Introducation to Counseling

Course Details

Course Number
COUN 5203
Spring 2010
Ferguson Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Thursdays 5:30 p.m. -8:20 p.m.

Tiffany A. Stewart Ph.D., LPC (view Profile)


The skilled helper(9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/C

Course Objectives


  • Describe the role of the professional counselors and the helping process.
  • Understand the skills of active listening and communicating empathy.
  • Comprehend ways to identify and explore client issues, difficulties, strengths, and resources.
  • Understand assertive techniques to challenge clients to face issues and to take action.
  • Describe how to help clients establish goals and strategies for accomplishing goals.
  • Understand effective termination skills.
  • Develop openness to examining personal characteristics, communication style, and values that will affect the counselor/client relationship.
  • Develop openness to hearing feedback from others and skill in giving feedback to others in regards to your perceptions and impact on clients.
  • Become articulate in describing your view of how the helping process works and how your personal style is naturally effective and is sometimes adapted to meet clients’ needs. Understand the place of empirical research in the practice of counseling.
  • Be able to search for research articles and to articulate the findings of several articles on the same topic.
  • Address some of the significant professional issues in becoming a helper (values, diversity, ethics, personal issues) and assist students in utilizing this information as a means to enhance self-awareness, knowledge and skills.

Course Expectations


1.  Attendance at all class sessions and full involvement in class discussions, activities, and counseling/feedback sessions is expected of all students.


2.   Each student is expected to conduct simulated counseling sessions with a volunteer counselee from the class. At least two will be selected for grading by the instructor.  Students are expected to complete a written summary of the feedback provided from observers of each graded videotape, in addition to the student’s own reaction to the feedback and impressions of the counseling session.  Summaries are to be turned in to the instructor at the class meeting following the in-class viewing and critique of the videotape (or at another other designated time as assigned by the instructor). Further information is detailed in the handout “Guidelines and Information for Counseling Sessions.”


3.   Students are expected to observe additional counseling sessions (via videotape) and participate in providing constructive feedback to the counselor at the end of each analysis and critique session.

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.

Late Paper Policy


Late Assignments: NO late assignments will be accepted without prior consent from instructor.  All late assignments will be penalized 5 points per day that it is late.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

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.

Attendance Requirements


Attendance and participation are important components of the course. Class attendance is mandatory and NO absences are allowed. Students are expected to attend all classes unless extenuating circumstances exist. All absences must be explained to the instructor of the course.  Unexcused absences as determined by the instructor may result in full final grade level reductions at the discretion of the instructor of the course.  Students missing 3 class periods will receive an automatic grade of F and will be required to retake the course prior to completion of degree or program requirements. If you must be absent from class, please inform the instructor prior to the absence, and in the event of an emergency, please contact the instructor as soon as feasible.  

Other Policies


The class is conducted in a discussion format and all students are expected to participate in class discussions and activities. As students will play a major role in their own learning they are expected to read the assigned materials and should be prepared to comment on the readings in class. Students are also expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. This includes:

  • Regular attendance
  • Appropriate classroom behavior and participation
  • Meeting assignment deadlines


No Incompletes (“I”’) will be given in this class unless under extreme circumstances, which will be determined by the instructor of this class.



Cell Phones and Pagers


The inappropriate use of these devices can be quite disturbing.  Either turn these devices off or set to “ring” silently.  If there is a compelling need, use these devices as unobtrusively as possible. If you are expecting an urgent call, keep your phone handy, not buried. Take all calls outside of the classroom.

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