Help others heal.
Do you want to learn more about the mind, how it works, and how you can help others while also pursuing a meaningful career? Our Psychology & Counseling degree is well-suited for those interested in working in case management, advocacy, community organizing, human service delivery, social justice work within human services, or related policy work. All of these fields are deeply entrenched in the principle of doing good to help others, a rewarding and equitable ambition. Focus on these aspirations to develop your dedication into a gratifying career.
This degree is offered by AU Seattle.
The Psychology and Counseling concentration is well-suited for those interested in working in case management, advocacy, community organizing, human service delivery, social justice work within human services, or related policy work. This concentration is also designed to prepare you for graduate studies in psychology, for those wanting to pursue clinical careers.
Viable employment options for students completing this area of concentration include work within non-profit organizations that address such needs as homeless youth and/or adults, people with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, or within city, county, or state (DSHS) human services departments.
Students with interdisciplinary interests in areas such as art and psychology (art therapy), drama and psychology (drama therapy), writing and psychology, or psychology intersecting with spiritual studies might pursue this concentration.
A Psychology and Counseling concentration requires a minimum of 45 credits. Students take at least one class in each of the six areas of learning listed below. Electives, at least 2 credits of internship/field-based learning and a senior synthesis project round out the concentration.
1. Personality Theory
This course explores the major Western and Eastern personality theories and theorists within their cultural and historical contexts in order to provide students with a broader understanding of the evolution of ideas concerning human nature. Attention is paid to the interaction of the individual with the social milieu, the cultural biases within theory, and the effect of personal history on theoretical claims. Antioch’s course that meets this requirement is:
- Theories of Personality
2. Abnormal Psychology
This course is designed to introduce students to the theories and concepts of human behavior, as understood in the field of psychology. Topics include: defining abnormal behavior; understanding the historical context; reviewing psychological models and forms of assessment; delineating the major categories of abnormal behavior; treatment interventions; and social, cultural, ethical and legal issues related to this area of study. Antioch’s course that meets this requirement is:
- Abnormal Psychology
3. Developmental Perspectives
A course meeting this requirement offers a broad perspective of human development across the lifespan, encompassing historical and theoretical views of developmental tasks from birth to death. Upon a backdrop of physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of development, this course examines development and the effect of subjectivity on the individual’s lived-experience throughout life. The primary objective is to provide students with an awareness of what the lived experience of any individual at different ages might be, with the aim of increasing empathy. Most students address this area by taking:
- Life Span Development
4. Counseling Skills
A course in this area provides students an opportunity to explore the counseling role with its unique implications and broad-based value across a wide variety of personal and professional disciplines. Students develop an understanding of the stages of the counseling relationship and gain insight into their own strengths, weaknesses, and desires as a “helper” and/or as a helping professional. Students work with the basic building blocks of the counseling/helper role small group role-playing and feedback. Students also witness role-playing with several professional counselor/therapists of varied disciplines. Issues related to counseling people from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures and belief systems will be addressed, as well as ethical issues and standards. The course is designed for students considering a vocation in the helping professions, as well as those just wanting to increase listening and communication skills. The typical course taken to meet this requirement is:
- Counseling Role
5. Literature of the Human Experience
A course meeting this requirement explores the value of the literary lens in contributing to students’ understanding of the human experience. Dimensions of human experience such as culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and social class are explored through literature. Courses should address questions such as what is the relationship between literature and psychology? What is the value of literary analysis? How can poetry, memoir, the novel, and short fiction enhance the student’s understanding of the human experience? Sample qualifying classes include:
- Border Crossing: A Multicultural Journey Through Film and Literature
- The American Family in Literature and Film
- Gender, Danger and Desire
- Literature of the Wounded Healer
- LGBTQ Literature
6. Social Science Research
A class in this area provides the student with an undergraduate foundation in social sciences research methodology and helps prepare students for graduate level study. The selected course should provide the student with an understanding of the value, methodology, history, and critiques of social sciences research with attention to both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. An opportunity to conduct some kind of social sciences research project would be an additional component of the selected course. Typical courses that meet this requirement:
- Social Sciences Research
Sample Antioch Electives:
- Women and Mental Health
- Case Management
- Food, Health & Mental Health
- Transpersonal Psychology
- Jungian Psychology
- Children and Social Policy
- Grassroots Social Movements
- Intercultural Communications
- Sample Transfer Electives
Sample Transfer Electives:
- Social Psychology
- Psychology in the Workplace
- LGBTQ Studies
Sample Community/Field-Based Learning Experiences:
- Volunteer with families in need at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- Service learning project at Lambert House, which serves gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth
- Counseling internship with a mental health agency
Sample Synthesis Projects:
- Advocacy project working for human rights for those with mental illness
- Review of the research on the application of Dialectical Behavior Therapy to female adolescents with substance abuse problems
- Oral history project with family members examining the role of depression in three generations of women’s lives
For detailed curriculum, degree requirements, and course descriptions, please visit the AUS catalog
The goal of the Psychology and Counseling concentration is to prepare students for both graduate study in psychology or social work and/or work in the field, with the ultimate goal of working as case management, advocacy or counseling professionals.
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