Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling (MSMHC) Courses

Download PDF

MSMHC - Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling (MSMHC) Courses

MSMHC-605: Seminar in Professional Counseling Roles (Credit: 1)

In 2010, the American Counseling Association defined counseling as "a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals." This course will examine the nature of that relationship and the unique skills counselors bring to the relationship. Further, we will explore the myriad settings and contexts in which counselors work as they seek to "empower" others' development.

MSMHC-610: Counseling Ethics (Credits: 3)

This course is an introduction to the ethical issues involved in counseling. Students will explore models of ethical decision making and the impact of their personal values on the therapeutic relationship. Students will become familiar with the current law, rules and ethics guiding the clinical mental health counselor in the state of Utah. Students will be familiarized with current ethical codes, especially those of the ACA and AMHCA.

MSMHC-612: Statistics and Research Methods (Credits: 3)

This course will familiarize students with the basic statistical concepts and research methods used in the behavioral sciences. The course will focus on developing (1) an intuitive grasp of the conceptual underpinnings of basic statistical and research concepts, (2) a basic familiarity with specific statistical formulas and research methods, and (3) an ability to critically analyze which methods are applicable in actual research contexts. The course will focus on preparing the student to interpret and evaluate research as it is presented in behavioral science journals. Since it is only an introductory course, students will not be expected to become proficient in the mathematical underpinnings of research and statistics. Instead, the course will utilize numerous examples of actual behavioral research to help students learn how to read research reports, and to discriminate good research from bad.

MSMHC-614: Psychopathology and the DSM (Credits: 3)

This course will present an overview of adult psychopathology, including major psychological disorders, associated symptom clusters, etiological factors, accepted treatments, and relevant research findings. Empirical challenges to diagnostic accuracy and social/cultural factors affecting diagnosis and treatment will be addressed.

MSMHC-617: Individual Counseling I (Credits: 3)

As a result of this course, students will: (1) understand, contrast, and critically evaluate the various theoretical approaches; (2) learn to select from these approaches in developing their own style of therapy; and (3) develop an ability to utilize these theoretical approaches in case analyses.

MSMHC-619: Individual Counseling II (Credits: 2)

As a result of this course, students will: (1) understand, contrast, and critically evaluate the various theoretical approaches; (2) learn to select from these approaches in developing their own style of therapy; and (3) develop an ability to utilize these theoretical approaches in case analyses. This is a continuation of Individual Counseling I.

MSMHC-621: Human Growth and Development (Credits: 3)

This course provides an overview of current developmental theory and research on lifespan development. Particular emphasis is placed on biological, physical, social, and emotional aspects of the developing individual in a cultural context. Students are expected to achieve the following competencies 1) an understanding of current developmental theory and its relationship to counseling practice 2) the development of observational skills, allowing the student to assess the developmental strengths, competencies, vulnerabilities, and needs of the individual 3) the capacity to think from a developmental perspective and to understand factors that may influence developmental outcome 4) a familiarity with mainstream developmental research, enabling students to explore the credible sources of information regarding issues in the development of the individual.

MSMHC-625: Tests and Measurements (Credits: 3)

The purpose of this course is to foster students' understanding of the fundamentals of psychometric theory in behavioral measurement. The course will focus on developing (1) a substantial understanding of the fundamentals of the development of assessment instruments, (2) an ability to interpret data derived from those instruments, and (3) an ability to determine which instruments are appropriate for which situations. Course topics will cover: the construction of measurement instruments; methods of establishing the reliability and validity of tests; standardization and norming of tests; and item response theory.

MSMHC-628: Group Counseling (Credits: 3)

This course provides an overview of current research and practice in couple, family, and group psychotherapy. Didactic and experiential methods will be used to teach the relevant concepts. Students are expected to achieve the following competencies at an introductory practitioner level: (1) understand a broad base of theory and treatment approaches for couple, family, and group psychotherapy, including the types of problems effectively treated in these modalities; (2) assess couple, family, and group dynamics and develop appropriate treatment strategies; and (3) increase awareness of the unique challenges and benefits of systemic treatment.

MSMHC-631: Applications of Cognitive Behavioral (Credits: 3)

This course examines the major theoretical tenets of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is an experiential class, role plays and video demonstrations will be utilized to enhance the learning experience.

MSMHC-633: Child and Family Counseling (Credits: 3)

This course provides an overview of current research and practice in child psychotherapy. Students are expected to achieve the following com competencies at an introductory practitioner level: (1) the ability to assess and diagnose a child client/patient between the ages of 3-14, considering relevant developmental, familial, and cultural contexts; (2) the ability to select and construct an appropriate treatment plan for the child; (3) an awareness of effective treatment approaches, including psychopharmacology, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, ecological, and psychodynamic intervention strategies; and (4) knowledge of relevant research on treatment outcome and effectiveness for common childhood referral problems.

MSMHC-636: Clinical Assessment (Credits: 3)

This course will introduce the student to ethical and clinical issues in psychological assessment. Students will learn about selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of assessment measures commonly used in counseling settings. They will critically evaluate examples of psychological assessment reports and understand how to use testing data to generate appropriate treatment recommendations. Typical challenges and problems in test administration and interpretation will be discussed. Students will be required to administer a number of psychological tests and submit written reports for review.

MSMHC-639: Multicultural Counseling (Credits: 3)

An appreciation of diversity in meaning systems is relevant to all counseling and all counseling courses. The ability of the therapist to understand the other as other is a central issue in developing a strong therapeutic alliance. This course explores the complexities of culture and its influence on the client/therapist relationship. This course is designed: (1) to increase awareness of the effect of culture on the counseling relationship through reading and direct exposure to individuals from a different culture; (2) to increase awareness of how ones cultural background, experiences, belief system, attitudes, values and biases influence the counseling process; (3) to develop a level of cultural sensitivity in working with culturally diverse clients; (4) to learn culturally responsive intervention strategies for culturally diverse clients; and (5) to become aware of resources that can extend ones cultural competency beyond the introduction given in this course. The central focus for this course will be ethnic/racial diversity, although we will pay attention to gender, sexual preference, age, and class as they relate to issues of diversity.

MSMHC-640: Counseling Practicum (Credits: 3)

This course fulfills the requirements of a practicum placement. Students will be placed in a practicum setting, where they will receive on site supervision. In addition, they will meet with fellow students and the course instructor for weekly group supervision. This course is designed to introduce students to the clinical and professional issues of mental health practice.

MSMHC-642: Substance Abuse Counseling (Credits: 3)

This course examines various addictions from a biopsychosocial perspective. Several perspectives on the process and treatment of addictions will be considered with a special emphasis on an Object Relations approach and on process addictions. Focus will be placed on integrating substance abuse treatment with general mental health treatment and dual diagnoses.

MSMHC-644: Applications of Psychodynamic Therapy (Credits: 3)

The purpose of this course is to foster students' understanding of the fundamentals of psychoanalytic, or psychodynamic, theory and therapy. The course will focus on developing (1) a substantial understanding of the fundamental concepts in psychodynamic theories of personality, personality development, the therapeutic relationship, and therapeutic techniques, (2) a familiarity with therapeutic techniques and other clinical considerations specific to psychodynamic theories, and (3) practical skill in the basic use of such therapeutic techniques. The course will provide students with opportunities to utilize role-play and other experiential techniques to develop their familiarity and skill with the actual mechanisms of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

MSMHC-645: Career Counseling and Development (Credits: 3)

This course introduces students to the basic elements of career counseling, including models of career development, career transitions across the lifespan, and multicultural considerations. By the end of this course, student should be able to understand different career theories, be able to apply those theories, and critically evaluate potential biases in major career theories. Students will also understand various sources of occupational information and principles of career assessment.

MSMHC-650: Special Topics Seminars (Credits: 3)

A special topics course highlights specific areas relevant to mental health practice such as Treating Domestic Violence, Psychopharmacology, Gender and Sexuality, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, etc. Prerequisites vary with course content.

MSMHC-650B: Community Mental Health Counseling (Credits: 3)

This course is designed as a special topics class for counseling students who wish to learn the practice of professional counseling in community mental health agencies with a special emphasis on social justice and multicultural issues. The class will provide an overview of legal, ethical, and professional issues as they pertain to the role of the counselor in communities, prevention, outreach, and systematic issues in community agency settings.

MSMHC-650D: Human Sexuality and Counseling (Credits: 3)

This course examines the place of sexuality in human life, including the influences of cultural, familial, psychological, biological and spiritual factors. The course looks particularly at the interface of sexual issues in clinical work. Special attention is paid to the issues of gender, sexual health and sexual dysfunction from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective. This class will explore the dynamic complexities of sexuality through various learning mediums including text, film, dialogue, debate, writing and experiential exercises. Theory as well as clinical interventions will be given, experienced and discussed in class.

MSMHC-650E: Family Counseling (Credits: 3)

This course will explore the theories and skills required for family counseling. It will examine the history of family counseling and current research and approaches to treatment, including evidenced based practices.

MSMHC-650F: Trauma Treatment (Credits: 3)

This course will explore the theories, techniques and interventions used to treat those who have been affected by trauma. It will also explore how those affected by trauma engage in the process of recovery during treatment.

MSMHC-650G: Therapeutic Use of Adventure (Credits: 3)

Adventure therapy (AT) is defined as "the prescriptive use of adventure experiences provided by menta health counselors, often conducted in natural settings that kinesthetically engage clients on cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels" (Gass, Gillis, & Russell, 2020). Whether it takes place on rocks, trails, rivers, or even the office or classroom, tying in experiential techniques with clinical skill and intentionality can provide for a deep, rich, and meaningful process for both client and practitioner. In this dynamic, intensive course, students will develop both practical and theoretical familiarity with adventure therapy as a field and modality of therapeutic intervention. Topics will include clinical foundations, treatment applications, ethics, facilitation skills, and cultural considerations in adventure therapy.

MSMHC-660: Internship I (Credits: 1 to 3)

This course fulfills part of the clinical internship requirement. Students will be placed in an internship setting, where they will be supervised on site. In addition, they will meet with fellow students and the course instructor for weekly group supervision. This course is designed to expand students' applied clinical knowledge base and train students in the components of delivering mental health services. This course is repeatable for credit. This course is repeatable for credit.

MSMHC-661: Internship II (Credits: 1 to 3)

This course fulfills part of the clinical internship requirement. Students will be placed in an internship setting, where they will be supervised on site. In addition, they will meet with fellow students and the course instructor for weekly group supervision. This course is designed to expand students' applied clinical knowledge base and train students in the components of delivering mental health services.

MSMHC-668: Directed Study (Credits: 1 to 4)

Allows students to undertake independent research and readings and readings on special topics not fully covered in the MSMHC Program. Requires consent of instructor and school dean.