Course Exam—PSYC 388 (Introduction to Counselling)

PSYC 388 (Introduction to Counselling) is a three-credit, senior-level psychology survey course that is designed to increase students’ awareness of the field of counselling, including its evolution, processes, theories, and specialties.  This course offers a broad survey of the field of counselling, including an introduction to the foundational skills and processes involved in counselling relationships.  Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of counselling skills and processes through quizzes and written assignments; students in this course are not expected to apply these counselling skills in a placement or field experience.  Students must have successfully completed PSYC 289 (Psychology as a Natural Science) and PSYC 290 (General Psychology) in order to enroll into PSYC 388.

If you are interested in learning more about Psychology as a Natural Science or General Psychology, read my PSYC 289 and PSYC 290 course exam articles.  Students should note that PSYC 388 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for PSYC 488.

Introduction to Counselling is made up of four parts divided into sixteen units, with four online quizzes worth a total of twenty percent, a case study worth fifteen percent, a research paper weighing thirty percent, and a final examination worth a total of thirty-five percent.  The sixteen units within this course cover a lot of topics such as psychoanalytic theories, psychodynamic theories, behavioural theories, cognitive theories, humanistic theories, marriage counselling, couple counselling, family counselling, and a lot more.  To receive credit for PSYC 388, students must satisfactorily complete the four online quizzes, two written assignments and the final examination.  Students must achieve a minimum grade of at least a “D” or fifty percent on the final examination and a minimum course composite grade of a “D” or fifty percent, or better.

Alyssa Deutscher is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Professional Arts program at Athabasca University with a major in Human Services.  She provides an introduction, stating “I was born and raised in the beautiful town of Athabasca and upon graduating from high school, I thought I wanted to become a High School English Teacher.  I quickly realized upon entering work in the disability sector that I loved supporting, advocating for and empowering others, especially those that are marginalized.  I currently work full time in Edmonton, Alberta, while living in Portland, Oregon, working with complex needs youth and adults in case management and behavioural support planning.  I have been working in this sector for the past decade.  In my spare time, I love to be outside in nature hiking, singing, and socializing with friends.”

When asked if she could explain this course to other students, she states “PSYC 388 is a great introduction course for those that are wondering if there are interested in counselling, along with learning various theories and the basics of how to build a healthy counselling relationships with people of various life experiences and backgrounds.  I found the textbook extremely helpful and the layout in how they described each counselling theory was methodical and easy to follow.  The information was relevant, and it gave some great descriptions of various techniques to use depending on the counselling theory.  If someone is wondering if counselling is the direction they want to go, this is a great stepping stone!”

As for the structure of the course, Alyssa states that “The structure of this course included quite a bit of reading to study and prepare for the quizzes (4 total), case study, research paper, and final exam.  If you get below an 80% on the quizzes, they also allow one re-write per quiz which I felt had helped in decreasing some of the stress.  The case study assignment allows the student to pick one of five different cases to write on and provide a 5-to-8-page narrative paper which accounts for 15% of the grade.  The research paper provides the student with three different options from which they choose and students can submit their own essay topic idea to the tutor for approval, or use a predetermined essay topic to write on.  The Research Paper is to be 10-12 pages in length and accounts for 30% of the grade.  The reading of the textbook for this course was absolutely necessary.  I did find this course to be a heavier workload in not only reading the textbook and completing the case study and research paper, but also in preparing for the final exam, which also accounts for 30% of the final grade.  I found this exam difficult only as there were a lot of small and specific details, however, I had used Study Blue quizzing and flash cards to help me prepare for the course and I found it very beneficial in feeling adequately prepared for the final exam.”

Alyssa would recommend this course “to those that are interested in counselling or curious in wondering if counselling is something that they would like to further pursue.  I did find certain concepts of this course easy, while others I found took a lot more effort in really dissecting and applying the theories and knowledge to what it would look like in everyday practice.  I think having videos of various counselling styles would have been helpful! “

As for tips and tricks to completing this course, she explains to “Definitely focus a lot on APA formatting for this course, along with really being able to apply the theory to the assignments, along with critical thinking.  Set a specific schedule in studying and stick to it.  I found Study Blue to be extremely helpful in studying for the final exam.  Also really know the theories!”

When asked how communication with her tutor was for PSYC 388, she states “When I had to send an email to my tutor, I found that she had replied quite promptly, however, I did find that I was waiting for quite a while to get assignments back.  There were comments added to the paper (often using an outline and number to refer to where there was feedback on).  There is feedback due to this grading system; however, I at times struggled with the feedback as one assignments feedback did contradict the other assignment feedback I got.”

Whether PSYC 388 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics discussed above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning a lot of material about counselling.

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