Counseling & Psychology

Continuing education for immediately applicable skills

Take advantage of the opportunity to further develop your competencies and skills in the fields of counseling and psychology by enrolling in an individual course from Capella.

Stay on the most direct path

Individual courses in counseling and psychology are a great way to:

  • Prepare for certification
  • Earn additional credits to support license application
  • Fulfill specific coursework and content requirements necessary for license eligibility
  • Grow your knowledge on a specific topic through continuing education

When you’re ready for your next degree, take your professional knowledge further with a PhD or master’s in counseling or a PhD or master’s in psychology. A maximum of three courses taken as a Capella non-degree learner can be applied to a subsequent Capella degree program.

Top courses in counseling & psychology

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COUN5106
Assessment, Tests, and Measures

Learners in this course examine the assessment process and how tests and measures are used in counseling. Learners also explore the evolution of assessment methods, testing strategies and interpretation, and fundamental measurement constructs.  ​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.

4 quarter credits
COUN5107 *
Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis

Learners in this course examine psychopathology principles, professional literature, and current issues associated with assessing mental disorders. Learners critically evaluate diagnostic models, methods, and approaches used in diagnosing and treating individuals, couples, and families. Learners also explore the current DSM classifications and diagnostic issues associated with multicultural populations. ​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.  Prerequisite(s): MS Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy learners must have completed COUN5220, COUN5270, COUN5820, COUN-R5821. MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling learners must have completed COUN-R5831. MSW and MSW—​Advanced Standing learners must have completed SWK5013.

4 quarter credits
COUN5108 *
Foundations of Addiction and Addictive Behavior

This course provides learners with fundamental knowledge of addiction from its historical roots through contemporary issues. Learners examine theory and research that guides treatment for substance use disorders and related addictive behaviors, including the diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring mental health issues. In addition, learners review empirically supported interventions for individuals, families, groups, and diverse populations, as well as emerging issues in the field based upon current research. ​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.  Prerequisite(s): MS Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy learners must have completed COUN-R5821. MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling learners must have completed COUN-R5831. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5217
Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling

In this course, learners evaluate current legal and ethical guidelines used in the counseling profession. Learners apply decision-making models and formulate effective collaboration strategies used to resolve legal and ethical issues that arise when working with children, adults, couples, and families. Learners also analyze how personal belief systems influence counselors’ responses to those issues.  ​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.

4 quarter credits
COUN5225
Human Sexuality

Learners in this course study sexuality within the broad context of human experience. Learners examine a systemic psychosexual approach to development across the lifespan and evaluate the functionality of sexual behavior in individuals, couples, and families. In addition, learners explore theory, assessment, treatments, and interventions for various issues associated with sexuality, as well as sexuality-related concerns of diverse populations. Throughout the course, learners are challenged to expand personal awareness of limitations and biases that could impact the therapeutic relationship.  ​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.

4 quarter credits
COUN5238
Crisis Assessment and Intervention

This course presents crisis intervention and emergency management models and strategies used in the counseling field. Learners focus on developing the crisis intervention skills needed to provide counseling services in mental health settings in a timely, effective, and ethical manner. Learners also explore other related topics, including working with situational crises, assessing suicide and other risks, and supporting the implementation of emergency management plans.  ​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5239
Theories of Psychotherapy

This course presents various theories of psychotherapy and their respective philosophical principles and assumptions. Learners evaluate the theoretical concepts and evidence-based practices of psychotherapy and examine appropriate application of theories and interventions to a diverse client population.  ​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.

4 quarter credits
COUN5271
Marriage and Family Systems

Learners in this course study families as systems from theoretical, clinical, and research perspectives. The course emphasizes family development, transitions, assessment, and intervention, including consideration for diversity and sociocultural factors. Learners also apply systems-oriented assessment models and strategies for initial interviews, hypothesis formulation, and designing a strategy for intervention.  ​For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.

4 quarter credits
COUN5279
Life Planning and Career Development

In this course, learners develop foundational knowledge and skills applicable to career counseling and development. Learners analyze theoretical models of career development as they relate to client interests, aptitudes, personalities, traits, values, and work preferences. In addition, learners explore the ways in which social interests, family relationships, cultural facets, and developmental factors and circumstances resulting from life transitions relate to career development across the lifespan. Learners also discuss legal and ethical issues associated with career counseling practice.  For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.

4 quarter credits
COUN5336
Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations

This course introduces theory, research, and models that inform ethical and culturally competent counseling, as well as social justice advocacy, in a variety of settings. Learners assess how biopsychosocial characteristics and concerns of diverse populations impact access to and utilization of community-based resources, optimal development across the lifespan, and equity. Learners also present strategies to address the influence that their own heritage, attitudes, beliefs, and acculturative experiences has on the counseling process. In addition, learners identify effective counseling and advocacy strategies with diverse individuals, couples, families, and groups, and explore the role of the counselor and advocate in promoting social justice at multiple levels.  For MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS in School Counseling degree program and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, and Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate learners only.

4 quarter credits
PSY7210
Lifespan Development

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of lifespan development from infancy through adulthood, including human development processes and milestones. Learners evaluate theories and approaches for examining human development and analyze human development processes related to their specialization.

5 quarter credits
PSY7310
Biological Basis of Behavior

This course is an introduction to physiological psychology and associated topics, including genetics, functional neuroanatomy, and physiology. Learners develop and demonstrate an understanding of brain functioning; sensory systems; attention, memory, perception, and language mechanisms; and the effects of neurotransmitters on human behavior. Learners also identify the relationship between brain functions and behavioral disorders and analyze current physiological psychology research, ethics, and the implications of culture and diversity on field-related issues.

5 quarter credits
PSY7330
Psychopharmacology

Learners in this course explore the behavioral and therapeutic effects of psychoactive drugs. Course topics include synaptic transmission, behavioral role of specific neuromodulatory systems, pharmacological treatment of mental and neurological disorders, addiction, the various side effects of psychoactive drugs, and how these may interact with key characteristics such as age or general health. Drug effects on learning, creativity, memory, sleep, perception, and sexual functioning receive special attention. Learners also examine the efficacy of treating patients with a combination of psychotherapy and psychotropic medications for a number of diagnosed mental disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, obsessive compulsive behavior, schizophrenia, and childhood disorders.

5 quarter credits

Find the course that's right for you

Use these individual course guides to find the courses that fit your goals.

Commonly asked questions

Each state has unique coursework, internship and degree requirements for licensing. The courses you need will depend on your prior education and experience. Generally, any additional course content areas are identified by the state licensing board or agency at the time of your license application. Capella’s licensure team has aligned our courses to many state required course content areas. Contact an enrollment counselor for more information.

Capella University offers licensure support to students in a degree program. If you plan on taking individual courses toward licensure, be aware that you are responsible for understanding and complying with all state board requirements. While a Capella enrollment specialist can recommend the courses you may need to meet your licensure needs, you must receive approval from your state board or transferring institution prior to enrollment.

*Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work.

Ready to take the next step?

Get started—there’s no application fee when applying for an individual course as a non-degree learner. We'll connect you with an enrollment specialist trained in your area of interest who can assist you with any questions you may have.