Counseling and Human Services

E. Christine Moll, Chair
Faculty: James P. Donnelly, David L. Farrugia, Ann Marie C. Lenhardt, Michael Rutter, Holly Tanigoshi-Fetter.

Degree: Master of Science

The Department of Counseling and Human Services offers a course of study designed to prepare humanistic, competent, professional counselors. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accreditor in the field of counseling, accredits the two counseling programs leading towards a Master of Science degree. The Department offers the following:

  • A 60 hour Master of Science (MS) degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling;
  • A 48 hour Master of Science (MS) degree in School Counseling;
  • A Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in School Counseling; and
  • A Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Mental Health Counseling.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares graduates to work in settings serving clients diagnosed along a continuum of mental and emotional disorders. Our graduates advocate for and promote mental health and wellness. Our graduates are knowledgeable in the principles and practices of diagnosis, treatment, referral and prevention and often work in interdisciplinary teams with other health professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, social workers, MDs). Mental Health Counselors work with individuals, couples, families, or groups in settings that include the following:

  • Mental health counseling agencies
  • Substance abuse clinics/agencies
  • Crises counseling centers
  • Private practice hospitals

The Clinical Mental Counseling Program is a “license qualifying education program” within New York State leading towards licensure as a “licensed mental health counselor” (LMHC). Please see the New York State Mental Health Counseling website for more information.

The Certificate of Advance Study in Mental Health Counseling is a course of study (15 to 21 credit hours) for candidates who already have a Master’s degree in counseling, but do not meet the required coursework and experience for the NYS mental health-counseling license. In order to qualify for this “bridge program”, candidates should have Master’s degrees in school counseling, mental health counseling, college counseling, rehabilitation counseling, or other general counseling degrees.

The School Counseling Program prepares graduates to work with students ranging from pre-kindergarten through high school, as an “initially certified school counselor” in New York State. School counselors work in both private and public school systems at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

School counselors are prepared to promote the academic, career, personal and social development of all pre-K-12 students by understanding how to design and implement comprehensive school counseling programs that include time for individual counseling, group counseling, classroom guidance, as well as family and teacher consultations within the school setting.

Upon completion of the MS degree in School Counseling and Initial Certification, a graduate must work full-time for two years as a school counselor and complete a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) within five years to apply for the New York State “Permanent Certification.” The program at Canisius has a reputation for having an orientation toward practical and applied skills. In addition to learning direct counseling skills, future school counselors are prepared to work collaboratively in the roles of leadership, advocacy and consultation, allowing our graduates to influence schools on a systemic level in addition to performing the traditional counselor’s role with individuals and groups.

Chemical Dependency Counseling

The Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) is the credential for counselors in New York who work specifically with individuals afflicted with addiction. Canisius is accredited by New York State to provide academic preparation for the CASAC. Additional requirements can be found on the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation counselors help people deal with the personal, social, and vocational effects of disabilities. They counsel people with both physical and emotional disabilities resulting from birth defects, illness or disease, accidents, or other causes. They evaluate the strengths and limitations of individuals, provide personal and vocational counseling, offer case management support, and arrange for medical care, vocational training, and job placement. Our program allows students to gain the academic background necessary to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). Additional information and requirements can be found on the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) website.

Admission

Student candidates must fulfill the general requirements for admission to graduate work in education. In addition, candidates must complete the following:

Required for Admission or within the First Semester of Study

Before beginning course work or within a candidate’s first semester of study one needs to successfully complete the following:

  • The Counseling and Human Services screening assessment battery which includes:

    • The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-II (MMPI-II),

    • A written autobiography, and

    • An empathy test;

  • Completion of a personal interview with the academic advisor; and
  • On-going Evaluation of Counseling Candidates throughout the program of study.

It is necessary that candidates continue to show evidence of high academic performance and display professional dispositions during interactions in and out of class. Assessments, through specific “transition points,” measure a candidate’s growth towards one’s professional identity. One’s successful completion of each transition point is necessary to continue through one’s graduate studies.

Candidates in both counseling programs adhere to the 2014 American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics. Candidates must declare a program major in either school counseling (SC) or clinical mental health counseling (CMHC). It is possible to be a “dual major.” Interested candidates should contact their advisors.

Counseling and Human Services Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1

Candidates in the counseling program will demonstrate content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful performance in their field.

The Candidate:

  • Demonstrates the application of career development and decision making theories within the career counseling process.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the dimensions, functions, and practices of the professional counselor.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to eliminating bias, prejudice, discrimination and promoting social justice, based on an understanding of cultural dynamics within identity formation and social behavior.
  • Identifies theories of human growth and development including factors related to optimal development and factors that challenge optimal development such as disability, psychopathology, trauma and addiction.
  • Demonstrates essential interview and counseling skills, based on knowledge of counseling theories.
  • Demonstrates leadership skills for group counseling based on an understanding of the dynamics of group work including theories of group counseling.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of assessment strategies used in counseling including an understanding of statistical concepts and cultural issues related to assessment.
  • Identifies research methods and statistical procedures used to study human behavior and uses appropriate data based procedures for program planning and evaluation.
  • Demonstrates specific foundations of knowledge related to the student’s specialization in counseling.

Learning Goal 2

Candidates in the counseling program will demonstrate professional skills and dispositions necessary for successful performance in their field.

The Candidate:

  • Demonstrates a commitment to eliminating bias, prejudice, discrimination and promoting social justice, based on an understanding of cultural dynamics within identity formation and social behavior.
  • Demonstrates the application of career development and decision making theories within the career counseling process.
  • Demonstrates essential interview and counseling skills, based on knowledge of counseling theories.
  • Demonstrates leadership skills for group counseling based on an understanding of the dynamics of group work including theories of group counseling.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of assessment strategies used in counseling including an understanding of statistical concepts and cultural issues related to assessment.
  • Identifies research methods and statistical procedures used to study human behavior and uses appropriate data based procedures for program planning and evaluation.
  • Demonstrates the professional skills and dispositions to work effectively with clients.
  • Demonstrates the skills and practices necessary for effective professional work in the student’s specialization in counseling.

Learning Goal 3

Candidates in the counseling program will demonstrate willingness to use their skills to benefit and serve society. Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development, and a commitment to social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all.

The Candidate:

  • Demonstrates a commitment to eliminating bias, prejudice, discrimination and promoting social justice, based on an understanding of cultural dynamics within identity formation and social behavior.

Learning Goal 4

Candidates will demonstrate self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective performance ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow.

The Candidate:

  • Demonstrates improved articulation and application of professional counseling skills, through self-reflection and supervision.

Learning Goal 5

Candidates will become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community.

The Candidate:

  • Applies systematic evaluative procedures

EDC 505 Dignity for All Students Act 0 Credits

Dignity for All Students Workshop mandated by NYSED for the prevention of bullying in academic settings. This mandated program is embedded into EDC 576 and 603, 604 & 605.

Corequisite: EDC 576.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 558 Human Sexuality & Counseling 3 Credits

The development of one's sexuality is a complex, evolving process. This course reviews isses related to one's sexuality: life events, the reactions to & feelings about life events or one's sexuality from a counseling perspective.

Offered: occasionally.

EDC 559 Behavioral Health Counseling 3 Credits

Occasionally physicians choose to embed licensed counselors into a primary care practice. This course introduces students how to fully integrate one's counselilng skills into a medical office.

Offered: summer.

EDC 560 Child Abuse Identifcation and Reporting Workshop mandated by NYSED 0 Credits

Child Abuse Identifcation and Reporting Workshop mandated by NYSED. This non-credit mandated workshop is embedded into EDC 570.

Corequisite: EDC 570.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 561 Crisis and Trauma Counseling 3 Credits

This counseling elective deals with the inevitable crisis and trauma situations one may encounter as a counselor. Students reflect upon how people deal with crises, exploringone's own crisis experiences, and start to developprofesional skills in crisis intervention. The course examines relevant research on crises, resolution, and resilience. A graduate student may find this course to be emotionally challenging. It is possible that one may have to think about painful experiences, face some difficult issues, examine one's own strengths and vulnerabilities, and try out new ways of helping others.

Offered: fall.

EDC 566 School Violence Prevention and Intervention Workshop 0 Credits

School Violence Prevention and Intervention NYSED mandated workshop. This workshop is embedded into EDC 576.

Corequisite: EDC 576.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 567 Principles of School Counseling 3 Credits

The various roles, functions, responsibilities and identity of the school counselor are the focus of this course. This course presents social, political and current professional issues within school counseling. Offered fall & spring.

EDC 568 Principles and Practices of Mental Health Counseling 3 Credits

Introduction to historical and organizational perspectives of Mental Health Counseling services. This course presents the roles and functions of mental health counselors and the current professional issues confronting those in the mental health field.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 569 Introduction to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy 3 Credits

This course will provide an introduction to the emerging field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). Emphasis is placed on understanding the model through theory, role definition, activity design and processing techniques. Students will gain a solid understanding of how Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy can be an effective intervention modality.

Offered: summer.

EDC 570 Introduction to Professional Counseling and Ethics 3 Credits

This course serves as an introduction to the roles, philosophy, issues, theories, professional foundations and ethics for counselors in schools and community agencies.

Corequisite: EDC 560.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 571 Psychological and Educational Assessment 3 Credits

This course examines the selection, use, interpretation and critical evaluation of standardized psychological tests of intelligence, achievement, interest and personality. The practical use of psychological and educational assessment in counseling is reviewed.

Prerequisite: EDC 570.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 572 Career Counseling 3 Credits

Current theories, resources and processes pertinent to vocational development, decision-making and career counseling is studied.

Prerequisite: EDC 570.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 573 Counseling Theories 3 Credits

The introduction of historical and current theories of counseling and psychotherapy. Students study the application of those theories to realistic case situations and the development of the individual student?s approach to the helping relationship.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 574 Group Counseling 3 Credits

This course studies the theoretical and experiential basis for dealing with groups in both information-oriented and therapy-oriented situations. Values and limitations of group techniques are delineated.

Prerequisite: EDC 570.

EDC 575 Pre-Practicum Helping Skills 3 Credits

Application of theory, consultation and other helping skills conducted in a supervised educational environment. Completion of this course is necessary before doing any field-based practicum or internship.

Prerequisite: EDC 570 & EDC 573.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 576 School Practicum 3 Credits

The first of two field experiences, this is a school-centered placement of student counselors for experiential purposes. Directed activities develop understanding of the role and skills of the school counselor. School violence issues related to Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) legislation are discussed in the course seminar.

Prerequisite: EDC 567, EDC 570, EDC 573, & EDC 575. Corequisite: EDC 566.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 577 Agency Practicum 3 Credits

The first of two field experiences, this is an agency-centered placement of student counselors for experiential purposes. Directed activities develop understanding of the role and clinical skills of community mental health counselors.

Prerequisite: EDC 568, EDC 570, EDC 573, & EDC 575.

Offered: fall, spring & summer.

EDC 579 Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling 3 Credits

A broad range of diversity issues in counseling including ethnic, racial, gender, disability, and sexual orientation are discussed. The focus is on developing sensitivity and counseling skills that are applicable to all clients.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 581 Grief Counseling 3 Credits

This is an elective course to educate the counselor about the grief response in individuals and families when faced with disappointment and loss, especially when the loss entails death.

Offered: occasionally.

EDC 583 Principles of Rehabilitation 3 Credits

This course provides an introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling, the history and philosophy of rehabilitation, as well as the laws affecting individuals with disabilities. The psychosocial aspects of disabiity and cultural diversity, as well as the psychological dynamics related to growth, self-identity and adjustments are also discussed.

Offered: fall.

EDC 585 Chemical Dependency and Rehabilitation 3 Credits

This course reviews the history of drug abuse and characteristics of drug dependence and chemical abuse treatment modalities, including strategies for prevention, intervention and rehabilitation.

Offered: spring.

EDC 587 School Based Prevention and Intervention Programs 3 Credits

This elective course is designed for those preparing to become school counselors, teachers and administrators. Students learn about the factors involved in the lives of at-risk youth. Participants develop skills to design, monitor and evaluate proactive student assistance programs to maximize learning in today?s schools. Discussion revolves around prevention programming and intervention models.

Offered: summer.

EDC 589 Family and Couples Counseling 3 Credits

The course outlines the characteristics of normal and troubled families. There is an emphasis on the theories and techniques of family counseling, including the works of Minuchin, Satir, Bowen and Haley. Solution Focused approaches and other post-modern theories are also discussed.

Offered: fall, spring & summer.

EDC 590 Managing School Counseling Programs 3 Credits

Designed for the novice professional school counselor, administrative and leadership practices in school counseling are discussed. Issues, challenges and opportunities to take a leadership role within school counseling programs are discussed.

Prerequisite: EDC 603 or EDC 605.

Offered: fall, online only.

EDC 591 Counseling Older Adults 3 Credits

Assessment and counseling strategies, goals, and interventions regarding the psychological treatment of older adults within the American culture. Specific disorders and problems and the treatment of those concerns is discussed.

Offered: occasionally.

EDC 593 Lifespan Development 3 Credits

Human growth and development are the primary topics for this class. It includes individual and family development within various domains (cognitive, career, socio-economic) across the lifespan. Theoretical perspectives for understanding child, adult and family development are discussed and applied to counseling.

Offered: fall, spring & summer.

EDC 595 Advanced Couples Counseling 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide students an in-depth exposure to the thinking, practice and methods of couples counseling. Students will increase in competency and comfort in navigating the complex world of relationships through applying systems thinking and delving into tools and strategies used in couples counseling, exploring approaches and issues unique to couples and couples counseling and engaging in experiential interaction and self reflection. This course will build upon core learning offered in Counseling Theories (EDC 573) and Family and Couples Counseling (EDC 589).

Prerequisite: EDC 589.

Offered: spring.

EDC 597 Psychopathology 3 Credits

This course provides an in-depth investigation of human abnormality. Students learn the current DSM categories of disorders, depression and considerations for dealing with crisis situations.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 598 Case Formulation, Treatment Planning, and Psychopharmacology 3 Credits

This course teaches students to integrate information from clinical interviews, behavioral observations, and test results to establish DSM-IV multiaxial diagnoses and to develop person-centered biopsychosocial counseling plans. Major categories of psychotropic medications will be discussed.

Prerequisite: EDC 597.

Offered: fall & spring.

EDC 599 Independent Study 1-3 Credits

Study and work with a faculty supervisor. Project to be determined by faculty agreement. Independent studies require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, department chair, & associate dean.

EDC 600 Clinical Mental Health Internship Full time 6 Credits

The second of two field experiences, this is a full-time placement within a community mental health facility. The student has to an opportunity to engage in diagnosis, treatment planning and intervention.

Prerequisite: EDC 577, EDC 597.

EDC 601 Clinical Mental Health Internship Part time I 3 Credits

The second of two field experiences, this is the first of a two semester placement within a community mental health facility. The student has an opportunity to engage in diagnosis, treatment planning and intervention. Must be followed by EDC 602.

Prerequisite: EDC 577, EDC 597.

EDC 602 Clinical Mental Health InternshipPart time II 3 Credits

This is the continuation of EDC 601 and is an in-depth experience with the functions of a mental health counselor through placement in a community mental health agency.

Prerequisite: EDC 577, EDC 597.

EDC 603 School Counseling Internship Full Time 6 Credits

The second of two field experiences, this a full-time placement within a school counseling office. The student has an opportunity to engage in counseling, guidance and other functions of a school counselor.

Prerequisite: EDC 576, EDC 597.

EDC 604 School Counseling Internship Part time I 3 Credits

The second of two field experiences, this the first of a two semester placement within a school counseling office. The student has an opportunity to engage in counseling, guidance and other functions of a school counselor. Must be followed by EDC 605.

Prerequisite: EDC 576, EDC 597.

EDC 605 School Counseling Internship Part time II 3 Credits

This is a continuation of EDC 604, and is an in-depth experience with the functions of a school counselor through placement in a K-12 educational setting.

Prerequisite: EDC 604.

EDC 606 Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination 0 Credits

Students must pass The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam to graduate. Students planning to take the Comprehensive Exam must register for this course to have the exam available.

Prerequisite: EDC 576, EDC 577.

EDC 615 Research Techniques 3 Credits

Students learn qualitative and quantitative research methods. The course reviews realistic experiences in carrying out research and evaluation experiments, including inferential statistical methods.

Prerequisite: EDC 571.