Emphasis Area Descriptions

Emphasis Area Descriptions

Clinical Counseling and School Counseling Major students are required to enroll in an emphasis area OR complete six credit hours of electives.  Elective courses may cut across emphasis areas.  Students may apply to more than one emphasis area, but the exit requirements must be fulfilled for each emphasis area, including demonstration of competencies (See Counseling Student Handbook for more detail.)  Marriage and Family students are welcome to complete an emphasis area, but it would require six credits beyond graduation requirements.

The emphasis areas currently available include: 

Advanced Testing and Measurement

This specialization area would assist students in developing skills necessary to administer and interpret specific clinical and intelligence tests, and to gain skills in writing individualized assessment reports for clients.

Addictions Counseling

Students pursuing an emphasis in addictions counseling are working toward the development of greater depth of understanding in assessment and interventions related to addictions, particularly useful for dual diagnosis.  Since comorbidity with drugs and alcohol is common in clinical settings, this is a very practical emphasis area.  The coursework is aligned in such a way as to provide partial fulfillment of the educational criteria leading to eligibility for the Advanced Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselor (ACADC) credential in the State of Idaho.  The Practicum/Internship requirement for the ACADC is 2000 hours.

Advanced Clinical Theory and Practice

This emphasis area prepares students with greater depth in theoretical knowledge and skills related to clinical practice in assessment, group counseling, individual counseling, and counseling children and adolescents.

Behavioral Health and Wellness 

This emphasis area prepares students to have more depth in the holistic and wellness domains.  The required courses are taught from a foundational set of principles on wellness, health, and spiritual well-being, and include the ACA spiritual competencies for counselors.  (Note:  Spiritual as used in this specialization is not referencing assuming religious participation.)  Behavioral health has a strong prevention orientation.

Counseling in a Faith Environment

The courses in this emphasis area are designed for students interested in counseling from a Christian perspective, pastors desiring additional training in counseling, and individuals in the community interested in increasing their skills in counseling in a faith environment. This emphasis area integrates the Wesleyan perspective with the fundamental principles of the counseling profession. This emphasis will address the profession of counseling as it is expressed in specifically Christian settings (i.e., Church Counseling Centers, Pastoral Counseling, and Private Practice as a Christian Counselor). 

Grief, Trauma, and Crisis

The Grief, Trauma, and Crisis specialization prepares students with more clinical depth in the capacity to counsel individuals through complicated bereavement, trauma, and crisis. Given that complicated bereavement is thought by many experts to be the underlying factor leading to symptoms such as depression and substance abuse, this emphasis area is foundational in developing effective clinical skills.

Play Therapy 

In order to satisfy its mission to promote the value of play, play therapy, and credentialed play therapists, the Association of Play Therapy (APT) wishes to increase the availability of play therapy instructions at colleges and universities.  This emphasis area provides part of the coursework needed to become a credentialed Play Therapist.  Coursework includes essential elements and principles of play therapy, including history, theories, modalities, techniques, applications and skills.  Experiential components focus on basic play therapy skill development within the context of ethical and diversity-sensitive practice.