Advanced Theory Application and Orientation – COUC 715

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

During this first course in the Ph.D. CES Program, students examine existing and emerging theories of counseling to increase their understanding of ethical and effective assessment and intervention within the therapeutic environment. The student will be able to critically analyze, evaluate, and synthesize a broad range of counseling theories, with an advanced understanding of psychopathology, to inform case conceptualization and deliver and evaluate evidence-based interventions across diverse populations and settings (CACREP Standard: 6.B.1 Counseling). Students will also explore the relation of these competencies to counselor education (CACREP Standards: 6.B.3 Teaching), research and scholarship (CACREP Standards: 6.B.4 Research and Scholarship), and leadership and advocacy (CACREP Standards: 6.B.5 Leadership and Advocacy). As the preliminary course, it also provides a thorough orientation to the Ph.D. CES Program. Note: Must be enrolled in the following program: Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision.

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


As a basis for their work, counselors and counselor educators must have an advanced
understanding of counseling theories and their relevance for guiding the therapeutic
process. In addition to understanding core theoretical principles, counselors and
counselor educators need to appreciate contributions from various theoretical approaches
to the actual practice of counseling. This understanding serves to heighten competence in
formulating effectual treatment strategies and in aiding in the delivery of ethical and
effective treatment.

Course Assignment

For this synthesizing paper, create a scholarly document that answers each of the questions listed on the Reflective Paper Template. Your paper must include citations from the conceptual and empirical literature to support your model and practices (see tutorials on the Jerry Falwell Library website if you are not familiar with how to download journal articles from the library databases). Your paper must include at least three references to ACA journal articles (journals are listed on the ACA website) as well as references to other journal articles and primary scholarly sources.

As expert clinical mental health counselors it is imperative that we thoroughly understand
the DSM-5 and are aware of best practices for effectively treating DSM-5 conditions. To
help ensure that you have a comprehensive knowledge of the DSM-5 from a counselor
professional identity perspective and you are aware of best practices in the areas of
treatment you most engage in, complete this reading, reflection, critical
analysis, and synthesis paper.

This scholarly paper is designed to prepare you for the Applied Theory section of the
Qualifying Examination when you will be asked to present your theoretical model of
ethical and effective assessment, diagnosis, case conceptualization, treatment planning,
treatment, treatment outcomes assessment and aftercare planning and apply it to a DSM-5
condition in the context of a case study.

Students will participate in a variety of exercises, activities, and group projects designed to help them master the course objectives. The Participation and Professionalism Assignment grade will reflect participation and professionalism throughout the term.