San Jose State University

Theories and Methods of Counseling

Three Units


Class Number

Spring 2010

Hugh Gillis Hall 118

Section 1: January 26 – May 17, 2008

Thursday 4:00 – 6:40 PM


PROFESSOR: Dr. Steven A. Del Chiaro                    OFFICE: 318 Dudley Moorhead Hall



E-mail: sdelchia@                               SJSU Office Phone: 408.924.5612

Web page:


OFFICE HOURS: Tuesday/Thursday 10:00 am – 11:15 am.

Office hours are “drop in” times and are on a first come, first served basis. If you cannot make these times, you can call, e-mail, or see me after class to set an appointment.  I want to be available to you.  During office hours we can discuss questions about the course, psychology as a career, or topics of interest to you.  Please understand that I, just like you, have a busy schedule, but will do my best to be available.


If you send me an e-mail, I will usually get back to you within 24 hours and I will always respond to let you know that I have received your message.  As a general rule, if you do not hear from me, chances are I didn’t get the message, so you need to re-send it. 


This course is designed to acquaint students with basic counseling theories.  The major psychological theories that are used in practice by professional counselors will be addressed.  Theories will be presented as conceptual frames from which counselors can understand their clients more completely. Strategies and techniques from each theory will be presented to show how those methodologies can be used to assist clients’ in overcoming psychological problems, psychopathology and adjustment to disability.  The theories outlined in this class can also be used in increase your self-understanding. 



The two goals of the course are to provide students with a broad understanding of psychological problems and develop critical thinking skills applicable to the study of abnormal behavior.

Specifically, the learning objectives for this course are:

1.      To provide you with information about the therapeutic process and the practical elements of the counseling interaction.

2.      To provide you with an experiential laboratory to learn and practice listening and attending skills essential to the counseling process.

3.      To expose you to a variety of ethical and professional issues in counseling and to guide you in developing a position on these issues.

4.      To develop an interest in reading in the counseling field.

5.      To develop self-evaluation skills, writing skills, and critical thinking skills.

6.      To encourage your integration of theoretical and experiential learning in order to form your own personal model of the counseling process.

7.      To challenge you to look at your own qualities that support and hinder your attempts at being therapeutic for others.

8.      To gain an understanding of ways of applying ten theories to specific cases.


 The student will demonstrate an ability to:

1.       Compare and contrast different theories

2.       Identify the key counseling strategies and techniques from each theory.

3.       Apply concepts from major theories to specific cases.

4.       Apply concepts from the major theories to deepen your self-understanding 



Corey, G. (2008). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

 ISBN-10: 0495102083

ISBN-13: 978-0495102083


Corey, G. (2008). Student Manual for Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.


The Corey text comes with some ancillaries that should help you learn more about theories and methods of counseling psychology.  the E-study center provides practice tests, additional study aids, and extensive web links.  To access this and look under Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (7th Edition)



There are extensive reading assignments listed in the course outline. Additional reading assignments will be made throughout the course as warranted.



The course syllabus presented in this document will be followed as closely as possible. However, the course syllabus, schedule, policies, and procedures are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor or in the event of extenuating circumstances. This includes the tentative dates listed. Possible changes will be announced in advance by the instructor as if possible. Since such announcements are typically made during class, it is the student’s responsibility to clarify any of these changes that may have been made when the student is absent.


Although you will be responsible for all of the material in the assigned readings, some of the information may not be covered in class. Therefore, if there is material that is unclear to you it is highly recommended that you discuss this material with me at an appropriate time (e.g., during office hours). It is your responsibility to read the syllabus and ask questions about it so that you have a clear understanding of the expectations. If you are unclear about any of the requirements/expectations, then please set up a time to speak with me. I will be grading as though you have a clear understanding of the course requirements and material.



I will not be taking attendance. You are adults and need to make your own decisions.  Please realize that your decisions have consequences (If this makes no sense to you then it is a good thing you are enrolled in Psychology 155 Human Learning, because you will understand through operant conditioning that behaviors have consequences!).  Students are responsible for everything that is said and done in class. I strive to make my classes not only educational but also enjoyable. It is important to note that it is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a course they do not wish to take. If you simply stop coming to the class and do not withdraw from the course, then you will still receive a grade that will be based on the completed work. Additionally, I encourage students to arrive on time for the class. However, I understand that extenuating circumstances do arise that can prevent your diligent efforts toward punctuality. If you are late to class, please take a seat in the row of desks/seats closest to the door in order to prevent disruption to the class. I hope you will take advantage of this policy only when absolutely necessary.  I do have a small portion of your grade based on participation, tardiness affects participation.  Many important pieces of information are discussed in class, and students are responsible for knowing and complying with this information including changes in assignments. Please make appropriate adjustments to your schedule to allow for arrival to the class on time (e.g., arriving early to avoid traffic/parking problems).



Class disruptions are not tolerated. Students will be asked to leave if they are being disruptive to fellow students or the professor. Disruptions include but are not limited to cell phones and pagers going off for any reason (even accidental), TEXTING (yes, I still see it if you hold the phone under your desk during class!), talking when not participating in an instructor- assigned activity, and not paying attention (e.g., reading the newspaper, sleeping). In addition, please place electronic communication devices (e.g., pagers, cell phones) in the “off” position during class. If you must make or answer a call, please excuse yourself from class for such activity.  In accordance with university policies on student conduct, it is expected that you will treat other students and the instructor with courtesy and respect. Being on the phone and texting ARE ACTIVITIES THAT ARE NOT RESPECTFUL!  Additionally, this class is conducted where you have wireless Internet access, please do not “surf’ the web.  You may use your computer to take notes, but you must sit in the back of the classroom or along the wall with your screen out of other students view.  In addition, if I or other students deem “keyboard noise” distracting, you will have to stop using the computer. This policy is in existence so that you do not distract me or other students.  I reserve the right to ask you to put the computer away at any time.  Failure to do so may result in you being asked to leave the classroom and dropped from the course.


You are responsible for understanding the dates, policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, fee payment, withdrawal and so forth. These are listed under:



Consistent with the mission of San Jose State University, I welcome persons of differing backgrounds and experiences including but not limited to age, disability and health status, ethnicity and race, family structure, geographic region, language, religious/spiritual and secular beliefs, resident status, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, and socioeconomic status.


It is my goal to foster an environment in which diversity is recognized and embraced and every person is treated with dignity, respect, and justice. I hope that your academic experience in this course and at San Jose State University will provide the opportunity to gain knowledge and experiences necessary to thrive in a diverse, global environment.



Since a portion of the lectures will not come from the assigned readings, taking lecture notes is very important. Coming to class prepared (e.g., thoroughly reading the assigned material) and paying close attention to lecture will benefit the student. Preparation through reading the assigned material will help the student with taking notes during class as the student will recognize some of the material as coming from the readings and as a result will not need to take copious notes on that portion.  Should you happen to miss a class, you are welcome to obtain notes from a peer in the course. Also, please ask your peers in the course if you “missed anything important” and not the instructor. This question is considered rude by most professors including myself. It is important to note that those students who regularly attend class tend to do significantly better in the course.




San Jose State University provides program accessibility and reasonable accommodations for persons defined as disabled under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids or services) for this course must contact the Disabled Student Resources Center.



This course involves extensive use of the Internet for student research and assigned readings. All students are required to have access to the Internet via some means as well as an active/current e-mail address.  If you do not have a computer or access to the Internet, you can use the computers in the computer lab on campus. Labs are typically open late on some evenings and also open on weekends.


SJSU Library's Psychology Website

American Psychological Association

American Counseling Association (ACA)


National Association of Social Workers (NASW)


APA Diagnostic Classification


Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Abnormal, Clinical, and Counseling Resources


As with all sources of information, Internet sites tend to go out of date very quickly. Accuracy of all information gained from the Web sites should be crosschecked for accuracy.


San Jose State University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to develop procedures to deal effectively with instances of academic dishonesty. Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect for others' academic endeavors. By placing their name on academic work, students certify the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgments.






January 28

Class Business/Syllabus

Introduction and Overview

Chapter 1




February 4

The Counselor:  Person and Professional

Chapter 2




February 11

Ethical Issues in Counseling Practice

Chapter 3




February 18

Psychoanalytic Therapy

Chapter 4




February 25

Adlerian Therapy

Chapter 5




March 4

Existential Therapy

Chapter 6




March 11






March 18

Examination 1/Assignment 1 Due /Workbook Due





March 25






April 1

Spring Break





April 8

Person Centered Therapy

Chapter 7




April 15

Gestalt Therapy

Chapter 8




April 22

Behavior Therapy

Chapter 9




April 29

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Assignment 2 Due Theory Paper Due/Workbook Due

Chapter 10




May 6






May 13

Integrative therapy

Chapter 15




Thursday, May 20

Final Examination  




Exams will be multiple-choice, short-answer and fill in.  The tests will have questions from the text, lectures and videos.  Each exam will be given during the lecture period, and you will have the class period to complete the exam.  Students will not be allowed to use the restroom during the exam period and cell phone use during a test, or test review, will result in referral to Judicial Affairs and receive a course grade of F/NC.  There will be NO Rescheduling of an exam.



At 6 points during the semester a quiz will be given.  These quizzes will cover the text reading and will be aimed at helping you understand and think about the material covered.  Your four best quizzes will constitute 20 points towards your final grade. This means that two quizzes can be missed or dropped.  There will be no make-ups for quizzes.



·         Completion of the Student Manual

·         Assignment #1: Current Psychology Research Chapters 1-8

·         Assignment #2: Current Psychology Research Chapters 9-15

·         Personal Theory of Counseling Paper


I WILL NOT ACCEPT LATE WORK.  An assignment is considered late if a hard copy is not turned in by the end of the class period it is due.  I do not accept electronic copies of assignments.


See course website for a detailed description of the course assignments.


Structure for Assignments

  1. Your papers need be organized – you should be developing a central idea in each section and the reader should be able to follow the logic of your argument.  Each paragraph should have a coherent theme and paragraphs should follow each other in an organized manner. Read over your papers to be sure that there is a logical order to them. 


  1. Watch for grammatical errors, particularly sentence fragments and run-on sentences. More than five spelling or grammatical errors will result in points deducted from final grades.  More than ten will result in a zero (0).  I encourage you to have your paper proof read.


  1. Your papers will be typewritten, double-spaced, one-inch margins, using Times New Roman (or VERY similar) font.


  1. On a sheet attached to the front of all your papers, type the Title of your paper. In addition you must include Name, Course, Course Number, Semester/Year, and Due Date.


  1. Citations/references included in your paper are to be done according to APA style as described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 4th Edition, which is available in the library, the campus bookstore, and on-line. 



Grading will be based on the sum of the following: 

  1. 2 exams covering lectures, films, guest speakers, outside readings and the text are worth 100 points each (200). 
  2. Four quizzes will be worth 5 points each (20). 
  3. Two current research assignments will be worth 15 points (30).
  4. Personal Theory of Counseling Paper will be worth 50 points (75).


The grade scale is as follows:



94 – 100%



77 – 79%




90 – 93%



73 – 76%




87 – 89%



70 – 72%




83 – 86%



67 – 69%




80 – 82%



60 – 66%



                F     =

   0 – 59%