The Institute for Clinical Social Work

Syllabi Archive

CCP 510: Methods in Counseling and Psychotherapy

Master's Program: spring 2012-13

Jan Wolff Bensdorf, LCSW

  • Institute for Clinical Social Work
    at Robert Morris Center
    401 S. State St., Suite #822
    Chicago, IL 60605
  • (312) 865-3534
  • Office Hours by Appointment
  • Class Meets Saturday 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of the counseling and psychotherapy process and an understanding of the skills required of a helping professional. Special attention will be devoted to the development of knowledge, attitudes, skills essential to fully understanding clients problems and effective intervene with an emphasis on experimential learning and interviewing strategies. Additional topics will include issues related to building a psychotherapeutic relationship, conveying hope, and evidence informed practices and skills with regard to people from diverse social, ethic, and economic backgrounds.

Specific Course Objectives

  • Understand the importance of the worker/client relationship in the helping process.
  • Recognize the role of the both the clinician and the client in the process.
  • Learn the skills necessary to facilitate the change process.
  • Understanding of how to work with barriers to successful interventions such as resistance.
  • Recognize the connection between theory and methods.
  • Engage in an in-depth exploration of a certain specific models and the concomitant skills.

Respect for Diversity, Confidentiality, and Fellow Students

Discussing patients, clinical material, and patients’ impact on clinicians can be intense; students are expected to be sensitive to their colleagues’ during class discussions, and to protect confidentiality of clinicians and their patients. In addition, students are expected to be respectful of the opinions of others while at the same time striving to support the values of clinical counseling.

Students with Special Needs: Students with special needs or difficulties in learning and completing courses assignments are strongly encouraged to notify instructors as soon as possible so that appropriate resources and accommodations can be provided.
Student Evaluation and Grades: Classroom instructors grade students on their course work and submit written evaluative reports on the caliber of each student’s work. Practicum consultants/supervisors grade students and submit reports each semester evaluating their work. Students’ overall performance will be monitored each semester by the Student Progression Committee.


The purpose of grading is to provide a learning tool for students, i.e., to provide feedback on progress, strengths and weaknesses, and issues that need to be addressed

Grading Standards

Grades are assigned according to the following standards:
A - Superior Work - 4.0 value
B - Satisfactory Work - 3.0 value
C - Marginal Work - 2.0 value
F - Failure* -  0.0 value
P - Pass* - 0.0 value
AU - Audit - 0.0 value
Auditing a course with approval of instructor
INC - Incomplete - 0.0 value**

Grading Decision

  • *Applies only to Field Placement/Practicum and Thesis Seminar
  • **A grade of INC (incomplete) requires the instructor’s written approval. Incomplete grades should be reserved for extenuating circumstances. If an incomplete grade is given, the student must finish any work required to complete the course requirements by the end of the semester. If the course is not completed by this deadline, the student automatically receives an F (Fail) grade for the course.
  • Instructors are required to submit full letter grades (not pluses or minuses) within two weeks after the end of each semester. A written evaluation of each student’s performance accompanies the grade.

Academic Dishonesty

Any student who engages in academic dishonesty, which includes giving or receiving unauthorized aid to any assignment or examination, plagiarism or tampering with grades or irregularities shall be subject to disciplinary action. Such action may include a failing grade in the course, suspension, or dismissal from the program.

Plagiarism Policy

When plagiarism is suspected, students may be asked to submit their papers electronically to a third party plagiarism detection service. If a student is asked to submit the paper and refuses to do so, the student must provide proof that all work is correctly sited and/or original. is one of many electronic sites that discuss plagiarism.

Electronic Devices

All electronic devices should be turned off during class. That includes I phones, Blackberries, and other cell phones. If you are on call please be sure your device is on vibrate. Other devices such as computers and recording devices must be discussed with the professor.

Course Requirements

Readings: Students are required to read all assigned material and should be prepared to discuss the reading material assigned for each class. Hence readings should be done prior to the class for which they are assigned.

Class Attendance and Participation

Active discussion of the ideas contained in the readings and lectures as well as class attendance and participation in class exercises are central to the success of this course. Excessive absences (more than a total of TWO classes) may result in a lowered grade. The instructor always appreciates being notified in advance by email if you will not be attending class.

Required Textbooks

  1. Craske, M.G.(2010) Cognitive-Behavioral therapy.  Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association.
  2. Wachtel, P.L (2011). Inside the session: What really happens in psychotherapy. Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association.
  3. Yalom, I.D. (2002) The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients. New York: Harper Perennial.

Videos and Role Plays will be used to understand aspects of the material.
Cases will be provided as illustrations of particular topics.

Course Assignments

1) For each class session, please bring two questions for discussion based on assigned readings, class relevance to field and any other knowledge you have of this topic. Be prepared to discuss cases and readings. ( Part of class participation grade of 15%.)

2) 4 journals on:
  A) Forming an alliance with a client.
  B) Describe your “use of self” in ongoing treatment – use theory and examples from the field.
  C) Difficulty engaging a client, skills used, problems encountered etc.
  D) Skills attached to a specific model.

These are not necessarily in chronological order. As long as all 4 topics are covered, you can do them in any order. (Each Journal will be 15% of your grade.)

Journals will be due week 4, 7, 10 and 13. They should be about 5 pages each without references or title page.

3) Final paper. When you came to this program you had some expectations and wishes about what you were going to learn about being a therapist. This course focuses on “HOW” to do this from external perspective (necessary skills) and how you learn the internal perspectives that accompany the role of therapist.
Pick a topic covered in class. Read additional literature that delves deeper into the topic. If there is a related topic you feel was not covered in class that you would like to explore please discuss it with the instructor before starting. The overall focus will be on how methods interface with theory or don’t. There will be a separate more detailed description of this assignment handed out in class. (25% of your grade._

4) You will all be expected to participate in role plays. (Part of class participation grade of 15%.)

All written assignments are to be in APA format.
American Psychological Association.(2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Sixth Edition.). Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association.
Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide › OWL › Research and Citation › APA StyleCached - Similar

In addition, all papers must be double spaced with 1” margins in fonts no smaller than 10pt.


Class 1   1/26/2013

  •  Welcome back, housekeeping.
  •  General discussion of the connection between theory and methods
  •  Focus on general goals of treatment and similarities across model

Required readings:

Hanna, F.J. (2001). Professional dialogue: Freedom: Toward an integration of the counseling profession. Counselor Education & Supervision. 50, 362-385.

Skovholt, T.M. & Starkey, M.T. (2010). The three legs of the practitioner’s learning stool: Practice, research/theory, and personal life.

Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 40, 125-130.
Rosenzweig, S. (2002). Some implicit common factors in diverse methods of psychology. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. 12, (1), 5-9.

Class 2   1/26/2013

  • Importance of the therapeutic alliance
  • Dodo bird verdict

Required readings:

Leibert, T.W. (2011). The dimensions of common factors in counseling. International Journal of Advanced Counseling, 33:127-138.

Luborsky, L. (1995). Are common factors different psychotherapies the main explanation for the dodo bird verdict that “everyone has won so we all shall have prizes”? Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 2(1), 106-109.

Norcross, J.C. (2010). Chapter 4: The therapeutic relationship. In Duncan, B.L.,
Miller, S.D., Wampold, B.E., & Hubble, M.A. ( Eds.), The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy. Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.

Reid, W.J., Davis Kenaley, B. & Colvin, J. (2004). Do some interventions work better than others? A review of comparative social work experiments. Social Work Research, 28(2), 71-81.

Wachtel, P.L (2011). Chapter 1: Psychotherapy at Ground Level. Inside the session: What really happens in psychotherapy. Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association.

Yalom, I.D. (2002) Chapters 1-5.The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients. New York: Harper Perennial. 1-16.

Class 3   2/16/2013

  • Use of Self
  • Avoiding dual relationships and slippery slopes,

Maintaining appropriate boundaries.

Required Readings:

Dewane, C.J. (2006) Use of self: A primer revisited. Clinical Social Work Journal, 34(4), 543-558.

Edwards, J.K. & Bess, J.M. (1998). Developing effectiveness in the therapeutic use of self. Clinical Social Work Journal, 26(1) 89-105.

Reupert, A. (2007) Social worker’s use of self. Clinical Social Work Journal, 35, 107-116.

Class 4   2/23/2013

  • Empathy
  • Conveying Hope

Required Readings:

Freedberg, S.(2007). Re-examining empathy: a relational-feminist point of view. Social Work, 52(3),251-259.

Gerdes, K.E., & Segal, E.(2011) Importance of empathy for social work practice: Integrating new science. Social Work, 56(2),141-148.

Yalom, I.D. (2002) Chapters 6 &7. The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients. New York: Harper Perennial. 17-25.

Additional readings to be assigned.

Class 5   3/2/2013

  • Specific Techniques for creating, building and terminating
  • psychotherapeutic interventions
  • Listening
  • Focus on the “question”

Required Readings:

McWilliams, N. (1999). Psychoanalytic Case Formulation. New York: The Guilford Press. Chapter 2: Orientation to Interviewing. 29-47.

Woods, M.E. & Hollis, F. (2000) Casework, A psychosocial therapy, 5th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill. 122-128.

Yalom, I.D. (2002) Chapters 14-23, 69-73. The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients. New York: Harper Perennial. 46-71 & 206-214.

Class 6   3/9/2013

  • Working with Ambivalence and Resistance
  • Revisit Transference and Countertransference
  • Motivation

Required Readings:

Adams, J.R., Drake, R.E., Wolford, G.L., (2007). Shared decision making preferences of people with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 58(9), 1219-1221.

Lee, J.A.B. Chapter 10, The empowerment approach to social work practice. In Turner, F.J. (Ed.), Social work treatment and interlocking theoretical approaches. 4th Ed. New York: Free Press. 218-249.

Stiver, I.P. (1991) What is the role of transference and the unconscious in the relational model. Works in Progress #28. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center.

Yalom, I.D. (2002) Chapter 46-51. The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients. New York: Harper Perennial. 139-157.

Class 7   3/16/2013

  • The real relationship
  • Therapists authenticity

Required Readings:

Gelso, C.J., Kivlighan, D.M., Busa-Knepp, J., and Spiegel, E.B. (2012). The unfolding of the real relationship and the outcome of brief therapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59(4), 495-506.

Gullo, S., LoCoco, G., & Gelso, C. (2012) Early and late predictors of outcome in brief therapy: The role of the real relationship. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(6) 614-619.

Miller, J.B., Jordan, J.V., , I.P., Walker, M., Surrey, J.L. & Eldridge, N.S. (1999) Therapists authenticity. Work in Progress #82. Wellesley Centers for Women. Wellesley, MA, Stone Center.

Yalom, I.D. (2002) Chapters 24-32. The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients. New York: Harper Perennial. 74-101.

Class 8   3/23/2013

  • Specific interventions tied to theoretical models
  • Case Management
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Other examples

Required Readings:

Dende, J.D. & Kline, J.D.(1995), Overcoming crack, schizophrenia and homelessness: A comprehensive case management approach. In Kanter, J. (Ed.), New Directions for Mental Health: Clinical Studies in Case Management San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc. 53-70.

Segal, C. (2012) “We’re cool, you and me” A relational approach to clinical social work in the city. Psychodynamic psychotherapy within a homeless shelter for formerly incarcerated women and their children. In Berzoff, J. Falling through the cracks: psychodynamic practice and vulnerable and oppressed populations. New York: Columbia University Press.

Class 9   4/6/2013

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as one example

Required Reading:

Craske, M.G.(2010) Cognitive-Behavioral therapy.  Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association.

Yalom, I.D. (2002) Chapter 76. The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients. New York: Harper Perennial. 222-224

Class 10   4/13/2013

  • Play Therapy

Required readings:

TBA per presenter.

Class 11   4/20/2013

• Two person perspective and implications for practice
CASE: Louise session 1 &2

Required Readings:

Wachtel, P.L (2011). Chapters 3 & 4.Inside the session: What really happens in psychotherapy. Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association. 65-182.

Class 12   4/27/2013

  • Research and Evidence Informed Practice and how this affects techniques

Required Readings:


Class 13   5/4/2013

  • Changes attributed to therapy

Required Readings:

Eldridge, N.S., Surrey, J.L., Rosen, W.B. & Miller, J.B. (2003) What changes in therapy? Who changes? Work in Progress #99. Wellesley Centers for Women. Wellesley, MA, Stone Center.

Walsh, J. (2007) Chapter 3. Endings in clinical practice: effective closure in diverse settings, 2nd Ed. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, 41-59.

Class 14   5/11/2013

  • The clients experience of psychotherapy and the therapist

Required Readings:

Merkin, D. (2010) My Life in Therapy. The New York Times, 8/4/2010. Retrieved on 8/9/2010 from

Satir, V. (1987) The Therapist Story. In Baldwin, M., Satir, V. (Ed.’s), The use of self in therapy. New York: Haworth Press. 17-25. ,i

Additional readings TBA

Class 15   5/18/2013

  • The Gift of Therapy

Required Readings:

Student reflections and first person writings.

Yalom, I.D. (2002) The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients. New York: Harper Perinnial. Chapters 84-85, 251-260. Revisit other chapters for comprehensive discussion of his ideas.

Additional readings TBA.

Please note: we will make up the time for the class from 2/9 after a class discussion the first week of class.
Also there is no class on the Saturday of Easter week, 3/30/2013.

Please note that links to some course readings have been purged from archived syllabi. Electronic texts on the ICSW website are protected by copyright law. These files are made available strictly for individual, educational use and may not be copied or distributed in any way. Distribution of copyrighted material to non-enrolled individuals or ICSW students will be considered an act of Academic Dishonesty and be dealt with accordingly as indicated in the Student Manual. Federal penalties for copyright infringement may be found at