Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2018/2019

PSYC 460: Clinical & Counseling Psychology

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  Course Description

Contemporary theory and practices in clinical and counseling psychology.  Psychotherapy interventions are studied from the psychoanalytic, cognitive, family, behavioral and existential perspectives.  Research, legal and ethical issues are examined as they relate to the counselor as a person and as a professional.

Prerequisite: Junior standing; PSYC/SOCI 175; 3 additional hours of PSYC courses

Proctored Exams: Final



  • Corey, Gerald . ( 2013). Theory & Practice of Counseling & Psychotherapy (9). Cengage.  
    • [ISBN-978-0-8400-2854-9]
    • Note: MBS offers a Columbia College branded version of the text, ISBN 13: 978-1-133-87106-4.

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

Material in this course is presented in three major parts. Part I deals with basic issues in the practice of counseling and psychotherapy. This includes an overall introduction to the basic issues in counseling practice, the counselor as a person and as a professional, and prominent ethical issues of concern today. Part II addresses the most accepted theories of counseling and psychotherapy utilized today. The key concepts, therapeutic processes, therapeutic techniques and evaluations of each theory are explored. Part III addresses the trend in counseling toward psychotherapy integration, the issues related to this therapeutic process, and how to put the concepts of counseling and psychotherapy together into a meaningful way. Within this framework, the student will develop an understanding of the broad range of issues related to contemporary theory and practices in clinical and counseling psychology. Through studying the basic issues in counseling practice, the most accepted theories of counseling and psychotherapy, and integrating the highly integrated relationships between them, the student will see the significance of clinical and counseling psychology and gain a new appreciation of the most relevant issues.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate resolutions to ethical issues in counseling.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of person-centered therapy and reality therapy and choice theory.
  3. Explain the conceptual and theoretical basis for behavioral approaches to theory.
  4. Explain the conceptual and theoretical basis for feminist and postmodern approaches to counseling


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (16) 300 30%
Dropbox Assignments (6) 300 30%
Midterm Exam (1) 150 15%
Final Exam (1) 250 25%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introductions 0 Friday
Discussion 1 20
Discussion 2 20
Dropbox Assignment 1 50 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 20 Friday
Discussion 4 20
Dropbox Assignment 2 50 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 20 Friday
Discussion 6 20
Dropbox Assignment 3 50 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 15 Friday
Discussion 8 15
Midterm Exam 150 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 20 Friday
Discussion 10 20
Dropbox Assignment 4 50 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 20 Friday
Discussion 12 20
Dropbox Assignment 5 50 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 20 Friday
Discussion 14 20
Dropbox Assignment 6 50 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 15 Friday
Discussion 16 15
Final Exam 250 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


Discussion postings should be completed by Friday of each week. There will 2 discussion topics each week. Your responses should be complete, concise, and well-written, with correct grammar and spelling. You are also expected to respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts in each discussion topic.

Dropbox Assignments

You will write 6 papers in response to questions posed about issues in clinical practice. These papers should be submitted to the dropbox by Sunday of the assigned weeks. Points will be assigned on the basis of content, grammar and spelling, and overall presentation. These papers should be written in APA style, including at least one in-text citation and a reference. See the grading rubric in the course.


The midterm exam consists of 35 multiple choice and true/false questions (3 points each) and 3 essays (15 points each). There will also be a proctored final exam consisting of 35 multiple choice and true/false questions (5 points each) and 3 essays (25 points each). See the information below about locating a proctor.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Chapters 1 -2.
: Introduce yourself in the “Introductions” topic of our class discussion, our virtual classroom. Please give us more than your name. Include your profession (or desired profession), interest in counseling and psychotherapy, and any other information that can help us get to know you.
Discussion 1
What are the personal characteristics that you believe are most essential in order for a therapist to be authentic?
Discussion 2
Take a position and defend it on the issue: “Therapists should be required to undergo their own personal therapy before they become practitioners.”
Dropbox Assignment 1
What are some of your own personal characteristics that you think might assist and/or obstruct your ability to effectively work with clients in a therapeutic relationship? Be sure to reference the text or outside readings, including at least one in-text citation and one reference in your paper.
Chapters 3 and 16.
Discussion 3
Ethically, it is the counselor’s responsibility to terminate a relationship with a client.  What guidelines would you use in making such a decision?
Discussion 4
How would you know or determine if your client is benefiting from the therapeutic relationship or not? What factors might play a role in your determination?
Dropbox Assignment 2
How might you proceed if you knew of the unethical practice of a colleague? What kinds of unethical behavior of your colleagues, if any, would you report and why? In studying Stan’s experience of therapy, do you find any discrepancies, dilemmas or unethical practices? Be sure to reference the text or outside readings, including at least one in-text citation and one reference in your paper.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Chapters 4 and 5.
Discussion 5
What is the Freudian view of human nature?  Do you accept the notions that humans are driven by aggressive and sexual instincts, and that humans are determined by unconscious forces?  How is anxiety explained from the psychoanalytic perspective?
Discussion 6
How were Adler’s life experiences expressed in this theory? How was Adler’s view of human nature different from Freud’s view? What importance did Adler give to the role of childhood experiences in terms of expression in adult life?
Dropbox Assignment 3
What do you find most useful about psychoanalytic and Adlerian therapy? In what ways might you incorporate some aspects of this approach into your own counseling style? How does Adlerian therapy compare and/or contrast with Freud’s approach to therapy? Like Adler, do you believe that Freud’s life experiences contribute to the psychoanalytic approach? Please respond to all of the above questions in your paper. Be sure to reference the text or outside readings, including at least one in-text citation and one reference in your paper.
Chapters 6 and 8.
Discussion 7
How is Gestalt seen as an effective process?  How would you describe Gestalt approaches to a client?  Provide an example from your own life experience that illustrates how the Gestalt approach could be effectively utilized in therapy.
Discussion 8
What are the philosophical assumptions of existentialism?  Describe the essence of the existential view of human nature.  What are the implications of this view for counseling practice?  What implications do freedom and responsibility have for counseling?  From the perspective of counseling culturally diverse client populations, what are some of the contributions and limitations of the existential approach? 
Midterm Exam
You will be taking the midterm exam this week. It is taken online and due by Sunday of Week 4. The midterm exam consists of multiple choice and true/false questions and 3 essays. This is an open book exam. Note that the midterm exam will cover only the material presented in the first three weeks of the course.
Chapters 7 and 11.
Discussion 9
What are the philosophical assumptions of Reality therapy?  Can Reality therapy be considered a good multicultural approach in working with clients? 
Discussion 10
What techniques are utilized in Person-Centered therapy? How is Person-Centered therapy beneficial to the therapeutic alliance?
Dropbox Assignment 4
How is Person-Centered therapy applied in the therapeutic relationship? Is this a positive approach to managing crisis in client’s lives? What are the key concepts of Reality Therapy? Discuss Choice Theory in explaining individual behavior. How does this perspective empower the client? Will this perspective be applicable in a multicultural approach? Be sure to reference the text or outside readings, including at least one in-text citation and one reference in your paper.
Chapters 9 and 10.
Discussion 11
What are the characteristics that define Behavior therapy?  What are the philosophical assumptions of REBT?    How is REBT seen as an educational process? 
Discussion 12
Provide an example from your own life experience that illustrates the A-B-C theory of personality. Mention the specific steps that explain how philosophical restructuring changes our dysfunctional thoughts.
Dropbox Assignment 5
What are some of the specific contributions of behavior therapy? What are some selected problem areas for which this approach is particularly effective? Why? How is this a culturally restrained and/or supportive mode of therapy? How does the REBT approach differ from traditional behavior therapy? Does it differ from cognitive theory as a whole? Be sure to reference the text or outside readings, including at least one in-text citation and one reference in your paper.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Chapters 12 and 13.
Discussion 13
What is the feminist view of human nature? Can feminist therapists be effect with men in our culture (western)? 
Discussion 14
How does social constructionism impact a client’s world view and self-image? Describe and use an example from your own life that illustrates Narrative therapy. 
Dropbox Assignment 6
What are some similarities and differences in the feminist therapeutic approach and post-modern concepts? What are the concepts of therapeutic collaboration and collaborative points of feminist therapy? Do you find either or both of these approaches to have multicultural concepts beneficial to the therapeutic process? Be sure to reference the text or outside readings, including at least one in-text citation and one reference in your paper.
Chapters 14 and 15.
Discussion 15
Briefly demonstrate your understanding of the lenses utilized in a family systems approach. 
Discussion 16
How does theory affect practice? Discuss the meaning of the integrated perspective.  What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of drawing from more than one school? 
Final Exam
You will be taking the proctored final exam in class this week.  Be sure that you have scheduled time at the proctoring site to take the exam. If you are using your own proctor, make sure that he or she has the information needed to access the exam for you. The final exam consists of 35 multiple choice and true/false questions (worth 5 points for each correct answer) and 3 essays (worth 25 points each).  You will not be able to use your notes or book for this exam. Please remember to complete your final exam by midnight on Saturday this week.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Late assignments will not normally be accepted.  Normally, there are no emergency situations in an 8 week class.  Emergencies do occasionally occur, however, and these situations will be reviewed on an individual basis.  Should one occur, however, you have the responsibility of immediately notifying me to request an extension of time to submit work.  Extensions may or may not be approved, depending on the situation and the timing of the request.  An extension would not be approved if the request is made on the date that the work is due and certainly not after the due date.  Extensions will not be approved if the emergency is related to a computer breakdown or internet service provider error on the due date either.  Extensions are only approved in unforeseen situations and when requested in advance of the due date.  Please be prepared to provide some evidence of the emergency as well.  This late assignment policy is designed to protect and reward the vast majority of students who do in fact submit their work on time.  This is the fairest approach with regard to timeliness concerns for all.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.