Counseling Children and Their Families – HSMF 611

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The developmental and psychological needs and problems of children are examined through the analysis of personality types and family structure. Counseling techniques (e.g. play therapy) for children are also examined.




HSMF 611 is a graduate course in the development and counseling of children. America’s children are the focus of growing concern because of increasing rates of divorce, separation, and the fragmentation of cohabitate relationships. In addition, they are the victims of physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse. This specific course is offered in an eight-week format. It includes extensive readings, interactions with current professionals, a research paper, and interactions with other students via a discussion board.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the different dynamics that interfere in a child’s normal physical and emotional development.
  2. Assess the impact of environmental, cultural, and religious influences to the healthy development of children.
  3. Develop a framework, including biblical truths, of the counseling process for children.
  4. Evaluate different theoretical approaches to child therapy.
  5. Explain the ethical and legal issues associated with counseling the child and family.
  6. Assess the attributes of some major therapeutic approaches.
  7. Assess the attributes of a practical, integrative therapeutic approach.
  8. Discuss special topics associated with counseling the child.
  9. Integrate theoretical approaches with therapeutic approaches.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the course contains 2 graded Discussion Board Forum. The purpose of these Discussion Board Forums is to generate interaction among students in regard to relevant current course topics. Since Discussion Board Forums are a collaborative learning experience, each student is required to both initiate initial threads and to respond to the threads of others.  Each of the forums is moderated over two weeks. For this course, forum 1 takes place during module 1 and module 2.  Forum 2 takes place during module 4 and 5.  All discussion board initial threads and replies are due on Sunday of their respective modules.

Depending on the discussion board prompt, an initial thread should be at least 350 words, substantive replies should be least 100 words. Your statements should clearly demonstrate whether your ideas come from your textbook readings, from scholarly articles, from conclusions drawn from consideration of those sources, and/or your own personal experience.  

Practice Exercise assessments

The purpose of this assessments is to assess your ability to apply child-centered techniques.  During the first five weeks of class, you will be doing practice exercises in the Child-Centered Play Therapy workbook. You will have a weekly quiz during the first five weeks to assess your skills. Each quiz is worth 10 points and are shmat.


Tests- You will have three tests of the reading from both textbooks and course resources.  Test questions are multiple choice, worth 3 points per question; Test 1 is worth 150 points, Test 2 is worth 150 points, and Test 3 is worth 100 points.

Test 1 (module 2): 150 points 

  • Cook-Cottone et al. (2019) chapters 1 & 2
  • Mullen and Rickli (2014) chapters 1 & 2

Test 2 (module 5): 150 points 

  • Cook-Cottone et al. (2015) chapter 3-5
  • Mullen and Rickli (2014) chapters 3-5

Test 3 (module 8): 100 points

  • Cook-Cottone et al. (2015) chapter 6 & 7
  • Crisis intervention resources (module 6)
  • Integration of faith ppt (module 7)
  • Legal and ethical issue ppt  (module 7)


Assignments – Three assignments are focused on critical thinking and application of knowledge, principles, and strategies. The assignment questions are developed from the reading of both textbooks. Assignments should be submitted as a Microsoft WORD document. 

    1. Assignment 1Counseling Processes and Strategies (module 3, 80 points.) 
      You will illustrate your competency and ability to apply accurate counseling skills and strategies that you have learned in module 1 and 2 of the Cook-Cottone, et al., textbook. This assignment has fourteen questions that you will develop narrative responses and short answers.
    2. Assignment 2Child-Centered Play Therapy (module 4, 80 points). For this assignment you will use various skills and strategies you have learned from the Child-Centered Play Therapy Workbook. This assignment has nine questions that you will develop narrative responses and short answers.
    3. Assignment 3Crisis Intervention & Mandated Reporting (module 6, 70 points.)
      For this assignment, you will research mandated reporting laws and guidelines, you will use the crisis intervention resources from module six, and practice responding to a case study illustrating a potential crisis. This assignment has four questions that you will develop narrative responses and short answers.

Counseling Portfolio

Counseling Portfolio (module 7, 200 points). This assignment is a collection of ideas, practices, principles, perspectives and values that will continue to guide your counseling philosophy with children.  You will summarize and reflect on the most important counseling principles you have gained from the course.  It provides an organizational structure for your professional portfolio. This assignment should be submitted as a Microsoft WORD document.