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Clinical Counseling at Albertus

Program Tracks in Counseling

Do you want to make a difference in people’s lives? Do you want to understand people more deeply? Do you want the skills to help people make changes and develop into better versions of themselves? Are you comfortable with close relationships, strong emotions, and self-reflection?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then the M.S. in Clinical Counseling program at Albertus Magnus College is the right place for you to study and grow. We want to cultivate the next generation of counselors and psychotherapists -- to guide you through your own process of intellectual and emotional development.

This is a 60-credit program designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) in the State of Connecticut. The LPC also requires postgraduate supervised experience and a passing score on a licensure examination, generally the National Counselor Examination (NCE). However, Connecticut has implemented a tiered licensure policy that allows our graduates immediately to receive a provisional license (the LPCA).

The program is designed to be completed over the course of 3 academic years. Classes are generally offered in the evening, making the program as manageable as possible for the working adult. However, it includes a minimum of 720 hours of supervised field experience (practicum and internship), mostly completed during the third year, and it may not be possible to maintain full-time employment during that period.

Studying in the clinical counseling program at Albertus, students choose between two specialty tracks: mental health counseling and addiction counseling

  • The clinical mental health counseling program includes advanced coursework on assessment, psychotherapy, and case conceptualization with an emphasis on empirically supported methods. Students completing this program will be optimally prepared to work with a wide range of client problems ranging from mild (e.g., developmental transitions) to severe (e.g., complex trauma and personality disorder).
  • The clinical addiction counseling program includes specialized coursework on psychopharmacology, addictive behaviors, and addiction counseling, also emphasizing empirically validated approaches. Students completing this program will be eligible to apply for licensure as alcohol and drug counselors (LADC) in addition to the LPC. (The LADC also requires supervised experience and a passing score on a licensing examination administered by the IC&RC. However, unlike the LPC, experience acquired before completion of the master’s degree may be counted toward this requirement.)

Unlike some other programs, we have a designated internship coordinator who facilitates the internship search process. Although students are permitted to seek placements independently (and encouraged to apply to formal internship programs), we will always offer assistance as needed. Our usual practice is to refer students to appropriate sites with which we have already established a relationship; the site supervisor will have stated that they are prepared to accept an intern and been informed that the student we recommend will be contacting them. (Naturally, it is up to the student to follow through and secure an offer.) We are proud of the level of support we provide in what could otherwise be an arduous, anxiety-provoking process.

The Albertus Difference

What Makes Clinical Counseling at Albertus Different?

Engaged
Students

  • Hands-on, experiential learning
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Emphasis on collaborative work

Great
Teaching

  • Personally invested professors
  • Small class sizes
  • Innovative, well-rounded programs
  • Resources and opportunities for research

Vibrant
Communities

  • Lively extracurricular activities
  • Campus-wide events
  • Service and community engagement

Successful
Outcomes

  • Active career counseling
  • Opportunity-building networks
  • Access to internships and professional experiences
Hands-On Learning

The Albertus Clinical Counseling Degree Program

Distinct features of the Clinical Counseling program at Albertus include:

  1. The program is designed to lead to eligibility as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Connecticut.
  2. The ability to choose between two specialty tracks — Mental Health Counseling or Addiction Counseling. The Addiction Counseling track is distinctive in that it features a complete menu of courses leading to Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) credential.
  3. An emphasis on evidence-based practice or empirically supported treatments, assessment, case formulation, and treatment planning.
  4. Integrated experiences in the final year of the program that include a supervised internship and seminars in ethical issues, case formulation, and an empirical thesis, which involves client assessment and/or treatment effectiveness research conducted at the internship site.

In the time that I’ve been at Albertus Magnus College, I have experienced nothing but acceptance and support from each of my professors, and the diverse group of classmates I now call friends. Although the curriculum is challenging, the material is rich and meaningful, and the professors have done a phenomenal job of making lectures fun and engaging.

Whitney Bailey ‘17

Faculty Spotlight

Meet Dr. Jennifer Dealy

Dr. Jennifer Dealy graduated from the University of Connecticut's doctoral program in Human Development and Family Studies with concentrations in Marriage and Family Therapy and Intervention, Prevention, and Wellness. She enjoys working with students as a professor, advisor, and research mentor.

"As an Assistant Professor of Psychology and a Faculty Academic Advisor, I get to spend my time focused on two of my passions - teaching and working with students to help them achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals."

Dealy’s own research thus far has focused on community and school-based interventions with at-risk populations, therapeutic paradigms for parents and children, and high conflict divorce. In addition to all of this, Dealy is a practicing Marriage and Family Therapist at a group private practice.

View Dr. Dealy’s Publications

Meet Dr. Jennifer Dealy at Albertus Magnus College
Jennifer Dealy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology
Careers

Where Will Your Clinical Counseling Degree take You?

Master’s degree programs in clinical mental health counseling and clinical addiction counseling open up a world of opportunities to build a career focused on helping individuals and local societies. After completing this degree, graduates may be employed by private or group practices, local, state, and federal governments, social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, religious and pastoral organizations, hospitals, and family planning centers.

Possible career paths with a Master of Science degree in Clinical Counseling include:



Psychotherapist
Group Counselor
Mental Health Professional
Private Practice Counselor
Clinical Director, Behavioral Health
Mental Health Counselor
Addiction Counselor
Clinical Health Faculty Member
Clinical Program Planner
Case Manager
Diagnostic Specialist
Child Therapy Specialist
Courses

Clinical Counseling Courses

The program entails 60 credits and is designed to be completed in 3 years, including 2 summer classes after the first year. Classes are offered in the evening to facilitate employment during the first 2 years, and requires the completion of an internship in the third year. Some classes, particularly in the summer, follow an 8-week, accelerated, modular format. Most classes are fully on-campus, though some are offered in a blended/hybrid format.

The Masters program in Clinical Counseling is designed to lead to eligibility as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Connecticut.

The first year of the program involves foundational courses: acquiring the knowledge and basic skills essential to all future counselors. Students in both tracks take all classes together. There are no fieldwork requirements this year.

Fall Term Courses - 9 Credits
PY 528 Life-Span Human Development In this course, the development of the individual is examined from birth through the final stages of life in old age. The major developmental and psychological tasks for each stage of development are explored, as well as the family/psychosocial challenges that may present during those critical periods. An emphasis will be placed on the role of cultural context throughout development and prominent theoretical perspectives in the field. (3 credits)
PY 530 Theories of Counseling A survey of major theories of counseling, including the principal psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioral approaches, that constitute the foundation of all mental health professions. In addition to covering traditional schools of thought, emphasis will be placed on contemporary developments in the area of brief or time-limited treatment and the special difficulties inherent in this change in standard clinical practice. (3 credits)
PY 533 Psychopathology This course provides an overview of abnormal psychology, including cognitivebehavioral, psychodynamic, and neuropsychiatric, and socio-cultural perspectives as well as descriptive psychopathology. The course also entails a thorough grounding in the official psychiatric diagnostic classification system (currently DSM-V-TR) that is used by all hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities as per requirements of third-party payers and treatment review boards. (3 credits)
Spring Term Courses - 9 Credits
PY 537 Counseling Techniques This course is an intensive practical experience in counseling techniques to help students attain competency in the application of theory in the counseling relationship. (3 credits)
PY 538 Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling Social position (including socioeconomic status and gender identity) and cultural identity affect one’s understanding of psychological disturbances and response to treatment. In an increasingly multicultural, multiethnic, multigendered society, counselors need to develop the cultural literacy necessary to work effectively with clients from varied backgrounds. This course strives to develop awareness and competence in these areas. (3 credits)
PY 551 Clinical Assessment I This course will familiarize students with the general theory of testing (psychometrics) and with various standardized and unstandardized assessment methods. Clinical and structured interviews, commonly used self-report measures (such as the 16PF), and some simpler performance-based tests (such as sentence completions) will be covered. Students will develop interviewing skills and master the basic scoring and interpretation of selected tests. Ethical standards governing the development and use of tests and measures will be covered. The course will contribute to the development of clinical skills and critical acumen, enabling students to evaluate clients, tests, and test reports effectively. (3 credits)
Summer Term Courses - 6 Credits
PY 535 Career Counseling Through an examination of career development theories and decision-making models, the student will gain an under-standing of career development planning, organization, implementation, and evaluation. The interrelationships among work and other life roles will also be explored. (3 credits)
PY 544 Group Dynamics and Counseling This didactic-experiential course will both familiarize students with major theories of group dynamics (e.g., how groups form and evolve over time, different types of groups, etc.) and the methods of leading or facilitating counseling groups (e.g., psychoeducational sessions, encounter-style groups). (3 credits)

The second year of the program involves immersion in courses relating to one’s chosen area of specialization. The fall term also features the foundational course in research methodology. The spring term also includes the first field experience, a 120-hour practicum.

Fall Term Courses - 9 Credits
PY 534 This course includes an examination and explanation of basic research strategies and statistical procedures. Students are required to read and interpret current research in art therapy, plan an empirical study, analyze and explain data, and write in APA style. Ethical standards for research as stated by the American Psychological Association will also be reviewed. (3 credits)
Mental Health Track
PY 553 Clinical Assessment III: Personality Dynamics Theory and practice of assessing affective functioning. Students will learn to administer, score, and interpret the results of several widely used instruments. These will include self-report inventories (such as the MMPI-2) and performance-based (or “projective”) tests (such as the Thematic Apperception Test). Also included will be observer-rated instruments (such as the CBCL-R or BASC) and clinical rating scales based on structured interviews (such as the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression). Students will also learn to integrate personality theories with test results. Report writing, application of test findings to intervention plans, and the therapeutic use of assessment will also be discussed. (3 credits)
PY 554 Advanced Counseling & Psychotherapy I: Cognitive-Behavioral Methods Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has become the most widely practiced group of psychotherapies. These are empirically supported treatments; extensive clinical research demonstrates their efficacy. Students will learn to apply several of these approaches, such as Ellis’ Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Aaron T. Beck’s approach, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), stress inoculation training, and/or mindfulnessbased techniques. The emphasis will be on mastery of theory and technique in a few approaches, rather than on broad (but necessarily superficial) coverage. (3 credits)
Addictions Track
PY 583 Drugs & Behavior I: Basic Science This course addresses the nature of psychoactive drugs and their modes of action on the functioning of the human brain. Anatomy and localization of function in the brain will be reviewed. Major topics will include neurochemistry (e.g., neurotransmitters and receptor mechanisms), psychopharmacology (e.g., pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics), the therapeutic uses of psychotropic medications, and basic psychological processes involved in drug self-administration or abuse (e.g., opponent process theory, reinforcement, and classical conditioning). (3 credits)
PY 584 Drugs & Behavior II: Applications This course concerns ethical, legal, and administrative issues that confront substance abuse counselors. The use of values to inform ethical decision-making in ambiguous situations will be practiced. General principles (e.g., beneficence, professionalism in relationships, confidentiality and its limits, and recognition of the boundaries of one’s expertise) as well as specific regulatory guidelines (e.g., rules governing credentials, reimbursement, appropriate documentation, and liability) will be discussed. Case material will be used extensively to promote reflection and discussion. (3 credits)
Spring Term Courses - 9 Credits
PY 570 Counseling Practicum This initial field experience will enable students to observe and participate in assessment and treatment of cases in a community-based clinic or other agency. A minimum of 120 hours on site is required (equivalent to 8-10 hours per week). In addition to on-site professional supervision, students will meet regularly with a faculty member. All practicum sites must be approved by the program. Note that most sites are likely to require daytime hours during the regular work week. Students may register for practicum only with the permission of the program director. (3 credits)
Mental Health Track
PY 555 Advanced Counseling & Psychotherapy II: Couples and Family Therapy Using a learning-centered educational approach, students will be introduced to systemic models of couple and family therapy including both foundational theories and integrative, common factors approaches. A significant focus of this course will be on the practical counseling skills and techniques that have emerged from these theories. Students will be introduced to course concepts and demonstrate their grasp of course material through a combination of lecture, videos, class discussions, role plays, reflection, and writing activities. Additionally, students will be asked to apply concepts to their own lives and experiences to enhance their self-awareness as developing mental health counselors. (3 credits)
PY 556 Advanced Counseling & Psychotherapy III: Integrative Techniques In this course, one specific theoretical approach is selected for semester-long immersion as the common basis for all students. Each student will then select a theory of his/her own choice to work on integrative skills throughout a series of experiential labs, role-play exercises, case analyses, and presentations. Throughout the semester, each student will benefit from integrating two theoretical approaches in the application of counseling skills and case conceptualization. (3 credits)
Addiction Counseling Track
PY 587 Addiction Counseling I: Core Concepts & Competencies This course begins the process of combining general counseling competence with specific knowledge and expertise in the domain of substance abuse. Different models of substance abuse or addiction as well as associated treatment approaches will be studied, compared, and evaluated. These will include broadly medical, psychological, and quasispiritual modalities. Counseling goals and strategies will be understood in terms of stages of change and client readiness. Standard interviewing techniques, psychoeducational interventions, and group dynamics will be considered. Attention also will be paid to practical issues such as record keeping, case management, and consultation with members of other helping professions. (3 credits)
PY 589 Addiction Counseling II: Advanced Techniques This course will introduce students to specific techniques used by substance use counselors, with primary emphasis on evidence-based treatments. Didactic and theoretical presentations will be interspersed with practical demonstrations and supervised practice of skills. The approaches taught may vary, but will include some of the following: motivational interviewing, the community reinforcement approach (with family involvement), relapse prevention training, cue exposure methods, and standard psychoeducational interventions (e.g., BASICS and/or values clarification). (3 credits)

The third year centers on the internship experience: 600 hours of supervised counseling practice at an approved site and participation in a thesis-related seminar on campus. Most of the academic experiences during this year will tie in with the internship in one way or another.

Fall Term Courses - 9 Credits
PY 579 Counseling Internship I The internship is one of the culminating experiences of the program. Interns will work at a community-based clinic or other agency for a total of at least 600 hours (300 per semester), equivalent to about 20 hours per week. This work will include assessment and treatment of individual clients and/or counseling groups of clients. Interns will assume increasingly independent roles over the course of the year. In addition to on-site professional supervision, students will meet regularly with a faculty member. Case material also may be discussed in concurrent seminars. All internship sites must be approved by the program. Note that most sites are likely to require daytime hours during the regular work week; it will be difficult or impossible to maintain full-time regular employment during the internship. Students may register for internship only with the permission of the program director. (3 credits)
PY 545 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues, Part I This course is an orientation to the profession of counseling. This includes its historical development and the evolving professional identity of the counselor. Most class time and outside assignments, however, will focus on the legal and ethical issues affecting mental healthcare providers generally and counselors in particular. (1.5 credits)
PY 548 Trauma and Crisis Intervention Stress can be a source of learning and growth, but also of anxiety and turmoil; most mental disorders result, at least in part, from unmanageable levels of life stress. Extreme stress can produce traumatization and result in lasting changes to mental and neurobiological functioning. This course addresses the nature of stress and trauma as well as methods of counseling people who are confronted with acute crisis or the aftermath of traumatic experiences. (1.5 credits)
PY 597 Thesis Project I The master’s thesis is another of the culminating experiences of the program. Students will conceptualize and carry out an original empirical study related to clinical mental health counseling. This may involve evaluating a treatment program, validating an assessment technique, using assessment data better to understand groups of clients, or other projects. Students will meet regularly with a faculty sponsor throughout the process. It is strongly advised that students develop thesis projects that can be conducted at their internship sites. In this way, the two capstone experiences will be mutually reinforcing. (1.5 credits)
Mental Health Track
PY 549 Addiction and Recovery This course provides an overview of addictive behaviors (emphasizing substance use disorders) and methods of counseling individuals who are abusing or dependent on psychoactive drugs or other forms of addiction. It is geared toward counselors who do not intend to specialize in this area, but who recognize the need to be prepared to work with the large numbers of potential clients whose clinical presentation includes substance abuse. 1.5 credits
Addiction Counseling Track
PY 547 Spiritual Issues and Religious Identity in Counseling Both religious identification (a social-cultural phenomenon) and personal spirituality influence how we lead our lives, how we respond to conflict and stress, and how we construct meaning in life. Counselors should develop competence in appreciating and working with their clients' various approaches to spirituality. This course introduces theories and methods for integrating spirituality (e.g., meditational practices, prayer, and faith-based healing traditions) into the counseling process. (1.5-3 credits)
Spring Term Courses - 9 Credits
PY 580 Counseling Internship II The internship is one of the culminating experiences of the program. Interns will work at a community-based clinic or other agency for a total of at least 600 hours (300 per semester), equivalent to about 20 hours per week. This work will include assessment and treatment of individual clients and/or counseling groups of clients. Interns will assume increasingly independent roles over the course of the year. In addition to on-site professional supervision, students will meet regularly with a faculty member. Case material also may be discussed in concurrent seminars. All internship sites must be approved by the program. Note that most sites are likely to require daytime hours during the regular work week; it will be difficult or impossible to maintain full-time regular employment during the internship. Students may register for internship only with the permission of the program director. (3 credits)
PY 546 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues, Part II This course is an orientation to the profession of counseling. This includes its historical development and the evolving professional identity of the counselor. Most class time and outside assignments, however, will focus on the legal and ethical issues affecting mental healthcare providers generally and counselors in particular. (1.5 credits)
PY 598 Thesis Project II The master’s thesis is another of the culminating experiences of the program. Students will conceptualize and carry out an original empirical study related to clinical mental health counseling. This may involve evaluating a treatment program, validating an assessment technique, using assessment data better to understand groups of clients, or other projects. Students will meet regularly with a faculty sponsor throughout the process. It is strongly advised that students develop thesis projects that can be conducted at their internship sites. In this way, the two capstone experiences will be mutually reinforcing. (1.5 credits)
Mental Health Track
PY 577 Advanced Seminar in Case Conceptualization In this course, students will develop increased skill in the process of integrating data from multiple sources (such as interviews, tests, and experiences in therapy) with theoretical concepts (such as cognitive distortions, defense mechanisms, and relational styles) to form deeper understanding of the individuals with whom they engage in treatment. The class will draw on case material (both cases prepared by the instructor and cases being seen by student interns) to practice these skills, which enable therapists to move beyond mechanistic modes of treatment in favor of a richer, more personalized approach. (3 credits)
Addiction Track
PY 588 Clinical Assessment of Substance Use Disorders This course concerns routine and specialized procedures for assessment of substance use and co-occurring disorders, beginning with the elicitation of informed cooperation from clients and selection of appropriate measures. Instruments covered will include clinical and structured interviews, behavioral observation, clinician rating scales, mental status examinations, and standardized self-report and observer-rated measures of symptoms and personality traits. The use of assessment data in case formulation, the synthesis of clinical findings into clear, useful written reports, and the therapeutic presentation of assessment feedback to clients also will be emphasized. (1.5 credits)
PY 591 Treatment Planning and Evaluation in Addiction Counseling This course concerns the integration of diagnostic and other assessment findings into individualized treatment plans, the sensitive presentation of recommendations to clients, the collaborative development of treatment goals with clients, the translation of broad goals into a sequence of potentially attainable, measurable objectives, and the selection of appropriate interventions. Methods of monitoring client progress toward objectives, modifying objectives based on results or new findings, and evaluating the success of individual cases or treatment programs also will receive attention. (1.5 credits)

Interested in learning more about the diverse courses offered at Albertus?

What We will Need from you

Clinical Counseling Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Clinical Counseling program, applicants must submit the following:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or equivalent foreign institution)
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater
  • A personal statement of 250-500 words, double spaced, detailing the applicant's motivation and self-assessed suitability for a career in counseling
  • Two letters of recommendation from former professors or professional associates
  • An interview with one or more program faculty members.
  • At least 15 credits in psychology, including a course in statistics. (Statistics courses offered by other departments, such as mathematics, are acceptable as a substitute.)
  • One of the following: A substantive writing sample (such as a term paper from an upper-level class) OR Scores on the general test of the GRE
  • For non-native English speakers, proficiency in English as demonstrated by at least 3 years of successful academic work at a college or university using English as the primary language of instruction and evaluation, or by a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 80 (internet-based), or 213 (computer-based)
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Purposeful Vision & Direction

The Albertus Clinical Counseling Degree Mission Statement

Our mission is to cultivate highly proficient counselors and psychotherapists who will be able competently to address the needs of persons (clients) presenting with a wide range of problems and drawn from diverse backgrounds—to provide individualized assessment and treatment using techniques known to be efficacious, and to do so in accordance with the highest ethical standards. In addition to this very practical application, we aim to offer an educational experience that will be humanistically enlarging.
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