Advanced Counseling Skills

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2012
Days & Times





Midwestern State University

Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education



COUN  5283                                            TITLE: Advanced Counseling Skills

Professor:  Dr. Pat Andersen                    Office:  FE 106

Work phone:  237-4311                            Home phone: 766-2438






            The application of theoretical concepts and related techniques needed for skillful practice.



II.        TEXTBOOKS  


Based on your guiding orientation, choose at least one book written by a major theorist for a specific counseling theory. The books you choose to read must be approved by Dr. Andersen





A. Goal:


1. Counselors demonstrate knowledge describing individual human dynamics.


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. Goal:


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 values. STUDENT  COUNSELORS WILL ADHERE TO STRICT CONFIDENTIALITY STANDARDS regarding the personal information revealed by clients and colleagues.


C. Goal:


1.Students will clearly articulate their personal/professional theoretical orientation.


Objective:  Students will read chosen theories in the original books written by

 authors adhering to a specific set of concepts designed to create client change through counseling. 


Objective:  Students will present cases to peers articulating case

conceptualizations according to chosen theoretical orientation.


Objective: Students will write a professional paper articulating their chosen

theory or combination of theories and will demonstrate use of specific techniques through case examples.












Class Participation/Contribution                                                     required to pass          

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 Guiding Theoretical Orientation/Case Conceptualization          50%

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.



Client Session Tape: required for faculty review prior to Practicum            50%



Attendance Policy


Receiving supervision and feedback from colleagues is a necessary part of professional growth throughout a counselor’s career. Therefore attendance in class and for therapy sessions is mandatory. The following actions will be taken when an absence occurs:                                                            One absence excused;

                                                 Two excused absence:  grade lowered

 Three excused absences: drop course

                                                 One unexcused absences, grade lowered

                                                 Two unexcused absences, drop course






After the first few weeks of class, students will begin seeing clients. Students will come to class in time to attend their own counseling appointments and to observe at least one other counseling session. Students will take notes for their own sessions and for observed sessions. Appointments will be scheduled at 4, 5, 6 pm.


At 7 pm each week, the class will meet as a whole. Students will offer feedback to each other regarding counseling interventions and client conceptualizations. Students will also present ideas and techniques learned in their separate readings of theory.







August 30                               Review Syllabus, Class Format



September 13                         Role-plays



September 20                         Role-plays                             


September 27



October4                                Start with “real” volunteer clients

                                                Seminar facilitator:



October 11                             Clients

                                                Seminar facilitator:



October 18                             Clients

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October 25                             Clients                                   

                                                                Seminar facilitator:


November 1                           Clients

                                                Seminar facilitator:


November 8                           Clients

                                                Seminar facilitator:


November 15                         Clients

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November 22:                                    THANKSGIVING BREAK


November29                          Clients                                   

                                                                Seminar facilitator:


December 6                            Clients                       

                                      Seminar facilitator:


                                       PAPER DUE



Volunteer Clients for Developmental Counseling


Developmental counseling involves a client meeting with a counselor to process normal issues that are considered typical of the psychological experience of most people. Developmental issues include the feelings we all experience growing up, family dynamics, identity issues, career concerns, and struggles with problems that we have to resolve to live the life we want to live.


Graduate students who are in training for earning a license as a professional counselor see clients in the clinic in the basement of Ferguson Hall. Counseling rooms are equipped with cameras that record counseling sessions so the students can review tapes and analyze their counseling interactions.


Students can volunteer to see a counselor for as many sessions as they like, though usually clients see a counselor for 3-5 sessions.   


Sign up for Counseling with a graduate student




Telephone #:__________________________________________________


e-mail address that you check daily:______________________________


Counseling sessions will be held on Thursday evenings between 4 and 7 pm.  If you are unable to come on these evenings, every effort will be made to place you with a counselor at another time. Please respond to phone calls or e-mails asap or we will call someone else.


Please choose the best time for you of the times listed below:


Thursday 4:00______________________________________________



Thursday 5:00______________________________________________



Thursday 6:00_______________________________________________


Another day: (please specify day and time)_________________________




Dr. Patricia Andersen (view Profile)

Course Attachments


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