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

Mental Health Counseling

Overview of Mental Health Disorders

This course introduces students to an overview of the major mental health disorders, their symptoms, etiology, and the current diagnostic system (DSM IV-TR) classifying psychiatric illnesses. Students will learn the skills necessary to differentiate one category of mental illness from another. This information is essential for working effectively with mental health professionals and understanding and assisting the client with co-occurring disorders (both an AODA and mental health diagnosis). This course will provide basic education including methods of differentiating between mental health and substance abuse as well as strategies for reconciling/integrating the treatment of both disorders. The student will learn to select the most appropriate and effective counseling approach in order to help clients, families, and groups meet identified treatment goals. Myths, misconceptions, stereotypes, prejudice and stigma regarding mental health will also be addressed.
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