Counseling the Child and Their Families – PACO 611

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

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.

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


PACO 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 cohabited 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 children/parents, a research paper, and interactions with other students via discussion board.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Each discussion will require the student to answer questions with a minimum of 400 words based on that particular module/week’s readings or video content. The student will be required to post at least 2 discussion replies of 100 words each to other students’ discussion threads.

Observation/Interview Scheduling Assignment

The student will schedule the required observation/interview and submit documentation including the participants to be present along with the date and time they are to take place. The student will also submit a short biography on the therapist to be interviewed.

Toddler Observation/Parent Interview Paper Assignment

The student will spend 30–60 minutes observing a younger toddler via Internet resources (such as YouTube). Next, the student will spend 30–60 minutes interviewing the parents of an older toddler. Finally, the student will write a 5-page paper in current APA style documenting both the observation and the interview.

Elementary School Child Observation Paper Assignment

The student will spend 2–3 hours observing elementary school children. Afterwards, the student will write a 5-page paper answering a set of provided questions, integrating materials from the Davies text with what has been observed. This paper must be written in current APA style.

Child Therapist Interview Paper Assignment

The student will locate a professional actively involved in counseling children in the student’s local area. The student will prepare at least 10 questions and interview the professional. The student will summarize his/her findings from the interview in a 3-page paper; the paper must be submitted along with a copy of all the questions asked in the interview.

Research Paper Assignments

Topic: The student will submit a topic with a 200-word rationale (with 1 cited source) detailing why the topic is relevant to pastoral counseling.

Outline: The student will submit an outline for the paper and include at least 5 sources.

Final: The student will write a 12–15-page paper in current APA format on the approved research topic with at least 20 references from current sources.

Quiz: Essay

The student will complete an open-book/open-notes quiz that will consist of 4 essay questions chosen by the student from a pool of 6 questions. The quiz will have a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes.