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Students accepted into Walden University’s PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program who are not licensed professional counselors with a master’s degree in counseling or who have not graduated from a CACREP-accredited master’s program are required to demonstrate curricular experiences equivalent of CACREP entry-level standards and curricular requirements of a specific program area. To fulfill these requirements, students will complete the following courses prior to beginning doctoral-level counselor education coursework.

Course Code Title Credits
COUN 8215

Lifespan Development

Students in this course are provided with an advanced overview of development through the lifespan, including prenatal, childhood, adolescent, adult, and late adult phases. Basic developmental processes and theories are examined and applied to developmental milestones that occur within these phases of development. Themes of diversity are highlighted throughout the course. Additional topics include ethics, research, global perspectives, and social change.

(5 cr.)
COUN 8250

Group Process and Dynamics

Group work is an effective counseling method that allows group members to share perspectives and provide useful feedback and information in a structured setting. Using relevant literature, multimedia resources, and a scholar-practitioner model, students examine stages of group process; group dynamics; and ethical, legal, and training standards. Students examine the types of counseling groups as well as the unique leadership skills required for each type of group. Students are provided with a comprehensive review of theoretical approaches applicable to group counseling. Students engage in a variety of practical application assignments and discussions, focusing on the efficacy of using group counseling with multicultural and diverse populations. Students will develop an evidence-based mental health group proposal appropriate for potential implementation in field experience. Students engage in a process of self-reflection to increase self-awareness for enhanced group leadership knowledge and skills.Group lab is a separate 0-credit, required course that occurs simultaneously with the Group Process and Dynamics course. Students need to ensure that they are enrolled and participating in both courses.

(5 cr.)
COUN 8316

Techniques of Counseling

Students in this course focus on principles and skills related to interviewing and observation as well as related legal, ethical, and cultural issues. Students gain practice in conducting interviews, making behavioral observations, collecting and interpreting data during an interview, and developing written reports of findings. 

(5 cr.)
COUN 8320

Counseling Practicum

The focus of this course is on experiential learning, which is an essential component of applied professional training. Students complete a supervised practicum experience at an approved site with a minimum of 100 hours, allowing them to develop their counseling skills and professional knowledge while under supervision. Students communicate their learning at the site with their colleagues and instructor in the practicum course and gain additional knowledge regarding clinical practice by interacting with their colleagues and instructor. There is an offline requirement of a group supervision teleconference once a week with the practicum instructor. (Prerequisite(s): Approval of the coordinator of field training.)

(3 cr.)
COUN 8326

Research and Program Evaluation

Students in this course are provided with a foundation in research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation in counseling. They are introduced to qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches; single case designs; action research; and outcomes research. Students can learn how to identify a topic for research, conduct a literature search, and use research to inform evidence-based practice. They also learn the importance of scholarly writing. Students examine the principles, models, and applications of needs assessment and program evaluation, and they learn to use the findings to effect program modifications. Emphasis will also be on the ethically and culturally relevant strategies for interpreting and reporting the results of research and/or program evaluation studies. Statistical methods used in conducting research and program evaluation are reviewed.

(5 cr.)
COUN 8360

Assessment in Counseling and Education

 Students in this course are provided with an overview of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation used in a variety of counseling, educational, and organizational settings. Students examine the psychometric properties used to develop and evaluate these instruments. Topics include a historical perspective of assessment, basic concepts of standardized and nonstandardized testing, measures of central tendency, normative sampling and standardization, reliability and validity, assessment report writing, test score interpretation, and test construction. Students also address the ethical, legal, and multicultural issues related to selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in counseling.

(5 cr.)
COUN 8682A

Counseling Internship I

Through this internship, mental health counseling students have an upper-level, supervised "capstone" clinical experience designed to refine and enhance their basic counseling skills, integrate their professional knowledge and skills, and continue their development in specialization areas. (Prerequisite(s): COUN 6671 and approval of the coordinator of field training.)

(3 cr.)
COUN 8720

Diagnosis and Assessment

Students are provided with an overview of what is commonly referred to as abnormal psychology; however, students also consider factors constituting normalcy from multiple perspectives. Students explore the application of diagnostic criteria in various mental health work settings, such as schools, rehabilitation facilities, community agencies, and private practices. Using the scholar-practitioner model, students consider environmental and biological factors contributing to behavioral disorders. Students also examine techniques commonly used for the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive, emotional, and developmental disorders as well as for psychophysiological and psychosocial problems. Through coursework and discussions, students consider multicultural factors that complicate diagnosis as well as current trends and contemporary issues in clinical assessment and diagnosis.

(5 cr.)
COUN 8722

Theories of Counseling

There are hundreds of therapeutic theories and techniques available to frame the practice of counseling and psychotherapy. An important skill for mental health counselors is to understand the strengths and limitations of these theories to determine which are most appropriate and work best in their own personal practice. In this course, students explore the history of counseling and psychotherapy theories. They examine the major approaches to counseling and psychotherapy in current use, including empirical foundations, advantages, and limitations. Students assess examples of theory-based applications and develop a personal theory of counseling based on theories and techniques assessed in the course.

(5 cr.)
COUN 8723

Multicultural Counseling

Students are provided with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of multicultural counseling and the delivery of psychological services as well as related skills needed in professional practice. Students explore diversity and identity issues and discuss their impact on the therapeutic relationship. They examine the application of traditional theoretical orientations and current multicultural theories to culturally diverse groups. Through a variety of assignments designed to provide practical application of content, students also investigate counseling concepts related to race and ethnicity, sex and gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, and ability.

(5 cr.)

Choose one course from the following courses:

COUN 8726

Couples and Family Counseling

An important skill for clinicians is to have a fundamental understanding of the dynamics and functioning of couples and families. Students in this course are introduced to concepts and applications in theoretical perspectives and techniques, classical schools of thought, and recent developments in couples and family therapy. Students explore culture, gender, and ethnicity factors in family development. They also review and compare theoretical frameworks in couples and family therapy, including psychosocial, psychodynamic, transgenerational, strategic, cognitive-behavioral, and social constructionist models. Additionally, students assess the roles of culture, spirituality, and values in understanding families.

(5 cr.)
COUN 8730

Counseling Addictive Disorders

In this course, students are provided with a foundation for counseling clients with both substance-related and behavioral addictions. In this course, students examine historical perspectives and current trends in addiction treatment, as well as the biological and environmental influences on the etiology of addiction. Techniques and processes for assessment and diagnosis are examined in the context of individual, group, and systemic perspectives, with attention given to developmental and multicultural influences on addiction. Influences of public policy and advocacy on addiction and treatment are also examined.

(5 cr.)

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.