Counseling the Child and Their Families – PACO 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.




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.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and assess risk and protective factors for a child, including concepts of stress, resiliency, coping mechanisms, and developmental level.
  2. Identify and apply evaluation procedures in counseling, home, and agency settings.
  3. Describe characteristics and primary tasks of each developmental stage of childhood.
  4. Develop a developmentally appropriate framework for child psychotherapy.
  5. Create effective intervention and treatment plans for addressing the needs of children and parents.
  6. Identify and apply appropriate ethical and legal decision making in child therapy settings.
  7. Describe interventions and procedures that address socio-economic and cultural factors affecting child therapy stakeholders.

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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Each forum 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 replies of 100 words each to other students’ threads.

Schedule Observation/Interview

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

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

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

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

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.

Essay Exam

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