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Couple Counselling and Spirituality

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The Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University offers a graduate program leading to a Graduate Diploma in Couple Counselling and Spirituality. This diploma is conferred jointly by the Senates of Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa under the terms of the federation agreement between them.

Professionals who seek to update their credentials and skills in the area of couple therapy, by completing the Diploma, will have met the requirements, in the area of theory and therapy, of the marriage and family courses required towards certification by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT). AAMFT Clinical Membership pre-requisites include three master’s courses in MFT theory and three courses in MFT training.

This program is intended for professionals who are already experienced counselors and who would like to specialize in couple counselling.

Academic regulations.

Admission scholarships.

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree with honours or with a major in a related discipline such as counselling, spirituality, practical theology, health care, psychology, social work, pastoral studies or a discipline judged equivalent to these;
  • Completion of 24 credits in total in psychology and sociology;
  • Completion of 6 credits in theology or religious studies or a discipline deemed equivalent*;
  • Completion of a counselling training with clinical experience (a minimum of 120 hours of supervised direct, face-to-face, contact with clients);
  • An average of at least 70% (B).

A maximum of three credits in equivalencies or advanced standing may be granted. To be eligible, the credits in question must not have counted towards the requirements of a previous diploma or degree. Candidates who have already successfully completed some of the compulsory credits may be allowed to replace those credits with elective credits.

Students registered in the graduate diploma program can request to transfer to the MA in Counselling and Spirituality.

*Students wishing to pursue their studies in counselling and spirituality at the master's level must complete an additional 6 credits in theology, religious studies or a discipline deemed equivalent (for a total of 12 credits) prior to submitting their application for admission to the master's.

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.

Graduate Diploma Requirements (18 credits)

Core Courses (12 cr.):
IPA5138 THEORIES OF FAMILY SYSTEMS AND INTERVENTION (3cr.)
IPA5144 SPIRITUALITY AND COUNSELLING (3cr.)
IPA6312 COUPLES, FAMILY DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH (3cr.)
IPA7104 THEORIES OF COUPLE COUNSELLING (3cr.)

Optional Courses (6 cr.) from the following:
IPA5129 GROUP DYNAMICS AND COUNSELLING (3cr.)
IPA5134 PRACTICAL THEOLOGY (3cr.)
IPA5142 WORKING WITH TRAUMA AND VIOLENCE IN COUPLES AND FAMILIES (3cr.)
IPA5161 UNDERSTANDING THE TRAUMA OF SEXUAL ABUSE (3cr.)
IPA6130 COUPLES, FAMILIES AND ADDICTIONS (3cr.)
IPA7102 PHENOMENOLOGY OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS IN LOVE AND MARRIAGE (3cr.)
IPA7109 SURVEY OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION AND TREATMENT (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.)

IPA 5129 - Group Dynamics and Counselling

This course introduces theories, principles and practices in group therapy designed to help prepare future professionals to work with people in various settings. Group processes are covered through interactive discussions, small group participation, role plays, and other observations.

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 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 5142 - Working with Trauma and Violence in Couples and Families

The goal of this course is to provide a conceptual framework, including theory, research and interventions that will enable the students to understand and treat trauma and violence in couples and family relationships. The course will present an attachment perspective and research on trauma and outline advanced family systems therapeutic assessments and interventions for trauma survivors and their families.

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 5161 - Understanding the Trauma of Sexual Abuse

The goal of this course is to present an overview of the theory, research, clinical and treatment issues related to trauma and childhood sexual abuse. This course will introduce the theories of trauma from a family systems perspective. Effects of sexual abuse in terms of developmental issues over the life span, associated symptomatology of sexual abuse and trauma, and related clinical issues and practices.

IPA 6130 - Couples, Families and Addictions

The goal of this course is to present an in depth examination of the specific characteristics, dynamics and best therapeutic practices in working with individual, couples and families affected by chronic addiction. It will focus on the challenges faced by professionals working with the addicted person or family and will teach ways to overcome those challenges. It will offer information regarding recovery issues and will provide students with systemic therapy interventions and resources for their work with this population.

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 6312 - Couples, Family Development and Growth

Introduction to the psychology of individuals, couple and family development and growth and provided knowledge of personality development over the life span. This course will review attachment over the life span, the stages of development from childhood to adulthood, and corresponding changes in family roles, as well as advanced therapeutic interventions.

IPA 7102 - Phenomenology of the Human Relationship in Love and Marriage

This course examines the representation, practices, and issues of love and relationships. These issues will be examined through various systems theories, and then brought into everyday applied practice for counselors. The course will present aspects of love in committed relationships, review the literature and psychology theory on these aspects, and work with doing applied therapy on these aspects.

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 7109 - Survey of Sexual Dysfunction and Treatment

The purpose of this course is to present the history and development of dysfunctions in the field of human sexuality and to survey various treatments for couples. This course will examine the human development of sexual expressions in their male and female dysfunctions; the biological and psychological determinants; sexual dysfunction and marital interaction and sexual assessment and applied treatment within individual; and couple therapy.

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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