Counseling Children and Adolescents

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The course addresses the major issues related to counseling children and adolescents within a developmental, familial and social framework.  A conceptual model for treatment planning, clinical assessment and protocols are discussed including areas of developmental adjustment, abuse and neglect and individual interpersonal issues.  Treatment approaches will include an examination of behavioral, art and play therapy options.  Issues of professional practice include codes, ethical standards, documentation and safe practice counseling children and adolescents.



  • Thinking critically about what it means to grow up in the 21st century.
  • Describing a developmental perspective for counseling with children.
  • Describing a developmental perspective for counseling with adolescents.
  • Exploring the relevance of growing up in an abusive and/or neglectful environment.
  • Developing a conceptual framework for assessment and treatment planning with children, adolescents and their families.
  • Developing a conceptual model for collaborating with social institutions and communities in providing counseling services for children, adolescents and their families.
  • Developing skills sets for working both individually and in groups with children, adolescents and their families, utilizing the diagnostic criteria of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychological Disorders.
  • Discussing appropriate codes and policies to provide ethical, safe counseling for children and adolescents.
  • Including parents and families in the overall treatment of issues in children and adolescents.
  • Clarifying protocols for addressing serious developmental, behavioral or interpersonal issues that the profession has identified as being a high priority.
  • Writing and maintaining appropriate documentation of counseling work with children and adolescents.
  • Addressing issues related to developing one’s own clinical style for counseling with children and adolescents.
  • Investigating professional issues that arise across various treatment settings.
  • Identifying the value of utilizing play therapy with children.
  • Researching developmentally appropriate play-based therapeutic interventions to be used with children.
  • Developing child-focused treatment plans that include necessary parental psychoeducational components, empowering the child and their family towards health and healing.
  • Incorporating expressive arts strategies into work with children and adolescents.
  • Developing cognitive behavioral approaches to practice with children, adolescents, and families.

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