Psychology and Counseling Course Descriptions

Psychology and Counseling Course Descriptions

Students negotiate each course syllabus with their faculty mentor. In all instances, students may choose to add a course subtitle and can add additional language to the course description as long as the faculty mentor and the academic advisor agree that the titles and descriptions are accurate and honest representations of the work.  No changes to course titles or descriptions are permitted after the course is completed.

The following course descriptions are meant to define the foundational minimum each student will acquire in the required study areas.  In addition to this foundation, each student will bring to each course issues of their own interests and passions. 

 

Psychology Course Descriptions (Undergraduate)

PSY 300
Professional Orientation and Development
3 credits

This course is done with the Pre-G student’s advisor.  It is an overview of both the semester and the profession they are entering.  Students typically work on this course throughout their pre-G semester, so they can check in several times with their advisor.

It is designed to meet the students’ current goals and, at the same time, offer a glimpse into different aspects of the profession.  For example, a student might read and reflect on first person accounts of being a therapist or might read about different controversies in the field.  A student who is drawn to the profession based on their own experiences as a client or in a twelve-step program might read more widely in relation to their personal experiences.  Alternatively, they might reflect further on their reading and thinking in their other pre-G courses.

 

PSY 310
History and Systems of Psychology
3 credits

This course explores the history of psychology as a discipline, and the impact that these traditions have on contemporary psychology. Learners examine the historical progression of ideas central to psychology, the philosophical and empirical roots of those ideas, and the confluence of those ideas into the various systems we have today. Learners examine the lives and works of the men and women whose work created psychology’s foundation.

 

PSY 320
Ethics
3 credits

This course examines ethical issues related to the practice of psychology and of mental health counseling and are exposed to the ethical codes of the American Counseling Association And those of the American Psychological Association  .  Learners gain familiarity with historical movements in ethics and current trends in ethics in social science research.

 

PSY 330
Human Development
3 credits

This course focuses on the concept of the stage theory of human development, its early theorists and those who built on these ideas.  Specific lenses include: psychosocial, psychosexual, personality, cognitive, behavioral developmental trajectories.  Research findings and cultural contexts related to definitions of optimal family and individual development are central to this course.

 

PSY 340
Social Bases of Behavior
3 credits

Learners study a broad overview of social forces as they relate to human behavior.   The overview includes examining a range of social norms and institutions, and the ramifications these have for psychological functioning.  Variations in social forces across various cultures are explored.

 

PSY 350
Cognition and Learning
3 credits

Learners study basic models of cognition and the research on which they are based.  Learning theory and research are surveyed with emphasis on applications in education, social justice, and community evolution.

 

PSY 360
Biological Bases of Behavior
3 credits

Learners examine a broad overview of the biological bases of psychological phenomena and behavior.  They will learn how the contributions of basic sciences (neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, and neuropharmacology) lead to an understanding of behavior and behavioral disorders.  Important psychiatric disorders are explored, primarily from the viewpoint of their biological aspects.  Recent discoveries in how experiences shape the structure and organization of the nervous system will be introduced.

 

PSY 370
Theories of Personality
3 credits

Personality learners survey selected theories of personality.  Attention is paid to the way in which personalities have been classified (personality types) and defined (personality traits).  Learners also familiarize themselves with theoretical approaches to understanding personality development.  This course provides a foundation for subsequent study of psychopathology, human development and psychotherapy.

 

PSY 410
Abnormal Psychology
3 credits

Learners explore concepts of normality and optimal psychological functioning.  Learners examine biological, social, familial, and environmental causes for abnormal human behavior. Issues of nature versus nurture are explored.

 

PSY 420
Research Methodology
3 credits

Learners gain a basic knowledge of research concepts, focusing on the natures of and differences between quantitative and qualitative methods.  Learners examine how these systematic procedures have been applied in the social sciences, with an emphasis on ethical and practical considerations.

 

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Course Descriptions (Graduate)

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Course Descriptions

The following course descriptions are meant to define the foundational minimum each student will acquire in the required study areas.  In addition to this foundation, each student will bring to each course issues of their own interests and passions.

In the process of negotiating each course syllabus with the faculty mentor, students can (optionally) add a course subtitle to the standard course title and can also (optionally) add additional language to the standard course description as long as the faculty mentor and the Academic Advisor agree that the titles and descriptions are accurate and honest representations of the work planned or completed.  No changes to course titles or descriptions are permitted after the course is completed.

 

MHC 510
Ethics and Professional Orientation
3 credits

Learners analyze the professional and ethical practice of clinical mental health counseling with a focus on ethical standards of professional organizations and credentialing bodies.  This involves the counseling profession’s roles, functions, and relationships with other providers as well as responses during emergencies and disasters.  Multiple aspects of the counseling profession are explored including history and philosophy, professional organizations (membership benefits, activities, services to members, and current issues), professional credentialing (certification, licensure, accreditation, and public policy), supervision processes, and the counselors’ role in advocating for the profession.  Learners understand self-care strategies appropriate to the counselor role.  Advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and successes for clients are evaluated.

NOTE: Students may not transfer a course from another institution to replace this course.  As part of the requirements for this course, students will successfully complete the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar offered at their first residency.  If a student fails the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar, then the student cannot begin work on the Ethics course; another course with the assigned mentor will be substituted for that semester.  The Basic Counseling Skills Seminar must be repeated at the following residency and successfully completed before Ethics course work can begin.

Students will not receive partial credit for this course if the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar is successfully completed and the Ethics course work is failed.  Once successfully completed, the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar need not be repeated if the Ethics course work needs to be repeated.

If a student fails the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar, the Program Director will appoint a committee composed of program faculty members and the seminar facilitators to review the student’s progress in the seminar.  If a student fails the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar twice, then the student will be withdrawn from the program.

 

MHC 600
Human Lifespan Development
3 credits

Learners understand the nature and needs of persons at all developmental levels and in multicultural contexts.  The theories of development include individual and family, learning, personality, optimal development, wellness, and current understanding about neurobiological behavior.  Resilience is studied through theories and models of individual, cultural, couple, family, and community perspectives as well as exceptional abilities and differentiated interventions.  Learners understand human behavior including an understanding of developmental crises, disability, psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior.  The effects of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events as well as theories and etiology of addictions and addictive behaviors, including strategies of prevention, intervention, and treatment are considered.

 

MHC 610
Social and Cultural Foundations
3 credits

Learners develop an understanding of the cultural context of relationships, issues, and trends in a multicultural society.  Studies involve theories of multicultural counseling, identity development, and social justice.  This includes individual, couple, and family, group, and community strategies for working with and advocating for diverse communities, both nationally and internationally.  Learners’ understanding of self and culturally diverse clients is fostered through exploring attitudes, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences.  Counselors’ roles in developing cultural self-awareness, promoting cultural social justice, advocacy, and conflict resolution as well as the promotion of optimal wellness and growth while eliminating biases, prejudices, and processes of oppression and discrimination are explored.

 

MHC 620
Group Work
3 credits

Learners understand group purpose, development, dynamics, methods, and skills in a multicultural society through the theoretical and experiential.  Topics include principles of group dynamics, process components, developmental stages, roles, and behaviors as well as the therapeutic factors based on group leadership and facilitation styles.  The methods and theories of group counseling are studied including appropriate selection criteria, evaluating effectiveness, and distinguishing characteristics and commonalities.  Learners participate in experiential small group activities for a minimum of 10 clock hours at the residency for the semester in which they are enrolled in the course.

 

MHC 630
Biological Bases of Behavior
3 credits

Learners examine a broad overview of the biology of behavior.  Neurophysiology, neurochemistry, and hormonal influences are explored as contributors to a wide range of behaviors, including learning and memory, emotions, and specific disorders.  Special attention is focused on those medical issues that can mimic psychological disorders while treatment implications are examined.  In particular the neurophysiology of trauma will be explored as it pertains to work in the counseling setting.

 

MHC 700
Psychopathology
3 credits

Learners gain a basic understanding of mental disorders and the multiaxial Topics include the diagnostic process, differential diagnoses, use of current diagnostic tools, potential biases within a multicultural society, and symptom and clinical presentation of clients with mental and emotional impairment.  Learners study differences between diagnoses and developmentally appropriate reactions to trauma-causing events and other external factors including societal or medical impacts. The course shall also include the development of treatment plans and the use of related services, and the role of assessment, intake interviews, and reports.

 

MHC 711
Counseling Theory and Helping Relationships
3 credits

Learners understand the counseling process in a multicultural society within an orientation toward wellness and prevention as desired counseling goals.  Topics include counselor characteristics and behaviors that influence the helping process, essential interview and counseling skills, a framework for understanding consultation, and a systems perspective of family and family and related interventions. Learners will explore counseling consistent with current research and practice that provides models for conceptualizing client presentation and selecting appropriate interventions while developing a personal model of counseling.  Crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and psychological first aid strategies will be reviewed.

 

MHC 720
Assessment and Evaluation
3 credits

Learners gain knowledge of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in a multicultural society.  This includes basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing and assessment techniques such as norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment, environmental assessment, performance assessment, individual and group test and inventory methods, psychological testing, and behavioral observation.  Learners understand statistical concepts including scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, shapes and types of distributions, and correlations as well as reliability and validity.  Learners ground their studies in the historical perspectives of the nature and meaning of assessment and the social and cultural factors related to assessment and evaluation of individuals, groups, and specific populations.  Learners gain knowledge of ethical strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in counseling.

 

MHC 730
Research Methods
3 credits

Learners gain knowledge of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation. Learners gain understanding of the role of research in the counseling profession as well as research used to inform evidence-based practice.  Multiple research methodologies are studied such as qualitative, quantitative, case study, action research, outcome-based as well as statistical methods for such methodologies and program evaluation.  Learners obtain an understanding of principles, models, and applications of needs assessment, program evaluation, and the use of findings to effect program modifications.  Learners gain knowledge of ethical and culturally relevant strategies for interpreting and reporting the results of research and program evaluation studies.  

 

MHC 741
Career Development
3 credits

Learners understand career development and related life factors such as career counseling processes, techniques, and resources including those applicable to specific populations in a global economy and multicultural issues.  Topics include career development theories, decision-making models, labor market information, and career information systems considered within the interrelationships of work, family, and other life roles.  Program planning, organization, implementation, administration, and evaluation are explored.  Students will do an overview of career counseling covering the major theorists in this area of the field including Parsons, Holland, Bandura, Super, and Kuder among others. Learners study career and educational planning, placement, follow-up, and evaluation as well as understand relevant assessment instruments and techniques.

 

MHC 750, 751, 752
Supervised Practicum for Credit
3 credits each

Learners engage in a practicum that is a distinctly defined, supervised clinical experience in which they develop basic counseling skills and integrate professional knowledge.  This course provides an introduction to a mental health counseling setting and is separate from an internship.  The Supervised Practicum for Credit course is concurrent with a student’ practicum experience as determined by the policies and procedures of the program.  Work products that reflect learning in the context of a practicum will be negotiated with the course Mentor.  This course does not replace the required supervised practicum.  Coursework enhances the learner’s practicum experience including writing, reading, reflecting, and discussing the practicum experience.  There is a focus on direct service with actual clients that contributes to the development of counseling skills.

 

MHC 800
Student-Initiated Elective Courses
3 credits

To complete their programs, students will work with their Academic Advisor and Course Mentors to create elective courses that serve their personal interests and professional goals. Course descriptions are to be created as part of the course contract process and should appear on the course contract.

 

MHC 810, 811, 812
Supervised Internship for Credit
3 credits

This course adds an academic context to the supervised internship experience.  Students work at least 10 hours per week in supervised clinical service, per standard internship requirements.  In addition to the other requirements of the internship site and the internship policies of the Counseling Program, the student’s Course Mentor will evaluate products created, which reflect learning in the context of the internship.  Such products will be negotiated and described in the course contract and may include essays and anonymous case studies, as appropriate. 

Learners engage in an internship that is a distinctly defined, supervised clinical experience in which the learner refines and enhances basic counseling knowledge and skills, and integrates and authenticates knowledge and skills appropriate to being a professional counselor.  The internship course is concurrent with a student’s internship experience determined by the policies and procedures of the program.  This course does not replace the required internship supervision.  Coursework enhances the learner’s practicum experience including writing, reading, reflecting, and discussing the practicum experience.  There is a focus on counseling skills through direct client work.  Learners study counseling topics applicable to the practicum which may include assessment, diagnosis, treatment modalities, special populations, counseling theory, supervision, consultation, advocacy, and personal and professional growth.

 

Psychology Course Descriptions (Graduate)

Psychology Course Descriptions

The following course descriptions are meant to define the foundational minimum each student will acquire in the required study areas.  In addition to this foundation, each student will bring to each course issues of their own interests and passions.

In the process of negotiating each course syllabus with the faculty mentor, students can (optionally) add a course subtitle to the standard course title and can also (optionally) add additional language to the standard course description as long as the faculty mentor and the Academic Advisor agree that the titles and descriptions are accurate and honest representations of the work planned or completed.  No changes to course titles or descriptions are permitted after the course is completed.

 

PSY 510
Ethics and Professional Orientation
3 credits

This course examines legal and ethical issues related to research and other applications of psychology, including the privileged relationship between counselors and clients.  Learners are required to gain competency in the traditions of ethical inquiry in psychology and its applications, particularly in regard to the protection of human subjects in research.  Learners will become acquainted with professional codes of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA).  Learners will know the difference between mandatory ethics and aspirational ethics, which will ultimately assist them to operate out of the highest level of professional functioning, as psychologists and citizens.

As part of the requirements for this course, students will successfully complete the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar offered at their first residency.  If a student fails the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar, then the student cannot begin work on the Ethics course; another course with the assigned mentor will be substituted for that semester.  The Basic Counseling Skills Seminar must be repeated at the following residency and successfully completed before Ethics course work can begin.

Students will not receive partial credit for this course if the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar is successfully completed and the Ethics course work is failed.  Once successfully completed, the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar need not be repeated if the Ethics course work needs to be repeated.

If a student fails the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar, the Program Director will appoint a committee composed of program faculty members and the seminar facilitators to review the student’s progress in the seminar.  If a student fails the Basic Counseling Skills Seminar twice, then the student will be withdrawn from the program.

 

PSY 600
Human Lifespan Development
3 credits

Learners survey theories of human development with a historical and critical perspective.  In addition, the learner also has the opportunity to focus on particular theories of choice.

 

PSY 610
Social and Cultural Foundations
3 credits

Learners examine social forces as they influence individual, family, and group dynamics. Studies focus on a range of social norms and institutions, and the ramifications these have for psychological functioning (e.g., economic opportunity, impact of racial stereotypes, heterosexist norms, idealized body types, etc.).

 

PSY 621
Cognition and Learning
3 credits

Learners gain knowledge of current concepts, theories, and research on information processing in humans, including: perception, attention, memory, decision-making, skill proficiency development, and language acquisition.

 

PSY 630
Biological Bases of Behavior
3 credits

Learners examine a broad overview of the biology of behavior.  Neurophysiology, neurochemistry, and hormonal influences are explored as contributors to a wide range of behaviors, including learning and memory, emotions, and specific disorders.  Special attention is focused on those medical issues that can mimic psychological disorders while treatment implications are examined.

 

PSY 700
Psychopathology
3 credits

Learners gain a basic understanding of mental disorders and the multiaxial approach to evaluation and assessment.  In learning the classification of mental disorders, the learner gains an understanding of diagnoses in terms of treatment and management decisions in varied settings.  Learners understand the meanings of diagnostic validity and are able to clearly define diagnostic terms used in psychopathology.

 

PSY 720
Assessment and Evaluation
3 credits

Learners gain knowledge of theories and measures of intellectual, personality, academic, and organizational functioning.  Learners obtain a basic understanding of the evaluation processes and the measures used to assess the abilities of adults and children.  Learners understand the concepts of validity and reliability, as they relate to measures used.

 

PSY 730
Research Methods
3 credits

Learners gain knowledge of basic research concepts, including the natures of, and differences between, quantitative and qualitative methods.  Learners create research proposals and reports using current professional standards, including a literature review.  Learners review ethical principles relevant to research in the social sciences. 

 

PSY 800
Student-Initiated Elective Courses
3 credits

To complete their programs, students will work with their Academic Advisor and Course Mentors to create elective courses that serve their personal interests and professional goals. Course descriptions are to be created as part of the course contract process and should appear on the course contract.

 

PSY 810, 811, 812
Supervised Internship for Credit
3 credits

This course adds an academic context to the supervised internship experience.  Students work at least 10 hours per week in supervised clinical service, per standard internship requirements.  In addition to the other requirements of the internship site and the internship policies of the Psychology Program, the student’s Course Mentor will evaluate products created, which reflect learning in the context of the internship.  Such products will be negotiated and described in the course contract and may include essays and anonymous case studies, as appropriate.

Learners engage in an internship that is a distinctly defined, supervised experience in which the learner refines and enhances basic psychological knowledge and skills, and integrates and authenticates knowledge and skills appropriate to being a professional psychologist.  The internship course is concurrent with a student’s internship experience determined by the policies and procedures of the program.  This course does not replace the required internship supervision.  Coursework enhances the learner’s practicum experience including writing, reading, reflecting, and discussing the practicum experience.  There is a focus on psychology skills through direct client work.  Learners study topics applicable to the experience and setting which may include research, assessment, diagnosis, treatment modalities, special populations, psychotherapy theory, supervision, consultation, advocacy, and personal and professional growth.

In order to complete this course, both the internship and the academic component have to be in place and active within two weeks of the start of the term, otherwise the student should change to another course.

Request more information from an Admissions Counselor.

The Faculty

The Psychology and Counseling Faculty members work one-on-one with students as faculty advisors throughout the semester, as well as facilitating group studies, teaching workshops at residency, and acting as second readers to students’ final projects. Our faculty is comprised of national and international scholar practitioners with extensive experience supporting students taking charge of their learning. Faculty members’ work with students is focused, clear, and rigorous.

Learn more about our faculty.

Location

Twice a year, at the start of each semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency at the College’s Plainfield, Vermont campus. Residencies are a rich time of exploration, connection, and planning.

Low-Residency Model

At the start of the semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency in Vermont, followed by 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentor. Goddard pioneered this format nearly a half century ago to meet the needs of adult students with professional, family, and other obligations seeking learning experiences grounded in the real-world.

Residencies are a time to explore, network, learn, witness, and share with peers, staff, and faculty. Students work with advisors and peers in close-knit advising groups to forge individualized study plans that describe their learning objectives for the semester.

Working closely with their faculty advisors, and supported by fellow learners, students identify areas of study, personal goals, relevant resources, and avenues to achieve these goals. Students also attend and are invited to help organize workshops, keynote addresses, celebrations and other events intended to stimulate, inspire, and challenge.

This low-residency model combines the breadth of a collaborative community with the focus of personalized learning, enhanced by insightful exchanges with a faculty advisor and course mentors.