A group of colleagues in a conference

Child and Adolescent Counseling – COUN 8355

Course Length: 16 weeks

A child’s learning process is as fascinating as it is complex. In this class you’ll gain insight into the living and learning environments of children and adolescents in the United States. You’ll learn to assess and promote psychological health in children, anticipate and respond to developmental issues and how to effectively intervene when necessary. You’ll also evaluate the efficacy of a number of psychological theories and interventions appropriate for use with this population.

Course Highlights

  • Exploration of the learning process through the eyes of children and adolescents
  • Designed experiential exercises that allow the opportunity for real world application
  • Discovery of your own family’s role in your learning process

Weekly Themes

Each week throughout the course will focus on a different theme. Coursework, assignments and discussions will align with that theme, as well as the course’s primary objective.

Week 1 – Little Children Are a Treasure. Their Worth You Cannot Measure.

Childhood can be a wonderful time of exploration, learning and love. It can also be a frightening time of hunger, neglect and uncertainty. You’ll learn what counseling can do for all children and explore three theories of child development.

Week 2 – So How Is This “Counseling Thing” Supposed To Work?

This week you will investigate the nature of the counseling process. You’ll explore the stages of counseling, necessary skills, codes of ethics and legal considerations for school and professional counselors.

Week 3 – Dr. Freud! Welcome to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood!

You will begin looking directly at counseling theories, starting with Dr. Freud's psychoanalytic framework and measuring it against the work of Carl Rogers.

Week 4 – Pearls of Wisdom Grounded in Behavior?

In this week, you’ll examine the similarities and differences of the therapeutic approach of Fritz and Laura Perls and Gestalt therapy, and explore the multiple approaches to behavior therapy.

Week 5 – Out Week. Your Time. Your Decision.

This week is yours. There will be no readings or assignments and you are encouraged to spend your time in a way that personally benefits you. Prior school counseling students have used it to spend time with family and friends, catch up on program assignments or job responsibilities and indulge in self-care activities such as a relaxing massage or invigorating walk.

Week 6 – Is the Solution Just a Dose of Reality?

Glasser’s Reality Therapy and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy will be discussed this week. These therapies, created by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg along with several other practitioners, are remarkably popular in schools and private practice and appear quite effective with children and adolescents.

Week 7 – Please Dr. Adler, Try to Be Rational!

This week you’ll discover the core concepts of Adler’s Individual Psychology. You’ll explore the similarities and differences between Freud and Adler in their theoretical approaches and examine the core concepts of Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy (REBT).

Week 8 – What Were You Thinking?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and transactional analysis are introduced this week.
You’ll explore what impact our thinking has on our behavior and examine the significant effect that perceived roles have on our reactions and behaviors.

Week 9 – Welcome to the Family!

This week you’ll examine family systems therapy. You’ll discover how much influence the collective family plays in the decisions of the individual members and what impact the decisions of the individual family members might have on the dynamics of the family.

Week 10 – Your Week. Your Time. Your Decision.

This week is yours. There are no readings assigned, no exams to take and no assignments to post, so use this week to benefit YOU!

Week 11 – Come, Let Us Put Our Heads Together.

Whether collaborating or consulting with students, parents, clients or the board of directors, successful endeavors require a meeting of the minds. In this week, you will be exposed to the purposes and techniques employed in successful collaboration and consultation.

Week 12 – Play as Therapy

"It is a happy talent to know how to play." This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson rings true for play therapists around the globe. This week introduces this popular and effective style of therapy used in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults.

Week 13 – Let’s Take This to The Group!

Group counseling is the most efficient mode of counseling and works well with children and adolescents. You’ll explore the dynamics of group counseling, such as the processes involved, the counselor’s role, the stages and the limits of confidentiality.

Week 14 – Counseling Children with Special Concerns

All counselors must be capable of recognizing the signs and symptoms of maltreatment. They also must be able to deliver interventions to counter negative psychological effects and administer to the needs of children with special concerns. This week you’ll explore the factors that lead to or prevent maltreatment of children and learn appropriate interventions.

Week 15 – “Dude, See That Kid in the Wheelchair? They Say He Is Going to Be in Our Class!"

Recognizing and understanding the needs of the millions of children and adolescents suffering from different disabilities is essential for certified school counselors delivering services in a school. This week you’ll gain knowledge of federal laws enacted by Congress to protect and promote this vulnerable population. You’ll also explore the myths surrounding disabilities and gain a working knowledge of when and how to assist children in need.

Week 16 – Course Wrap Up

This week is devoted to making sure that all discussions have been addressed and all assignments have been turned in for grading.

Get Started

To learn more about this course or others in the online Master of Education in School Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University, call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions adviser or request more information.