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Gerocounseling Concentration | Graduate Degree Program

Gerocounseling Concentration

Ottawa University’s Master’s in Counseling with a Gerocounseling concentration focuses on understanding how to serve the needs of a growing population of older adults. Course topics include:

  • Perspectives on Aging
  • Counseling Adults
  • Adult Therapy
  • Wellness Counseling

As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), you will be able to examine specific strategies and understand, assess and counsel adults in late adulthood; examine health promotion models, preventive management techniques, and models and techniques for behavior change; and examine stress and illness, personality and disease, high-risk populations and behaviors, and gender and cultural issues.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2007), the population of people 65 and older is projected to increase by 200% by 2025. As the population of older adults continues to grow, the demand for competent mental health professionals to provide treatment interventions to this population will also grow. Earning a Master’s in Counseling with a concentration in Gerocounseling can increase your marketability for employment as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

For curriculum and course descriptions please download a program overview.

Gerocounseling is offered at the following locations.

  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Online

Gerocounseling Concentration Courses

Perspectives on Aging | 
This course, through the use of the final two stages of Erickson's developmental model, facilitates the development of a framework which is utilized to assess the experiences and needs of the older adult and their families. Course requires a minimum of 25 volunteer hours with older adults.

Expressive Arts Therapies |  
Examines theories, techniques and applications of play, art, music, dance and other expressive therapeutic approaches. Prerequisite: Minimum of 15 semester credit hours of graduate counseling coursework.

Counseling Adult II: Late Adulthood |  
Specific strategies will be studied for understanding, assessing and counseling adults in late adulthood. Emphasis placed on social, emotional and physical stressors specific to this adult developmental stage and related transitions, as well as on understanding the individual within a systems context.

Well Counseling: Risk, Prevention and Modification |  
Course examines health promotion models, preventive management techniques, and models and techniques for behavior change. Comprehensive inquiry focusing on psychological processes, and individual behaviors and lifestyles which affect a person's physical, emotional and social health. Topics include stress and illness, personality and disease, high-risk populations and behaviors, and gender and cultural issues.

Advanced Special Topics: Counseling |  
Advanced elective graduate topics in the field of Counseling.

Master of Arts in Counseling Required Courses

Graduate Counseling Seminar in Clinical Foundations |  
Provides an overview addressing necessary foundations in the content areas of abnormal psychology,
developmental psychology, and theories of personality. Introduction to APA style and format.

Counseling Theories |  
Examination of theories of personality development and therapeutic processes. Consideration of techniques for counseling applications and professional consultation.

Social/Cultural Concerns in Counseling |  
Study of social, cultural and gender differences and issues related to counseling clients with various backgrounds, beliefs and concerns. Includes multicultural counseling techniques.

Counseling and the Helping Professions | 
Examines counseling process, instruction and practice in communication skills in counseling, history, development and practice of counseling as a profession, and how and where counseling is provided.

Human Growth and Development | 
Examination of psychological, social, intellectual, and physical influences on the development of personality and behavior patterns in children, adolescents and adults.

Group Counseling and Dynamics | 
Theories of group counseling. Includes techniques of observation, assessment and leadership in therapeutic groups.

Methods and Models of Research |  
Examination of models of research and application of scientific methods to investigate, analyze, and develop solutions relative to current issues in the field.

Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling |  
Study of ethical, legal and professional concerns in the practice of counseling.

Psychological Testing |  
Examines use of standardized tests to study individuals, including test development, selection, administration and interpretation. Includes educational and mental health applications.

Life Planning and Career Development |  
Focus on theory, research, techniques and tools used in life planning, transitions and career development.

Theory/Techniques in Marriage and Family Counseling |  
Examination of traditional and contemporary theories of family systems and approaches to marriage and family counseling.

Advanced Psychodiagnostic and Treatment Planning |  
As a preparation for Clinical Internship, students will expand their knowledge of the multi-axial system, DSM-IV/DSM-IV-TR diagnostic categories, differential diagnosis, and treatment planning. Emphasis will also be placed on the clinical interview and other initial assessment techniques, as well as skills critical to selecting and evaluating treatment options.

Intro to Substance Addictions and Related Disorders |  
Introduction to patterns, causes, assessment and treatment of substance abuse and other addictive disorders. Student begins preparation of required portfolio.

Practicum |  
300 hours and two semesters.

Internship |    
600 hours and three semesters.

Full Degree Catalog

University Accreditation

Ottawa University, as a whole, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Specific degree programs within our institution have also been accredited by relevant bodies within the field:

We are proudly recognized for our commitment to student excellence by the following designations:

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