Course Details

Course Number
Theories and Techniques I
Section Number
Theories and Techniques I
Fall 2012
Dr. Patricia Andersen (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Expectations


Midwestern State University

Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education



COUN  5283                                             TITLE: Theories & Techniques of Counseling 

Professor:  Dr. Pat Andersen                      Office:  FE 106

Work phone:  237-4311                              Cell phone: 642-7890






            A study of major theoretical counseling concepts as well as the application of

            related techniques needed for skillful practice.





            Jones-Smith, Elsie, (2012). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: An

            Integrative Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication, Inc.  





A. Goal:


1. Counselors demonstrate knowledge describing individual human



Objective: Students will be able to articulate the major concepts of

recognized theories to their colleagues and to clients.


Corollary: Students will be able to define theoretical terms for

professional use, including the state and national certification and

licensing exams. 






2.  Students will be able to apply theoretical concepts with case

     conceptualizations that describe client dynamics and appropriate

     interventions to encourage change.


                 Corollary: Students will keep notes of counseling sessions using the

                 DAP system. 



3. Students will be able to apply ethical standards to counseling interactions

    and to professional relationships.



B. Goals:


1. Counselors demonstrate professional skills promoting healing relationships where

    clients gain a sense of personal worth and self-efficacy in managing their reactions

    to life’s struggles.    


 Objectives: Students will learn to consistently evaluate the impact of the

                   counselor’s presence and interventions on the client’s progress

                   as well as the movement of the counseling relationship.



2. Students will be able to consider the appropriateness, timing, and the impact of  

    specific counselor techniques used in counseling sessions. Considerations will

    include planning possible techniques prior to the next client meeting; using a technique

    in the moment in counseling session; and evaluating the impact of using a technique

    during a previous counseling session. 



3. Students will offer feedback for their colleague’s counseling work in a

    constructive way.  Processing the experience of a counseling relationship

    includes personal reactions and may raise emotions from other significant

    relationships or feelings about competencies, self worth and meaningful


    CONFIDENTIALITY STANDARDS regarding the personal information

    revealed by colleagues. 





Professional counselors serve as role models to others, offering examples of dependable, reliable, and responsible behavior.  Counselors demonstrate positive human interactions while showing emotionally intelligent methods for handling life’s issues and concerns. If counselors do not maintain the integrity of positive mental health, lay people will assume the entire field and the profession lack credibility.


In graduate school, students work productively with faculty, peers and clients. Accepting and offering constructive criticism is necessary for personal growth and human relationship training. Working collaboratively in groups, sharing ideas, and disagreeing respectfully are common experiences in and outside classes.


Ethical conduct is expected and to fall short of professional standards means counseling accreditation or licensure can be denied, regardless of academic performance.




Class attendance is crucial to successful completion of this course since much of the training cannot be learned in textbooks. Therefore, GRADUATE STUDENTS are expected to be on time and to attend every class. Tardiness, leaving early, and absences are considered evidence of lack of dependability, and are taken seriously.


Attendance is crucial and is reflective of professional motivation and class participation that can not be made up. Even unavoidable (illness, family emergency, dangerous weather) absences affect attendance grade.  Any more than two unavoidable absences necessitate special arrangements for completion of the course.  One avoidable absence counts as two unavoidable absences as reflected in participation grade.  Two avoidable absences require withdrawal from the class.





Class Participation:                                                                                       20 %


Sharing insights regarding theoretical concepts.


Sharing thoughts and reactions regarding your own theoretical

orientation and experiences in taped counseling sessions.


Offering appropriate feedback regarding theoretical discussions

and counseling sessions in ways that are helpful to colleagues.                               


Written Theoretical Orientation                                                                  40%

A paper describing the theoretical orientation that guides your

work with clients, including major philosophical beliefs and

concepts of client change. Examples of client dynamics and

counseling interactions are required. A rubric will be provided.


Written Exam                                                                                                40%


Client Session Tape: required for faculty review prior to taking Theories II.













August 29                   Introductions


                                    Course Expectations: Syllabus


                                    Common Factors in Therapy


                                    Case Conceptualization; Personal Theory


                                    Professor Role Plays


Assignment: Read Chapters 1, 2 for Discussion



September 5                Discussion:  Theoretical Integration


                                    Case Study: Justin


                                    Discussion:  Psychoanalytic Theory

                                                         Ego Psychology

Object Relations

Jungian Theory              


      Case Studies



                        Assignment:  Read Chapter 3

                                                          Be ready to share ER’s, Fictions, Sibling placement _______________________________________________________________________


September 12              Discussion: Adlerian Psychology


                                    Case Studies


      What’s your take on importance of childhood experiences?  

                                    How will you approach early life experiences in your counseling? 


Life Style Analysis


Professor Role Play--group


                                    Assignment:    Read p. 199-204; Chapter 8;

Read Andersen’s Case Studies








September 19              Discussion: Humanistic, Person-Centered     


Yom Kippur              Case Studies


                                    Role Plays



                                    Assignments: Read Chapter 7, 9; Read Andersen’s Case Studies

                                                           What role does spirituality play in your counseling?              



September 26              Discussion:      Existential Theory

Wednesday                                         Gestalt Theory

                                    Case Studies


                                    Role Play—empty chair


Assignment:  Read Chapter 4; Read Case Studies



October 3                    Discussion:      Behavior Theories


                                    Case Studies


                                    Role Play



                                    Assignment:  Read Chapter 5 and 6; Read Case Studies



October 17                  Discussion:  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy   

                                                         Rational-Emotive & Choice Theory     


                                    Case Studies


                                    Role Play



                                    Assignment: Read Chapter 13, 14 and16                                                              ________________________________________________________________________







October 24                 

                                    Discussion:      Solution Focused Therapy

Narrative Therapy

Strengths-Based Therapy



Role Play


Instructions for seeing clients


Assignment:    Read Chapter 15,; 18,19






October 31                  Discussion:      Integrating Spiritual/Religious Issues in Counseling


                                    Role Play




Nov 7/14/21/              

Students will be seeing/taping clients for about 3 sessions


                                    Staffing clients; Processing counselor experiences


                                    Discussion:      Competency Issues




November 28              Discussion:     Combining and Integrating Theories

                                                            Students’ Personal Theories

                                                            What concepts do you use when?





December 5                 Theoretical Orientation Papers Due









Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at