is assumed that professional school counselors, agency counselors, psychologists, and others offering professional counseling and psychological treatment operate within a personal theoretical frame-of-reference.


Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Describe important terms, concepts, and strategies representative of selected prominent theories of counseling and psychotherapy.

2. Describe at an initial professional level major elements of theory construction, analysis, and critique in relation to well-known theories.

3. Demonstrate critical thinking and professional conceptualization skills by being able to compare and contrast the applicability and relative effectiveness of various theories to the specific clientele and settings with which they will work.

4. To describe the philosophical assumptions, explanation of personality development, explanation of counseling/therapeutic change, and techniques of selected major theories of counseling and psychotherapy and to be able to describe how these internal levels of a theory interrelate.

5. To describe how the principles of counseling and psychotherapeutic theories can be appropriately and effectively applied to counseling specific clients in specific settings, both in case conceptualization and in technique selection and application.

6. To understand the major principles of a number of alternative theoretical frameworks which may be used to understand the uniqueness of individuals in their unique cultural contexts. This includes an understanding of the relative strengths and limitations of the theories in regard to their application to both multicultural context and exceptionality issues.

7. To articulate an initial personal counseling theoretical position.


A. Required Text: Corey, G. (2009). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (8th ed.) Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

B. Support Materials: Readings and Detailed Lecture Notes (Angel).

C. Original journal articles and books (available through the Axe Library, electronic data bases, and interlibrary loan).

D. Videotapes of demonstrations of counseling/therapy by major theorists (provided in class only).


A. Lectures

B. Discussions with Professor

C. Peer discussions with students with similar career objectives.

D. Brief Reaction Papers and email responses from a student partner with similar career objectives

D. Videotape demonstrations

E. Extensive reading in text and outside original sources


A. Attendance

Attendance and active participation is expected at a graduate-level content class. Should you need to miss, contact the instructor to obtain handouts you might have missed. All classes are important, and you will miss something if you miss a class. More than two absences will be considered grounds for potential dismissal from class. If you must miss a class, please inform the instructor. It is strongly advised that you have someone in class audiotape the lecture. Although attendance is taken, it does not affect your grade except in those circumstances in which your earned points are exactly on the borderline between two grade levels or where you have more than two absences.

B. Activities

The course format will involve weekly lectures and discussions and biweekly playing of videotapes in which prominent theorists demonstrate counseling from their own theoretical perspective. There will be an in-class midterm and final exam. Brief reaction papers to major theories will also be required with peer comment. One major paper describing your current personal theoretical position as it applies to your future professional counseling/therapeutic setting and clientele (including all four of Ward’s Levels of Analysis) is also required. It should also include a section of critique of the theory’s strengths and limitations, including a summary of empirical evidence supporting the use of the theory and a discussion of the application of the theory to your prospective clientele and professional counseling setting. All assigned text and Angel reading should be completed before the first date on which the assignment appears on the course schedule, and the material should be reread and studied until it is mastered.


There will be two in-class examinations. You will be provided with one copy of a sample exam early in the semester. The general format includes a combination of matching, listing, definitions, fill-ins, brief essays to describe levels of specific theories, and comparison, contrast and critique of various theories. Exams will be graded and returned the next class period or mailed with feedback from the instructor.


The instructor will read all exams and papers carefully and written feedback will be provided on each assignment. All reaction papers must be rated “Satisfactory” in order to receive an “A” grade in the course, no matter how many point are accrued from the activities listed below. The point distribution and point ranges for each letter grade level are:

Requirement Points Possible Point Range Letter Grade

Reation Papers 100 450-500 A

Personal Theory Paper 150 400-449 B

Midterm Exam 100 350-399 C

Final Exam 150 300-349 D

Total Semester 500 0-299 F


A. Introduction, Nature of Theory, and A Method for Analyzing Theory, Current Trends, Common Factors, Evidence-Based Practice

B. Freud and Psychoanalysis; The Counselor as a Person and Professional; Ethical Issues; Multicultural Perspective

C. Rogers and Person-Centered Therapy

D. Perls and Gestalt Therapy

E. Ellis and Rational-Emotive-Behavior Therapy

F. Beck and Cognitive Therapy

G. Berne and Transactional Analysis

H. Lazarus and Mutlimodal Therapy and the Behavioral Therapy Foundation

I. Prochaska and Norcross and The Transtheoretical Model; Comprehensive/Integrative Models; Substance Abuse Treatment Models; Motivational Interviewing

It is obvious that I believe that the knowledge base for theories of counseling and psychotherapy is very important to prospective counselors and psychologists. I feel a good deal of responsibility to convey and explain as much as I can of the major concepts of selected major theories in class. I will continue to do my best to do this. However, I am also very interested in encouraging more opportunities for students to participate actively in their learning during class sessions. Three additional class activities to enhance your skills and knowledge include:

1) During the class discussion time for each assigned theory, the class will divide into small groups for 10 minutes. The task for each group is to propose concepts from the theory under discussion that are most important in the work of professionals in your potential work area and then to discuss and reach consensus on the three most important of those concepts. Each group will then be asked to share their three concepts and justify their consensus choice to the rest of the class in five minutes or less.

The exact make-up of the small groups will vary from semester to semester. I propose two groups, one consisting of all Community Counseling and Clinical Psychology majors combined and the other consisting of all School Counseling and School Psychology majors combined. I am hopeful that this activity will help you to be able to share some of your good ideas and interact with one another to enhance your learning.

2) Second, each week I would like for approximately one-fourth of the class members to bring one question related to the class session during which we begin to discuss a new theory for me to answer. I hope that the question is something that is meaningful to you. I will then present the theory and we will check the questions together at the end of the presentation to be certain that they have been answered. If not, I will attempt to answer them, inviting assistance from the class. If you have to miss class when your question is due, simply email it to me to arrive by 3:30 p.m. the day of class or call me and leave the question on my voicemail or give it to me directly (dward@pittstate.edu or 620-235-4530).

The people who are assigned to bring questions and the dates are:

Freud 1st Quarter of Class alphabetically

Rogers 2nd Quarter of Class alphabetically

Perls 3rd Quarter of Class alphabetically

Ellis 4th Quarter of Class alphabetically

Beck 1st Quarter of Class alphabetically

TA 2nd Quarter of Class alphabetically

MMT 3rd Quarter of Class alphabetically

Eclectic 4th Quarter of Class alphabetically

Please remind me during the first class session to identify the quartile to which each student belongs so that you know to which two class sessions you should bring questions.

3) Brief reaction papers to the theories with email responses from a class partner will be required to enhance your conceptualization and analysis skills. Scenarios for each theory are posted under Lessons in the Case Scenarios folder on Angel and the dates on which each reaction paper is due is listed on the attached course schedule. For each reaction paper, please complete the following steps:

a. Please prepare your reaction papers in PC-compatible, Times New Roman 12-point type with 1” margins all around as a word document. Put the name of the theory, your major, your name, your partner’s name, and the due date at the beginning of the paper.

b. Copy the appropriate scenario for your major and the specific theory at the beginning of your paper.

c. Type your ideas in regard to:

i) how might the client’s situation be understood from the perspective of the specific theory (use the language of the theory, where relevant)? and

ii) what kinds of things might you do as the counselor if you were to work with this client from this theoretical perspective?

d. Email your paper to a partner we will assign in class for their written reaction no later than 5 days before it is due.

e. Partners should type a section entitled “Partner Response” of no more than 250 words identifying points you believe are satisfactory and points that appear to need to be addressed. Then mail the paper with your response back to the original reactor at least 2 days before it is due.

f. The original reactor should then add no more than 250 additional words titled, “Response to Partner Response,” in which you briefly add comments or describe why you think changes or additions are unnecessary.

g. Print out the paper and turn the hard copy in at the beginning of the class at which it is due or earlier in Don Ward’s mailbox.

h. The papers are worth 20 points each and will be graded by the instructor. All reaction papers should be turned in on or before the date assigned. Later papers will be accepted up to one week after the due date. Late papers will result in an automatic deduction of 5 semester points each.
9/28/08 wordsyllabi\818schedsp09

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