Education | Professional Seminar (Pro-Seminar) in Counseling Psychology
G600 | 5743 | Chalmer Thompson


Overview

The pro-seminar is a two-semester course required of all entering
doctoral students.  In this spring semester, the course provides an
examination of legal, moral, and ethical issues related to the
practice of counseling psychologists.  As counseling psychologists are
trained to fulfill various roles --- as educators, psychotherapists,
test administrators, consultants, and researchers --- adherence to
legal codes and ethical guidelines becomes crucial to professional
development and to the consumers' view of us as influential change
agents.  We will devote this semester to an intensive study of ethical
issues, morality, legal issues, and to ethical decision-making.

In the spirit of creating a climate of collegiality and collaboration,
this course will also continue to address programmatic issues here in
our program at IU and to encourage student input to changes within the
program.

Course Objectives:

1.To learn the Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct and apply this
content to hypothetical and actual case studies.

2.To learn about and practice moral and ethical decision-making
processes.

3.To learn about legal issues related to the practice of psychology

4.To continue to learn about program requirements and contribute to
ongoing changes in the doctoral program, particularly as these have an
impact of ethically sound professional practices

Required Textbooks:

Doherty, W. J. (1995).  Soul searching:  Why psychotherapy must
promote moral responsibility.  New York:  Basic.

Koocher, G. P. & Keith-Spiegel, P. (1998).  Ethics in psychology:
Professional standards and cases, 2nd edition.  New York:  Oxford.


Course Requirements
Students are expected to complete reading assignments each week and to
bring in any comments or questions about these readings during class.
This request to bring in comments or questions is not a requirement of
the course, but, in my estimation, can help guide us through some
rather dense reading material.

In addition to covering valuable information on ethics and legal
issues in counseling psychology specifically and psychology in
general, we also will engage in a great deal of interactive exercises
to focus on moral and ethical decision-making.  I plan to prepare case
scenarios fairly regularly during the semester based on actual
situations, and that reflect some of the real complexities inherent in
making decisions on what to do.  Moreover, I encourage students to
examine not only the ethics related to decision-making, but the moral
implications as well.  I believe this gets left out this type of
instruction too often, leaving students and future professionals
somewhat in the dark when it comes to certain cases.  I think the
readings are quite good for this course, but I also encourage you to
bring in any newspaper or anecdotal accounts of situations that would
make for fruitful classroom discussion.

Fifty percent (50%) of your grade will be based on your participation
in class and the extent to which you are willing to struggle with the
issues.  Hence, your performance in role-plays is perhaps not as
relevant, at least initially, as your ability to struggle with and
work through some of the issues being discussed.  I want you to feel a
great deal of freedom in how you approach the scenarios and role-plays
because I am asking you to do something that I don't think you've ever
been asked to do before.  Rather than articulating a plan in writing
or verbally, I'm asking you also to try working through difficult
dilemmas experientially.  I will provide details about my observation
of your performance at some point midway in the semester (on March
5th) and again at the end of the semester.

The other 50% of your grade will be based on your performance on a
final exam that will resemble the ethics section of the qualifying
examination.  (This idea was presented by one your peers).  This exam
will be given on the final day of class.  I will provide more
information about this exam in the coming weeks.

Grading Procedure

Students will be evaluated on the quality of their work.   A normal
curve will be used (e.g., 90-100 = A;  80-89 = B; 70-79 = C; 60-60 =
D; below 60 = F).


Course Outline and Readings


January 15  Overview of Class
Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct (handout)
Doherty, chapters 1 & 2

January 22  A Meeting with Rex Stockton
Discussion of Doherty reading
A Demonstration of the First Scenario
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, chapter 1 & 2
Doherty, chapter 3-5

January 29  Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-play
Legal Issues in the Practice of Psychology (handouts)
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, chapter 3
Doherty, chapter 6

February 5  Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-play
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, chapters 4 & 5
Doherty, 7, 8, and Postscript

February 12  A Meeting with Transitional Mentors (Peers)
Discussion of readings
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, chapters 6 & 7

February 19  Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-play
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 8-& 9			

February 26  Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-play
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 10 & 11

March 5	First Feedback on Role-plays (provided by me)
Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-Play
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 12 & 13

March 12  SPRING BREAK

March 19  Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-play
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 14 & 15

March 26  Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-play
Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 16 & 17

April 2	Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-Play
Readings:  1996 issue of The Counseling Psychologist on Virtue Ethics
(PDF copies will be made available on-line)

April 9	Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-play
Review of Readings for Final

April 16  Discussion of readings
Presentation of Scenario and Role-play
Review of Readings for Final

April 30  Ethics Exam