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Program Details

Master of Arts

Our M.A. in Counseling program prepares students to become counselors who provide meaningful mental health care with compassion and integrity. The Counseling program with its specialty area of clinical mental health counseling provides the skills to practice mental health in the diverse and changing communities that they will serve.

Face to Face

You'll meet for classes at one of our convenient locations.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Fall 2017, and Fall 2018

Total Credits

60

Approximate Program Length

33 months

Courses

  • Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (COUN600)

    Overview of the history and current practice of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Emphasis is on professional identity, practice issues, working with systems, consultation and advocacy, and preventative counseling. Issues of serving diverse communities and access to service will be addressed.

    3 credits

  • Family Systems (COUN605)

    The study of family systems and the major family therapy theories including their application to case conceptualization, clinical treatment planning, and clinical intervention methods. Emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice and critiquing models in light of current research perspectives, including gender and diversity concerns.

    3 credits

  • Counseling Microskills (COUN610)

    Overview and practice of core counseling skills. Emphasis is on the development of core helping skills and attitudes foundational to an effective counseling process. Specific focus on interviewing skills with attention towards counseling relationship ethics and cultural diversity factors may influence the counseling process.

    3 credits

  • Worldview and Integration of Faith and Spirituality in Counseling (COUN615)

    Overview and critique of different worldviews and their impact on the counseling process. Topics include those central to the practice of counseling and engaging respectfully with issues of faith and spirituality with clients and colleagues. Specific focus is on working to understand ones own faith and spirituality and engaging therapeutically and respectfully with clients who hold a different faith and/or spiritual practice.

    3 credits

  • Multicultural Counseling and Social Justice (COUN620)

    The influence of culture and related factors on client-counselor interactions. Primary emphasis on developing greater multicultural counseling competence through increased: self-awareness; knowledge of and sensitivity to perspectives of individuals from diverse backgrounds (e.g. ethnic, racial, class, gender, sexual identity, physical ability, religious preference); the use of culturally appropriate skills in counseling; and applying a social justice ethic.

    3 credits

  • Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling (COUN625)

    A study of the theories, techniques, history, and principles related to group practice in counseling. Emphasis is on development of group facilitation skills. Ethical concerns, multicultural adaptations, and spiritual integration in group dynamics are addressed.

    3 credits

  • Addictions Counseling (COUN630)

    Overview of Addictions Counseling and its various forms including symptoms, assessment, and treatment approaches. Topics cover behavioral and substance use addictions, psychopharmacology, legal and ethical considerations, family system dynamics, neurological factors, co-occurring disorders, and gender and cultural responsible interventions.

    3 credits

  • Lifespan Development (COUN635)

    Familial, cultural, and societal contexts as framework for understanding individual development through normative and non-normative transition from birth through death. Application of a developmental framework for counseling.

    3 credits

  • Psychopathology and Diagnosis (COUN640)

    Critical review of current research on etiology of the most common psychopathologies. Examination of the diagnostic process. Discussion of formulations, symptoms, and progression of various disorders will interface with a consideration of appropriate therapeutic interventions. Ethics, biases, and the reliability/validity of categorization are addressed.

    3 credits

  • Individual and Family Assessment (COUN645)

    Examination of assessment throughout the counseling process. Current and historical context of assessment and testing in counseling. Emphasis on administration, scoring, and interpretation of instruments for assessment and diagnosis of personality and psychopathology; psychometric properties; ethical use of instruments; factors affecting reliability and validity; and synthesizing data. Ethical and cultural relevant strategies for assessment are addressed.

    3 credits

  • Theories and Techniques of Counseling (COUN650)

    The study of major counseling theories and their application to case conceptualization, clinical treatment planning, and clinical intervention methods. Emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice and critiquing models in light of current research and perspectives, including gender and diversity concerns.

    3 credits

  • Professional Orientation and Ethics (COUN655)

    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 are addressed. Emerging ethical standards, particularly with regard to new technologies. Emphasis on the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and professional conduct and MN state licensure statutes.

    3 credits

  • Research Methods and Evaluation (COUN660)

    Study qualitative and quantitative research designs particularly applicable to professional counseling. Primary emphasis is on developing research skills in using outcome measures in the evaluation of effective clinical practice and using research findings in clinical decision making. Ethical and culturally relevant strategies for research are addressed.

    3 credits

  • Clinical Assessment and Intervention (COUN665)

    Knowledge and practice of the skills necessary to conduct mental health assessments and interventions in the clinical settings. Conducting assessment with children, adolescents, adults, and families will be covered. Specific focus on treatment planning and crisis intervention models including suicidal clients, child abuse and neglect, and IPV.

    3 credits

  • Theories and Techniques of Career Counseling (COUN670)

    Examination of major career development theories and their application to practice. Specific topics include career assessments, gender and cultural implications and career decision-making. Emphasis on practical skills to support client career decisions and development.

    3 credits

  • Child and Adolescent Counseling (COUN675)

    Overview of the major theories and techniques for working with children and adolescents in counseling. Topics include: behavioral interventions, expressive therapy interventions, communication with school and outside services, legal and ethical issues specific to children and adolescents, and multicultural practice implications. Specific focus on the family system and its engagement in the counseling process.

    3 credits

  • Neuroscience, Counseling, and Trauma (COUN680)

    Introduction to the structure and function of the brain including biological basis of normal behavior and behavioral disorders, the influence of trauma on the brain, and drug influences on behavior. Trauma treatment strategies in counseling and psychopharmacological approaches will be addressed.

    3 credits

  • Practicum (COUN780)

    Initial supervised counseling experience involving individual and group counseling practice in the community. 100 hours of experience at a practicum site including 50 direct client contact hours of which 10 must be group work. Individual and group weekly supervision is required.

    3 credits

  • Internship I (COUN781)

    Supervised counseling internship provides students the opportunity to gain professional and clinical experience providing mental health services to the community. 300 hours of experience at an internship site including a minimum of 120 direct client contact hours. Individual and group weekly supervision is required.

    3 credits

  • Internship II (COUN790)

    Advanced supervised counseling internship provides students the continued opportunity to gain professional and clinical experience providing mental health services to the community. 300 hours of experience at an internship site including a minimum of 120 direct client contact hours. Individual and group weekly supervision is required. Completion of course signified the completion of program clinical training requirements

    3 credits

Course Schedule

Students earning their M.A. in Counseling degree at Bethel take 60 semester credits during the 33-month program. View the Course Schedule to see a breakdown of courses by year. The final year of the program includes a 12 month clinical course series.

This program fulfills the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Minnesota. To obtain this license, you’ll need to complete and meet all requirements in the LPC/LPCC application, pass a national exam, and complete the additional supervision and clinical hours required by the state. While our program prepares you for the national 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 licensure requirements.

Practicum and Internships

The program has a 12 month clinical series beginning in the second summer and continuing throughout the end of the program. Students will attain a community practicum site in an area of interest where they will serve the mental health needs of the community under supervision. The clinical series is made up of 3 courses: Practicum (Summer), Internship I (Fall) and Internship II (Spring).

Program Mission

The M.A. in Counseling Program is informed by an understanding of Christian faith and mental health.  We are committed to training graduate-level clinicians to be instruments of change that reflect a compassionate presence to the diverse and changing communities they will serve.  Graduate students are trained in the knowledge and skills of effective counseling and ethical practice in order to seek social justice and offer hope as they serve others with integrity and humility.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the M.A. in Counseling Program at Bethel University will:

  • Develop a professional identify as a Mental Health Counselor within the broader counseling profession
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the counseling core curriculum and specialty area of Mental Health Counseling
  • Apply research to the evaluation and practice of effective counseling
  • Apply ethical principles and ethical decision-making to counseling practice
  • Apply cultural sensitivity in research, assessment, and intervention
  • Develop sensitivity to religious and spiritual diversity throughout the counseling process
  • Demonstrate professional counseling competencies in a mental health clinical setting

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