Instructors: John Okiishi, Ph.D. phone: 422-3035, Mich Suyama, Specialist Lab Instruction
Course Description This course is intended to help students gain an understanding of the basic theories, intervention skills, and ethical issues of counseling. This is accomplished through: (1) Classroom discussions of readings, case examples, skill lab experiences, and observations of a live counseling session; (2) Skill laboratory learning and demonstrations of the basic counseling skills of empathy, concreteness, owning thoughts and feelings, immediacy, confrontation, and problem solving; and (3) Integration of the above during live and taped demonstrations of intervention strategies. (Note: See attached schedule for class and lab topics.)
Course Requirements Attendance & participation. Class activities will include discussing readings and case examples; discussing, role playing, and demonstrating counseling processes and skills; discussing lab, taped, and observed intervention experiences. This will account for 5% of your grade.
Counseling Skills Lab. Your counseling skills lab will meet as assigned in class, starting the second class period. Grading criteria for the lab will be provided by your lab instructor. Your grade from the lab will account for 15% of your final grade.
Small Group Reaction Papers. You are required to work in a small “cooperative learning group” where you will share your reactions to the textbook readings for each chapter and help prepare a brief written “group reaction paper” to share with the rest of the class. The main points of this exercise are to give you an opportunity to think critically about the readings and class discussions and share your personal reactions and thoughts about this information with your classmates and me. I do not want you to simply summarize the readings or class discussions. I want you to share what you personally found interesting in the readings. You will be required to bring copies of your group reaction papers so that your classmates can benefit from your thoughts and insights about the readings. I will share more about the procedural details of this assignment in class. In preparing your group reaction papers, I would ask that you respond to the items below. This will account for 15% of your grade.
1. What was an idea or concept which you feel is important and which you agree with? Briefly explain why you feel this way.
2. What was an idea or concept which you feel is interesting, but which you disagree with? Briefly explain why you feel this way.
3. Briefly describe how an idea, concept, or technique/method in the readings might have some applied value in your professional work?
4. How consistent do you feel the theoretical concepts and applied techniques associated with this therapeutic tradition are with your personal belief systems? What implications does this have?
5. What did you wonder about or wish you knew more about regarding this theoretical perspective?
6. How do the concepts of this theory directly apply to the work you will do in the future? What is most compatible? What is the least?
7. Formulate as a group, 5 essay questions and 5 multiple choice questions based on the material from this chapter.
Random quizzes These will cover a day’s reading materials and may include information from previous readings as well. Length of quiz will vary, as will the amount of points a quiz is worth. Read carefully and for retention! These will account for 10% of your grade.
Counseling philosophy paper. You will be required to write a paper that explains your current philosophy and approach to counseling. As a general guide, the paper should be about 10 pages in length. The paper should include an explanation of what theories and techniques you plan to incorporate into your own counseling practice, why you plan to incorporate these theories and techniques, and how you envision yourself doing so. This will account for 20% of your grade
Final exam. Your knowledge of required readings, basic counseling skills, and other information presented in the class and lab will be tested during a comprehensive final exams. Information about the exams will be provided during class. The final exam will account for 25% of your final grade.
750 pages of your own choice. In order to help you develop good professional reading habits, you will be asked to read 500 pages of material of your own choice that relates to this class. This can include books, journal articles and other print media. So that your classmates can get ideas about materials they may be interested in, you may be required to present a 10 minute synopsis of one of these readings at some point in the semester. You will be expected to turn in a monthly reading log of your progress. These will be due on the last class period of each month (Sept 30, October 28, November 18 and the final day of class). One of these books MUST be a primary source from a theoretical orientation you are interested in. These readings and presentation will account for 10% of your grade.
Grading Summary 5% = Attendance & participation
15% = Counseling Skills Section
15% = Small Group Reaction Paper
20% = Counseling philosophy paper
25% = Comprehensive final exam
10% = 750 pages reading
10% = Quizzes
It is very important to me to create a class environment in which the development of each student becomes the goal of all of us in the course. Therefore, I ask you to pledge yourself to helping each of your classmates get the most from this learning experience. I believe that the best class environment for achieving this goal is one in which each student feels encouraged, affirmed, and challenged supportively by others (including me) to learn. Together, we can establish a place where each of us feels safe to take the risks that are part of sharing our opinions and trying the unfamiliar. In this class, you will be asked to share your reactions to reading and other topics. In order to create this positive class environment, at least two norms must be established. First, while our class is not a forum for personal therapy, each class member must feel invited, but not compelled, to share personal material relevant to the content of this course. Second, we must have an affirming, welcoming stance for differing viewpoints and life experiences. Every viewpoint and every perspective has great value for our learning in this course. Perhaps the most valuable are those perspectives and opinions that differ from our own or from what might seem to be the prevailing opinion. Please join with me in working to create such an atmosphere in our class.
It is also important to me that you know that I am open and willing to consider any feedback regarding this course. Therefore, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts about what is particularly unhelpful and helpful about the course. My door is always open for such interaction. Please also understand that I need to reserve the right to alter this syllabus if it is in the best interest of the class.
Finally, as a professor in the College of Education, I have been asked to include the following paragraphs in course syllabi:
While all students sign the honor code, there are still specific skills most students need to master over time in order to correctly cite sources, especially in this new age of the internet; as well as deal with the stress and strain of college life without resorting to cheating. Please know that as your professor I will notice instances of cheating on exams or plagiarizing on papers. See http://www.byu.edu/honorcode for specific examples of intentional and inadvertent plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds. The act is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in education. Title IX covers discrimination in programs, admissions, activities, and student-to-student sexual harassment. BYU's policy against sexual harassment extends not only to employees of the university but to students as well. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender based discrimination, please talk to your professor; contact the Equal Employment Office at 378-5895 or 367-5689 (24-hours); or contact the Honor Code Office at 378-2847.
Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (378-2767). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the SSD office. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures. You should contact the Equal Employment Office at 378-5895, D-282 ASB.
Required Textbooks Corsini, R.J. & Wedding, D. (2005). Current Psychotherapies. (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Heaps, R. A., Johnson, S., & Schwab, K. P. (1994). Counseling skills workbook (4th ed.). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.
Assigned Readings & Video clips
Introduction and overview of the course and skills lab; The effectiveness of psychotherapy; Stages and skills of counseling