Behavioral Health

BH 101 (3 credits)
Substance Abuse and Society

An introductory course designed specifically for students not majoring in Addiction Studies. Offers a blend of information and exercises to assist the student in developing necessary skills for living in a world where alcohol tobacco, medicines and other drugs are readily available. Involves a variety of individual and small group educational activities. Satisfies Social Science requirement.

BH 201 (3 credits)

Foundation of Addiction Studies

Concepts from psychopharmacology, genetics, counseling theory, law, medicine, sociology, and other disciplines are applied to provide a basic understanding of the practical issues surrounding the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and dependence. Satisfies Social Science requirement.

BH 202 (3 credits)

Origins of Mental Illness

This course will introduce the student to the fundamentals of mental illness and psychiatric disorders. Particular emphasis will be placed on investigation of the etiological factors that cause mental illness, as well as the common protocols used in their treatment. Students will receive a comprehensive perspective on: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, disorders of childhood and adolescence, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and other disorders related to the field of mental health treatment.

BH 204 (3 credits)

Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy

Major theoretical counseling orientations are examined with an emphasis on how each of these theories applies to the treatment of addiction and mental health disorders. Theories and types of therapeutic approaches considered include: Freudian Theory, Person-Centered Theory, Gestalt Theory, Reality Therapy, Rational-Emotive Therapy and other cognitive behavior theoretical approaches.

BH 220 (3 credits)

Prevention and intervention Services

Introduction to the current prevention and intervention services that substance abuse professionals are providing within the contexts of schools, the criminal justice system and the general community. Specific services examined include: Driving Under the Influence (DUI) programs, programs for juvenile offenders and peer counseling programs.

BH 230 (3 credits)

Assessment and Evaluation

Students are introduced to the various instruments used in the assessment and evaluation of addiction and mental illness, and the interviewing skills that facilitate this process. Students will examine the components of clinical reasoning that are utilized in determining the various levels of counseling and treatment interventions.

BH 240 (3 credits)

Addictive Behaviors

This course focuses on compulsive behaviors sometimes referred to as “the other addictions.” The origins and treatment of these behaviors will be examined from a biological, psychological, and spiritual perspective. Areas covered include love and dependent relationships, sexual addiction, workaholism, compulsive gambling and eating disorders.

BH 300 (3 credits)

Case Management

This course integrates case management theory and practice as it is applied to individuals, agencies, and communities. Students will learn about core case management components, and will gain valuable knowledge in the areas of assessing, planning, linking, monitoring, recording, and evaluating client care. Issues of diversity, community resources and the various arenas of case management will be explored. Actual case examples will be discussed and reviewed using a “best practices” model.

BH 303 (3 credits)

Counseling Techniques I

The basic elements of interpersonal communication such as attending, reflection of feeling, paraphrasing, summarizing, self-disclosure, and interpretation are emphasized. Various styles are also explored with regard to appropriateness of use with the various client populations.

BH 304 (3 credits)

Counseling Techniques II

Skills developed in Counseling Techniques I are built upon and applied to various behavioral health case studies. In addition, specific techniques such as relaxation training, assertiveness training and family intervention are introduced. Prerequisite: BH 303

BH 305 (3 credits)

Group Counseling I

The dynamics of group interaction and the role of the group therapist are examined. Emphasis is placed on understanding the special demands on the group leader which are unique to group therapy with behavioral health clients.

BH 306 (3 credits)

Group Counseling II

Skills developed in Group Counseling I (BH 305) are expanded upon and further developed. Skills are applied in simulated group process. Participants co-lead simulated group sessions, review videotapes, critique and reflect on their performance and then revise performance. Prerequisite: BH 305.

BH 310 (3 credits)

Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling

This course will examine specific knowledge and skills of ethical, legal and professional issues in behavioral health counseling practice. Students will learn the ethical values that underlie professional ethical standards as well as ethical decision-making based upon these standards. Students will also learn the major applicable laws governing professional counselors. Issues of cultural competency, client’s rights and professional boundaries will also be addressed.

BH 315 (3 credits)

Treatment Planning and Case Conceptualization

This course will instruct students on how to conceptualize and understand the nature of clients’ concerns and problems from a number of major theoretical perspectives, incorporating various biopsychosocial domains including age, gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Students will learn to develop comprehensive treatment plans which containing therapeutic interventions and strategies that are most helpful to address the complexity of human experiences.

BH 320(3 credits)

Nueropharmacology

The primary goal of this course will be to educate students to the biochemical aspects of the human brain and the influence of chemicals within the brain. Students will become familiar with the neurological implications of drug abuse and its effects on brain function. This course will also focus on the most commonly utilized medications in the treatment of depression, psychosis, mania, schizophrenia, and other related psychiatric disorders. Prerequisite: 100 level human Biology; preferred BIO 109.

BH 330 (3 credits)

Crisis Intervention

This course focuses on Crisis Theory, teaching the student how to more effectively identify and manage crisis situations; how to clearly and quickly recognize the behaviors which may precede certain crisis situations; and how to implement proven intervention techniques designed to deescalate volatile or potentially dangerous situations. An overview of voluntary and involuntary commitments will be presented, along with proven strategies for safely addressing these circumstances. Management of counselor stress and other legal and ethical issues will be discussed. Prerequisites: PSY 101, BH 201.

BH 400 (3 credits)

Marriage and Family Counseling

This course is designed to acquaint the student with the various theoretical schools of thought associated with family and family-systems counseling. The content will provide a review and practice of the basic techniques associated with family counseling. Students will be provided with various video examples of those techniques practiced by known experts in the field, and students will have an opportunity to practice the skills they are learning. Prerequisite: PSY 101, BH 201.

BH 402 (3 credits)

Management of Human Service Agencies

With a primary focus on the inner workings and structures of human service agencies, students will be afforded an opportunity to broaden their understanding of the administrative aspects of drug and alcohol, mental health, and child welfare services. Funding, federal and state regulations, licensing, credentialing, and the changing environment of managed care will be some of the primary issues addressed in this course.

BH 404 (3 credits)

Practicum Field Experience 1

The student will participate in fieldwork in a behavioral health agency setting, consistent with the student’s desired area of practice. Practicum field placements will occur only at facilities that have a signed agreement in place with Alvernia University. Prior to beginning field placements students must obtain all necessary background clearances. The fieldwork practicum promotes the integration of classroom and experiential learning in the development of clinical skills, self-reflection, cultural competence, ethical decision making and professionalism. This practicum involves 100-hours of fieldwork, and may be taken alone or in conjunction with another 3-credit practicum course for total of 6 credits or 200 hours. Prerequisite: 24 credits in BH.

BH 405 (3 credits)

Practicum Field Experience 2

The student will participate in fieldwork in a behavioral health agency setting, consistent with the student’s desired area of practice. Practicum field placements will occur only at facilities that have a signed agreement in place with Alvernia University. Prior to beginning field placements students must obtain all necessary background clearances. The fieldwork practicum promotes the integration of classroom and experiential learning in the development of clinical skills, self-reflection, cultural competence, ethical decision making and professionalism. This practicum involves 100-hours of fieldwork, and may be taken alone or in conjunction with another 3-credit practicum course for total of 6 credits or 200 hours. Prerequisite: 24 credits in BH.

BH 406 (3 credits)

Practicum Field Experience 3

The student will participate in fieldwork in a behavioral health agency setting, consistent with the student’s desired area of practice. Practicum field placements will occur only at facilities that have a signed agreement in place with Alvernia University. Prior to beginning field placements students must obtain all necessary background clearances. The fieldwork practicum promotes the integration of classroom and experiential learning in the development of clinical skills, self-reflection, cultural competence, ethical decision making and professionalism. This practicum involves 100-hours of fieldwork, and may be taken alone or in conjunction with another 3-credit practicum course for total of 6 credits or 200 hours. Prerequisite: 24 credits in BH..

BH 407 (3 credits)

Practicum Field Experience 4

The student will participate in this final fieldwork in a behavioral health agency setting, consistent with the student’s desired area of practice. Practicum field placements will occur only at facilities that have a signed agreement in place with Alvernia University. Prior to beginning field placements students must obtain all necessary background clearances. This fieldwork practicum will serve as the capstone experience for behavioral health majors, integrating previously presented professional principles and practices with Alvernia's liberal arts and Franciscan traditions. Students will complete a capstone project culminating in a paper and/or presentation. This practicum also involves 100-hours of fieldwork, and may be taken alone or in conjunction with another 3-credit practicum course for total of 6 credits or 200 hours. Prerequisite: 24 credits in BH.

BH 411 (3 credits)

Counseling Special Populations

Issues relevant to working with members of special populations are examined. Impact of group membership on individual identity is explored. In addition, special populations such as the disabled, adolescents, elderly, women, sexual minorities, ethnic groups, and various professional groups (such as physicians, clergy and lawyers) are considered. This course fulfills the human diversity graduation requirement.

BH 413 (3 credits)

Special Issues Seminar

This course will address current issues within the field of addictions and mental health treatment. Possible topics include: The role of gender and culture in therapeutic relationships, Bereavement, HIV, Adolescent Issues, Specialized Testing, the “Cultures” of Addiction and Recovery, Family Issues, Life Span Issues related to behavioral health and Program/outcomes assessment. These courses are offered to broaden the student’s experience, as well as assuring that advancements and changes have a mechanism to be addressed within the program structure. Course may be repeated for credit with different topics. Depending on the issue(s) identified, this course can be utilized as an elective for one, two, or all three areas of concentration.

BH 414 (3 credits)

Emotional and Behavioral Pathology

The goal of this course is to challenge the student to develop an in-depth and working knowledge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) classification of mental disorders. Knowledge will be expanded from a
prerequisite course BH 202 Origins of Mental Illness and students will learn to utilize the current DSM to formulate multiaxial diagnostic impressions of mental disorders. The course emphasizes a focused and therapeutic approach to conducting diagnostic interviews and assessments while learning to identify and classify presenting psychiatric symptomatology and record their findings in a professionally acceptable format. Prerequisite: BH 202

Contact Information


David G. Reyher, MS, CAADC
Instructor, Behavioral Health
Veronica Hall 4
610-796-8318
david.reyher@alvernia.edu




behavioral health

1.888.alvernia
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