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COCO 702: Theories of Counseling




This course is designed to introduce students to the major schools of counseling and psychotherapy. The inclusion of particular theories in the course was based upon their importance and impact upon the profession, whether they are likely to be covered on licensing exams, and based on the perspective of the instructor. Through readings, lectures, and videos, students are assisted to identify the assumptions and objectives underlying the various schools of thought in the field. This course emphasizes the historical development of each major theoretical approach as well as the practical stance adopted on central counseling concerns


•    To learn the concepts of the major theories of counseling as well as to enable you to compare and contrast different schools of thought with one another, considering their multicultural implications.
•    To become conversant with how different theories conceptualize human development.
•    To gain an understanding of how to apply a variety of counseling techniques and strategies in working with client cases.
•    To encourage you to begin thinking about your own theoretical inclinations and to form your own personal model of the counseling process.
•    To challenge you to look at your own qualities that support and hinder your attempts at being therapeutic for others.

Weekly sessions will center on lectures and there will be group discussions related to reading material and course assignments. 

Corey, G. (2005). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Brooks Cole Publishers.

Sue, D.W., & Sue, D. (2003). Counseling The Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice. (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.


Paper.  Written assignment(s) that focus on personal reflection and/or application of theory. Pay special attention to personal characteristics, such as values, race, sexual orientation, disability, class, migration story, first language, ethnicity, gender and religious background/spiritual practices that may lead you to adopt these views and theoretical approaches. APA Style.

Class Presentation.  Class members will be divided into small groups. Each group will be responsible for developing a twenty-minute presentation that provide  a greater understanding of the theory and its applications.

Scores will be provided based on level of competency:  
Unacceptable    (1-3); Marginal (3-5); Proficient (6-8); Exemplary (9-10)

The presentations will be graded on the following criteria:
•    Originality- unique approach to presentation, style, creativity, innovative
•    Clarity- ability to present information in a clear and concise manner, appropriate use of language associated with theory to present theory
•    Insights- ability to provide pertinent information that will help class gain a deeper understanding of the theory, theorist, and the relevance of concepts to their personal lives and professional application  
•    Depth of presentation- ability to provide a deeper level of understanding of theory and key concepts identified at the outset of the presentation
•    Handouts – provide handouts that are well organized, concise, pertinent to the presentation and useful as study materials
•    Use of technology – technology integrated into the presentation in a manner that enhances the presentation while facilitating learning and understanding; presenters comfort and expertise using media devices: includes but not limited to internet, web pages, video, music and Powerpoint
•    Evidence of preparation- group cohesiveness, evidence of collaboration, organization of presentation and materials
•    Applicability of information to people and communities of color
•    Applicability of information to individuals with disabilities and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered populations  
•    Ethical and professional issues and considerations  
•    Class participation- ability to engage class throughout tin presentation, facilitation of discussion and respond to questions, ability to keep classes attention

Grades will be calculated as follows:

Midterm 25%
Class presentation
----------------------------- ----




100-97.5% = A+
92.5– 97.4% = A   
90 – 92.4% = A- 
87.5 – 89.9%
82.5 – 87.4% = B   
80.0 – 82.4%
77.5 – 79.9%
70.0 – 77.4% = C   
0 – 69.9% = F

Students will be graded based on the scoring rubric provided. The grades are assigned according to the values published by the Hunter College Graduate catalog.

1 Orientation Introduction and Requirements / Nature of Multicultural Counseling/ The Politics of Counseling 
K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)

2 Role of the counselor / Barriers to Effective Multicultural Counseling/ Culturally Appropriate Intervention Strategies
K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
3 Psychoanalytic Theory/ Non Western and Indigenous Healing K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
4 Adlerian Theory/ Racial-Cultural Identity Development / White Racial Identity Development/ Worldview K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
5 Existential Therapy / Counseling African Americans /, American Indians and Alaskan Natives K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
6 Person Centered Therapy / Counseling Asian Americans & and Latino-Hispanic Americans K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
7 Behavior and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/ Counseling Individuals with Multiracial Descent K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
8 Reality Therapy/ Counseling Elderly Clients K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)

9 Midterm
10 Feminist Therapy/ Counseling Women / Counseling Individuals with Disabilities K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
11 Post –Modern Approaches / Counseling Sexual Minorities K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
12 Family Systems/ Multicultural Family Counseling K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
13 An Integrative Approach K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
14 Review of Theories / Developing Multicultural Organizational K2 (a–f), K3(a-e) K5 (a-d, f)
15 Final Exam


Expectations for Written Proficiency
Students must demonstrate consistently satisfactory written English in coursework. The Hunter College Writing Center provides tutoring to students across the curriculum and at all academic levels. For more information, see In addition, the Teacher Placement Office in the School of Education offers a writing workshop during the semester and a series of free writing classes are offered to students who are in need of additional support in improving their writing skills. In both cases, stop by room I000 West for information and dates of workshops.

Integrity and Plagiarism
Hunter College has subscribed to the online company, allows faculty to compare student papers with extensive databases of billions of documents in order to detect and verify material that has been plagiarized.  In this course, is used to deter students from plagiarizing material.  Please be aware that student papers will be examined from time to time.  Students who plagiarize will be punished. “Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on examinations, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents) as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty.  The college is committed to enforcing the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures.”

Statement of Reasonable Accomodation
In compliance with the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hunter College is committed to ensuring educational parity and accommodations for all students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. It is recommended that all students with documented disabilities (Emotional, Medical, Physical and/ or Learning) consult the Office of AccessABILITY located in Room E1124 to secure necessary academic accommodations.  For further information and assistance please call (212- 772- 4857)/TTY (212- 650- 3230).

K.2.a. multicultural and pluralistic trends, including characteristics and concerns between and within diverse groups nationally and internationally;

K.2.b. attitudes, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences, including specific experiential learning activities;

K.2.c. individual, couple, family, group, and community strategies for working with diverse populations and ethnic groups;

K.2.d. counselors' roles in social justice, advocacy and conflict resolution, cultural self¬awareness, the nature of biases, prejudices, processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination, and other culturally supported behaviors that are detrimental to the growth of the human spirit, mind, or body;

K.2.e. theories of multicultural counseling, theories of identity development, and multicultural competencies; and

K.2.f. ethical and legal considerations.

K.3.a. theories of individual and family development and transitions across the life span;

K.3.b. theories of learning and personality development;

K.3.c. human behavior, including an understanding of developmental crises, disability, exceptional behavior, addictive behavior, psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior;

K.3.d. strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life span; and

K.3.e. ethical and legal considerations.

K.5.a. counselor and consultant characteristics and behaviors that influence helping processes including age, gender, and ethnic differences, verbal and nonverbal behaviors and personal characteristics, orientations, and skills;

K.5.b. an understanding of essential interviewing and counseling skills so that the student is able to develop a therapeutic relationship, establish appropriate counseling goals, design intervention strategies, evaluate client outcome, and successfully terminate the counselor-client relationship. Studies will also facilitate student self-awareness so that the counselor-client relationship is therapeutic and the counselor maintains appropriate professional boundaries;

K.5.c. counseling theories that provide the student with a consistent model(s) to conceptualize client presentation and select appropriate counseling interventions. Student experiences should include an examination of the historical development of counseling theories, an exploration of affective, behavioral, and cognitive theories, and an opportunity to apply the theoretical material to case studies. Students will also be exposed to models of counseling that are consistent with current professional research and practice in the field so that they can begin to develop a personal model of counseling;

K.5.d. a systems perspective that provides an understanding of family and other systems theories and major models of family and related interventions. Students will be exposed to a rationale for selecting family and other systems theories as appropriate modalities for family assessment and counseling;

K.5.f. integration of technological strategies and applications within counseling and consultation processes; and

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