Beginning in the spring 2013 term, the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology comprises the following courses. In addition to all courses noted as required, students must complete three elective courses.
Biological and Psycho-social Basis of Behaviour (4 credits) (Online) (Required)
Introduction to the whole-person model that underlies the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. Explores how the biological organization of the human central and peripheral nervous systems and related physiology influences psychosocial functioning. Topics include: the inextricable relationship between behaviour and biology, sensory perception, the role of hormones, pheromones, and the effects of some drugs.
Biological, Developmental and Scientific Basis of Behaviour (6 credits) (Online) (Required)
Exploration of the biological organization of the human central and peripheral nervous systems and related physiological functioning. Topics include: the inextricable relationship between behaviour and biology, sensory perception, the role of hormones, pheromones, and the effects of some drugs.
Emphasis is on the growth and development of the individual over the course of a lifetime, the varying contexts of human development, the processes underlying normal human development, and how each phase of life contains within it the developmental tasks and milestones necessary to successfully mature into the next phase of development. Special attention is given to gender differences, attachment and independence.
Theories of Personality (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
Emphasis is on contemporary clinical expressions of personality development theories of previous academics, including: Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers, B.F. Skinner, and Harry Stack Sullivan. Modern developments in counselling psychology and psychotherapy are traced in this context.
Psychological Assessment (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
Overview of the major types of psychological tests, how they are administered, how they are constructed, and how the results might be interpreted for practical use. Specific topics include: subjective, projective, and inventory assessments tools to assess both normal and abnormal patterns of psychological functioning, as well as other instruments developed as aids to educational assessment and vocational counselling.
Counselling Methodologies – Humanistic and Psychodynamic Modalities (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
A review of the most important contemporary psychodynamic and humanistic approaches of counselling and psychotherapy, focusing on: underlying philosophical assumptions, major concepts, view of personality, the therapeutic process, the counsellor’s role, typical interventions, and targeted outcomes. Selected current approaches to counselling and psychotherapy are also explored with respect to the relationships between theorists and their theories, as well as between counsellors and their clients. Cross-cultural and gender-related aspects are considered for each of the counselling schools under study, with a focus on similarities and differences amongst approaches. Links between theory and practice, between constructs and applied techniques or interventions are explored.
Counselling Methodologies – Behavioural and Cognitive Modalities (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
A continuation of PSYC 6153, wherein the demeanor of the counsellor is applied to additional modalities. Introduction of the “counsellor-effect” factor, based on experience acquired in thinking about how successful counselling is accomplished and why it works. Emphasis is on the skills associated with effective interviewing, assessment and intervention.
Cultural Differences in Counselling (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
Enhancement of understanding and taking into account cultural differences when structuring counselling interventions through the role of personal, racial, social and cultural factors in multicultural counselling relationships and mental health service delivery. Identity formation, world view, communication style, and acculturation are studied from the perspective of the significant cultural minorities found in Canada.
Marriage and Family Systems (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
Emphasis is on the development of skills and competencies necessary to effectively deal with the interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics of intimate relationships and family systems. Family interaction and communication patterns, conflict resolution, the impact of children on relationships, and other factors that influence family systems are introduced. Each cohort focuses on one of the major theoretical family systems frameworks.
Ethical Standards for Mental Health Service Providers (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
Overview of ethics and standards in the profession of counselling psychology in Canada. Topics include: scope of practice issues; professional responsibility; privacy and confidentiality; record keeping; appropriate relationships during and after treatment (including sexual intimacies); third party relationships and responsibilities; advertising; continuing professional education; and interruption and termination of treatment. Further consideration is given to issues of disaster response; electronic or telephonic delivery of service; child protection; and guidelines for the treatment of gay, lesbian, and bisexual clients.
Research Methodology (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
Application of research methods to problems in counselling psychology in a realistic and practical context. Content emphasis is on sampling, experimental research, correlational research, program evaluation, small N designs, surveys, and ethics. Process emphasis is on evaluating psychological research, developing ideas for research, communicating ideas, and teamwork.
Group Counselling (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
Introduction to group counselling skills across diverse theoretical perspectives with a multi-media approach. A DVD and accompanying workbook present selections from a group counselling program and provide opportunities for observing a group in action, hearing counsellors’ comments on the group process, examining cultural differences, and writing personal reflections. Focus is on techniques for facilitating counselling groups for children, adolescents, and adults.
Counselling Skills and Competencies (3 credits) (Online) (Required)
Opportunity for students to learn basic counselling skills essential to initiating and maintaining relationships with clients, regardless of specific theoretical orientation. Weekly structured practice assignments and transcript assessments of their own interviews, help students learn how to identify and conduct competent counselling interviews.
Career and Employment Counselling (3 credits) (Online) (Elective)
Ways to support clients as they choose and manage careers, navigate workplace realities and career transitions, and resolve work-life role conflicts. Grounded in research and theoretical foundations, the course takes a practical, experiential approach to lifelong career and employment counselling. Students are introduced to traditional and emerging theories and models, free and inexpensive resources, and relevant career assessment tools and processes.
Counselling for Health and Wellness (3 credits) (Online) (Elective)
An introduction to theories and practice in health psychology. Includes discussion of plausible biological pathways through which psychological / behavioral factors influence physical health and principles of psychological interventions designed to help patients adjust to illness, prevent worsening / recurrence, and promote recovery. Emphasis is on developing literacy with respect to modifiable risk factors and the major chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Psychopathology for Counsellors (3 credits) (Online) (Elective)
Introduction to the study of disturbed cognitive, emotional, and behavioural functioning in individuals. Students acquire a basic literacy with regard to the symptoms, typical course, incidence, origin, and usual treatments of disorders. Recent developments in the fields of emotion science and emotion regulation are emphasized. Allows counsellors to manage their interactions with clients, particularly with respect to referrals to and discussions with other health professionals.
Developmental Psychology (3 credits) (Online) (Elective)
Explores lifespan development of the individual, examining the processes of change and the influences affecting the developing person. Examines theories and research relating to interactive role that biology and the environment play in shaping human behavior and development throughout the life span.
Addiction Counselling (3 credits) (Online) (Elective)
An introduction to the assessment and treatment of alcohol and drug use problems. Emphasis is on the various methods, strategies and techniques used to assess such problem areas, as well as other problem areas that may co-exist or underlie alcohol and drug use problems. Students become aware of various psychotherapeutic modalities and approaches, as well the various treatment settings available for clients.
Counselling Couples and Families (3 credits) (Online) (Elective)
Application of major models of couple and family therapy to the practice of counselling contemporary couples and families. Students enhance their understanding of the influence on families and couples of cultural context, including race, ethnicity, gender, religious background, primary language, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation. The course addresses contemporary trends in couples and family treatment, including interventions which seek to adapt traditional methods to better serve single-parent, blended, immigrant, foster, or adoptive family systems. Students review and evaluate interventions designed for couples and families facing such issues as sexual difficulties, infertility, chronic illness, abuse/trauma, addiction, divorce, immigration, family life cycle transitions, intimate partner violence, and cultural changes.
Guidance and Counselling in School Environments (3 credits) (Online) (Elective)
Introduction to school guidance counselling as an integral component of the personal, social, educational and career development of students, promoting healthy relationships, addressing social problems, and facilitating career choices within a multi-cultural environment. Helps students identify and prepare for the multiple roles of a school guidance counsellor working with a diverse population.
Orientation to the Practicum (0 credits) (Online) (Required)
A small series of interactive seminars (two to four) plus self-guided and small group activities to help students prepare to identify and secure a practicum placement. Students must successfully complete this pre-practicum orientation before registering in the practicum course. The practicum orientation seminar must be taken in the term before the practicum seminar begins (i.e., concurrently with the final non-practicum courses).
Practicum (6 credits) (onsite and online) (Required)
A course designed to support students during their practicum placement and enrich their learning experience. It provides an opportunity for faculty members to formally evaluate students’ counselling competencies, ensuring that graduation from the MACP program signifies readiness to work effectively as a counsellor. The focus is on integrating theory with practice, resolving ethical dilemmas, case conceptualization and planning, cultural competency, embracing diversity, working collaboratively across disciplines, accessing and maximizing the benefits of site supervision, and developing a professional identity as a counsellor. Topics and resources are closely connected to those previously introduced throughout the program to provide opportunities to synthesize and apply students’ learning – an approach that facilitates a deeper level of experiential learning and retention.
This course uses a blended approach of self-directed learning modules, live seminars (in person or Internet-based), faculty supervision and coaching, peer support, written reflections, and graded assignments. Where feasible, regional cohorts are established to maximize opportunities for real-time interaction and in some cases, in-person meetings. The seminars build upon learning from the self-directed modules, practicum experiences, and questions raised by students – the format involves a brief presentation by the faculty instructor, student topical presentations, interactive discussions, and prompted reflections.
Comprises the following components:
- Practicum seminars: 12 sessions over 2 terms; scheduled in weeks 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15 of each term.
- Peer review / faculty supervision sessions: scheduled for pairs of students, 6 sessions in all (3 each term) during Weeks 4/5, 8/9, and 12/13
- Self-directed learning modules: 26 self-directed lessons available throughout the course for students to complete at their own pace. Successful completion of the modules is indicated through reflective journals reviewed by the instructor.
- Written assignments: Four inter-related assignments focussing on a counselling case – case conceptualization; interim report and plan; final report, plan and resource analysis; final project addressing the broader counselling issues arising from the case.