Sample Syllabus for MA Level Course

Standard

Narrative Therapy – A 5-Week Course

Course Dates: January 10 – February 7, 2017

Location: On Campus at the Carter Building (Liberty University-Lynchburg, VA)

Day and Time: Tuesdays, 9 am – 12 pm

Instructor: Ashlee K. Lakin

Office Hours: By Appointment

Office Phone: 540.314.8252

Email: aklakin@liberty.edu

  1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is about the emerging field of Narrative Therapy. Narrative Therapy is designed to treat various forms of anxiety and depression. This course will explore the genesis of Narrative Therapy, its founders, its theoretical perspective and approach, case conceptualization, and the evidence base that is at its root. Narrative Therapy methods and protocols will be discussed and students will also receive practical training as counselors and counselor educators in the use of Narrative Therapy. Students will be asked to contemplate how Narrative Therapy could fit into their community, school, institution, hospital, or private practice settings and how or if it aligns with their theoretical perspective.

  1. RATIONALE

Counseling theories and techniques are consistently emerging and changing. It is imperative that students who desire to become counselors and counselor educators be on that cutting edge of development. This course is designed according to Liberty University’s Master’s program and will help to equip students with the information, data, expertise, and skills in the field of Narrative Therapy. These skills can be used in formal and informal treatment settings to better serve clients and students who present with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.

III.       PREREQUISITES

Students must complete COUN 500 Orientation to Counselor Professional Identity & Function prior to entering this class. If there are any questions or special considerations, please contact the instructor (information listed above).

  1. MATERIALS LIST

The main text for the course will be by White, M. & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. Norton and Company, New York, NY.

Rationale: These two authors are the founders of Narrative Therapy and their text gives a comprehensive overview of the theory and its practices. This text brings knowledge and understanding of abstract concepts within Narrative Therapy and makes them more accessible and understandable for those who are just learning about the theory. It also gives practical advice and exercises to better equip counselors and counselor educators who want to incorporate Narrative Therapy into their practice or classroom. Students will be assigned readings from this text each week to further their knowledge about the subject.

There will also be 3 scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that students are required to read on weeks 1, 3, & 4 (listed below). The Dulwich Center website http://dulwichcentre.com.au/narrative-therapy-research/ will also be a valuable resource for our in-class active learning experiences. Students are encouraged to investigate this resource outside of class, in addition to these hands-on shared learning experiences.

Articles:

  1. Jensen, P. (2014). Narrative therapy: Wanderings with king Arthur and Dr. Watson. The

International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 3, 67-71.

  1. Stern, D. (2011). Narrative therapy at any age. The International Journal of Narrative

Therapy and Community Work, 1, 57-65.

  1. Haugaard. C. (2016). Narrative therapy as an ethical practice. Journal of Systematic

Therapies, 35 (1), 1-19.

Disclaimer: Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these texts.

  1. MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

When learning about a new subject, it is important to keep in mind the reasons that we are pursuing this knowledge. Building our knowledge and skills helps us lead and serve more effectively as future counselors and counselor educators.

  1. Develop an understanding of the history and birth of Narrative Therapy. There will be a focus on the concept of “Externalization” & other techniques in the theory.
  1. Comprehension of the theoretical background and model of Narrative Therapy in practice.
  1. Understand the evidence base that exists and is growing for this theory.

Application of specific skills, strategies, and activities to promote healing through Narrative Therapy. Practice those skills, strategies, and activities.

  1. Knowledge of Case Conceptualization for community, school, institution, hospital, or private practice settings.
  1. Begin to evaluate and analyze skills to teach the concepts of Narrative Therapy to others.
Course Teaching Outcomes Assignments
Develop an understanding of the history and birth of Narrative Therapy. Week 1: Assignments VI.A.C.D.
Comprehension of the theoretical background and model of Narrative Therapy in practice. Weeks 2 &3 : Assignments VI.A.B.D.
Understand and evaluate the evidence base that exists and is growing for this theory. Weeks 2 & 3: Assignments VI.A.B.C.D.
Application of specific skills, strategies, and activities to promote healing through Narrative Therapy. Evaluation and practice of those skills, strategies, and activities. Week 4: Assignments VI.A.B.C.D.
Knowledge and analysis of Case Conceptualization for community, school, institution, hospital, or private practice settings. Week 5: Assignments VI.A.C.D.

 

LU’s Master of Arts in Professional Counseling Learning Outcomes

“Our mission is to produce ethically and spiritually aware mental health counselors who possess the knowledge, values, skills, and personal disposition to promote the mental health and holistic wellness of clients across diverse populations” (http://www.liberty.edu/online/masters/professional-counseling/)

Assignments
1. The student will be able to illustrate appropriate knowledge in all core curricular areas of counseling in preparation for certification and/or procuring employment in the mental health field. Assignments VI. A. B. C. & D. – Each course assignment fulfills these goals.
2. The student will be able to demonstrate appropriate research and report writing skills including the use of current APA format and computer technology. Assignment VI. B.   The Literature Review evaluates both technology and APA formatting skills.
3. The student will be able to integrate biblical principles and secular theories in a responsible, eclectic manner. Assignment VI. A.   This integration will take place in class discussions and active learning exercises.
4. The student will be able to incorporate ethic and legal standards in the counseling arena. Assignments VI. A. B. C. D. – Each assignment requires the incorporation of ethics and legal standards.
5. The student will be able to assess, diagnose, and treat clients with a broad array of presenting problems and mental disorders using multiple counseling skills in established best practices. Assignment VI. A. & D.   – Students will practice these skill in their Video Role Play as they take on the roles of counselor, client, and observer. These will all be a part of regular classroom interactions.
6. The student will be able to evaluate diverse individual, group, and family populations in order to effectively determine treatment for clients. Assignment VI. A. & C. – Classroom discussions will bring clarity to these issues, along with the readings and Weekly Quizzes.

 

2016 CACREP Standards

Counselor Education and Supervision

 

Assignments
II. F. 5. a-d.

a. theories & models of counseling

b. a systems approach to conceptualizing clients

c. theories, models, and strategies for understanding and practicing consultation

d. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for establishing and maintaining in-person and technology-assisted relationships

 

Class Participation – Students are required to participate in classroom discussions and activities.   They are also required to participate in the online portion of the class, posting their Video Role Plays for their triad. This helps students to apply the concepts and skills that they are learning in class.
II. F. 8. a. & II. F. 5. a.

a. the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession, including how to

critique research to inform counseling practice

 

a. theories & models of counseling

 

Literature Review – Students are asked to complete a literature review on Narrative Therapy to help them analyze and synthesize the research that is currently available.
II. F. 5. a-d.

a. theories & models of counseling

b. a systems approach to conceptualizing clients

c. theories, models, and strategies for understanding and practicing consultation

d. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for establishing and maintaining in-person and technology-assisted relationships

 

Weekly Review Quizzes – These quizzes are based on the readings from the text. It is important to evaluate students’ ability to comprehend their weekly readings.
II. F. 5. g. & II. F.5. j.

g. essential interviewing, counseling, and case conceptualization skills

j. evidence-based counseling strategies and techniques for prevention and intervention

 

Video Role Play – For this assignment, students will choose one technique and provide a 15-20 minute role-play that will be posted online and evaluated by their triad. The goal is to help students demonstrate their application of the theory & practices.

 

  1. COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS

Information about each assignment is listed below, along with the Course Calendar. See the chart above for the Measurable Learning Outcomes for the assignments.

  1. Class Participation – It is the expectation that you attend all classes. During our Tuesday classes, it is the hope and expectation that you will interact with both the content being taught and the students in the course. It is important for future counselors and counselor educators to be able to dialogue about theories and active learning exercises, while demonstrating the ability to synthesize information and be gracious to others. The Video Role play will require both your feedback to other students in your triad, as well as your ability to receive feedback about your own video. Both are important skills to develop and we will work on them in this course. As a class we will discuss Biblical integration and application from our readings and assignments. Kindness and respect are goals as you consider class participation.
  2. Literature Review – Students are asked to complete a literature review on Narrative Therapy to help them analyze and synthesize the research that is currently available. Students will use Liberty’s online library or the on-campus library to locate at least 4 scholarly Journal articles that discuss Narrative Therapy. Students will then read these articles (not including the ones listed in the syllabus) and determine the main ideas discussed in each article to determine what links them together with the other articles. Students will then write a “Literature Review”, reviewing the articles and their commonalities. This paper should be written using APA formatting and should be 4 pages in length, not counting the title page, abstract, or reference page. See this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IUZWZX4OGI for more detailed instructions.
  3. Weekly Quizzes – Evaluation of the student’s ability to comprehend and synthesize weekly readings from the text is an important part of the course learning. These quizzes will be taken each class period after a short review discussion takes place with the professor and the students. These quizzes are designed with 10 questions, each worth 10 points, and will be covered in the review at the start of each class. Again, being on-time to class and present in class is imperative to your grade. If you do miss class, these quizzes will be available online after the class is over. The student may request the “review” notes from the professor prior to taking the quiz. The quiz is due by the next class period.
  4. Video Role Play – For this assignment, students will choose one technique and provide a 15-20 minute role-play that will be posted online and evaluated by their triad. (Don’t worry, triads will be assigned during our first class on January 10.) The goal is to help students demonstrate their application of the theory & practices. See Appendix A for more detailed instructions.

VII. COURSE GRADING

Every assignment must be finished to pass the course.

Evaluation Points
Class Participation 100
Literature Review 200
Weekly Quizzes (100 per quiz) 500
Video Role Play 200

Total Points                                                                                            1000

Grading Criteria

A = 940–1000   A- = 920–939   B+ = 900–919   B = 860-899      B- = 840–859

C+ = 820–839   C = 780–819   C- = 760–779   D+ = 740–759   D = 700–739

D- = 680–699   F = Below 679

VIII. ATTENDANCE POLICIES

  1. Dress Code

Students are expected to maintain a neat, professional appearance while in class. Consult your department for additional guidelines.

  1. Class attendance and participation is expected except for emergency situations or medical illness. Documentation such as a doctor’s note may be requested. If you cannot attend or will be late to a class session, please call in advance to discuss the circumstances of your absence or tardiness. Arriving to class late unexcused will result in a significant reduction in your participation grade. I reserve the right to modify the amount of deduction for those students who call or email me prior to the class to discuss the reasons for their absence and I deem it appropriate on a case-by-case basis.
  1. Classroom Policies

      Students may not “multi-task” during class time. Multi-tasking includes surfing the web, texting, anything non-class related. Usage of technological resources is restricted to activities specifically related to class assignments. Multi-tasking will result in a reduction in your participation grade. I will not necessarily disrupt class to inform you of this penalty. You are warned in reading this policy.

  1. Agreement and/or respectful disagreement with others in the class is expected. Learning to accurately communicate beliefs, attitudes, and emotions about important issues is a crucial part of both personal and professional development as a counselor educator. Engaging in this process in an appropriate manner is expected.
  1. OTHER POLICIES
  1. Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is strictly prohibited. See The Graduate Catalog for specific definitions, penalties, and processes for reporting.

  1. Disability Statement

Students with a documented disability may contact the Office of Disability Academic Support (ODAS, dlpodas@liberty.edu ) in DH 2016 to make arrangements for academic accommodations.  For all disability testing accommodation requests (i.e. quieter environment, extended time, oral testing, etc.) the Tutoring/Testing Center is the officially designated place for all tests administered outside of the regular classroom.

  1. Drop/Add Policy

Consult the Graduate Catalog for drop/add policies.

  1. Check for class announcements weekdays on Blackboard. Your Liberty email account will be used for email communications.
  1. Honor Code Policy

Each student is expected to complete assignments (including discussion boards or group projects on Blackboard) in a manner consistent with the Liberty University honor code (Ex., no cheating or plagiarism) and other LU guidelines. The quality standards for work submitted is expected to be appropriate for graduate level work. These expectations include excellent grammar/spelling, coherent paragraphs, APA style, and sufficient levels of written organizational structure for the assignment. First person is allowed in the cultural background and immersion papers.

  1. If you are aware of problems that may limit your performance on any of the assignments (e.g., inadequate writing skills, Blackboard skills deficiency, test anxiety, speaker’s anxiety, a learning disability, etc), please let me know early in the semester and take steps to address these limitations by seeking other assistance as needed. As noted previously, for learning disorders and other special needs, contact the Office of Disability Academic Support (582-2159) and notify the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. If you are unaware of where or how to receive assistance for a particular issue, please see me or your academic advisor for an appropriate referral.
  2. Email Correspondence: Students are expected to communicate in a professional manner at all times whenever emailing classmates, professors, or any employee of Liberty University. Because there is no accompanying tone of voice, facial expressions or body language, email communication is more easily misinterpreted than face-to-face. Your emails should be courteous and well thought out to avoid knee-jerk responses that will be interpreted as “flaming” or sarcasm. Communicate complaints directly to the individual involved. Do not send a blanket email to everyone in the class or to administrative personnel until you have communicated your concerns directly to the person involved and allowed them time to respond. Do not post a message to the class on Blackboard that is more appropriate for an individual. Avoid offensive language of any kind.
  3. Dual Relationships: The faculty is responsible to interact with counseling students in a supervisory capacity/role. As such, faculty may provide students professional principles, guidance, and recommendations as it relates to the context of the student-client setting. The faculty are responsible to avoid dual relationships with students such as entering a student-counselor or student-pastor relationship. Thus, the faculty do not provide personal counseling addressing student personal problems. If a faculty member perceives that a student is in need of personal or professional counseling then that faculty member will recommend that the student pursue either pastoral or professional assistance from a counselor in their community.
  4. Limits of Confidentiality: In the event of a student’s disclosure, either verbally, or in writing, of either threat of serious or foreseeable harm to self or others, abuse or neglect of a minor, elderly or disabled person, or current involvement in criminal activity, the faculty, staff, administrator or supervisor, will take immediate action. This action may include, but is not limited to, immediate notification of appropriate state law enforcement or social services personnel, emergency contacts, and notification of the appropriate program chair or distance learning dean. The incident and action taken will become part of the student’s permanent record.
  5. FN policy: Students who begin a course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” at the discretion of the instructor, dated to the student’s last date of academic activity. A grade of “FN” will be assigned when a student stops attending and/or participating in a class for a period of 21 consecutive days or longer. “FN” indicates that the student ceased attendance and failed to complete the course objectives. The last date of attendance will be based upon the last date that a student submitted an academic assignment (such as an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic event).
  1. COURSE CALENDAR

 

 

Week

 

Topics

 

Assignments

 

Course MLO’s for Assignments

 

1

1.10.16

Overview of the history and development of Narrative Therapy; It will include education on the theoretical perspective, but will also strive to bring clarity to abstract concepts within the theory. Focus on the specific Intervention of Externalization with Active Learning Exercise. Text & Article #1 readings; Externalization Active Learning Exercise; Weekly Quiz;   Students put into Triads for Final Video Role Play Project VI. A. B. C. D.
2

1.17.17

 

Comprehension of the theoretical background and model of Narrative Therapy in practice. Text readings Ch. 1; Article #2 reading in class; Weekly Quiz

 

VI. A. B. C.
3

1.24.17

Continue discussions in class to understand and evaluate the evidence base that exists and is growing for this theory. Text readings Ch. 2-3; Weekly Quiz; Active Learning Exercise VI. A. C. D.
4

1.31.17

Visualizing the application of specific skills, strategies, and activities to promote healing through Narrative Therapy. Evaluation and practice of those skills, strategies, and activities. Text Readings Ch. 4-5; Weekly Quiz; Discuss Video Role Play; Meet in Triads; Professor demonstrates Video Role Play for students VI .B. C. E.
5

2.7.17

Knowledge and analysis of Case Conceptualization for community, school, institution, hospital, or private practice settings. Text Readings Ch. 7-8; Weekly Quiz; submit Video Role Play

 

VI. D. E. F.

 

Resources

  1. White, M. & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. Norton and Company, New York, NY. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393700984/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1#reader_0393700984
  2. Jensen, Povl (2014). Narrative therapy: Wanderings with king Arthur and Dr. Watson. The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 3, 67-71.
  3. Stern, Dafna (2011). Narrative therapy at any age. The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 1, 57-65.
  4. Haugaard. C. (2016). Narrative therapy as an ethical practice. Journal of Systematic

Therapies, 35 (1), 1-19.

  1. http://dulwichcentre.com.au/narrative-therapy-research/

Appendix A

Our first day of class is January 10. On that day we will divide into triads (groups of three) where we will be practicing the Narrative Therapy techniques we learn in class.

For this project, you will use the counseling rooms in the Carter building.   One person will be the counselor and one person will be the client.   The third person of the Triad will be an observer off camera. You will take on each of these roles for this assignment.

ROLE OF THE COUNSELOR:

Choose a technique from Narrative Therapy and practice that technique with your client. Your session should begin by talking about a real problem in the client’s life. This should be something that they’re willing to talk about in the session and on camera. Your role as the counselor is to practice the technique you have chosen and the session should last between 15 and 20 minutes. Feel free to use whatever tools necessary to practically apply the technique. This might mean you bring in paper and colored pencils, clay, other craft supplies, stuffed animals, or whatever you’ve decided to use for your active learning exercise.

ROLE OF THE CLIENT:

Your only job as the client is to decide on a real issue or problem from your life that you are willing to share and talk about on camera with your counselor.

ROLE OF THE OBSERVER:

As the observer, you will not be on camera but will be somewhere in the room to be able to see and hear the “session” that is taking place. The observer will be giving a short paragraph of feedback to the counselor after the session. You will write it down on a piece of paper and hand it to the counselor after the session. That feedback will include:

  1. One thing the counselor did well:
  2. One thing they could improve:
  3. Other comments:

Your professor will review the video and the peer feedback and assign a grade. You should be able to receive full credit as long as you are prepared and familiar with the technique and are able to practice it with your client. You must also fulfill each role listed above to receive full credit (counselor, client, observer). Grading rubric below.

Skill Points Possible Points Awarded
Helps client to identify a problem that will be the focus of the session and technique.  

50

Clearly articulates which Narrative Therapy Technique will be used during the session  

50

Has all necessary “supplies” and leads the client through the technique with clear instruction and steps  

50

Takes on all 3 roles of the project (counselor, client, & observer)  

50

Total: /200

 

Instructor’s Comments:

 

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About ashleelakin

I am a daughter, a wife, a mom and a lover of all things Disney. I am a PhD student, a musician, a Christ follower & a 2016 finalist in the Disney Parks Moms Panel search . :) I love my life! Find me @3disneyboys on Twitter!

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