Theories of Counseling – CEFS 510

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course provides in-depth exploration of selected theories of counseling and psychotherapy, including empirically supported treatment modalities. Through this course, students learn about the nature and process of therapy, and begin to learn how to conceptualize client presentations and select appropriate interventions while considering issues of diversity. Students are encouraged to begin to define their own theoretical approach to their work with individuals, couples, and families.

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


The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the major counseling theories and practices. Counseling theories provide the basis for the theoretical framework that guides one’s practice. However, the assimilation of theory into a theoretical orientation is more than an academic exercise. Counseling theories emanate from a philosophical foundation that influences therapeutic practice. This course is designed to help students gain the understanding and self-awareness needed to begin to develop their own theoretical orientation. Emphasis will be placed upon enabling students to develop a theoretical foundation upon which to base a counseling approach.

Course Assignment

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

For each of the 3 Video Discussions, the student will submit his or her initial video recording that responds to a provided prompt, and reply via video recording to at least 1 peer. The student's initial video will be 3 minutes long, and his or her reply video will be 2 minutes long. Audio and video are required for each initial and reply video. The student must cite at least the three course textbooks as sources in both the thread and reply. (CLO: A, B, C, D)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will participate in 2 written Discussions throughout this course. The student must not attach threads/replies as files. The student must instead type directly into the Discussion text box. The student must submit an initial thread of at least 300 words, and a reply to 1 peer of at least 200 words. Each post must be in current APA style formatting. The assertions for each thread must be supported with a minimum on scholarly reference. The student must cite at least the three course textbooks as sources in both the thread and reply. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F, G)

Each week the student will be introduced to different theoretical approaches. This assignment will provide the student with an easy-access guide as he or she moves forward in the program. The student must complete the chart provided in Canvas prior to submitting the assignment. It would be of benefit to the student to use the chart to take notes each week during the corresponding Module: Week in which he or she is learning about each theory. The student must include at least 1 peer-reviewed journal article that supports the effectiveness of the theory. See assignment instructions in Canvas for additional details. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Within this paper, the student will identify his or her own personal counseling style and theoretical orientation based on what he or she learned from this course. In addition, the student will use the Tan textbook to discuss a Christian worldview as it relates to his or her personal counseling style and theoretical orientation. The student will the submit a 4 page paper to Canvas. See assignment instructions in Canvas for additional details. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F, G)

There are 10 open-book/open-notes quizzes required in this course. Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the Module: Week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a 1-hour time limit. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F)

This quiz covers Learn materials from all modules and requires the student to rate himself or herself on the nine dispositions required for this program using the provided scale. This quiz will contain nine multiple-choice questions and one essay question, has a time limit of one hour, and allows one attempt.