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Professional Counseling Orientation

The course, formerly Professional Counseling, presents an introduction and overview of the counseling profession. A variety of areas are explored including professional orientation, the helping relationship, theories and skills, systems theory, group work, consultation and supervision, lifespan development, abnormal development, diagnosis, career development, research and appraisal, agency counseling, and school counseling. Multicultural aspects of counseling are stressed as well as ethical, professional, and legal issues. Emphasis will be placed on student development of personal philosophy of counseling and theoretical orientation.


  • Discussing the historical development of the counseling profession.
  • Examining the contributions of each theory of counseling.
  • Identifying issues and trends in the field of counseling.
  • Understanding personality development from a lifespan perspective.
  • Demonstrating an awareness of personal motivation and goals for entering the counseling profession.
  • Interpreting graduate level research studies.
  • Using APA standards effectively with all course assignments.
  • Describing and analyzing the ethical, professional and legal issues in the counseling profession.
  • Defining the roles and functions of school, agency, and mental health counselors.
  • Distinguishing between counseling, guidance, and psychotherapy.
  • Analyzing the contemporary models of counseling assessment.
  • Examining the history of career development and vocational guidance.
  • Identifying the major theoretical frameworks for group work.
  • Understanding abnormal psychology reflective of the DSM-V.
  • Explaining the historical trends and major theories associated with marriage and family therapy.
  • Defining consultation and supervision as related to the counseling profession.
  • Evaluating the aspects of counseling from a multicultural perspective.
  • Understanding the referral/advocacy/triage related to the counseling profession.
  • Defining and understanding crisis intervention in the helping professions.
  • Examining the differences between crisis and psychotherapy.
  • Developing personal philosophy of counseling.


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