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"Degrees & Programs"


Personality Theories and Counseling Models




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Course level: Graduate

This course enables students to differentiate among the primary theoretical models of personality theory and counseling practice, including psychodynamic, affective, cognitive behavioral, humanistic, interpersonal, multicultural, and systems theory. A focus on evidence-based practices that incorporate cultural diversity issues with population- specific approaches is significant feature of this course. Emphasis is on the importance of students recognizing belief systems that accurately reflect their own personal style and to recognize strategies and approaches likely to be most successful with a particular client population. Students have opportunities to establish a strong theoretical foundation as the basis of clinical practice and to evaluate and assess clinical situations for implementation of therapeutic interventions that are gender and culturally appropriate. Assessment and intervention for emergency/crisis is introduced. Students residing in Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Nevada and individuals who live outside the United States are not eligible to enroll in this course.


  • This graduate level course requires proof of completion of a graduate degree in counseling or related field (e.g. Psychology, school counseling, school psychology, gerontology counseling, rehabilitative counseling).

What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Week 1

  • Describe the history and philosophy of the counseling profession.
  • Discuss the basic construct of personality as a foundation for counseling theories and counseling models.
  • Explain the importance of following a theoretical orientation in counseling.
  • Describe common ethical issues in the counseling profession.

Week 2

  • Describe the major principles of psychoanalytic theory and its contributors.
  • Explain the major concepts of Adlerian theory and their application to counseling.
  • Demonstrate understanding of appropriate counseling strategies of psychoanalytic and Adlerian counseling models.

Week 3

  • Describe the existential approach to counseling.
  • Explain the application of the major concepts of person-centered theory to counseling.
  • Describe the major concepts of Gestalt theory.
  • Demonstrate understanding of appropriate counseling strategies of existential, person-centered, and Gestalt counseling models.

Week 4

  • Describe the major concepts of behavioral theory and their application to counseling.
  • Analyze the major concepts of cognitive–behavioral theory.
  • Explain choice theory and the reality therapy approach to counseling.
  • Compare the cognitive behavioral approaches to counseling.

Week 5

  • Describe the application of the major principles of feminist theory to counseling.
  • Explain the main concepts of constructive theory.

Week 6

  • Describe the major principles of family systems counseling models.
  • Explain the importance of culturally competent counseling.
  • Describe the major principles of multicultural counseling.

Week 7

  • Describe the effect of new generation therapies on the field of counseling.

Week 8

  • Evaluate theoretical assumptions and major differences in counseling approaches.
  • Justify a personal theoretical alignment.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Call (844) 937-8679

Transfer Credits

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer

Need to transfer credits to another college or university?

Before you enroll in a course, check with your school of choice to make sure they will accept our transfer credits and to understand any requirements or limitations. Then you can complete your course, and request your official transcript be sent to your school. That’s it!

How to request your transcripts