Theories of Individual Counseling

PCO 6216 - Fall 2015 

Robert J. Rotunda, Ph.D.

                   Office Hours and Contact Info:                                

Class Day / Location:

                          Building 41 / Room 226 
                          Tuesdays, Thursdays 10-12

                          Wednesdays 1-2
                          Other Days / Times by Appt.

Wednesdays 9:00 - 11:45

                          Phone: (850) 474-2294 

Building 41 / Room 115

Course Overview/Learning Objectives:

This critical graduate course will examine various theories of healthy and disordered psychological functioning, and explore some of the many methods mental health professionals use to treat psychological distress. The course is designed to convey to counselors-in-training the basic concepts and change strategies of "traditional" post-psychoanalytic methods of psychotherapy, as well as more recent methods and intervention/ practice standards. Although it is not a counseling practicum, this overview course will provide student counselors with both theoretical and pragmatic knowledge so they may begin to form individualized conceptions of psychological health, disorder, and how people change. Students will be expected to establish a formative understanding of the therapuetic relationship and change strategies while exploring their own values and beliefs through readings and exercises. Students are not expected to emerge from the course with a preferred, crystalized theory or approach to helping people - this in fact is discouraged at this stage of training.


Specifically, course participants will learn about:

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
  • identify characteristics of both psychological health and distress/disorder
  • identify and differentiate various theories of counseling and their accompanying interventions
  • conceptualize therapy cases from different perspectives
  • identify treatment approaches that are theoretically and pragmatically useful, and formulate how these might be integrated into their
       interpersonal style
  • locate information on empirically validated treatments for various disorders
  • locate and assign appropriate self-help readings to clients as homework
  • utilize clear and professional language in all written course products (e.g., adhere to APA style; multiple paper assignments and 1 presentation)

    Prerequisites: Theories of Personality or Abnormal Psychology; Psychopathology (CLP 5166); or permission of instructor if student is in an allied health service field or graduate program.


    o Course Policies and Grading
    o Weekly Course Outline
    o Texts and Readings

    o Paper Guidelines

    o Practice Guidelines & Other Relevant Reports

    oTherapy Videos in Library

    o Psychological First Aid - Online Training


    University --- College --- Department

    © Robert J. Rotunda, Ph.D. (
    Department of Psychology, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32514