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Course Syllabus: Counseling Psychology 101

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Office Hours: Continuous
Course Meeting Times: Continuous

Course Description

Professional counselors need a strong foundation to prepare them for entering the profession of counseling.  If you are seeking a program to enhance your skills, or just want to learn more about this career, Introduction to Counseling will give you great insight toward reaching your educational goals.


The course will focus on counselor's work as well as a counselor's typical day, provide understanding into how personal and professional ethics play a major role in the dynamics between counselor and client, and the challenges of various abnormal behaviors and mental disorders a professional counselor must face in helping people to live their own life rather than be lived by it. 


This self-paced course incorporates a vast variety of areas that apply to many different environments and circumstances including addiction, marital problems, eating disorders, bereavement, educational and career counseling.  You'll learn the top ten basic counseling skills to create a positive relationship between client and therapist and how these skills can help the client to make positive changes.


Introduction to Counseling offers an inside view of core counseling techniques and approaches, and opportunities for counseling professionals to understand the complex role client diversity plays in their work. When the ailment can't be measured by numbers on the thermometer, that's when a counselor's work begins. 

Course Requirements

There are no educational requirements other than a high school reading and writing level.

Course Outline


Lesson OneWhat is a Counselor? 

History and Current Trends in Counseling

The Nature of a Counselor’s Work

Job Outlook and Growth Prospects

Lesson Two – Developing Basic Counseling Skills

Top Ten Basic Counseling Skills 

The Helping and Healing Side of Counseling

Is Compassion Enough?

Lesson Three - Are You a Candidate for a Counseling Career?

Counselor Verses Psychologist

Desirable Qualities Needed to be a Counselor

Lesson Four – Counseling in the Private Sector

The Changing Role of Counseling in the Workplace

Violence in the Workplace Today

Career Counseling

Lesson Five – Mastering the Techniques of Counseling

Role Playing and Audio/Video Tools

Didactic Approach

Experiential Approach

Skill Development Goals

Lesson Six – Legal and Ethical Issues

Confidentiality and Professional Ethics in Counseling

Issues in School Counseling

Issues in Community Counseling

Lesson Seven – – Popular Counseling Specialties

Popular Specialties

Counselor Licensing Descriptions

Lesson Eight – Counseling Formats

Individual Counseling 

Couples Counseling

Group Counseling

 Lesson Nine – Counselor Self-Care Strategies


Causes of stress related burnout


 Lesson Ten – The Social Worker

Nature of the Work

Training and Qualifications

Job Opportunities for the Social Worker

Lesson Eleven – Counseling in Diverse Environments

Institutional Environments

Educational Environments

Lesson Twelve – Business Aspects of Counseling

Group Counseling Practice

Private Counseling Practice

Private Sector Practice

Lesson ThirteenRecord Keeping and Ethical Guidelines

Why Document?

Ethical Codes and Ground Rules
Lesson Fourteen – Counseling Based Communication Skills

Communication in the Workplace

Body Language

Course Materials

All course materials will be online and no outside purchases will be required.

Grading Policy

The course is divided into 14 lessons. At the end of each lesson will be a brief quiz and assignment based on the lesson material.  A percentage grade will be given based on point accumulation.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what a counselor is.
  • Summarize the basic skills needed to be a successful counselor.
  • Evaluate whether or not you could be a counselor.
  • Describe career options for counseling in the private sector.
  • Summarize the major counseling techniques.
  • Describe the law and legal issues behind counseling.
  • Summarize counselor self-care strategies.
  • Summarize what counseling skills a social worker needs.
  • Compare and contrast counseling techniques in diverse environments.
  • Summarize ethical guidelines a counselor needs to follow, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

An IntroductionAssignment1
Lesson 1 AssignmentAssignment2
Lesson 1 What is a CounselorExam9
Lesson 2 AssignmentAssignment2
Lesson 2 Developing Basic Counseling SkillsExam10
Lesson 3 AssignmentAssignment2
Lesson 3 Are You A Candidate For A Counseling Career?Exam10
Lesson 4 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 4 Counseling In Private SectorExam8
Lesson 5 Mastering Counseling TechniquesExam7
Lesson 6 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 6 Legal and Ethical IssuesExam9
Lesson 7 Popular Counseling SpecialtiesExam7
Lesson 8 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 8 Counseling ArrangementsExam10
Lesson 9 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 9 Counselor Self-Care StrategiesExam10
Lesson 10 The Social WorkerExam8
Lesson 11 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 11 Counseling In Diverse EnvironmentsExam10
Lesson 12 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 12 Business Aspects of CounselingExam10
Lesson 13 Record Keeping And Ethical GuidelinesExam8
Lesson 14 AssignmentAssignment25
Lesson 14 Counseling Based Communication SkillsExam10
The Final ExamExam65
Total Points:373
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