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Online · School of Behavioral Sciences · Community Care and Counseling

Marriage Counseling
EDCO-811

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

An in-depth examination and discussion of the major assessment and treatment approaches utilized in marriage and family counseling. Emphasis is placed on the development of practical skills and intervention techniques.

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

There has never been a more dramatic redefinition of marriage and the family than we are currently experiencing today. With high divorce rates and an increasing number of broken homes, marriages today are under spiritual and cultural attack. The 21st century has brought with it a host of challenges fighting for the heart of the traditional family. Yet, research consistently shows that a committed marriage is the foundation for a stable family system. It is therefore critical for counselors, pastors, and marriage and family champions to learn the models, skills, and techniques necessary for helping couples cultivate and maintain healthy marital relationships.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Incorporate advanced marriage counseling skills and interventions that are informed by Christian leadership, biblical principles, and relevant empirical research.
  2. Demonstrate appropriate awareness, sensitivity, and cultural competency related to the unique backgrounds of various couples, including faith traditions, spirituality, ethnicity, gender issues, sexuality, and value systems.
  3. Synthesize the diversity of approaches to marriage counseling by describing its major theories and practices and their primary developers and proponents.
  4. Analyze and discuss the merits and limitations of marriage counseling models and methods, and examine them from a theological perspective.
  5. Articulate the family life cycle and developmental changes that impact couples, including lifespan stages, crisis points, healthy and dysfunctional characteristics, and communication and interaction patterns.
  6. Apply appropriate methods, theoretical constructs, effective interventions and biblical principles to couples facing separation, divorce, re marriage and blended family systems.
  7. Evaluate contemporary topics and issues pertinent to marriage counseling by discussing current research in the field, identifying and addressing the influence of cultural heritage, and articulating any related ethical and professional factors.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Current ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Eggerichs, E. (2004). Love and respect. Grand Rapids, MI: Thomas Nelson. ISBN: 9781591451877.

Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., & Synder, D. K. (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: The Guildford Press. ISBN: 9781462513925.

Thomas, G. (2015). Sacred marriage: What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. ISBN: 9780310337379.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resources

Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (1999). Boundaries in marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. ISBN: 9780310243144.

House, H. W. (Ed.). (1990). Divorce and remarriage: Four Christian views. Grand Rapids, MI: Intervarsity Press Academic. ISBN: 9780830812837.

McGoldrick, M., Giordano, J., & Garcia-Preto, N. (2005). Ethnicity and family therapy (3rd. ed.). New York: The Guilford Press. ISBN: 9781593850203.

Sells, J., & Yarhouse., M. (2011). Counseling couples in conflict: A relational restoration model. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. ISBN: 9780830839254.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Office

Course Assignments

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 500 words based on the module/week’s Reading & Study material and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 350 words.

Research Paper

Research Paper Topic

The student will submit a topic with a 200-word rationale, including at least 5 cited sources, detailing why the topic he/she chose is relevant to marital counseling.

Research Paper Outline

The student will submit an outline in current APA format to include at least 10 sources.

Research Paper Final

The student will write a 15-page research paper on 1 of several provided marital topics. Five sources must come from peer-reviewed research/journal articles. The paper must integrate biblical, as well as theoretical/clinical, counseling principles; include a title page, abstract, and reference pages (not included in the 15 page requirement); use current APA format; and have at least 10 references from current sources (5 must come from peer-reviewed research/journal articles).

Marriage Therapist Interview and Summary

The student will conduct an interview with a licensed marriage therapist/mental health professional, synthesize the interview, and submit a 4-page summary (not including Title Page or References) in current APA format. There are no required references for this assignment; however, any citations listed must be on a separate reference page and in current APA format.

Case Study and Management Analyses (2)

The student will read 2 provided case studies and write a detailed summary utilizing the format and structure found in the Case Study and Management Analysis Form. Each Case Study and Management Analysis must be 5 pages (not including Title Page or References); have at least 5 references from current sources; be written in current APA format; and have at least 2 pages devoted to the integration of the selected theoretical model.

Exams (4)

The student will complete 4 open-book/open-notes exams that will consist of 25 multiple choice questions from the required Reading & Study material. Each exam will have a 1-hour and 15-minute time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Board Forums

(4 at 50 pts ea)

200

Research Paper

Topic

20

Outline

30

Final

150

Marriage Therapist Interview and Summary

100

Case Study and Management Analyses

(2 at 150 pts ea)

300

Exams

(4 at 50 pts ea)

200

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Grading Scale

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Schedule

EDCO 811

Textbooks: Eggerichs, Love and Respect (2004).

Gurman, et al. Clincial Handbook of Couple Therapy (2015).

Thomas, Sacred Marriage (2015).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Eggerichs: chs. 1–3

Gurman et al.: chs. 1–3

Thomas: chs. 1–2

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1

10

0

50

2

Eggerichs: chs. 4–6

Gurman et al.: chs. 4–5

Thomas: chs. 3–4

1 presentation

4 websites

Research Paper Topic

Exam 1

20

50

3

Eggerichs: chs. 7–9

Gurman et al.: chs. 6–9

Thomas: chs. 5–6

1 presentation

2 PDFs

4 websites

DB Forum 2

Marriage Therapist Interview and Summary

50

100

4

Eggerichs: chs. 10–12

Gurman et al.: chs. 10–13

Thomas: chs. 7–8

1 presentation

4 websites

Case Study and Management Analysis 1

Exam 2

150

50

5

Eggerichs: chs. 13–15

Gurman et al.: chs. 14–16

Thomas: chs. 9–10

1 presentation

3 websites

DB Forum 3

Research Paper Outline

50

30

6

Eggerichs: chs. 16–18

Gurman et al.: chs. 17–19

Thomas: ch. 11

1 presentation

3 websites

Case Study and Management Analysis 2

Exam 3

150

50

7

Eggerichs: chs. 19–21

Gurman et al.: chs. 20–24

Thomas: ch. 12

1 presentation

3 websites

DB Forum 4

50

8

Eggerichs: chs. 22–24

Gurman, et al.: chs. 25–26

Thomas: ch. 13

1 presentation

Research Paper Final

Exam 4

150

50

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.