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Counselling and Spirituality

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The Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University offers programs leading to a graduate diploma in Couple Counselling and Spirituality, and to a Master of Arts (MA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselling and Spirituality, all conferred jointly by the Senates of Saint Paul University and of the University of Ottawa, with which Saint Paul is federated.

The objective of the master’s program is to train specialists to counsel and guide couples or individuals with regard to their values, their spirituality, as well as both their individual and couple dynamics, and to prepare graduates for a career in research.

Each concentration of the MA program (individual counselling; couple and family counselling; spiritual care) includes three components: knowledge acquisition; a research project or thesis; and professional practice.

The MA program is offered in French and in English on a full-time basis, with part-time registration permitted only under exceptional circumstances. In accordance with University of Ottawa regulations, students are permitted to write assignments, exams, and theses in either French or English.

A collaborative program in Women’s Studies at the MA level is also offered.

The programs operate within the framework of the general regulations of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FGPS) of the University of Ottawa, which are posted on the FGPS website. The specific regulations of the programs and the course descriptions are approved by the Senate of both the University of Ottawa and of Saint Paul University.

N.B. Registration for the Master's Program in Counselling and Spirituality - individual, couples or spiritual care is now closed. Please apply for September 2018.

The requirements for admission to the MA in Counselling and Spirituality are the following:

    • an honours bachelor's degree or its equivalent;
    • 12 credits of theology at university level;
    • 48 credits in psychology, sociology, social work, health sciences, theology, or in related fields such as, but not exclusively, animation, social communications, mission sciences or conflict studies.

      Among the 48 credits;
      - at least 18 credits in psychology, and at least another 6 credits which can be in psychology, sociology or social work for the concentration in counselling (individual or couple);
      - at least 12 credits in psychology, at least 6 credits in sociology, and at least another 6 credits which can be in psychology, in sociology or in social work for the concentration in spiritual care;

 

  • Applicants must have a minimum 70 per cent (B) average in the honours bachelor’s degree and the credits mentioned under points 2 and 3 above. The latter credits can be included in the honours bachelor’s degree.

Applicants who lack the necessary qualifications in theology may be admitted to a qualifying year at Saint Paul University. Students wishing to complete this qualifying year at another university are advised to have their course of studies approved by the Faculty of Human Sciences.

The academic record, maturity and motivation of the candidates, as well as their experience in the field of pastoral activity, are additional credentials considered by the admissions committee. Candidates will also be required to pass an interview and write a report describing the interaction that will have taken place during the interview.

Documents required for admission

An official transcript of the applicant's previous university record is required, as well as two letters of recommendation on the official forms provided. Applicants must complete a self-evaluation form and answer a questionnaire giving their reasons and purpose for applying to the program, and list previous work experience in the helping professions.

A recent criminal record check is required to do a practicum in the hospitals for the spiritual care concentration.

Collaborative Program in Women's Studies at the Master's Level

The MA program in Counselling and Spirituality is a participating unit in the collaborative program in Women's Studies at the master’s level. This program has been established for students wishing to enrich their training in Counselling and Spirituality by including an interdisciplinary component in Women's studies. The specific requirements of the collaborative program include two compulsory FEM courses and a thesis on a topic related to Women's studies. One of the FEM courses replaces the elective course for students in the non-thesis option. Students in the thesis option must complete the two FEM courses in addition to the 45 credits required for the MA in Counselling and Spirituality.

For further details, please consult the Women's Studies program on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. 

In accordance with University of Ottawa regulations, students are permitted to write assignments, exams, and theses in either French or English.

Some additional documents, and in some cases specific forms, are required. For more information, please see the page Step 4: Gather the documents needed for the assessment of your application.

The MA program requires successful completion of 39 credits (non-thesis option) or 45 credits (thesis option). These credits are distributed between coursework, practica, and research. The number of practicum credits specified for each concentration is the minimum and some students, depending on their profile may be required to do a greater number. Students are subject to a mid-term and end of term evaluate in their practica. A written report is given to the student, at mid-term and at the end of the term. These reports are also kept in the student's confidential file. The evaluations that are conducted at the end of the second and third terms are particularly significant in assessing the student's capacity for continued participation in the program. The practica must be taken consecutively.

The Concentrations

CONCENTRATION IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING

Compulsory courses (36 credits)

  • IPA5131 METHODOLOGY OF EMPIRICAL RESEARCH (3cr.)
  • IPA5134 PRACTICAL THEOLOGY (3cr.)
  • IPA5144 SPIRITUALITY AND COUNSELLING (3cr.)
  • IPA5146 PROFESSIONAL ISSUES AND ETHICS IN PASTORAL COUNSELLING (3cr.)
  • IPA6108 PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND TREATMENT (3cr.)
  • IPA6120 THEORIES OF INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (3cr.)
  • IPA6156 RESEARCH SEMINAR (3cr.)

Professional practice

  • IPA6135 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY I (Part 1 of 2) (3cr.)
  • IPA6136 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY I (Part 2 of 2) (3cr.)
  • IPA6137 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY II (3cr.)
  • IPA6138 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY III (Part 1 of 2) (3cr.)
  • IPA6139 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY III (Part 2 of 2) (3cr.)

Optional professional practice

  • IPA7128 EXTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM (0cr.)

One elective (3 cr.)

CONCENTRATION IN COUPLE AND FAMILY COUNSELLING

Compulsory courses (39 credits):

  • IPA5131 METHODOLOGY OF EMPIRICAL RESEARCH (3cr.)
  • IPA5134 PRACTICAL THEOLOGY (3cr.)
  • IPA5138 THEORIES OF FAMILY SYSTEMS AND INTERVENTIONS (3cr.)
  • IPA5144 SPIRITUALITY AND COUNSELLING (3cr.)
  • IPA5146 PROFESSIONAL ISSUES AND ETHICS IN PASTORAL COUNSELLING (3cr.)
  • IPA6108 PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND TREATMENT (3cr.)
  • IPA7104 THEORIES OF COUPLE COUNSELLING (3cr.)
  • IPA6156 RESEARCH SEMINAR (3cr.)

Professional practice

  • IPA6135 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY I (Part 1 of 2) (3cr.)
  • IPA6136 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY I (Part 2 of 2) (3cr.)
  • IPA6137 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY II (3cr.)
  • IPA6140 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN COUPLE AND FAMILY COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (Part 1 of 2) (3cr.)
  • IPA6141 INTERNAL CLINICIAL PRACTICUM IN COUPLE AND FAMILY COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (Part 2 of 2) (3cr.)

Optional professional practice

  • IPA7128 EXTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM (0cr.)

CONCENTRATION IN SPIRITUAL CARE

Compulsory courses (36 credits):

  • IPA5131 METHODOLOGY OF EMPIRICAL RESEARCH (3cr.)
  • IPA5134 PRACTICAL THEOLOGY (3cr.)
  • IPA5149 PROFESSIONAL ISSUES AND ETHICS IN SPIRITUAL CARE (3cr.)
  • IPA6120 THEORIES OF INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (3cr.)
  • IPA6152 THEOLOGY AND SPIRITUAL CARE (3cr.)
  • IPA6156 RESEARCH SEMINAR (3cr.)

Professional practice

  • IPA6135 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY I (Part 1 of 2) (3cr.)
  • IPA6136 INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY I (Part 2 of 2) (3cr.)
  • IPA6160 CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION (CPE) PRACTICUM I (4cr.)
  • IPA6161 CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION (CPE) PRACTICUM II (4cr.)
  • IPA7162 CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION (CPE) PRACTICUM III (4cr.)

One elective (3 cr.)

All practica and Clinical Pastoral Education units include supervised work with clients at hospital placements or the Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre at Saint Paul University. Advanced students may be assigned external practica in community settings. 

IPA 5131 - Methodology of Empirical Research

This course helps the students to develop skills for the critical evaluation of empirical research in the human sciences and the application of these skills in graduate research projects and theses. Qualitative and quantitative methods of gathering and validating scientific evidence in observation, case, evaluation, correlational and experimental studies. The formation of problems, structured questions, causal and non-causal hypotheses; operational definitions; dependent, extraneous and randomized variables; the selection of samples. Research ethics will be examined.

IPA 5134 - Practical Theology

This course presents new developments in Practical Theology with its particular interdisciplinary perspectives on faith and practice. The origins and development of Practical Theology are presented as a background to its specific methods and content. Practical Theology is situated within the modern context of theology. The course introduces the pastoral practitioner and the student of theology to theological examination of the components of ministry and of contemporary expressions of faith.

IPA 5138 - Theories of Family Systems and Interventions

This course presents a history of the family systems theories with individuals, couples, and families with a major focus on advanced family systems theories and interventions.Theories covered include Structural, Strategic, Bowen, Narrative, Solution Focused and more. Attention is paid to assessment of functional and dysfunctional family systems. The student/practitioner will learn interviewing, assessment and restructuring techniques, and how to explore family rules, systems, values and boundaries

IPA 5144 - Spirituality and Counselling

This course presents the human experience as the common bond linking theology, counselling and spirituality. A variety of approaches in theology and in counselling will be studied, including: The relationship between the stages of moral (human) development and the images of God, how psychology helps make the difference between an unhealthy theology, and a healthy one, that gives rise to a spirituality enriching us in our growth and development.

IPA 5146 - Professional Issues and Ethics in Counselling

Students are oriented to relevant professional organizations; the need for liability insurance, codes of ethics, professional standards and certification is examined. The course reviews major contemporary issues that surround the practice of pastoral counselling (e.g., confidentiality and its limits, record keeping, informed consent, the legal concerns impacting pastoral counselling) and research. The student is introduced to the processes of ethical reasoning and ethical decision-making. The need for continued training and supervised practice leading to certification will be discussed. Considerable attention is given to the role of informed judgment and peer consultation in resolving ethical dilemmas.

IPA 5149 - Professional Issues and Ethics in Spiritual Care

This course introduces the student to professional issues and ethical concerns which shape and flow from the caring context in health care services. The student is oriented to the process of ethical and professional standards and their implementation. Using case histories and ethical dilemmas the student is guided in dealing with both general and specific professional concerns such as the use of ethical frames of reference in decision making, respect for liberty in the formation of conscience, the need for and the limits of confidentiality, the use of charting research questions in health care, and the impact of teamwork in patient care. The students will also be invited to grapple with specific moral issues such as abortion, euthanasia, life prolongation, and the use of scarce resources.

IPA 6108 - Psychopathology and Treatment

Concepts such as normality and abnormality, and the inter-relationship of perceptual, cognitive and affective dimensions are discussed. Motivational, social, behavioural and inter-personal components of human functioning and reviewed. This course presents the mental disorders, distinguishing the neurotic and psychotic disorders. The neuroses, transient reactions to stress, psychological factors in physical illnesses, personality disorders and affective disorders are treated in depth. Each class of disorders is viewed from the point of view of its etiology, diagnostic indicators, assessment, research and treatment. An explanation of the factors that foster an individual’s invulnerability to stress, trauma, and genetic predispositions is presented. The interplay of stressors, interpersonal and intrapersonal resources, life history and community is emphasized in the etiology and course of the disorders and normal functioning. Disordered functioning is seen as a person’s attempt to come to terms with the demands of living.

IPA 6120 - Theories of Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy

This course provides a brief overview of the history of counselling theory and its orientations and trends. It attends to the nature of theory building and its interconnection to practice and research. It presents, critically in depth, representative theories from the current major orientations (e.g., experiential, cognitive, psychodynamic, behavioural) with a focus on the integration of understanding, assessment and treatment in the counselling process. In the presentation of theories, attention is given to the integration of theory, research and practice. Each theory is discussed with reference to its practical application, effectiveness and limitations. The manner in which one or more of these theories has been applied to pastoral counselling practice and in the development of pastoral counselling models, and in the development of a person’s spiritual and religious life is covered. 

IPA 6135 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY I (Part 1 of 2)

Theoretical study of individual counselling and individual psychotherapy; application of various psychotherapeutic situations, role plays, viewing of audiovisual recordings of experts in the field; effective use of self in counselling and psychotherapy; individual counselling and psychotherapy sessions with clients, including clinical supervision with psychologists or registered psychotherapists, at the Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre of Saint Paul University. Topics include active listening, paraphrasing, reflecting content and emotions, asking open and closed questions, summary, the intake interview, conceptualization of cases and writing reports and distinguishing a suicidal crisis and its appropriate responses, assessment of the client’s needs, personal and religious development, current capabilities, and circumstances of living, evaluation of the client’s emotional patterns, cognitive style, interpersonal patterns, and strategies for living along with ethical principles guiding professional practice. Graded S/NS.

IPA 6136 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY I (Part 2 of 2)

Challenges relating to boundary issues, client resources, psycho-spiritual assessment, relaxation and guided imagery, anxiety, depression, loss and grief, client resistance, self-disclosure, trauma, abuse, anger, diverse and multicultural populations, ending the therapeutic relationship. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite: IPA6135.

IPA 6137 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY II

Deepening of clinical techniques and skills gained through IPA6135 and IPA6136. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite: IPA6136.

IPA 6138 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY III (Part 1 of 2)

Theoretical study of individual counselling and individual psychotherapy; application of various psychotherapeutic situations, role plays, viewing of audiovisual recordings of experts in the field; effective use of self in counselling and psychotherapy; sessions of individual counselling and psychotherapy with clients, including clinical supervision with psychologists or registered psychotherapists, at the Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre of Saint Paul University. Topics to include professional ethics and record keeping, psychological and spiritual coping strategies, psychodynamic of clients, theories of attachment, sexual abuse, transactional analysis, drugs and addictions, conditions of post-traumatic stress. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite: IPA6137.

IPA 6139 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY III (Part 2 of 2)

Mindfulness, search for meaning and transcendence, confidence, anger, shame and guilt, individuation, death and mourning, crisis intervention, diverse and multicultural populations. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite: IPA6138.

IPA 6140 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN COUPLE AND FAMILY COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (Part 1 of 2)

Theoretical study of couple and family therapy, therapy application to various situations and within role plays, and video of various expert intervention modalities, effective use of self in counselling and psychotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy sessions with clients (couples and/or families), including clinical supervision with psychologists or registered psychotherapists, at the Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre of Saint Paul University. Topics include advanced systems theory (EFT (therapy focusing on emotions); psychodynamic (imago; object relations, solution-centred); cognitive behaviour; attachment theory). Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite: IPA6137.

IPA 6141 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN COUPLE AND FAMILY COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (Part 2 of 2)

Advanced Systemic Therapeutic Interventions: commitment and evaluation, use of self, the integration of spirituality, diverse and multicultural populations. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite: IPA6140.

IPA 6152 - Theology and Spiritual Care

This course provides students with a critical theological understanding and means of developing the practice of pastoral ministry in the health care services. It presents an anthropological study of the human experience of health, illness, healing, suffering and dying, and a theological reflection on these in the light of the different Christian traditions. It presents the resources for care: principles of human development, principles of human helping; reflections on pastoral care practice; paradigms for care; skills for interpersonal caring; reflections on rituals used in caring; and insights into personalized religion and spirituality.

IPA 6156 - Research Seminar

IPA 6160 - Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Practicum I

This beginner practicum provides a learning situation whereby students develop personal and professional qualifications for ministry as a chaplain / spiritual care clinician. Students are systematically initiated to the functions and concerns of pastoral care services. Students are trained in the basic skills as they bear on the spiritual, emotional and religious needs of the patients, family and staff. This practicum consists of group activities, placement, written exercises and personal development seminar.

IPA 6161 - Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Practicum II

This practicum continues the experience gained in #1. Students learn more of the functions and concerns of spiritual care services; to the organization of a spiritual care department; to the practices and procedures for the implementation of spiritual care. The following methods encompass this experiential learning: supervised practice of ministry, lectures, seminars and didactics, personal development seminar, verbatim/ virtual visit reporting, individual supervision, and reflection reports.

IPA 7104 - Theories of Couple Counselling

The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the history and nature of theories of couple counselling. This course will introduce the central theories and concepts guiding couple therapy, including attachment, family systems, Emotionally Focused, experiential, and humanistic and the recent research related to couple therapy. There will be a particular focus on the skills, assessment and practice associated with Emotionally Focused therapy. Couple relationships both on the conscious and unconscious levels of functioning are examined and conceptualized.

IPA 7128 - External Clinical Practicum

In this supervised field practicum, the student offers counselling services at a community centre or an agency located outside campus. 

Prerequisite: Obtaining the grade "S" (Satisfactory) to all evaluation items in the course IPA6221.

Corequisites : IPA6321 or IPA7221 ou IPA7205

IPA 7162 - Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Practicum III

Students learn advanced skills in ministry to the sick, their families, as well as other specific settings in keeping with the students learning goals. They perfect and consolidate basic attitudes. Students are responsible for more complex ministry situations such as palliative care and mental health. They are taught to foster team work in a caring community as part of a spiritual care team.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions, Registrar and Student Services
Room 154
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4
CANADA

Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014
admission@ustpaul.ca

Hours of Operation

August 15 to May 31

Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

June 1 to August 14

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.




Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4

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Toll free
1.800.637.6859


613-236-1393

613-782-3005

info@ustpaul.ca

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