Elective Study

A student listens to a lectureWestern Michigan University's Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology provides graduate students with many elective options that may complement a chosen area of study. Students from any of the master’s degree programs—counselor education (college counseling; clinical mental health counseling; marriage, couple, and family counseling; or school counseling); counseling psychology; marriage, couple, and family; or rehabilitation counseling and teaching—or doctoral programs—counselor education or counseling psychology—in CECP may supplement their degree program with an elective course or series of elective courses that may help fulfill career objectives. Elective areas of study should be chosen carefully with the consent of one’s advisor.

Students may select, with advisor approval, among three options for elective study in an area of interest, including those elective areas below.

  1. Limited elective course work: Students may take a course or two to explore an area.
  2. Concentrated elective study: Students may take a collection of courses to gain more in-depth understanding and knowledge of a particular area.
  3. Elective study to meet academic requirements for a specific professional credential (e.g., Holistic Health Care Certificate, SPADA Certificate/Certified Addictions Counselor, License as a Marriage and Family Therapist): Consultation with an identified advisor in the particular area of interest is recommended to ensure compliance with current requirements. Programs in holistic health and specialty programs in alcohol and drug abuse are offered through the College of Health and Human Services. Students who desire the SPADA Certificate or Holistic Health Certificate must formally apply to the respective program and meet with an advisor from SPADA or holistic health. 

The following list of elective options, while not exhaustive, is an abbreviated list of courses in areas of potential interest to CECP students.

Marriage, couple and family counseling

Advisors: Dr. Alan Hovestadt

  • CECP 6610: Foundations of Systemic Family Therapy
  • CECP 6620: Couple Interaction and Therapy
  • CECP 6630: Family Interaction and Therapy
  • CECP 6640: Advanced Family Therapy
  • CECP 6650: Sex Therapy
  • FCS   5680: Gender, Culture and Families
  • FCS   6520: Family Life Education
  • FCS   6550: Adult/Child Relationships
  • FCS   6600: Studies in Family Relationships

Elective study in CECP

Holistic health

Advisor: Jan Dekker

  • HOL 5310: Intro. to Holistic Health
  • HOL 6500: Seminar in Holistic Methods  
  • HOL 5500: Intro. to Holism and Expressive Arts 
  • HOL 5510: Holistic Approaches to Healing Through Visual Art
  • HOL 5530: Holistic Strategies for Illness and End of Life  
  • HOL 5350: Holistic Approaches to Stress
  • HOL 5550: Successful Aging: Holistic Perspective
  • HOL 5300: Special Topics in Holistic Health            
  • HOL 5370: Health and Humor
  • HOL 5340: Holistic Health and Spirituality

Specialty programs in alcohol and drug abuse

Advisor: Dr. Dennis Simpson

  • ADA 6060 or *CECP 6340 or SWRK 6530: Causes of Substance Abuse 
  • ADA 6110: Physical Aspects of Addictive Drugs
  • ADA 6115: Applied Neuropsychopharmacology of Addictive Drugs
  • ADA 6330: Special Populations in Addiction
  • ADA 6340 or *CECP 6360 or SWRK 6550: Recovery Oriented Systems of Care
  • ADA 6700: Professional Field Practicum

* Clinical Mental Health Counseling students in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology are required to complete these two courses.

In addition to the above courses, students must take one of the following courses:

  • ADA 6400: Co-Occurring Disorders and Addictions
  • ADA 6410: Addiction in Family Systems
  • ADA 6420: Clinical Supervision of Addiction Services