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Clinical Counseling

Course Descriptions

SEPC610 Intro to MACC Practicum

This course is a prerequisite to SEPC612 Clinical Counseling Practicum (MACC) and introduces foundational skills, concepts, and paperwork for the practicum component of the MACC degree (as required for licensure). In addition to 13 supervisory hours in class, MACC students begin accruing approximately 8 hours/week toward their 100 practicum hours at a clinical practicum site during this January session. The remainder of the Practicum clinical experience, supervision, and clinical hours (approximately 4 hours per week) are completed in SEPC612 Clinical Counseling Practicum (MACC), to be taken in the semester immediately following this course.

  • MACC students only.
  • Prereq. (may be taken prior to or concurrently): SEPC710, SEPC720,SEPC760, SEPC920.
  • Background check required.

1 credit

SEPC612 MACC Practicum

This course allows MACC students to continue their Practicum experience. This course includes a survey of the history of pastoral care and counseling and offers training, practice, and supervision of basic counseling skills. Together with SEPC610, this course will satisfy the requirement for 100 clinical practicum hours in an assigned clinical site. Supervision will be provided in this class as well as didactic information including pastoral counseling in times of illness and grief, life transitions, brief premarital and marital counseling, and abuse.

  • MACC students only.
  • Course must be taken in semester immediately following SEPC610.
  • Prereq.(may be taken prior to or concurrently): SEPC710, SEPC720, SEPC760, SEPC920.
  • Background check required.

3 credits

SEPC620 Pastoral Care & Counseling

This course will survey the history of pastoral care and counseling and offer training and practice in listening skills, pastoral visitation, and pastoral responses to the developmental and situational crises of life. Ministry opportunities in times of illness and grief, life transitions (including premarital counseling and brief marital counseling and referral) will be discussed. Supervised Ministry placement in a parish, chaplaincy, or agency setting where one can assume a pastoral identity is required and students participate in group supervision with the instructor.

  • MDiv, MACh, MACC students only.
  • This course is prerequisite for Clinical Pastoral Education.
  • Background check required.

3 credits

SEPC710 Group Theory & Ethics

This course focuses on developing an understanding of group dynamics and group process and developing skills in group work practice. Integration of group dynamics literature and the application of theory in practice is an expected course component. This course is required for LPC licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

3 credits

SEPC720 Clinical Assessment & Treatment Planning

This course focuses on the tools needed for clinical assessment, differential diagnosis, and treatment planning. Students will learn the basics of these three elements as necessary resources for professional pastoral counseling. The course will involve an intake interview paper, viewing video interviews portraying a variety of diagnoses in the DSM-V, and a focus on personality disorders. Class time will also included an ongoing discussion and review of treatment modalities and options.

  • MACC students only or with instructor permission.

3 credits

SEPC730 Systems Theory & Applications

While society appears to be immersed in individual cause-and-effect thinking in a changing society, working on the emotional process in one’s own family of origin via Systems Theory will make a difference in impact as the professional works within organizational systems. This course is designed as an in-depth study of the principles of Bowen’s Systems Theory. Strong emphasis will be placed on theory, viewing the family as an emotional unit, understanding the individual person as a continuing presence in his or her family of origin, and strategies for applying this knowledge in organizational systems (church, agency, seminary, cohort).

2 credits

SEPC740 Marriage & Family Counseling

This course will focus on the theories, assessment and interventions of marriage and family counseling as informed by research and clinical practice. The influence of culture, race, social class, and gender on couples and families will be highlighted. Experiential exercises and videotapes of therapy sessions will be used to demonstrate the impact of marriage and family therapies on couple and family interactions. This course uses lecture, discussion, role-play, videotapes, case studies, research/reflection papers, and assigned readings.

3 credits

SEPC741 Assessment & Counseling of Problematic Behaviors in Childhood & Adolescence

This course will cover topics related to child and adolescent psychopathology and treatment, including assessment, etiology, and applied counseling techniques with a focus on evidence-based treatment.

  • MACC students only. 
  • Prereq: SEPC720.

1 credit

SEPC742 Human Sexuality

This course will explore biological, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects of human sexuality, including sexual development, assessment of sexual dysfunction, and treatment. The process of learning will include active participation, dynamic discussion, professional videos, and lectures. As a result of this course the pastoral counselor will better understand and be prepared to begin the treatment of sexual dysfunction. Spouses are welcome to audit.

3 credits

SEPC743 Chronic Illness, Death, & Loss

This course explores the issues of patients, families, and the community in dealing with chronic or terminal illnesses, disability, and grief. Students will develop a deeper appreciation of the complex personal and societal impact of illness and disability, determine adequacy of community supports, explore their personal history and its impact on their work with illness and grief, and will begin to forge an understanding of their ministerial/counseling role in working with this population.

3 credits

SEPC744 Sexuality Across the Lifespan

Sexuality is one of the central and organizing components of the human experience throughout the lifespan. This interactive, participatory course explores biological, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects of human sexuality. Students conceptualize sexuality and build general knowledge while assessing their attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions in preparation for work in congregational, counseling, advocacy, and other ministries. Due to the nature of the course subject, classroom discussion and educational materials incorporate language and images that may challenge student comfort. Students need not disclose personal information about their sexuality to peers; however, a personal journal submitted to the professor encourages disclosure for the purposes of self-reflection and growth.

3 credits

SEPC750 Human & Faith Development

Students in this course will study, learn, and practice the application of classical theories of human development and faith development through reading, observation, and self-reflection. The nature and needs of individuals through the lifespan, and of the moral and faith developmental process will be examined using vignettes and videos of interviews. The various settings in which students will serve after graduation will be considered and assignments tailored to these settings.

3 credits

SEPC760 Individual Psychotherapy & Methodology

This course offers an opportunity to explore individual psychotherapy as a treatment modality with the goal of assisting students in the development of individual psychotherapy skills, including an exploration of the interpersonal relationship between counselor and counselee. Various counseling methodologies are also considered.

  • MACC students only.
  • Prereq: SEPC720.

3 credits

SEPC761 Child & Adolescent Counseling

This course will prepare graduate level counselors and social workers to address the specific needs of children and adolescents, with a primary focus on individual and group counseling strategies. Treatment planning and developmental needs, along with responsive services and system support components, will also be discussed.

  • MACC and MSW students only or with instructor permission

3 credits

SEPC770 Motivational Interviewing

This course will allow students to develop the skills of Motivational Interviewing. Miller and Rollnick define MI as “ a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence.” The course will include an introduction to the concepts of Motivational Interviewing, the stages of change/Transtheoretical model, what is similar and different between those two models, and the practice of Motivational Interviewing. The course format will be lecture, open discussion, and didactic/practical application of the theory to counseling. Practical techniques, strategies and traps of motivational interviewing will be identified and discussed throughout the course.

1 credit

SEPC801 Intro to Internship

This is a weekly course with both an interpersonal group component and a clinical supervision component, in which Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling students beginning their 600-hour clinical internship receive support and feedback from peers while giving case presentations and internship updates. The peer group aspect is designed enhance self-awareness and sharpen communication skills. Reading, clinical discussion and experiential learning are key elements of this course. This course is graded Pass/No Pass.

  • MACC students only.
  • Prereq: SEPC610 & SEPC612.
  • Background check required.

2 credits

SEPC810 Peer Group 1

This course is an interpersonal group that meets every other week in which MACC students involved in a clinical internship receive logistical support and feedback from instructor and peers in order to sharpen communication skills and clarify internship requirements. This course is graded Pass/No Pass.

  • MACC students only.
  • Prereq: SEPC610, SEPC620, SEPC801.
  • Background check required.

1 credit

SEPC812 Peer Group 2

A continuation of Peer Group I. This course is graded Pass/No Pass.

  • MACC students only.
  • Prereq: SEPC810.
  • Background check required.

1 credit

SEPC840 Intro to Addiction Issues

Students explore the pervasiveness of addictions in society and how this phenomenon affects all of our lives, with attention to the addictions of members of congregations and communities and of the religious professionals who serve them. Coursework examines the dynamics of both individual and systemic patterns of addictions. Also covered are the pharmacology and unique impacts of multiple drugs of abuse, including process addictions such as gambling, and sexual addiction.

3 credits

SEPC841 Spirituality and the 12 Steps

This course highlights the role of the twelve steps in the development of a spirituality for the recovering person and its impact on the family. Counselors, persons in ministry and others explore how to develop a deeper and more effective awareness of “recovery” spirituality in clients, parishioners and themselves. Key elements of the recovery spirituality process are highlighted by becoming familiar with working the twelve steps. Participants contrast the spirituality of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with other self-help programs, especially as they impact those recovering in these programs and their usefulness to society at large.

2 credits

SEPC842 Addictions and the Family

This course explores the development, course, assessment, and treatment of addictions with a focus on the adolescent/young adult and family. The course helps students consider the impact of adolescent addictions on parents, the impact, of parental and other familial addictions on adolescents, and how treatment of these addictions impact the development of adolescents/young adults. Readings and discussions include ACOA issues and concerns, co-occurring disorders, and intergenerational transmission of addiction patterns. The course will also focus on spiritual development, and the importance of peer groups, communities, and congregations from the perspective of adolescents/young adults and families.

3 credits

SEPC901 Internship Supervision 1

An intensive weekly experience of case supervision and clinical education for MACC interns. Clinical issues from cases in one’s internship are discussed and critiqued. Advanced treatment skills are taught. Supervision is provided by an experienced and credentialed supervisor. This course is graded pass/no pass.

  • MACC students only.
  • Prerequisites: SEPC610, SEPC620, SEPC801.
  • Background check required.

3 credits

SEPC902 Internship Supervision 2

A continuation of Internship Supervision I.

  • MACC students only.
  • Prerequisite: SEPC901.
  • Background check required.

3 credits

SEPC910 Developing Effective Cultural Competency Skills

A foundations and intervention course based on cultural competencies needed for the awareness, knowledge, skills, and application of counseling to multicultural, sexual, ethnic, and spiritually diverse clients. The course will challenge counselors to examine their own multiple identities, empathize with those from diverse backgrounds, and work with the presenting concerns of ethnically and culturally diverse clients. This course is designed to fulfill the PA Licensed Professional Counselor course requirement for Social and Cultural Foundations.

  • MACC students only or instructor permission.

3 credits

SEPC920 Professional Orientation: Ethics & Counseling

This course focuses on the importance of legal, ethical, and professional issues that form the basis for a code of ethics that protects the welfare of clients. This code is not only the Code of Ethics of a professional association or Licensure Act, but a code by which professionals practice and hold themselves out to the public. Professional roles and responsibilities will be discussed. Students will be required to discuss legal, ethical, and professional issues with practicing therapists and counselors, and to discuss local and state laws regarding the practice of therapy and counseling.

  • MACC students only.

3 credits

SEPC930 Career Counseling & Lifestyle Development

This course will examine and reflect academically, personally, and clinically on the theory and practice of adult career assessment and vocational counseling from a pastoral counseling perspective. The course will include adult career counseling theory, developmental theory, multi-cultural, gender, and dual career issues. This course fulfills a program requirement for licensure in Pennsylvania as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

3 credits

SEPC940 Research Design & Methodology

This course is an overview of fundamental research designs and basic analytical methods used in the behavioral sciences. Students learn how to select appropriate research designs and employ valid procedures in collecting data through a study of research methodology. The major goals of the course are to understand basic concepts and methods of analysis that will aid students’ readings of the research literature, provide for their own future research projects, and help them write a research proposal. Research ethics and applications to religious research are considered. This course fulfills a program requirement for licensure in Pennsylvania as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

3 credits