2013–2014 Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling Courses


MSMHC 605 Seminar in Professional Roles I (1)

In 2010, the American Counseling Association defined counseling as “a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.” This course will examine the nature of that relationship and the unique skills counselors bring to the relationship. Further, we will explore the myriad settings and contexts in which counselors work as they seek to “empower” others’ development. No prerequisites.

MSMHC 606 Seminar in Professional Roles II (1)

A continuation of MSMHC 605. 

MSMHC 610 Counseling Ethics (2)
This course is an introduction to the ethical issues involved in counseling. Students will explore models of ethical decision making and the impact of their personal values on the therapeutic relationship. Students will become familiar with the current law, rules and ethics guiding the clinical mental health counselor in the state of Utah.  Students will be familiarized with current ethical codes, especially those of the ACA and AMHCA.
MSMHC 612 Statistics and Research Methods (3)

This course will familiarize students with the basic statistical concepts and research methods used in the behavioral sciences. The course will focus on developing (1) an intuitive grasp of the conceptual underpinnings of basic statistical and research concepts, (2) a basic familiarity with specific statistical formulas and research methods, and (3) an ability to critically analyze which methods are applicable in actual research contexts. The course will focus on preparing the student to interpret and evaluate research as it is presented in behavioral science journals. Since it is only an introductory course, students will not be expected to become proficient in the mathematical underpinnings of research and statistics. Instead, the course will utilize numerous examples of actual behavioral research to help students learn how to read research reports, and to discriminate good research from bad.

MSMHC 614 Psychopathology and the DSM (3)

This course will present an overview of adult psychopathology, including major psychological disorders, associated symptom clusters, etiological factors, accepted treatments, and relevant research findings. Empirical challenges to diagnostic accuracy and social/cultural factors affecting diagnosis and treatment will be addressed.

MSMHC 618 Individual Psychotherapy (3)

As a result of this course, students will: (1) understand, contrast, and critically evaluate the various theoretical approaches; (2) learn to select from these approaches in developing their own style of therapy; and (3) develop an ability to utilize these theoretical approaches in case analyses.

MSMHC 620 Infant and Child Development (3)

This course provides an overview of current developmental theory and research on infant and child development. Particular emphasis is placed on biological, physical, social, cognitive, and emotional aspects of the developing child in a cultural context. Students are expected to achieve the following competencies: (1) an understanding of current developmental theory and its relationship to counseling practice; (2) the development of observational skills, allowing the student to assess the developmental strengths, competencies, vulnerabilities, and needs of a child; (3) the capacity to think from a developmental perspective and to understand factors that may influence developmental outcomes; (4) a familiarity with mainstream developmental research, enabling the student to explore credible sources of information regarding issues in children’s development.

MSMHC 622         Adolescent and Adult Development       (3)

In thiscourse, students will understand, contrast, and critically evaluate  various theoretical approaches to adolescent and adult development   Through an examination of the empirical and theoretical literature, students will be able to describe and explain myriad biological, psychological, emotional, and social changes during the lifespan.  Finally, students will relate models of adolescent and adult development  to practical applications for clients.

MSMHC 625 Test and Measurement Theory (2)

The purpose of this course is to foster students’ understanding of the fundamentals of psychometric theory in behavioral measurement. The course will focus on developing (1) a substantial understanding of the fundamentals of the development of assessment instruments, (2) an ability to interpret data derived from those instruments, and (3) an ability to determine which instruments are appropriate for which situations. Course topics will cover: the construction of measurement instruments; methods of establishing the reliability and validity of tests; standardization and norming of tests; and item response theory.

MSMHC 628 Group Psychotherapy (3)

This course provides an overview of current research and practice in couple, family, and group psychotherapy. Didactic and experiential methods will be used to teach the relevant concepts. Students are expected to achieve the following competencies at an introductory practitioner level: (1) understand a broad base of theory and treatment approaches for couple, family, and group psychotherapy, including the types of problems effectively treated in these modalities; (2) assess couple, family, and group dynamics and develop appropriate treatment strategies; and (3) increase awareness of the unique challenges and benefits of systemic treatment.

MSMHC 631 Applications of Cognitive Behavioral Theories (3)

This course examines the major theoretical tenets of Cognitive Behavioral therapies. Through this experiential class, role plays and video demonstrations will be utilized to enhance the learning experience.

MSMHC 633 Child Psychotherapy (3)

This course provides an overview of current research and practice in child psychotherapy. Students are expected to achieve the following competencies at an introductory practitioner level: (1) the ability to assess and diagnose a child client/patient between the ages of 3-14, considering relevant developmental, familial, and cultural contexts; (2) the ability to select and construct an appropriate treatment plan for the child; (3) an awareness of effective treatment approaches, including psychopharmacology, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, ecological, and psychodynamic intervention strategies; and (4) knowledge of relevant research on treatment outcome and effectiveness for common childhood referral problems.

MSMHC 636 Clinical Assessment (3)

This course will introduce the student to ethical and clinical issues in psychological assessment. Students will learn about selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of assessment measures commonly used in counseling settings. They will critically evaluate examples of psychological assessment reports and understand how to use testing data to generate appropriate treatment recommendations. Typical challenges and problems in test administration and interpretation will be discussed. Students will be required to administer a number of psychological tests and submit written reports for review.

MSMHC 639 Multicultural Counseling (3)

An appreciation of diversity in meaning systems is relevant to all counseling and all counseling courses. The ability of the therapist to understand the other as other is a central issue in developing a strong therapeutic alliance. This course explores the complexities of culture and its influence on the client/therapist relationship. This course is designed: (1) to increase awareness of the effect of culture on the counseling relationship through reading and direct exposure to individuals from a different culture; (2) to increase awareness of how one’s cultural background, experiences, belief system, attitudes, values and biases influence the counseling process; (3) to develop a level of cultural sensitivity in working with culturally diverse clients; (4) to learn culturally responsive intervention strategies for culturally diverse clients; and (5) to become aware of resources that can extend one’s cultural competency beyond the introduction given in this course. The central focus for this course will be ethnic/racial diversity, although we will pay attention to gender, sexual preference, age, and class as they relate to issues of diversity.

MSMHC 640 Counseling Practicum (3)

This course fulfills the requirements of a practicum placement. Students will be placed in a practicum setting, where they will receive on site supervision. In addition, they will meet with fellow students and the course instructor for weekly group supervision. This course is designed to introduce students to the clinical and professional issues of mental health practice.

MSMHC 642 Substance Abuse Treatment (3)

This course examines various addictions from a biopsychosocial perspective. Several perspectives on the process and treatment of addictions will be considered with a special emphasis on an Object Relations approach and on process addictions. Focus will be placed on integrating substance abuse treatment with general mental health treatment and dual diagnoses.

MSMHC 644 Applications of Psychodynamic Theory (3)

The purpose of this course is to foster students’ understanding of the fundamentals of psychoanalytic, or psychodynamic, theory and therapy. The course will focus on developing (1) a substantial understanding of the fundamental concepts in psychodynamic theories of personality, personality development, the therapeutic relationship, and therapeutic techniques, (2) a familiarity with therapeutic techniques and other clinical considerations specific to psychodynamic theories, and (3) practical skill in the basic use of such therapeutic techniques. The course will provide students with opportunities to utilize role-play and other experiential techniques to develop their familiarity and skill with the actual mechanisms of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

MSMHC 645 Career Counseling and Development (3)

This course introduces students to the basic elements of career counseling, including models of career development, career transitions across the lifespan, and multicultural considerations.  By the end of this course, student should be able to understand different career theories, be able to apply those theories, and critically evaluate potential biases in major career theories.  Students will also understand various sources of occupational information and principles of career assessment.

MSMHC 650 Special Topics Seminars (3)

A special topics course highlights specific areas relevant to mental health practice such as Treating Domestic Violence, Psychopharmacology, Gender and Sexuality, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, etc. Prerequisites vary with course content.

MSMHC 660/661 Internship I and II (1–3)

This course fulfills part of the clinical internship requirement. Students will be placed in an internship setting, where they will be supervised on site. In addition, they will meet with fellow students and the course instructor for weekly group supervision. This course is designed to expand students’ applied clinical knowledge base and train students in the components of delivering mental health services.

MSMHC 668 Directed Studies (1–4)

Allows students to undertake independent research and readings and readings on special topics not fully covered in the MSMHC Program. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and school dean.

MSMHC 670 Thesis Research (1–6)

Students design their own research project in a focused area of interest. Students will complete a comprehensive literature review, identify a research question, select appropriate research methodology, gather data, and discuss their findings. Once completed, students will present their research to their thesis committee.