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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater
courses

Courses

For questions please contact:

Tom Knowles-Bagwell, D.Min., L.C.P.T., C.S.A.T.
Associate Program Director
Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology & Counseling
tom.bagwell@belmont.edu

COURSES

CTM 5011 Foundations of Clinical Practice: This course is an advanced survey of the practice of clinical psychotherapy.  The purpose of the course is to orient students to the contemporary field of clinical psychotherapy and prepare them to engage in direct clinical care of persons. The course will explore the roots of contemporary psychotherapy in the Western cure of souls tradition. Also, students will be exposed to a range of psychological and theological resources applicable in the clinical encounter. These resources will include understandings of what it means to be human, theories of human development and the dynamics of relational systems, the diagnosis of mental and relational dysfunction, and approaches to clinical intervention and treatment. This will all occur in the context of understanding the formation of the professional self of the psychotherapist.

CTM 5012 Theories of Personality: An advanced survey of contemporary personality theory. Attention will be given to the historical development and key theorists in the area of personality studies. Examples of theories to be covered include psychoanalytic, behavioral, Jungian, interpersonal, transpersonal, etc. Attention will also be given to the ways in which a clinician’s theory of personality impacts case formulation and treatment selection.

CTM 5013 Christian Perspectives on Psychopathology & Human Suffering: This course is an introductory survey of the phenomenon of psychopathology from the perspective of a Christian theological world view. What are the various forms psychopathology takes and how are they accounted for from a contemporary scientific perspective? How is this “soul suffering” accounted for from a spiritual/religious world view? How can this form of human suffering be addressed and/or ameliorated? These questions will be explored both historically as well as cross culturally.

CTM 5014 Diagnosis & Treatment of Mental Disorders: This course is an introduction to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM shall be understood in the historical context of the “cure of souls” tradition. Students will explore the history, development and current iteration of the APA’s diagnostic system. Students will also correlate the process of diagnosis with the development of treatment plans.

CTM 5015 Spirituality & Theories of Human Development: This course is an exploration of the nature of spiritual/religious experience across the life-cycle. Students will be introduced to a variety of theories of human development and the interface of those theories with the shape of moral, religious and spiritual experience at various points of the life-cycle. The course will explore the relationship between biological and environmental influences on the structuring of character and personality and how this influences the formation of individual, family and group spirituality.

CTM 5016 Diversity & Social Justice in the Clinical Encounter: This seminar explores ways of understanding the cultural context of relationships and institutions as they contribute to complex social identities in individuals and disclose the necessity of analytical and clinical skills for addressing an increasingly complex society. The range of issues to be explored includes: race, ethnicity, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, cognitive and physical characteristics, and religion.

CTM 5017 Christian Ethics in the Clinical Encounter: This course is an exploration of the moral dimensions of, and the ethical and professional issues relevant to, clinical mental health practice. Codes of professional ethics and state laws pertaining to the practice of professional counseling, marriage & family therapy, and clinical pastoral therapy will be examined. Through the use of case studies, students will explore the complex moral and ethical dynamics that emerge in the course of clinical practice.

CTM 5018Theories & Methods of Psychotherapy Research: This course seeks to introduce students to the process of research both through and about psychotherapy. Students will explore the history of research about psychotherapy and how this research can inform the formation and maintenance of caring relationships. Students will also be introduced to processes through which the actual practice of psychotherapy may be the source of new knowledge for and about the discipline. Ethical guidelines for research in psychotherapy will be addressed.

CTM 5110 Aging in the Family & Society: This course is an exploration of the meaning and process of aging in our society. The course will look at the physical processes of aging, the meaning of aging in/for families, communities and society. Of particular interest will be the ways in which aging affects mental and emotional health, relational functioning and the spiritual life.

CTM 5120 Diagnosis & Treatment of Addictions: This course is an exploration of the nature of addiction as a human phenomenon, its diagnosis and treatment in clinical practice. Students will be introduces to contemporary theories regarding the nature and origin of addiction in general. Students will also be introduced to the range of ways in which addiction is manifest, including substance addictions such as drugs and alcohol as well as process addictions such as gambling, food, sex or work. The course will also explore the ways in which addictions are being treated, including 12-step approaches, residential treatments, psychoanalytic approaches as well as newer cognitive-behavioral approaches.

CTM 5130 Family Therapy: Skills & Practice: This course is a study of the practice of family therapy. Students will be introduced to the various aspects of clinical practice including diagnosis and treatment through the lens of family systems theory. Schools of family therapy such as strategic, structural, Bowenian, etc. will be reviewed. Ethical issues of family therapy will be reviewed.

CTM 5140 History & Theology of Marriage & the Family: This course is an historical survey of marriage and family life in theological perspective. The course will be particularly concerned with the historical development of these social institutions in the Western tradition. Students will explore from a critical theological perspective the relationship between the development of culture and the transformation of the institutions of marriage and family.  The intent of the course is to aid the student in understanding the historical and cultural dynamics that have contributed to the current state of marriage and family life.

CTM 5150 Marital & Couples Therapy: This course is an introduction to the practice of marital or couple therapy. Students will explore contemporary approaches to the practice of couple therapy. What is the etiology and symptomatology of marital dysfunction from the perspective of these different theories and how are these addressed? 

CTM 5160 Psychological & Theological Perspectives on Human Sexuality: Sexuality is a dimension of human existence that is inescapable. As human beings we do not merely act sexually, rather, we are sexual as living beings. This course will seek to explore this dimension of human existence through the lenses of both psychology and theology. Students will be exposed to the historical understandings of human sexuality that we have inherited from our traditions as well as contemporary scientific and theological understandings. 

CTM 5170 Vocational Discernment and Counseling: This course is a study of the nature and theological meaning of vocation in human life with a particular emphasis on discernment and guidance in the discovery and disclosure of one’s vocation and career development. Students will be exposed to methods and tools used in assessing interests and strengths. Discernment as a process of normal life development, job loss, mid-life transition, etc. will be explored. 

CTM 5210 Group Dynamics & Therapy: This course is an advanced introduction to the theory and practice of group psychotherapy. Students will explore the types of psychotherapy groups from on-going open process groups to time-limited psychoeducational groups. The course will cover aspects of selection of candidates for group therapy, framework for group process, development of group dynamics, disruption in groups and termination from group therapy. 

CTM 5220 Therapy with Children & Adolescents: This course is a survey of the issues and techniques specific to clinical psychotherapeutic work with children and adolescents. Disorders of focus in clinical work with children and adolescents will be explored as well as approaches to treatment. Techniques for assessment specifically designed for work with children, management and use of family in treatment will be explored. How does treatment need to be designed so as to match the developmental resources and strengths of children and adolescents? Special ethical considerations in working with children and adolescents will be explored.

CTM 5410 Family Systems Theory: This course is an introduction to family systems theory. Students will be exposed to the history and current range of family systems theories. The course will also explore normal family functioning as a basis for understanding family dysfunction. The family life-cycle, diversity of family forms and styles, contemporary social issues relating to family life, the role of spirituality, etc, will be explored.

CTM 5510 Clinical Hermeneutics & the Healing Dialogue in Psychotherapy: This is an advanced course in the practice of psychotherapy. Its focus is on utilizing the clinical encounter between therapist and client(s) to facilitate healing through empathetic and ethical engagement. The course will seek to introduce students to the philosophical work of persons such as Buber, Gadamer, Ricouer and Levinas and aid in the integration of their thought into the theory and practice of psychotherapy.

CTM 5520 Diagnosis & Treatment of Personality Disorders: This course is an introduction to the diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders. Students will be introduced to models based on the phenomenological approach of the DSM V and a contemporary psychoanalytic approach. Students will be expected to draw upon their own clinical experience in understanding the diagnosis and treatment approaches.

CTM 5530 History of the Cure of Souls Tradition: This course is an historical introduction to the care of souls tradition in Western Christianity. Students will explore the role of pastoral care in the early church, the patristic period, the Medieval church, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Modern and contemporary periods. Particular attention will be paid to how the human predicament is formulated and prescriptions for its amelioration, what we currently refer to as “diagnosis and treatment.” The theological rationale for these formulations will also be explored.

CTM 5540 Pastoral Theological Method: This course introduces students to various theological methods that are useful in the integrative discipline of pastoral counseling. Students will explore the historical and theological foundations for the ministry of pastoral counseling, its grounding in congregational and specialized ministry, and its critical relationship to behavioral and other sciences. The course will frame the approach to methodological issues historically, allowing students to locate various methods in relating to the long history of this discipline including contemporary and intercultural contexts. Methods for critical reflection and decision-making will be presented and implemented through case studies and examination of problems and procedures in counseling.

CTM 5550 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy. The course will review the historical development of psychoanalytic/psychodynamic theory from Freud through self-psychology and psychoanalytic intersubjectivity theory. The focus of the course will be on the actual practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy and cover subjects such as assessment and diagnosis, establishing a framework, developing a therapeutic alliance, interventions and interpretations, working with transference and countertransference, and termination. 

CTM 5560 Biblical Hermeneutics & Pastoral Care: An introductory survey of the practice of biblical interpretation for specialists in pastoral care and counseling. The course will explore the range of interpretive practices from the Allegorical to the Halakic to Historical Critical Method to Literary and Social Scientific Methods. Students will be exposed to the breadth of the literature of ancient Israel and the early church. Throughout, students will seek to gain an understanding of how the biblical literature and its interpretation may inform and be used in the process of pastoral care and counseling.

CTM 5570 Human Transformation & Change in the Bible: This course is an exploration of the implicit and explicit theories of human transformation and change in the literature of ancient Israel and the early Christian community. Students will explore biblical understandings on the nature of human being and the presence of suffering and evil. Theories of transformation and change from the Pentateuch to the Deuteronomist to the prophets to the apocalyptic literature to the gospels and early Christian literature will be explored. 

CTM 6010 Practicum in Mental Health Counseling: The practicum is an introductory exposure to the setting of clinical mental health counseling. Students will participate in counseling related activities such as staff meetings, case conferences, record keeping, individual clinical supervision as well as direct client contact in assessment, co-counseling and counseling activities. Students will also participate in a weekly group supervision session under the leadership of program faculty.

CTM 6110 Internship in Mental Health Counseling I: The internship is a more intense exposure to and engagement in the setting of clinical mental health counseling. Students will participate in counseling related activities such as staff meetings, case conferences, record keeping, individual clinical supervision as well as direct client contact in assessment, co-counseling and counseling activities. Students will also participate in a weekly group supervision session under the leadership of program faculty. Students are expected to work approximately 20 hours per week in the clinical setting.

CTM 6210 Internship in Mental Health Counseling II: A continuation of Internship in Mental Health Counseling; I. Exposure to and engagement in the setting of clinical mental health counseling. Students will participate in counseling related activities such as staff meetings, case conferences, record keeping, individual clinical supervision as well as direct client contact in assessment, co-counseling and counseling activities. Students will also participate in a weekly group supervision session under the leadership of program faculty. Students are expected to work approximately 20 hours per week in the clinical setting.