Trinity Western University

Course Descriptions

Counselling Psychology, Graduate Courses

    NB: CPSY 501-695 are graduate courses. For further information about when courses are offered, see the School of Graduate Studies section or contact the Counselling Psychology Graduate Program.

  • CPSY 501 Advanced Statistics (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides an in-depth study of standard parametric and non-parametric statistical methods used in psychological research. Topics include multiple regression, ANOVA, different models of analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and factor analysis.

    Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate psychology course covering basic statistics.

  • CPSY 502 Research Design (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides an in-depth examination of quantitative and qualitative research methods available for the conduct of research in counselling psychology. Students are equipped to define and evaluate research problems, conduct literature searches, and critically evaluate published research and professional writing. Ethical and cultural considerations in research are also addressed.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 501.

  • CPSY 504 Evaluating Statistics and Research (3 sem. hrs.)

    Prepares students to evaluate and critique statistics and research methods in counselling psychology, including learning about the use and misuse of basic quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques in counselling-related research and in program evaluation. The course also provides an introduction to ethical issues in research, and conducting critical reviews of the literature.

    NB: Credit will not be granted for CPSY 504 if CPSY 501/502 have already been taken.

  • CPSY 505 Foundations of Counselling and Psychology (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides a critical introduction to scholarly literature on cultural, philosophical, historical, and theological perspectives on counselling psychotherapy and research. Students explore their personal world views in relationship to professional, biblical, and scientific standards and begin to formulate their approaches to serving in socially, spiritually and culturally diverse professional settings.

  • CPSY 506 Theories of Counselling (3 sem. hrs.)

    Critically evaluates major theories of counselling and psychotherapy in terms of their assumptions, research support, and applications. Such issues as cultural diversity, gender differences, and human development are discussed. Students are introduced to the process of integrating theories as they develop their own framework for counselling practice.

  • CPSY 508 Marriage and Family Therapy (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course provides an opportunity for students to become familiar with, identify, and differentiate the major theoretical and therapeutic models underpinning contemporary theorists and practitioners of marriage and family therapy. Students are assisted to integrate marriage and family therapy theory, concepts and practices into their lived experience and to reflect on the application of MFT theory, research, and practice in their career aspirations.

  • CPSY 510 Group Counselling (3 sem. hrs.)

    An overview of the theory and application of group processes. The course provides participants with introductory group facilitation skills. It consists of an introduction to group dynamics, an introduction to the major models of group counselling and therapy, and a laboratory section to facilitate the development of group counselling skills and competencies. Ethics and cultural differences are also addressed.

  • CPSY 515 Career Counselling (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides a critical examination of major career development theories and research. The course also addresses a wide range of issues such as gender, culture, socio-economic status, age, and mental health concerns, as these issues relate to career. Students are introduced to a variety of career counselling strategies within the current labour market. In addition, students each complete a set of career assessment instruments, and interpret them for class partners.

  • CPSY 518 Research Seminar (3 sem. hrs.)

    Helps to orient students to several significant research areas in counselling and psychology as well as issues critical to the successful completion of thesis research. Students present their research ideas in class and develop a research proposal.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 501, 502, and permission.

  • CPSY 522 Basic Principles of Assessment (3 sem. hrs.)

    Covers basic principles of psychometrics as applied to the construction and validation of formal tests. Addresses ethical standards of test usage, multicultural assessment, and assessment paradigms. Students learn how to select appropriate tests for specific purposes, to conduct assessment interviews, and to synthesize qualitative and quantitative assessment information in normal personality assessment.

  • CPSY 590 Advanced Counselling Skills (3 sem. hrs.)

    Engages students experientially using a laboratory format. Classes include conceptual presentations on advanced counselling skills, in-class demonstrations, and triad exercises designed to facilitate counsellor development. Students also analyze and transcribe portions of video recordings of sessions. Professional roles, functions, preparation standards, ethics, and cultural differences are addressed.

    Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate psychology course covering basic empathy and communication skills. CPSY 490 is recommended.

  • CPSY 591, 592 Practicum I & II (3, 3 sem. hrs.)

    Individual and group clinical practice with intensive supervision totalling more than 100 clock hours over eight months. The course includes an average of one hour individual supervision and 1.5 hours of group supervision each week. Students must complete a minimum of 40 direct client hours, of which at least 10 hours must be group work. Any incomplete hours must be made up during internship placements. The practicum course is designed to be completed in teams of five students and a faculty supervisor. Practicum I and II must be completed consecutively.

    NB: Limited to CPSY students only.

    Pre/Co-requisite(s): CPSY 506, 510, 590.

  • CPSY 593 Counselling Children and Youth (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides an introduction to the theories, techniques, and clinical applications of counselling children and adolescents with developmental, social, and behavioural challenges while respecting psychosocial diversity. Practical interventions and clinical conceptualization are emphasized while covering methods of establishing rapport, assessment, and developing goals for counselling. The course focus is on working with children and youth in diverse settings and family systems. Opportunities may be available for students to be involved in individual or group therapy with children under direct supervision.

    Pre/Co-requisite(s): CPSY 590 and 510.

  • Year Two

  • CPSY 602 Qualitative Research Methods (3 sem. hrs.)

    Provides an in-depth exploration of all stages of conducting qualitative research, from formulating an appropriate research question to dissemination of findings. A range of qualitative strategies, representing multiple paradigms, will be examined.

    Pre-requisite(s): CPSY 502. Not offered every year.

  • CPSY 603, 604 Thesis I & II (3, 3 sem. hrs.)

    Students are required to complete an M.A. thesis that passes an examiner external to the University with expertise in the area of the thesis. The thesis must be defended orally before an examination committee. Students may complete one of three types of theses. Students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. degree are advised to complete an empirical thesis (1 or 2):

    1. Quantitative Research – Typically involves systematic investigation, and employs quantitative analysis and inferential statistics.
    2. Qualitative or Mixed Methods Research – Includes a variety of qualitative methods in collecting and analyzing data. Typically, the focus is on phenomenological experience.
    3. Theoretical-Integrative Thesis – Requires a critical review of relevant research and the development of an integrative model that attempts to encompass available data and competing theories.
    Students normally choose their area of research with help from the Thesis Co-ordinator and other faculty after their second semester in the program. Visit the program's website at to view some thesis topics.


    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 501, 502, and 518, and permission.

  • CPSY 605 Program Continuation (0 sem. hrs.)

    (a) Students who are completing a thesis are required to register for Continuation for every term subsequent to CPSY 604 until the thesis has been deposited, in addition to any other courses that are being taken. (b) All students are required to enrol in Program Continuation in every term, fall, spring, and summer, during which they are not registered for another required course in their degree program. Students registered in CPSY 695 or CPSY 000 should also register for CPSY 605 Program Continuation in the same term.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY thesis student.

  • CPSY 607 Psychopathology (3 sem. hrs.)

    An overview of current conceptualization, diagnostic assessment, etiology, and treatment of emotional distress. Historical, biological, sociological, neuropsychological, cultural, and psychological theories and processes involved in the ongoing discourse around psychopathology are examined through the use of historical and current research articles, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), case studies in print and media, and guest presentations. In addition, "evidence-based" treatments of the more commonly understood mental illnesses, and the social justice and ethical issues involved in the treatment of emotional distress is a focus of discussion.

    NB: Preference given to 2nd-year CPSY students.

  • CPSY 609 Seminar on Ethical Integration (3 sem. hrs.)

    This course thoroughly examines the laws and ethics that guide practitioners in the field of counselling psychology. Students will be expected to grapple with complex issues that arise when confronted with ethical dilemmas in a variety of professional contexts. Since ethical and legal principles are not the only standards by which counsellors make decisions, students will be challenged to integrate these guidelines with their personal values and spiritual beliefs, as well as clinical judgments and multicultural considerations.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 505, substantial completion of CPSY 691 hours, and 45 sem. hrs. earned in the CPSY program.

  • CPSY 613 Crisis Counselling (3 sem. hrs.)

    Focuses on the theory, interventions, and research relevant to providing crisis management services with people experiencing situational, transitional, and cultural/socio-structural crises. The course, based on a psycho-socio-cultural perspectives, explores the interaction of crises with situational factors, developmental status, family dynamics, ethnicity, and gender. The course involves exploration of interactions between crises and situational factors, developmental levels, family dynamics, ethnicity, and gender, as well as both didactic and skills development components.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 590 & 591; preference given to 2nd-year CPSY students.

  • CPSY 616 Family Systems: Advanced Marriage and Family Therapy (3 sem. hrs.)

    Offers an advanced study of marriage and family therapy, including study of research foundations and skills in current practice of couples and family therapy. Focuses on issues related to marriage and family (e.g., divorce, violence, sexual abuse, addictions, family diversity, etc.) and addresses the formation of the therapist in marriage and family therapy and in human systems. Critically examines post-modern constructivist perspectives and other approaches to marriage and family therapy.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 508 or 593.

  • CPSY 622 - Psychological Assessment and Test Interpretation (3 sem. hrs.)

    Evaluates different approaches to assessment as well as the theoretical, empirical, and practical foundations of psychological assessment. Overviews ethical, legal, and cultural facets of psychological assessment. Students are introduced to selected cognitive and personality/behavioural assessment instruments. The course includes training in administration of widely used intellectual assessment tools (e.g., Wechsler scales), interpretation of test score profiles, and report writing and interpretation. Professional standards and ethical use of standardized assessment tools are emphasized. Multicultural and multilingual issues in assessment are addressed.

    NB: Not offered every year.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 522.

  • CPSY 624 Counselling in Diverse School Settings (3 sem. hrs.)

    Examines the foundations of counselling in various school settings, including elementary and secondary schools, and college counselling, and explores relevant issues and challenges relating to diverse learners, community contexts, and the changing ecology of education in Canada. This skill-building course emphasizes legal and ethical standards of practice and the importance of developing a comprehensive counselling program for students. The class sessions are interactive and experiential, providing opportunities for critical discussion, site visits, and professional consultation.

    NB: Not offered every year.

  • CPSY 630 Advanced Topics in Legal and Ethical Issues (3 sem. hrs.)

    Examination of paradigms and developments in professional ethics. This course builds on the professional ethics training infused throughout the curriculum, including topics in legal issues, family therapy, professional psychology and counselling, consultation, and client advocacy. International developments are addressed in professional mobility and regulations, competency standards, and multicultural contexts of professional standards. Emphasis is placed on fostering student proficiency in navigating licensure requirements and fostering accountability in professional practice.

    NB: Not offered every year.

  • CPSY 633 Addictions Counselling (3 sem. hrs.)

    Current theories and treatments of addictive behaviour are reviewed, and the impact of addiction upon family systems and other relationships is particularly stressed. Content includes reviews of the effects of mood-altering substances on the body, and therapy modalities for both chemical and process addictions. Co-occurring disorders are addressed, and students are introduced to agency settings where addiction treatment is offered.

    NB: Preference given to 2nd-year CPSY students.

  • CPSY 634 Trauma and Sexual Abuse Counselling (3 sem. hrs.)

    A survey of the literature on the assessment and treatment of sexual abuse and sexual assault. Emphasis is placed on psychological assessment and interventions for persons with sexual abuse-related disorders. These include: PTSD, Dissociative Disorders, Somatoform Disorders, Eating Disorders, and Substance Abuse Disorders. Neuropsychology of psychological trauma, along with relational, cultural, and sociological influences will also be discussed.

    NB: Preference given to 2nd-year CPSY students. Not offered every year.

  • CPSY 640 M.A. Non-thesis Comprehensive Exam (MANTCE) (3 sem. hrs.)

    Students are expected to successfully formulate and articulate informed and integrative judgments about a range of ethical and professional practice questions encountered in counselling psychology.

    Prerequisite(s): Completion of at least 51 sem. hrs. in the CPSY program, and permission of the Program Director.

  • CPSY 655 Advanced Special Topics in Counselling Psychology (1, 2, or 3 sem. hrs.)

    An in-depth examination of special topics or issues in counselling psychology.

    NB: Not offered every year.

  • CPSY 660 Advanced Topics in Multicultural Counselling (3 sem. hrs.)

    Exploration of topics such as the significance of culture, migration, social class, race, language, and ethnicity for human health and well-being. This course builds on multicultural counselling and diversity awareness principles infused throughout the master's program. Both theory and interventions for addressing bicultural identity development, advocacy, acculturation stress, and barriers to help-seeking and counselling effectiveness. Critical appropriation of professional literature, competencies models, and intersections with other aspects of diversity are emphasized.

    NB: Preference given to 2nd-year CPSY students. Not offered every year.

  • CPSY 670 Psychopharmacology (3 sem. hrs.)

    An introduction to principles of pharmacology and the use of pharmacological agents for the treatment of psychological and neuropsychiatric conditions. Reviews basic physiological and biological aspects of psychopathology. The course does not prepare a student for the practice of pharmacology, however it does enhance the students' ability to communicate more effectively with physicians and assist them in participating in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary settings.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 607.

    NB: Not offered every year.

  • CPSY 691, 692 Supervised Internship (3, 3 sem. hrs.)

    Students are required to complete a minimum of 600 hours of approved internship, 240 hours of which are in direct service with clients. This provides students with opportunities to refine basic assessment and counselling skills as well as develop specialized areas of interest. The internship is regarded as a summative clinical experience leading to the master's degree in Counselling Psychology. The primary objective of the internship is to provide an opportunity for integration and practice of knowledge and skills in a professional counselling setting. In addition to the on-site requirements for internship, a reading list and a bi-weekly seminar are required to ensure that students are familiar with professional, ethical, and legal issues. Participation in the seminar counts towards the 600 hours required for internship.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 591, 592.

  • CPSY 695 Internship Continuation (0 sem. hrs.)

    Students are required to register for Internship Continuation for every term subsequent to CPSY 691 until 120 direct clinical hours have been completed during internship and have been documented. In addition, students are required to register for Internship Continuation for every term subsequent to CPSY 692 until all required direct clinical hours for the entire program have been completed and documented.

    Prerequisite(s): CPSY 691.

  • Directed Studies

  • CPSY 650, 651 Directed Studies (1, 2, or 3 sem. hrs.)

    For students who want to explore academic areas of special interest not provided in the existing curriculum. These areas must be related to the discipline of Counselling Psychology. Students normally take a maximum of one directed study per semester. A maximum of three directed study courses may be applied to completion of the M.A. degree.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of Program Director and instructor.

  • Leave of Absence

  • CPSY 000 – Leave of Absence (0 sem. hrs.)

    Students who have been granted a leave of absence are required to enrol each semester, fall, spring, and summer for the duration of their leave.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of Program Director

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of Program Director

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This page contains official TWU academic program information.