CEP 960
Theoretical Foundations of Counseling
Fall 2006

Instructor: Michael J. Leahy, Ph.D. Office Hours: By Appointment
463 Erickson Hall Seminar: Thursday, 12:40-3:30, 116A EH
432-0605 Location: 116A Erickson

A. Course Description

This seminar is designed to provide the doctoral student in Rehabilitation Counselor Education with in-depth exposure to theoretical models of counseling, personality, career choice and development, and behavior change. Literature on the process and outcomes of counseling, as well as selected professional issues will be analyzed and discussed. Psychological processes underlying vocational behavior will also be emphasized.

In addition, issues affecting rehabilitation counselor education will be identified, analyzed, and discussed in relation to this theoretical content domain. Preparation of presentations and discussion will require a scholarly synthesis and analysis of existing knowledge to help doctoral students’ advance their comprehension, and prepare for the responsibility of their future roles as rehabilitation counselor educators and researchers.

B. Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to understand and describe the essential elements and implications of current knowledge and trends in the following areas:

• major theoretical approaches to counseling and psychotherapy.

• critical assessment of these approaches in terms of their logical consistency, research support, and general adequacy for use in rehabilitation settings.

• critical assessment of the various research designs and strategies used to evaluate counseling and psychotherapy outcomes.

• linear and interactive effects of counselor/therapist, client, process and content variables on counseling and psychotherapy outcome.

• major theoretical models of career development

• application of career development theories in practice, including empirical support in relation to outcomes

In addition, students will develop:

• instructional, oral presentation and group participation and facilitation skills through the process of preparing content, presenting, and facilitating discussions of assigned topics.

• scholarly and technical writing skills through the development of a scholarly paper on a topic related to the content of this course.

C. Format

The course is conducted as a seminar, where students come together weekly and are supervised in advanced study as a group. The instructor and students will share responsibility for preparing for and facilitating discussion on all topics. The proposed topics, readings and sources are outlined below. The individual research assignments and presentations are intended to help students use the skills of scholarship to more fully develop their conceptual framework about the theoretical models of counseling, personality, career choice and development, and behavior change, and to consider the implications of this scholarship in their work.

D. Schedule of Seminar Sessions

August 31 (Dr. Leahy)

• Orientation to the seminar and review of syllabus and learning expectations
• Selection of content assignments for presentations throughout semester
• Discussion of scholarship and what it means to be a “steward of the discipline”
• Key concepts and models for comparing and evaluating approaches to counseling and psychotherapy
• Readings: Lambert (chapters 1, 4 & 5); Chan et al (chapter 1); syllabus and handouts from instructor

September 7 (Cozetta and Abdoulaye)

• Trait-Factor approach in counseling
• Person-Centered counseling
• Readings: Chan et al (chapters 11& 4); Lambert (chapter 11)

September 14 (Wilaiporn and Sunny)

• Behavioral approaches
• Readings: Lambert (chapter 9); Chan et al (chapter 7)

September 21 (Ju Hee and Abdulaye)

• Cognitive and cognitive-behavioral approaches
• Readings: Lambert (chapter 10); Chan et al (chapter 8)

September 28 (Eniko and Wilaiporn)

• Rational- emotive behavior therapy
• Ecological and solution focused therapy
• Readings: Lambert (chapter 9); Chan et al (chapter 9)

October 5 (Mya and Ju Hee)

• Research Design and methodology in counseling and psychotherapy
• Research on client variables
• Readings: Lambert (chapters 2 & 6); Chan et al (chapter 23)

October 12 (Jenelle and Andrew)

• Research on counselor-therapist variables
• Research on process, content and outcome variables
• Readings: Lambert (chapters 7 & 8); Chan et al (chapter 23)

October 19 (Jenelle and Jennifer)

• Culturally diverse populations
• Other distinct populations in rehabilitation settings
• Readings: Lambert (chapter 17); Chan et al (chapters 16-20)

October 26 (Dr. Leahy and special guests)

• Future trends in counseling and psychotherapy
• Related trends in disability and rehabilitation settings
• Readings: Lambert (chapter 18)

November 2 (Andrew and Sunny)

• Work and disability; Basic constructs
• Employment among people with disabilities – what current data can tell us
• Readings: Szymanski & Parker (chapters 1 & 3)

November 9 (Mya and Cozetta)

• Career development theories, constructs and research for people with disabilities
• Readings: Szymanski & Parker (chapter 4)

November 16

• No class – Michigan Rehabilitation Conference – Traverse City, MI.

November 23

• No class – Thanksgiving Break.

November 30 (Eniko and Jennifer)

• Career counseling with people with disabilities, including diverse populations
• Models, interventions, and applications
• Readings: Chan et al (chapter 15); Szymanski & Parker (chapter 8)

December 7 (Dr. Leahy and special guest)

• Employer development and job search methods and issues
• Readings: Szymanski & Parker (chapters 9-12)

December 12

• Finals week – turn in final paper to instructor

F. Assignments/Products

Students will be responsible for two classroom presentations during the semester, These presentations will be done with another student from the class who shares interest in the topic. These student teams will select, with instructor approval, specific topics for individual research and study, and present and facilitate group discussion regarding the most salient issues identified. Throughout the semester other assignments may be identified in relation to specific content areas discussed. Finally, each student in consultation with the instructor will develop a formal research paper.

Guidelines for Formal Presentations

Review literature and develop an outline of topical headings derived from your review. Organize material into a logical structure to convey related key findings and their sources. Synthesize for conclusions and analyze for implications in relation to rehabilitation counseling practice, research, and education. Provide sufficient copies of your final narrative outline and bibliography to the seminar group. Present your material verbally to the group and facilitate discussion on the topic.

Guidelines for Scholarly Paper

Identify topic and review with instructor. Conduct a comprehensive search, review and synthesis of the relevant literature. In addition to your descriptive presentation of the material, draw conclusions and identify implications in the same manner as you would in your verbal presentations above. Follow all conventions of APA style in developing and writing your paper. Provide sufficient copies of your paper for all seminar participants, by the end of the semester.

G. Evaluation Criteria

Seminar group presentation (#1) (30%).
Seminar group presentation (#2) (30%)
Scholarly paper (40%).

H. Academic Honesty Policy:

Academic honesty is expected of all students. Students are expected to work to the best of their abilities and to submit their own work. Students must give appropriate credit to ideas borrowed from other sources. University policy states that, “academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, may result in a zero grade in the course and removal from the program”. The specific policy regarding academic integrity can be found at

I. Electronic mail and ANGEL system:

Throughout the semester, course documents will be posted on the ANGEL system. Students will be able to access this information at any time from locations outside of the regular classroom. You are responsible to check Angel and your email routinely to obtain class updates, schedule changes, and assignment changes. These are your vital links to the course. In-class announcements will be made to alert students to ANGEL postings.

J. Special Accommodations:

Students requiring special accommodations over the course of the semester, including classroom accommodations, and alternative learning strategies need to contact the instructor during the first two weeks of the semester so that the necessary arrangements can be made. Students requiring accommodations are also encouraged to register with MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.

K. Primary Resources

Required Materials

Lambert, M.J. (Ed) (2004). Berven and Garfield's Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (5th edition). John Wiley & Sons. [ISBN 0-471-37755-4]

Szymanski, E.M. & Parker. R.M. (Eds) (2003). Work and Disability (second edition). Austin TA: Pro-ed. [ISBN 0-89079-910-5]

Chan, F., Berven, N.L., & Thomas, K.R. (Eds) (2004) Counseling Theories and Techniques for Rehabilitation Health Professionals. Springer publishing Co. [ISBN 0-8261-2384-8]

Last modified: Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 08:16 AM