Web: Department of Counseling
Dr. Mary Hufnell, Program Director
Fowler Hall, Room 116
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program prepares graduates to be multiculturally competent professional counselors, able to work skillfully with deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and hearing clients of diverse backgrounds in a variety of mental health settings. Our training model emphasizes the development of cultural self-awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, and skills essential to becoming effective and ethical practitioners who are able to promote health and well being for all persons in the context of social justice and multiculturalism.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program offers students the opportunity to have a clinical or community counseling emphasis through the fieldwork placement. Practicum and internship opportunities typically include state, local, and private mental health agencies, addictions programs, psychiatric hospitals, and educational programs serving the mental health needs of deaf and hard of hearing persons and their hearing family members. The program is a hybrid program with the first year (including the summer session) being in residence at Gallaudet with courses taught primarily in the traditional classroom setting and the second year being a fieldwork placement out of the DC metropolitan area with continued coursework online.
The master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling consists of a minimum of 73 credit hours and requires two academic years and one summer semester to complete. The program of study is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Students are eligible to take the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) during their last semester of studies.
COU 708 - Counseling for Wellness and Human Development (3)
Wellness can be defined as a way of life oriented toward optimal health and well-being, in which the individual integrates mind, body, and spirit to experience life more fully. It is both an outcome and a process. Wellness will be considered in the context of human development and transitions across the life span. This course looks at wellness from a counseling perspective and is designed to explore the theories, research, techniques, and activities that enhance well-being in the client and counselor throughout life. The course is grounded in wellness models that integrate a holistic perspective to the overall mental health of individuals, families, and organizations. Attention will be given to addressing client strengths, optimism, happiness, hope, and resiliency, particularly through practices drawn from various cultural traditions. The format of this course is didactic, experiential, and interactive.
- Co-requisite: COU 721; or permission of instructor
COU 709 - Counseling Deaf People (3)
This course is designed to focus on the lives of deaf individuals, their families and their communities. It will provide in-depth understanding of personal, social, and cultural relationships of deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Emphasis will be placed on deaf realities and deaf experiences through readings, discussions and experiential activities. This course is highly dependent on class participation and willingness to explore your own feelings related to issues raised in class. There are six units in this course: Deaf people viewed through both cultural and disability models, historical/sociopolitical/medical issues, educational issues, family life, populations within the Deaf community, and deaf clients and their counselors.
COU 710 - Orientation to the Profession of Mental Health Counseling (3)
The course provides an orientation to basic mental health counseling principles, processes, counselor roles and functions, professional ethics, issues, organizations, and publications. Specific emphasis will be placed on mental health counseling with deaf individuals and deaf people with multiple disabilities, networking with other agencies, advocacy, and professional responsibilities.
COU 715 - Family Therapy (3)
This course is designed to examine the major contemporary theories and approaches in couples, marital and family therapy. From this framework, candidates will also consider the applicability of these theories in working with deaf children, adolescents, adults and families with deaf members. Examined will be major concepts of family dynamics and the family life cycle, with additional emphasis on families with deaf members. Candidates will be introduced to key concepts involving 1) the understanding of functional and dysfunctional relationships which often occur within couples and families and which also may occur between the client/family and therapist or other professionals involved with deaf persons, 2) the formulation and implementation of clinical intervention techniques to modify dysfunctional individuals, couples or families and larger than family dynamics. Activities will include lecture, class discussion, case presentations, and role playing simulation sessions with post-session discussions. A major emphasis is placed on the development and becoming of the couples, marital and family therapist.
COU 716 - Psychopharmacology for Counselors (1)
This is an introduction to current psychoactive medications used most often in schools and counseling/psychiatric settings today. The course will explore the conditions which respond best to psychoactive drugs, the specific drugs used to treat specific conditions, and the typical dosages used. In addition, it will explore when it is appropriate to suggest medication and also alternative medication, side effects to be aware of, and the benefits gained from the use of psychoactive drugs.
- Prerequisites: Graduate level standing.
COU 720 - Introduction to Research for Counselors (3)
The purpose of this course is to assist students in understanding the language, principles, reasoning, and methodologies of research and to help them critically evaluate counseling research literature. Students will recognize ethical issues relevant to conducting culturally appropriate research, and how research can improve counseling effectiveness. Instruction is approached from a multicultural perspective, including through the selection of instructional materials and student assessments.
- Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.
COU 721 - Foundations in Helping Skills I (4)
This introductory course provides students with an understanding of essential interviewing and counseling skills necessary to develop a therapeutic relationship with clients from diverse backgrounds, establish appropriate counseling goals, design intervention strategies, evaluate client outcome, and successfully terminate the counselor-client relationship. Counselor characteristics and behaviors that influence helping processes including age, gender, and ethnic differences, verbal and nonverbal behaviors and personal characteristics, orientations, and skills are covered. This course facilitates student self-awareness and sensitivity toward Deaf culture and other multicultural issues that facilitate relationships among people. Ethical issues in working with clients are reviewed. The instructional format including lectures, discussions, small group activities, and student engagement in role playing and simulated counseling sessions.
COU 728 - The Cycle of Substance Abuse (3)
The goal of this course is to help professionals working with deaf and hard of hearing people understand the impact of drug and alcohol abuse throughout the individual's life span as well as within family and social systems. The course will examine current trends in alcohol and drug abuse; legal implications; street names and drug symptom identifiers for counselors; the medical implications for prescription and non-prescription drug abuse; substance abuse terminology; the historical context of substance abuse in American society; community responses to substance abuse; essentials of substance abuse prevention; deafness, family dynamics, and substance abuse; and substance abuse treatment strategies and service accessibility.
- Prerequisites: Graduate level standing.
COU 730 - Social and Cultural Diversity Foundations & Multicultural Counseling (3)
This course is designed for students' personal and professional development in the area of social and cultural diversity awareness development and multicultural counseling. Effective and meaningful multicultural work with culturally diverse clients/groups/communities requires helping professionals to develop a continuing awareness of self; increased knowledge and practical understanding of others' world-views; and an ever changing and evolving skill set for effective engagement with diverse individuals/populations. Throughout the course students will begin to develop their own "cultural portfolios" through the activities and experiences in and outside of the classroom setting that have been designed to draw out personal thought, reflection, evaluation-re-evaluation, and interpersonal dialogue on related issues of cultural relevance and social justice work as a helping professional. This course will facilitate deeper awareness, broader knowledge and understanding, and provide a framework to developing multicultural competence as a counselor all the while addressing the impact of culture and power on an individual, his/her family, community, organizational structures and systems of power that reflect culture. The course takes a meta model approach to identity, and views people as being multifaceted and members of multiple cultural/language groups including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religious diversity, disability, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, language, education, and much more. Throughout the course, there is considerable use of experiential learning exercises including individual, pair, small and large group dialogue and activity in and outside of class, regular reading, didactic teaching of theoretical concepts, frameworks, and practices, gust presentation and use of media reflect the teaching approaches.
- Co-requisites: Simultaneously taken with COU 710, or 712, 717, 721, 732
COU 731 - SIMSOC: Simulated Society (1)
SIMSOC is an experiential learning simulation activity developed in the 1960's by William Gamson that explores system / organizational dynamics, processes of large scale conflict, protest, social control, and social change. The simulation is played over two full consecutive days, and then is followed by an extensive debriefing, and an additional follow up and application session. During the simulation, participants are assigned membership into one of four "regions" of the SIMSOC "society". Each individual is given specific roles, responsibilities, and resources. During the SIMSOC experience, participants deepen their own understanding of themselves and others as they address complex intra- and inter- group communication, team-building, trust building, negotiation skills and other aspects of fact to face multicultural interactions. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore the challenge of creating a Utopian society. They experience the dynamics between individualism and collectivism as they seek to satisfy specific individual "goals" while simultaneously working to ensure the survival and developing culture of the society as a whole. This course is required for all Department of Counseling students (both Mental and School Counseling majors). The course is an elective course for non-counseling graduate students with Instructors permission.
- Prerequisites: This course is for graduate level students and/or instructor permission
COU 732 - Theories and Approaches in Counseling and Psychotherapy (3)
This course provides graduate counselor trainees with a foundation in the counseling treatment approaches commonly used in school, community, mental health counseling settings. This course is fundamental in developing skills in assessment of client needs and application of effective preventive and therapeutic counseling interventions. This course emphasizes the appropriate application of counseling and psychotherapy theories to culturally diverse populations of children and adults.
- Prerequisites: Department of Counseling degree students and special graduate students with permission.
COU 734 - Lifestyles and Career Development (3)
This course is designed to provide students with knowledge of theories, materials, programs, and practices in the career development area. It specifically seeks to identify practices used with or potentially useful with deaf people. A central theme is the recognition of the role of career and work with the integration of personality. The course will discuss multicultural issues. Emphasis will be placed on discussing the career needs of deaf and hard of hearing people.
COU 736 - Organization and Administration of Human Service Programs (3)
This course focuses on the principles and procedures for establishing and maintaining guidance and counseling services in a variety of educational settings. Special emphasis is given to the systems approach, and to the process of needs assessment, program development, and program evaluation.
COU 742 - Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (4)
This course is the first in a sequence of practica and is one of major experiential components of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. By the end of this course, students will have developed entry-level counseling skills, which include the ability to provide counseling, prepare reports and treatment plans, and to work directly with and be supervised by experienced professionals in mental health settings. Counseling skills will be reviewed by faculty and site supervisors using student self-report, recorded sessions, and/or live observation. A focus will be on students developing reflectively through the use of supervision.
- Prerequisites: successful completion of COU 710, COU 721 and COU 732
COU 748 - Principles of Assessment in Counseling (3)
Introduction to the purposes, concepts, and techniques of psychological, vocational, and educational assessment and how assessment information is used in counseling. Includes a review of fundamental statistical concepts, an overview of assessment procedures, ethics, and legal implications. Emphasis will be placed on describing assessment techniques including a variety of psychological tests used widely with deaf and hard of hearing people.
- Prerequisites: Counseling Major Only
COU 753 - Group Psychotherapy (4)
This is an introduction to the theory and practice of group counseling and psychotherapy, with application to group work with deaf individuals. There are didactic and experiential components in this course which provide students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of group development, dynamics, and counseling theories; group leadership styles; group counseling methods and skills; and other group approaches. To obtain real-life group experience, students are required to participate in a 15-hour process group experience led by another instructor.
- Prerequisites: COU 710 and COU 732
COU 765 - Crisis and Trauma Counseling (2)
This course addresses the impact of crises, disasters, sexual assault and other trauma-causing events on individuals, schools, and communities. Students will be provided with opportunities for examining trauma and crisis counseling in school and community settings, including trauma and crisis theories; cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neurological effects associated with trauma; assessment strategies for clients/communities in crisis; and brief, intermediate and long-term culturally appropriate approaches to crisis and trauma intervention.
- Prerequisites: Completion of COU721 and COU732
COU 792 - Internship I in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (8)
This course is the second in a sequence of practica and is one of the major experiential components of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Students build on the knowledge and skills gained in COU 742 and increase the scope and complexity of their counseling skills repertoire. They advance their counseling skills to include clinical intake interviews, individual therapy, group therapy, couples/family therapy, assessment, case management services to clients, record keeping, and information and referral. Counseling skills will be reviewed by supervisors using student self-report, recorded sessions, and/or live observation. A focus will be on students continuing to develop reflectively through the use of supervision.
COU 794 - Internship II in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (8)
This course is the final in a sequence of practica and is a major experiential component of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Students build on the knowledge and skills gained in COU 792 and continue to increase the scope and complexity of their counseling skills repertoire. They continue to advance their counseling skills with clinical intake interviews, individual therapy, group therapy, couples/family therapy, assessment, case management services to clients, record keeping, and providing information and referrals. Students will become proficient in using a variety of professional resources to enhance the provision of mental health services, such as screening instruments, technologies, print and non-print media, professional literature, and research information. Counseling skills will be reviewed by supervisors using student self-report, recorded sessions, and/or live observation. A focus will be on students continuing to develop reflectively through the use of supervision.
GPS 700 - Culture & Language Seminar (1)
Beginning in fall 2010, GPS 700 Culture and Language Seminar is required for all incoming graduate students (with the exception of summers-only and online students) in their first fall semester at Gallaudet. The seminar was designed to prepare graduate students to understand the unique cultural and linguistic environment at Gallaudet University. Throughout the seminar, students will engage in discussions of major cultural issues in the lives of deaf individuals and their communities. Having the opportunity to explore these issues with other graduate students and faculty will deepen students' appreciation of the rich personal and academic experiences that can only be found at Gallaudet University.