Licensed Professional Counselor Courses and Classes Overview

Licensed professional counselor courses typically prepare students for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) certification exam. Read on to learn about the most popular course offerings for those wishing to become licensed professional counselors.

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Essential Information

Courses for aspiring licensed professional counselors can be found at several universities through graduate-level certificate and degree programs in counseling or similar fields. Students wishing to enroll in these programs must typically possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Graduates who go on to earn licensure may work in mental health, addiction or educational settings.

Here are some concepts commonly explored in Licensed Professional Counselor courses:

  • APA ethical guidelines
  • Diversity in counseling
  • Cognitive development
  • Group therapy
  • Psychopathology

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical Pastoral Counseling
  • Community Health Services
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Medical Social Work
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Mental Health Services Technician
  • Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

List of Common Courses

Human Growth and Development Course

This course offers an overview of human development at all stages of life. Students consider physical, emotional and social development. Additional topics might include intellectual growth, aging and prenatal development.

Counseling Theories Course

Students survey several counseling theories, discussing their effectiveness and comparing times and ways to apply them. Course assignments typically assist students in developing a theoretical framework to guide their counseling practices. Discussions address person-centered, cognitive and psychoanalytic therapy. Other topics generally include behavioral, existential and Adlerian therapies.

Abnormal Psychology Course

This class examines the symptoms, causes and treatments of mental disorders. Students rely on the American Psychiatric Association's current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for definitions of mental disorders. Course assignments place particular importance on understanding psychoactive substance use disorders. Topics typically include psychopathology testing, treatment planning and diagnostic interviewing techniques.

Individual and Group Counseling Course

Instructors and students review the techniques and principles used in effective counseling. Assignments explore the differences between counseling a group and an individual. Specific topics often include group dynamics and effective communications skills.

Ethical Principles in Counseling, Assessment and Research Course

This course discusses the legal and ethical duties of counselors, therapists and researchers. Course assignments examine code of ethics formulation, professional responsibilities and legal aspects of counselor and client interactions. Materials highlight the counselor's role in changing a client's high-risk behaviors, intervention effectiveness and privacy guidelines. Additional topics might include identifying issues in practice, applying ethical guidelines and following laws pertaining to addiction therapy.

Research Methods Course

Participants examine behavioral science research methods commonly used in current American practice. They discuss the weaknesses and advantages of experimental methods and quasi-experimental approaches to behavioral science research. Course discussions generally address issues of validity, sensitivity and reliability when critically reviewing research reports.

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