MAC Program at Aquinas College

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MAC) Courses

COU500 Orientation to Grad Studies at Aquinas & The MAC (0)

The MAC New Student Orientation is required of all new candidates. This Orientation workshop begins the MAC graduate experience and provides the candidate’s indoctrination into the counseling program. During this one day workshop, candidates are introduced to the campus, campus services, college administration, and department faculty. It also allows an integrative discussion of the requirements of the MAC program. Candidates are oriented to the Graduate College Catalog, the Student Handbook, and the Field Placement Handbook.

COU502 Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)

This course is designed to meet the specific standards for clinical mental health counselors as suggested by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). With an emphasis on developing Counselor Identity, this course provides an overview of community mental health and agency counseling, addressing such issues as the foundations of community counseling, the role of the counselor in providing clinical mental health counseling and community counseling, prevention, outreach, systemic issues, multicultural issues, professional and client advocacy and social change, and service delivery programs. Effective dimensions of assessment, treatment, and diagnoses will be presented. The importance of ethical issues and consultation in community agencies will also be discussed.

COU503 Lifespan Development (3)

The course addresses counseling implications for assessing and enhancing human development across the lifespan. The content includes: (a) theories of human development; (b) theories of learning and personality development; (c) human behavior, including an understanding of developmental crises, disability, exceptional behavior, addictive behavior, psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior; (d) the stages of family development; and (e) strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life span.

COU504 Counseling Techniques & Practice (3)

This course will focus on the integration of counseling theory into practice. Candidates will be introduced to techniques, skills, and interventions of counseling applied to a variety of human problems. Using an intensive seminar format, candidates will learn and practice essential interviewing and counseling skills/techniques necessary to become effective counselors within a multicultural society. Candidates will receive instruction on the development of a therapeutic relationship, establishment of appropriate counseling goals, intervention strategies design, client outcomes evaluation, and appropriate termination of the counselor-client relationship. Particular emphasis will be on understanding and applying empathy. Candidates will practice the skills they are studying in simulated counseling sessions in the Counseling Laboratory where candidates are videotaped, observed and given feedback.

COU505 Theories of Counseling and Helping (3)

This course provides an overview of the major theories of counseling with a special focus on gender, culture, counselor preparation, and common theoretically-based assessment and case formulation strategies. Because the purpose of counseling is to help individuals make personally meaningful changes in their lives, candidates will examine the means by which counseling theories attempt to produce such changes. Candidates will explore the historical and intellectual foundations of major counseling theories, while at the same time, observing skills and techniques employed by practitioners using those theoretical perspectives. Candidates will apply theories to case studies to practice the application of various models to cases. Overall, candidates are encouraged to explore the major theoretical orientations as well as their personal beliefs and values in an effort to develop and deepen their understanding of counseling process and outcome

COU506 Psychopathology & Diagnosis (3)

This course introduces candidates to the field of abnormal behavior with emphasis on psychopathological conditions, their diagnosis, and treatment strategies throughout the life cycle. Personality theories and counseling approaches will be matched with appropriate psychopathologies. Emphasis will be on the use of the DSM V of the American Psychiatric Association with a focus on differential diagnosis and acquaintance with associated disorders of the primary diagnoses via case studies. (Prerequisites: COU 500, COU 502)

COU507 Assessment in Counseling (3)

This course will focus on the development of knowledge and skills needed for effective assessment of clients including an introduction to psychological testing. Emphasis is on learning how to gather data and make interpretations of individuals, groups, and case studies. Candidates will be sensitized to individual differences in gender, culture, ethnicity, and environmental factors that affect test results. (COU 500, COU 502)

COU516 Marriage, Family & Couples (3)

This course focuses on systems theories. The candidate will develop the knowledge and skills needed for effective counseling of couples and families, including assessment techniques, major intervention strategies and establishment and maintenance of rapport. Role of communication patterns, behavioral contingencies, cognitive and affective processes in the functioning of family and marital relationships. (Prerequisites: COU 500, COU 504)

COU518 Spirituality & Religion in Counseling (3)

This course involves the study and application of theory and techniques to assist a counselor in the appropriate integration of spirituality into the counseling process. The purpose of this course is to promote knowledge and skills that counselors should possess to effectively engage clients in the exploration of their spiritual and religious lives as they relate to other psychological concerns. (Prerequisites: COU 500, COU 504)

COU519 Counseling the terminally Ill & Bereaved (3)

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the issues and implications of dying, death and loss in their own lives and in the lives of their clients. Death and loss will impact each of us personally and professionally throughout our lives. Counselors must be prepared for this impact both because of its importance with regard to “self-care” and because regardless of whether or not you specifically serve the terminally ill and the bereaved, you will encounter clients facing death or loss during the course of your career. This seminar presents an overview of the basic historical and cultural issues related to our efforts to grapple with dying and death and explores the social processes by which we recognize, understand, and allow grief in our culture (and others). This seminar will present opportunities for self-exploration and reflection on this difficult topic so that candidates can gain a better understanding of how best to work with people who are dying and/or grieving. Theories on loss and grief processes will be explored as well as established best practice models for evaluating, assessing and treating clients with terminal illness, their family members, and the bereaved. (Prerequisites: COU 505, COU 507)

COU521 Pastoral Counseling (3)

This course provides a foundational orientation to pastoral counseling as a theological bridge connecting ministry and professional counseling. The class will: (1) examine and critique the historical and cultural contexts that formed pastoral counseling; (2) explore contemporary, multicultural expressions and practices of pastoral counseling; and (3) develop a beginning set of theological and counseling resources to guide practice and anchor a practical bridge between ministry and professional counseling. The course attends to the issues related to the practice of professional counseling in religious settings. (Prerequisites: COU 505, COU 507)

COU522 Sexuality Counseling

A key study of human experience is sexuality. As sexual beings, it is critical that we not only understand our own sexuality and how it affects our daily lives and interactions, but it is also essential that we have a clear grasp of how sexuality shapes lived experience in those we serve. Sexuality Counseling presents an investigation of sexuality within the larger context of the human experience. Emphasis is placed on the study of human sexual development, dimensions of sexual behavior, sex education, health issues, sex therapy, and cultural, ethical, spiritual and legal aspects of sexuality. The course emphasizes applications in clinical work with individuals and couples.

COU601 Research Methods and Program Evaluation (3)

This course will focus on the development of knowledge and skills needed to conduct research and program evaluation. Emphasis will be on reading and understanding research, measurement, research designs and strategies, and descriptive and inferential statistical analysis using computer applications. (Prerequisites: COU 505, COU 506)

COU602 Career Development & Counseling (3)

This course will provide in depth exploration of knowledge, skills and tools needed effectively to facilitate career exploration, vocational planning, and career decision-making for clients. Course content includes: (1) a study of the world of work as it impacts the psychological and sociological life of the individual; (2) an examination of career development theory, decision making, and the application to counseling and psychotherapy; (3) the identification of informational resources related to career choice; and (4) an exploration of the needs and concerns of clients from a variety of diverse backgrounds. (Prerequisites: COU 505, COU 506)

COU603 Social Justice & Diversity (3)

This course is designed facilitate the development of the background knowledge and techniques to work more effectively with culturally diverse populations. Candidates will learn ways to apply cross-cultural theory and will achieve a basic mastery of the skills and techniques appropriate for their work settings as counselors. Beliefs, values, and the impact of cultural differences upon the assumptions underlying counseling theories and therapy will be explored. A 16-hour Service Learning field experience is required. (Prerequisites COU 505, COU 506)

COU604 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling (3)

This course is designed to help candidates develop a personal framework for ethical action and to become more effective in addressing ethical issues in the field of professional counseling. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and identifying relevant legal and ethical issues in mental health counseling, including ethical decision-making protocols. This course will use the Ethical Standards of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and its affiliates and the Michigan Licensure Board rules and ethical standards to build a theoretical framework for approaching ethical dilemmas in a systematic way. This course is intended to deepen awareness of new and emerging ethical issues and provide the tools necessary for ethical practice in the field (Prerequisites COU 601, COU 602)

COU605 Counseling Children and Adolescents (3)

This course focuses on the development of knowledge and skills needed for effective counseling of children and adolescents based on current best practices models. Problems commonly experienced by children and adolescents will be explored as well as assessment techniques, major intervention strategies and establishment and maintenance of rapport. This course integrates developmental theory with specific strategies and techniques such as play, bibliotherapy, brief solution focused therapy, art therapy, music therapy, group design, and the therapeutic use of creative arts. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding

COU606 Group Counseling (3)

This course will facilitate the study of the psychological dynamics of small groups, including the stages of group development and variables that affect leader effectiveness; practice with a variety of active group techniques. Emphasis will be on the development of effective counseling practices in a variety of small group settings. Candidates will participate a counseling group and facilitate at least one group session (Prerequisites: COU 601, COU 602)

COU701 Advanced Techniques & Practicum (3)

In this course, candidates begin their field experience by working in an approved mental health setting under the supervision of an LPC in the field and the instructor. The focus of this course is on further development of individual and group counseling skills. Candidates will begin to work directly with clients, and under supervision, gain experience with the activities that a regularly employed staff member in the setting would be expected to perform. Candidates also will meet in class for group supervision and instruction. Counseling skills will be critiqued through the use of live and/or taped observations. Candidates must complete a minimum of one hundred contact hours of service under clinical supervision. (Prerequisites COU 604)

COU702 Internship 1 in Clinical Counseling (1-3)

This course represents Part I of the capstone experience for the program by providing the candidate with the opportunity for advanced practice and application of clinical counseling principles with clients in an agency or human services setting under supervision by a professional counselor. In class, emphasis will be placed upon examining and developing case conceptualization, improving counseling skills and implementing intervention strategies within a diverse society. Internship I allows for the initial accumulation of a minimum of 300 clock hours (120 clock hours of direct service) toward the minimum 600 total clock hours of internship required for state licensure. Professional identity as a counselor will also be emphasized. Counseling skills will be critiqued through the use of live and/or taped observations in class, in the field, and in the Counseling Laboratory. COU 702 may be taken for 1-3 hours up to two times for a total of 3 semester hours. (Prerequisite: COU 701)

COU703 Internship 2 in Clinical Counseling (1-3)

This course represents Part II of the capstone experience for the program by providing the candidate with the opportunity for a continuation of advanced practice and application of clinical counseling principles with clients in an agency or human services setting under supervision by a professional counselor. Internship II allows for the completion of a minimum of 300 clock hours (120 clock hours of direct service) toward the 600 total clock hours of internship required for state licensure. Counseling skills will be critiqued through the use of live and/or taped observations in class, in the field, and in the Counseling Laboratory. Professional identity as a counselor will also be strongly emphasized. COU703 may be taken for 1-3 hours up to three times for a total of 3 semester hours. See a detailed description of Standards of Practice at the end of the course descriptions. (Prerequisite: COU 702)

COU704 Psychopharmacology & Substance Abuse (3)

This course focuses on the study of the effects of psychoactive chemicals on neurochemical, neurophysiological, behavioral and mental processes. Emphasis is in the biological model of mental illness and substance dependence and the role of the counselor in treatment of medicated clients in consultation with physicians. Consideration is given to the disease model of chemical dependency, including the psychological dynamics and family patterns associated with chemical dependency, recognition of symptoms including current approaches to treatment and intervention. (Prerequisites: COU 506)

COU705 Evaluation of Mental & Emotional Status (3)

Candidates will be guided in using assessment procedures to evaluate and diagnose mental and emotional status and formulate appropriate treatment plans. Focus will be on the administration, scoring, interpretation, and write up of individual and group standardized tests of mental ability, personality, interest, achievement, and aptitude. Special emphasis will be given professional consultation in mental health and forensic settings based on evaluation outcomes. (Prerequisites COU 604)

COU706 Crisis Intervention & Trauma Counseling (3)

This course will present counseling approaches which effectively address crises. The course will examine the impact of trauma and crisis and potential neurobiological responses. The students will gain knowledge and skills useful in assessing and intervening in crises and explore the application of these skills in addressing specific crisis situations such as, suicide, homicide, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, natural disasters and terrorism. Students will examine the implications for assessment and intervention in the midst of a crisis and learn self-care strategies. (Prerequisites: COU 705)

COU707 Clinical Supervision (3)

This course provides training in the theory and practice of clinical supervision in counseling. Students will gain understanding and experience in providing mental health clinical supervision to other counselors. These experiences will include live supervision of counseling students in the Counseling Lab, Individual supervision of Practicum Students, the review of video/audio client tapes, providing feedback to counselor trainees, and reviewing documentation (intakes, treatment plans, progress notes, and termination summaries). All supervisory work done by students will take place under the supervision of the instructor. Special attention will be given to legal and ethical practices as defined by both state law and the ACES ethical guidelines. (Prerequisites: COU 702)

COU750 Comprehensive Examination (0)

The comprehensive examination is intended to be one of the culminating experiences of the graduate program. The exam is offered in January for May graduates, in September for December graduates, and in June for August graduates. MAC Candidates must register for COU750 Comprehensive Examination in the term prior to their expected graduation. Candidates who fail to register for COU750 by the Last Day to Add listed on the Graduate Studies Calendar will be ineligible to take the exam and unable to graduate by their expected date. The Comprehensive Examination is a 200 question, multiple choice exam designed to evaluate accrued knowledge across the eight CACREP core areas. The exam consists of eight subtests of 25 questions each. Candidates have thirty minutes to complete each subtest and a total of four hours to complete the entire exam. Candidates will not be considered for graduation until they have passed the comprehensive examination with a minimum score of 70% in each of the eight subtests. Candidates who fail any section of the examination will have 30 days to prepare for a second attempt at which time they will retake only those sections failed. If a candidate fails the exam a second time, he/she may not retake it until the next offering. If a candidate fails the exam a third time, he/she may be dropped from the MAC program or required to retake courses at the discretion of the Program Director.