Marital, Couple and Family Counseling

Counseling, MS

Counseling, MS Marital, Couple and Family Counseling Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling provides students with an introduction to systemic theories and practices for future therapeutic work with couples and families.

Clinical skills are developed to help couples and families deal with relationship issues, life cycle and developmental crises, and other issues which may be affecting family and/or couple life and living. The curriculum of this specialization meets the academic requirements for licensure in Marriage & Family Counseling in the State of Florida.

Core Courses (42 Credits)

  • This course is designed to provide an orientation to the counseling profession, as well as to serve as an introduction to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling/Therapy, Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling specializations. This course will familiarize students with the history and evolution of the counseling profession, its foundational principles, the scope of practice for each counseling specialization, the basic clinical and administrative components of the counseling process, as well as professional counselor identity.

  • Investigates and analyzes theories and techniques in crisis intervention with particular emphasis on situational and developmental crises.

  • Examines legal, ethical, and professional standards of practice of mental health, guidance, rehabilitation counseling, and marriage and family counseling/therapy, which includes goals and objectives of related professional organizations, codes of ethics, legal considerations, standards of preparation, state and national certifications, and state licensure. Examines the role identify of counselors and overviews the rights of consumers.

  • Discusses life-span theories of development, models of moral, intellectual, and sexual development, normal and abnormal behavior and learning theories; addresses developmental interventions and relates them to the needs of specific client populations.

  • Examines the theory, administration, scoring, and interpretation of standardized intelligence, interest, personality, psychomotor, and aptitude testing. Students are expected to demonstrate competency in the administration and interpretation of a broad range of assessment tools, as well as the ability to integrate and present this information appropriately. Prerequisite: EDR 601.

  • Identifies the needs and issues relevant to counseling special populations such as women, the physically handicapped, the mentally impaired. Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, children victims of abuse, the poor and the aged. Application of counseling methods to solving the unique problems of these special populations is encouraged.

  • Presents the major theories and practices in individual counseling. Topics include: case conceptualization; treatment planning; case management; relationship building; problem-solving; and outcome assessment. Emphasis is placed on development of counseling micro skills within the context of the helping relationship.

  • Overviews the major theories and skill areas in educational planning, career development, and work motivation. Emphasis is placed on understanding career decision-making, using appropriate information and assessment techniques and applying knowledge and skills to planning and conducting career development activities in appropriate counseling settings. Resume development and job-seeking skills are taught.

  • Discusses major concepts in group counseling theory and practice. Students develop competence in group counseling relationship development and application of group counseling theory and practice to coordination of group work.

  • Investigates the theories and practices of family counseling. Current models of family counseling are studied and applied in practice sessions. Emphasis is placed on the development of a systemic perspective.

  • Examines various counseling models, associated theories and interventions, and their application to the rapport building, assessment, problem identification, and intervention phases of the counseling process. Students may be required to prepare case studies and to demonstrate selected techniques.

  • This course requires 300 hours of supervised field experience in a setting consistent with a student's area of specialization. Students are expected to demonstrate the knowledge and skills learned throughout the counselor education program. Individual and group supervisory meetings are required weekly. Prerequisites: Students must complete all didactic coursework prior to beginning practicum. Three credit hours will be allowed with the permission from the academic advisor in consultation with the practicum and internship coordinator. None of the core courses will be allowed in this exception. Any other arrangements will be allowed at the discretion of the academic advisor in consultation with the practicum and internship coordinator.

  • Explores major research designs and methods emphasizing underlying assumptions, inquiry aims, participant selection, data collection and analysis, interpretation of findings, conclusions, and reporting.

Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling (24 credits)

  • Examines the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology within the counseling relationship. Introduces the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders explores the dynamics of psychopathology and identifies the criteria associated with specific mental disorders; and considers the role of psychopharmacology in treatment. Case material and analyses are presented. Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the use of the DSM and conducting diagnostic interviews, including the mental status examination, biopsychosocial history, and treatment planning.

  • Focuses on substance abuse assessment and treatment issues and practice, especially those relevant to marriage and family therapy, mental health, school, and rehabilitation counseling settings. As this course is intended to prepare the counselor for clinical work in a variety of settings, extensive experiential practice in both assessment and intervention will be included. It will additionally provide an overview of the history, theory, and current research perspectives in the etiology, assessment and treatment of substance abuse, as they related to the role of the professional counselor. Prerequisites: CSL 569 or PSY 594 or permission of instructor.

  • Examines theories and etiology of human sexuality, sexual development, and sexual role expectations. Particular attention is given to exploration of sexual attitudes, values, and behavior. The biological, psychological, cultural, and social implications of sexuality are discussed.

  • Explores the systems approach to marital and family counseling and facilitates understanding of marital and family problems from a systems perspective.

  • Couples Counseling in the context of Marital and Family Issues examines the theory and techniques associated with marital and conjoint counseling from a family lifecycle perspective, and the life stage and developmental challenges that families face. Case examples are provided.

  • This course, CSL 696 Couple, Marriage, and Family Counseling Internship, requires the completion of 600 clock hours of field experience in a marriage and family counseling setting. Specific emphasis is placed on direct contact with consumers of counseling services. Weekly meetings with faculty and field supervisors are required. Case conceptualization, counseling skills and techniques, and service delivery systems are discussed in weekly group sessions. Prerequisites: CSL 694.

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