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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 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.

Academic regulations.

Admission scholarships.

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% (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.

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.

In accordance with University 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.

Master Requirements

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 ETHICS (3cr.)
  • IPA6108 PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND TREATMENT (3cr.)
  • IPA6120 THEORIES OF INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (3cr.)
  • IPA6155 RESEARCH SEMINAR PREPARATION (0cr.)
  • 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 ETHICS (3cr.)
  • IPA6108 PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND TREATMENT (3cr.)
  • IPA7104 THEORIES OF COUPLE COUNSELLING (3cr.)
  • IPA6155 RESEARCH SEMINAR PREPARATION (0cr.)
  • 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.)
  • IPA6155 RESEARCH SEMINAR PREPARATION (0cr.)
  • 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. 

Thesis Option

To be accepted into the thesis option, students must first be admitted into the MA program and have obtained 9 credits either by completing courses following registration or through advanced standing. They must apply to the faculty research committee, which will reach a decision based on the academic file, the quality of the thesis proposal and the existence of appropriate supervisory arrangements. Students in the thesis option must complete the same program requirements as students in the non-thesis option with two exceptions: they replace IPA 6156 with the thesis and they are exempted from completing the 3 elective credits. 

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 - Spirituality, Counselling and Psychotherapy

Space for reflection, deepening and integration of various perspectives, with particular attention to the spiritual dimension of the practice of psychotherapy, and that of the psychotherapist. Examination of various spiritual paradigms so as to identify certain points of convergence that are useful for understanding the issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, an approach to reflection on practice is proposed, to support and promote the professional development of the psychotherapist and the safe and effective use of self. Presentation of psychospiritual models of intervention for the purpose of providing clinical and practical approaches.

IPA 5138 - Theories of Family Systems and Intervention

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

Introduction to spirituality as an essential dimension of human experience across the lifespan. Key concepts and theories of spiritual development and their relevance to clinical evaluation and treatment from spiritual and psychological perspectives. The different expressions of spirituality, the relationship between stages of moral development and images of the divine and transcendent, and the dialogue between spirituality and psychology. The importance of psychology in discerning between a healthy spirituality, which is enriching for the person and for their integral development, and a spirituality that must be called unhealthy, which eliminates human freedom, autonomy and responsibility.

IPA 5146 - Professional Ethics

Introduction to the major ethical issues in counselling and psychotherapy (e.g., confidentiality and its limits, informed consent, record keeping, multiple roles, conflicts of interest, self-disclosure, power inequalities, respect for professional boundaries, limits of competence) and the laws governing these issues. Exploration of the process of resolving ethical dilemmas and ethical decision-making, as well as the use of supervision, peer consultation and other professional resources. Presentation of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario through its membership process, code of ethics, standards of professional practice, professional obligations (professional insurance, participation in the quality assurance program, continuing education, supervision, mandatory reporting)and disciplinary process. Difference between professional associations and professional orders. Research ethics.

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)

Introduction tobasic trans-theoretical skills, client needs assessment (intake interview), charting, confidentiality and informed consent, and safe and effective use of self. Other topics covered include definitions of counseling and psychotherapy, roles of the psychotherapist, client motivation, phases of psychotherapy, empathy, eye contact, proxemics, paralanguage, silence, listening for verbal and non-verbal messages, closed, open-ended questions, summarizing, paraphrasing, emotional reflections, effectiveness of psychotherapy, problem formulation, goals/objectives, suicide risk assessment and crisis intervention as well as managing boundaries. Includes 6 hours of theoretical and practical learning, applied clinical exercises, as well as 1 to 2 hours of clinical practice (practicum) and 2 to 3 hours of supervision per week. Graded P/F.

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

Consolidation of basic counselling and psychotherapy skills and development of advanced skills. Other topics covered include conceptualization and treatment planning, confrontation, interpretation self-openness and self-commitment, immediacy, resistance, and termination of psychotherapy. In addition, the student learns to welcome, assess, and work with a person presenting with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Humanistic, cognitive-behavioural and existential approaches are emphasized. Other themes: existential and spiritual issues, safe and effective use of self, transference and countertransference, compassion fatigue, multicultural competence, microaggressions.

Includes 6 hours of theoretical and practical learning, applied clinical exercises, as well as 1 to 2 hours of clinical practice (practicum) and 2 to 3 hours of supervision per week. Graded P/F.

Prerequisite: IPA6135.

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

Deepening of clinical techniques and skills in counselling and psychotherapy gained from IPA6135 and IPA6136 through direct clinical contact with clients. Includes an average of 5 hours of practice (practicum) and 2 to 3 hours of supervision per week. Graded P/F.

 

Prerequisite: IPA6136.

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

Continued consolidation of basic counselling / psychotherapy skills learned and development of new advanced skills, delving into clients' emotions and promoting awareness and change in clients. Other topics covered include professional ethics and record keeping, equity, diversity, and inclusion issues in the context of counselling and psychotherapy, video and face-to-face psychotherapy; psychotherapeutic process, advanced case conceptualization (approaches), Gestalt techniques, post-traumatic stress disorder, complex trauma, sexual abuse, gender-based violence, spiritual abuse, safe and effective use of self, self-awareness and self-compassion. Includes 6 hours of theoretical and practical learning, applied clinical exercises, as well as an average of 5 hours of clinical practice (practicum) and 2 to 3 hours of supervision per week. Graded P/F.

 

Prerequisite: IPA6137.

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

Consolidation of advanced skills. Some of the topics covered: psychological and spiritual coping strategies, emotional-spiritual bypassing, trauma and the brain, dissociation, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, the individuation process and human aging, the search for meaning, bereavement, the use of ritual in psychotherapy, anger, preparation for starting a private practice, safe and effective use of the self, self-awareness and self-compassion.  Includes 6 hours of theoretical and practical learning, applied clinical exercises, as well as an average of 5 hours of clinical practice (practicum) and 2 to 3 hours of supervision per week. Graded P/F.

 

Prerequisite: IPA6138.

IPA 6140 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN COUPLE AND FAMILY COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (Part 1 of 4)

Introduction to systemic and relational counselling. Theoretical study of systems theory as applied to individual, couple, and family therapy. Introduction to assessment and conceptualization (attachment, systems, and socio-culturally integrative theories; foundational skills in managing sessions with couples and families). Introduction to relational and systemic counselling and psychotherapy skills using role plays, and video illustrations of structured intervention modalities (Psychoeducation, Emotionally Focused, Solution Focused, Cognitive Behavioural). Applied practice through work with clients under clinical supervision with registered psychotherapists, at the Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre of Saint Paul University. Graded P/F.

IPA 6141 - INTERNAL CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN COUPLE AND FAMILY COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (Part 2 of 4)

Deepening of clinical techniques and skills gained in IPA6140 through work with clients under clinical supervision with registered psychotherapists at the Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre of Saint Paul University. Graded P/F.

 

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 6155 - RESEARCH SEMINAR PREPARATION

Group and individual meetings allow students to write a work plan and begin the research process.

The course is evaluated “Satisfactory” or “Not satisfactory”.

IPA 6156 - Research Seminar

Students are responsible for choosing a theme and obtaining approval from the research seminar’s director. The chosen theme must correspond to the students’ research interest, the thesis director’s areas of expertise or another professor who will collaboratively play the advisory role overseeing the development of the research project.

Prerequisite: IPA6155 RESEARCH SEMINAR PREPARATION.

IPA 6160 - Clinical Psycho-Spiritual Education (CPSE) Practicum I (6u)

This practicum/course provides a learning situation whereby students develop personal and professional qualifications for clinical work as a Psycho-Spiritual Care Practitioner. Students learn about the functions and concerns of psycho-spiritual care services. Students are trained in skills as they bear on the emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and religious needs of the patients, family and staff. This practicum consists of theoretical teaching about assessment, clinical intervention and topics related to the clinical context, group activities, placement, written exercises and personal development seminar.

IPA 6161 - Clinical Psycho-Spiritual Education (CPSE) II (6u)

Students learn more of the functions and concerns of psycho-spiritual care services; to the organization of a psycho-spiritual care department; to the practices and procedures for the implementation of psycho-spiritual care. The following methods encompass this experiential learning: supervised practice of clinical work, lectures, seminars and didactics, personal development seminar, verbatim/ virtual visit reporting, role plays, individual supervision, and reflection reports.

Prerequisite: IPA6160.

 

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. Graded P/F.

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

Corequisites : IPA6321 or IPA7221 ou IPA7205

IPA 7162 - Clinical Psycho-Spiritual Education (CPSE) III (6u)

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

Prerequisite: IPA6161.

 

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Office of the Associate Vice-Rector, Strategic Enrolment Management
Room 148
Saint Paul University
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K1S 1C4
CANADA

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Saint Paul University

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K1S 1C4

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