Counseling Seminar – COUC 997

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 09/29/2021

Course Description

This doctoral level elective course is designed to acquaint students with a broad view of the role of the practitioner in counseling for crisis, trauma, and grief. This course is both experientially and cognitively developmental in nature and will require students to assess their own experiences with trauma and grief, as well as learn crisis and trauma theories and best practices. Attention will also be given to crisis leadership and pedagogy of crisis and trauma information. Students should be aware that traumatic and potentially highly disturbing subject matter will be discussed in classes and course readings. Some pictures or videos of crisis or trauma situations will also be shared, as this is necessary to be prepared for future crisis and trauma work. Students will also be encouraged to process possible crisis or trauma experiences from their own lives, so as to avoid countertransference with future clients.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


As leaders in the field of counseling, counselor educators are often called up on in crisis situations to provide direct care, or supervision and support of front-line workers.  As national and international crises have become more frequent, knowledge and skills in the area of crisis and trauma work have become crucial information, partly evidenced by the need to address the following 2016 CACREP Standards:

Standard II.F.3.G- “effects of crisis, disasters, and trauma on diverse individuals across the lifespan”

Standard II.F.5.M- “crisis intervention, trauma-informed, and community-based strategies, such as Psychological First Aid”

Counselor Education and Supervision Standard B.5.F- “leadership roles and strategies for responding to crises and disasters”

Measurable Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to ensure that doctoral students in the Counselor Education and Supervision Program demonstrate an understanding of crisis and trauma. Upon completion of this course, students will demonstrate required knowledge, skills, and professional development objectives pertaining to crisis and trauma competencies as a counselor educator. Students will be able to do the following:

  1. Understand theories and skills of crisis intervention, trauma-informed, and community-based strategies, such as Psychological First Aid.
  2. Identify personal crisis and trauma histories that could interfere with service delivery.
  3. Describe the leadership roles and strategies for responding to crises and disasters.
  4. Demonstrate pedagogical skill with crisis and trauma education.

Course Assignment

Discussions (14)

The purpose of this assignment is to give students an opportunity to interact with fellow doctoral students in a collaborative manner. Students must read the assigned textbook readings and respond in-depth to selected prompts in a group discussion board. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to integrate the information from the chapters; (b) interact with at least two group members posts; and (c) demonstrate an assimilation of the new information.

Interview with Crisis Worker Assignment

The student will interview a crisis worker. This crisis worker must be a professional in a crisis related field, i.e. policeman, ER worker, American Red Cross crisis counselor, Salvation Army crisis counselor, EMT, hospital chaplain, etc. This interview must have a set of questions that the student considers to be instructional to your future needs. The questions and answers will be turned in to the instructor as part of this assignment. A written summary (not a script of the interview) of the answers, the students’ reflections, as well as an assessment of the interview’s value are to be included in the written report. The report must include the contact information of the crisis worker. Minimum of 5 full pages of text, double spaced. Students will present the results of this interview as a classroom presentation. A PowerPoint presentation on the interview is acceptable if the student should choose to utilize any photographic materials made available to them.  

Teaching Demonstration Assignment

Each student will teach a 30 minute lesson in class during the intensive on some topic that they select from our two textbooks. Students must choose the topic by the end of Week 6 and get approval on the topic from the instructor. Teaching demonstrations will occur during class. Lecture, group activities, discussion, and other teaching strategies may be utilized. You must provide a list of references and/or resources on your topic to the class. Evaluation will be based on the (a) organization and delivery of presentation, (b) materials presented before and during the presentation, (c) ability to involve class in discussion/activities. 

Quiz: Weekly Journal Assignment (2)

Each student will submit a weekly journal entry. No credit will be awarded for late submissions. These should be no less than 1 page and no more than 2 pages in length (double spaced, Not in APA style). The topic of each entry is YOU. This is a self-reflective journal. It is not an academic paper. Some questions you might want to explore include:

  1. How are you experiencing the discussions in class, the exercises, your reading, etc.?
  2. Where are you in your own journey through personal issues of crisis and grief? Which topics/issues in this class stir the most inside of you? Why do you think that is?
  3. How do you think your own experiences will affect your counseling with clients as they are in crisis and/or experiencing grief?
  4. Have you adequately explored your own “stuff’ in regards to the topics covered this week?
  5. There is no need to explore each of these questions in every entry. They are only here to help guide you in self-reflection. Should you be given feedback via commentary on a particular journal, it is expected that you will respond to the feedback within the next entry. Journals will be graded for effort.

*The weekly journals will be written each week, except for the intensive week, thus a total of 15 journals/weeks.

Quiz: American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Training

Students will complete a brief American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health training that will lead to a certificate. Students will need to upload a screenshot of the certificate to the Quiz: American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Training.

APA Research Paper

Students will choose a therapeutic intervention mentioned in one of the textbooks, and write a 10 page minimum (not including title page, Abstract, or reference pages) research paper. Include details on the methodology of the intervention, the development of it, efficacy, target population for intervention, and related information. Students must include at least 8 professional references.