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Child and Adolescent Counseling Concentration

Master of Arts

In the Child and Adolescent Counseling concentration, you’ll develop the specialized understanding and skills necessary to assess the mental health needs of children and adolescents, and learn to apply effective evidence-based interventions in a wide variety of settings.

Please contact admissions at 651.635.8000 or graduate-admissions@bethel.edu for more information on start dates.

Total Credits


Approximate Program Length

28 months


  • Therapeutic Art and Play (PSYC621)

    A focus on techniques in expressive therapies, with an emphasis on art therapy and play therapy. The continuum from client-centered to directive therapy is examined, and the application possibilities based on client needs and the setting are explored. Common themes in children's art and play are identified, and the dynamics of interpretation are considered and applied in light of current outcome research.

    3 credits

  • Individual and Group Microskills with Children and Adolescents (PSYC623)

    Issues (abuse, divorce, domestic violence, chemical abuse, etc.) from the child/adolescent point of view, impact of these issues on their functioning. Core helping skills for this population, including facilitating support groups, individual counseling skills, and applications of cognitive behavioral therapy. Ethical issues regarding working with children/adolescents and influence of gender, class, and cultural diversity factors on counseling processes.

    3 credits

  • Child and Adolescent Psychopathology and Assessment (PSYC625)

    Students are equipped to be informed communicators with mental health professionals with whom they collaborate. Emphasis on distinguishing among common psychological disorders falling in normal and clinical significant ranges, as well as on beginning experience in administering and interpreting behavioral, cognitive, and personality assessment instruments.

    3 credits

  • Counseling Theory (PSYC638)

    The fields of counseling and clinical psychology introduced through in-depth study of major counseling models and their application to case formulation, clinical treatment planning, and clinical intervention methods. Relationship between theory and practice. Critiquing models in light of current research and perspectives, including gender and diversity concerns. Developing personally coherent counseling approaches. Dynamic, phenomenological, behavioral, and cognitive approaches focus.

    3 credits

  • Integration of Psychology and Worldview (PSYC642)

    Overview and critique of the models that articulate the interface between psychology and Christianity. Focus is on topics central to the practice of counseling within the context of a Christian worldview. Discussion of such areas as the nature of personhood, the nature of evil and psychopathology, and the process of healing. The course has at its core the importance of personally integrating one's Christian faith and the discipline of psychology.

    3 credits

  • Counseling Microskills (PSYC643)

    Demonstration and supervised practice of interview skills. Emphasis is on development of core helping skills and attitudes foundational to an effective counseling process. Introductory issues in counseling relationship ethics and how gender, class, and cultural diversity factors may influence the counseling process.

    3 credits

  • Intro to Family Systems (PSYC645)

    Exploration of basic family dynamics (such as intimacy, communication, power, shame), with special emphasis given to examining those dynamics from the family systems and family development theoretical perspectives. Differences in family structures and patterns with opportunities for learners to apply theoretical principles to real-life family situations.

    3 credits

  • Individuals and Families in Cultural Context (PSYC648)

    Study of cultural variations in individual and family identity development and functioning. Exploration of how underlying culture-specific values and assumptions may impact gender roles, marital and parental adjustment, and interaction patterns. Emphasis is on societal changes, critical issues, and stressors in family adaptation related to diverse worldviews, immigration, and acculturation challenges.

    3 credits

  • Research Methods and Treatment of Data (PSYC654)

    Methods of empirical research particularly applicable to clinical and counseling situations, with primary emphasis on evaluation and application of published research. Secondary emphasis is development of skills necessary for completion of thesis project.

    3 credits

  • Psychopathology (PSYC656)

    Critical review of theoretical perspectives and current research on the development and maintenance of major forms of maladaptive behavior. Examination of the diagnostic process will also include discussion of ethics, biases, and the reliability/validity of categorization. Discussion of formulations, symptoms, and progression of various disorders will interface with a consideration of appropriate therapeutic interventions.

    3 credits

  • Neuropsychology (PSYC660)

    Nervous system structure and function, with emphasis on clinical/counseling applications. Includes biological causes of normal behavior, organic causes for behavioral disorders, and drug influences on behavior.

    3 credits

  • Ethics and Professional Issues (PSYC661)

    Legal, ethical, and professional issues facing mental health providers, including confidentiality, informed consent, client dangerousness, conflicts of interest, boundary issues (including sexual involvement), values conflicts, religious issues and ethics, and scope of competence. Emerging ethical standards, particularly with regard to new technologies. Codes of ethics and professional conduct of mental health professional associations and licensure boards.

    3 credits

  • Lifespan Development (PSYC671)

    Development from conception through late adult-hood. Familial, cultural, and societal contexts as framework for understanding individual development. Physical and physiological, intellectual, personality, normative and non-normative transitions, social relations, family development, vocational development, retirement, and death. Individual differences (gender, culture, and class), issues of continuity-discontinuity, nature and assumptions of developmental theory, and importance of developmental factors in counseling.

    3 credits

  • Practicum I (PSYC781)

    A nine-month, supervised counseling/clinical experience (Practicum I and II total 700 hours minimum over the nine-months), primary with individual, family, and group therapy contact. Opportunity to integrate classroom learning, personal skills, and prior experience into a new therapeutic setting with onsite supervision. The State of Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy guidelines for clinical placements and supervision are applied.

    4 credits

  • Practicum II (PSYC783)

    Nine-month, 700-hour, supervised counseling/clinical experience (with PSYC781). Individual, family, and group therapy contact. Minimum of 250 supervised hours. Opportunity to integrate classroom learning, personal skills, and prior experience into therapeutic settings with onsite supervision. State Board of Psychology and Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy guidelines for clinical placements and supervision will be applied.

    4 credits

  • Select:

    • Comprehensive Examination (PSYC790)

      Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology comprehensive examination.

      3 credits

      Corequisite Course: PSYC783

    Or select both of the following:

    • Thesis I (PSYC791)

      Research project designed and completed by student, under direction of faculty advisor and graduate committee. Designed to prepare students to contribute to research in the field and to gain important research experience necessary for entrance into a doctoral program. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. should seriously consider completing a masters thesis.

      3 credits

    • Thesis II (PSYC792)

      A continuation of PSYC791.

      3 credits

This program fulfills the licensure requirements in the state of Minnesota. To obtain this license, you’ll need to pass a standard exam. While our program prepares you for the exam, we cannot guarantee you’ll pass the exam. If you want to obtain this license in a state other than Minnesota, you’ll need to check that state’s requirements for licensure.

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