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Theories of Counseling

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2014
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times


Theories of Counseling

PSYC 5213, section 201

Spring 2014


Professor: Michael A. Vandehey, Ph.D.                                 Office: O’donohoe 112

Office Hours: M 10:30-11:00, 12-12:30; 3:30-4:00               Phone: 397-4026

                        W 10:30-12:30; 3:30-4:00

                        F 9-11:00

                        TR 10:30-11:00, 12:30-2:00; 3:30-4:00          


Class Time: M 12:30-3:20 p.m.                                               Location: PY 102


Texts: Seligman, L. W., & Reichenberg, L. W. (2014). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Systems, Strategies, and Skills (4th Ed).  Merrill Counseling


Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed.). (2010).

Washington D. C.: American Psychological Association.


Course Requirements: Grades will be based on your performance on 1 midterm (100 points), 1 final (100 points), and a paper (100 points).


Goals: 1. Become acquainted with many of the major theories of counseling.

            2. Identify 1-2 theories as main foundation for providing services.

            3. Become aware of the impact of the self on practicing psychology.


Grade: s will be multiple choice and essay. Multiple choice answers will be marked on Scantrons and essay questions will be answered in the space provided on the . The paper is to be written in APA 6th Ed. format and is to be 7-10 pages not including title or reference pages.


300 points are possible and grade ranges are as follows:


A = 300-270

B = 269-240

C = 239-210

D = 209-180

F = 179 or lower


Paper: The paper for this course is different for the typical graduate paper. It is a “know thyself” paper that will be based upon weekly take-home exercises. Through the take-home exercises and bi-weekly group discussions, the student should begin to identify personal strengths, weaknesses, and beliefs (e.g., religious, political, morals/values, race, gender, etc.) that may positively or negatively impact the therapeutic relationship. The majority of the paper will be about those three areas, and the student is expected to regularly cite Kerr (question/page number) as he/she responds to the exercises. The final area will be about the theoretical orientation that best fits the student’s personal style. Please note: this exercise is not designed to limit the student’s theoretical orientation. It is designed to help the student identify the theory that would be a good beginning point for professional development and practice. It is expected that the student will expand his/her theoretical knowledge and practice base throughout the program and career. 


Papers are due by the end of class. Late papers will lose one grade for every day they are



I will provide handouts from: Kerr, D. R. (2000). Becoming a therapist: A workbook for personal exploration. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.


Note: Students with disability must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided. Individuals requiring special accommodation may contact me after class or during office hours.


Electronic Contact: I require 5 working days to be able to read and respond to all email. Please note that my spam filter does keep some emails from getting to me (most recently my wife). In addition, I do not check email after 5 pm nor on weekends/holidays. My cell phone is to be used only be students who have been given it by me (e.g., honor society officers, graduate students). Please do not text me on my cell unless I have personally given you my cell number.


Make-up Policy: Make-up exams will be essay in nature and can be scheduled with me. I need one week to prepare the exam; thus, the earliest a make-up exam can be taken is one week after the initial exam. See 2012-2014 Student Handbook and Activities Calendar on Class Attendance Policy (pg. 69-71).


Cell Phones and Pagers: Please turn all cell phones and pagers off (no sound) during class. DO NOT text message during class. DO NOT answer your cell phone in class. Exceptions include emergency calls (e.g., birth of child, family member in hospital). Students who are unable to comply will not be allowed to attend class.


Cheating Policy: Any evidence of cheating on exams or quizzes will result in dismissal from this class with a grade of “F”. To avoid questions of cheating, mark Scantrons clearly, use a No. 2 pencil, and erase completely. Errors due to a poorly marked Scantron will not result in a grade change.


Travel Plans: Please do not make travel plans during finals week. The final will be given when the university has scheduled it as per the schedule of classes. Early finals will only be offered to graduating seniors with honors.



Tentative Reading and Exam Schedule


Weeks of Class            Reading Assignment


1/13-2/24:                    Semester Overview/Course Requirements

Chapter 1: Contexts of Effective Treatment

Chapter 2: Overview of Background-Focused Treatment Systems

Chapter 3: Sigmund Freud and Classic Psychoanalysis

Chapter 4: Alfred Adler and Individual Psychology

Chapter 15: Overview of Action-Focused Treatment Systems

                                    Chapter 16: Behavior Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy


Packet 33: Why be a Therapist?

Packet 1: What helps when…

Packet 2: What about Advice?

Packet 13: Teaching

Packet 12: Questions

Packet 8: Expanding Options


Additional Topics:       Prochaska & Norcross (2007): Assessing likelihood of change

                                    Levels of Change


1/20                             Martin Luther King’s Birthday, no classes

 2/17                            Last day for May graduates to file


Monday 2/24: Exam I


10/12-11/30:                Chapter 7: Overview of Emotion-Focused Treatment Systems

                                    Chapter 8: Carl Rogers and Person-Centered Counseling

                                    Chapter 9: Existential Therapy

                                    Chapter 10: Gestalt Therapy

                                    Chapter 18: Family systems Approaches


Packet 18: Family

                                    Packet 26: Shame

                                    Packet 25: Interpersonal Warmth

Packet 14: Tracking Feelings

Packet 24: Expressing your Feelings

Packet 23: Experiencing Feelings


Additional Topics:       Levine & Sandeen: Biological and Limited-Capacities Models


3/10                             Last day for “W”

3/17-3/21                     Spring break, no classes

4/16-4/18                     Easter break, no classes


4/28                             Paper Due


Final Exam: Monday the 5th from 3:30 p.m. till 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Michael A. Vandehey (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