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Counselor Education 655

COED 655: Mindfulness and Counseling

Prerequisites: None

Credit Hours: (3)

COED 655 is designed to serve as an introduction to mindfulness practices for school counselors, mental health counselors, and other helping professionals.  Students will learn strategies for integrating mindfulness activities into the process of counseling, increasing awareness, and teaching concentration skills. The content of the course will focus on specific techniques for reducing stress and eliciting the relaxation response in both clients and within the helping professional her/himself.

 

Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course will emphasize three dimensions of the learning process: study/training, practice (clinical and personal), and becoming part of a learning community.

      Class topics include:

  • Historical overview of mindfulness in psychotherapy
  • The neuroscience of mindfulness
  • Clinical research on mindfulness: Methods and outcomes
  • Mindfulness as training for the counselor and helping professional
  • The art and science of mindful self-compassion
  • Mindfulness and emotional/mental disorders
  • Psychophysiological disorders: Beyond symptom management
  • Integrating mindfulness into psychoneuroimmunology
  • Integrating mindfulness into work with children, teens, and developing minds
  • Counseling as relational mindfulness practice
  • Implications for counseling and the helping professions

Integrating positive psychology into mindfulness-based practice

 

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is designed as an introduction to mindfulness practices for school counselors, clinical mental health counselors and other helping professionals.  The content of the course will focus on techniques for reducing stress and eliciting the relaxation response in self and the individuals one serves. In addition, students will learn strategies for integrating mindfulness activities into the process of counseling, the teaching of focusing and concentration skills, and effective classroom management.  Emphasis is placed on teaching counselors and other helping professionals to become more knowledgeable, thoughtful and skillful in helping clients and students cope with interpersonal and intrapersonal distress that interferes with emotional health and well-being. 

 

The development of self-awareness as a helping professional is threaded throughout the course with reflective and personal growth opportunities.  The course provides an opportunity to develop and to integrate a personal mindfulness practice into effective counseling and teaching interventions.  It may include, but not be limited to, readings, short lectures, small group discussions, journal work, and self-observation practices in community and class settings.  Learning will require mandatory attendance, active participation, critical thinking, and creativeness of each student.

    

Goals and Objectives of this Course:

Students will:

1. Demonstrate the ability to pay attention in the present moment, in a particular way, on purpose and non-judgmentally;

2. Demonstrate the use of mindfulness skills in simply “being with” oneself and others who are experiencing stress and difficult emotions;

3. Develop a basic understanding of the biological, psychological, emotional, and sociological components of stress; and the somatic elements of the stress reaction and the relaxation response;

4. Access resources for integrating stress reduction training into counseling applications;

5. Develop strategies for using mindfulness applications in mental health or educational settings;

6. Facilitate one mindfulness exercise for colleagues in the class;

7. Demonstrate greater awareness of self as a helping professional and how to utilize strengths and manage weaknesses in the helping process;

8. Demonstrate awareness of the limitations in one’s role as a helping professional; and

9. Demonstrate the effective use of mindfulness skills for self-care.

 

Assessment Measures

Course grades may be assigned based on student performance in the following assignments and activities:

1. In-class attendance and participation

2. Journal assignments

3. Self-observation practices

4. Involvement in a retreat experience

5. Self-evaluation papers

6. Midterm examination

7. Final examination

 

Other Course Information

None

 

Review and Approval

October 11, 2012