ACA-ACES Syllabus Clearinghouse

The ACA Syllabus Clearinghouse is a joint project of ACA and The Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES). We will maintain syllabi on many topics from may different learning institutions. Our database will be updated continually with new and exciting courses and will provide a valuable resource to all counselors. If you have questions or need assistance please contact the ACA librarian at 800-347-6647 ext. 281 or

Counseling Theories

Counseling Theories & Techniques in Context

This course is an overview of major theories of counseling and psychotherapy with a special focus on gender, culture, ethical dilemmas, counselor preparation, and common theoretically-based assessment and case formulation strategies. Because the purpose of counseling and psychotherapy is to help individuals make personally meaningful changes in their lives, we will consistently examine the means through which the traditional theoretical perspectives try to produce such changes. Students will read about the historical and intellectual foundations of major counseling theories, while at the same time, observing the skills and techniques employed by practitioners using those theoretical perspectives. There will also be opportunities, through assignments and class discussions, for students to analyze film characters as well as themselves through the various lenses of psychological theories. For graduate students enrolled in the course, there will be opportunities to practice skills and techniques associated with major counseling theories. Overall, students are encouraged not only to explore all the major theoretical orientations, but also to explore their personal beliefs and values in an effort to develop their own understanding and/or approach to counseling.
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