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Spring 2022 Advanced Programs - Advanced Programs Face to Face or Virtual - Human Relations

[H R 5463] Counseling Skills in Human Rel - 301

Tim Davidson

Course Description

Counseling Skills in Human Relations

This course emphasizes basic and specialized skills necessary to function effectively in a helping relationship. Concepts and skills will be learned through the readings and class discussions, lectures, demonstrations, case studies, written exercises, videos and in-class role playing in which students practice being a counselor and counselee. Emphasis will be placed upon understanding the nature of the helping process in a practical and applied way. Various levels of communication skills will be practiced and different approaches to problem-solving and thinking about the counseling process will be studied. The helping model which develops will be one which promotes positive helping relationships, strategic planning and action-oriented outcomes. Self-exploration and some level of self-disclosure are required inasmuch as effective counseling requires the ability to understand oneself and to articulate personal feelings.

Class Dates, Format, Location and Hours

DatesMarch 13-19, 2022
Location for on-site courses900 Hangar Ave, Hangar 2, Room 204
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI 96858
HoursSunday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Monday - Friday 6:00-10:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyFebruary 12, 2022

Site Director

NameEric Ludvig
Office address/location647 FSS/FSDE, 900 Hangar Ave., Hangar 2, Room 202, Joint Base Pearl Harbor, Hickam, HI 96853
Office hoursMonday – Friday: 0830-1630
DSN and CIV phone(808) 422-5510

Professor Contact Information

Course Professor:Tim Davidson, Ph.D.
Mailing Address:Department of Human Relations
University of Oklahoma
PHSC, Room 728
Norman, OK 73019
Telephone Number: (405) 325-1756
Professor availability: The professor will be available via e-mail to students before and after the class sessions. On-site office hours are half an hour before and after each class session, by appointment.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at There is no longer a physical bookstore, the store will remain, but textbooks will not be stocked. The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll- free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. For more information or questions about textbooks, feel free to contact Text prices are available online.

Additional Text:

*Segments of Seligman, L. (2008). Fundamental skills for mental health professionals. [Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. (pp. 124-133). ISBN 9780132292313] will be posted on Canvas, as required “Readings”, specifically to be used in the assignment for “Early Recollections” and “Genogram” (Part 1, Paper 1). Seligman’s entire book is not required reading and will not be available directly through the OU bookstore.

The Gift of Therapy An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients
The Gift of Therapy An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients
by Irvin Yalom
Published by Perennial Pr
ISBN: 9780061719615
Love's Executioner
Love's Executioner
by Yalom, Irvin D.
Published by Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465020119

Course Objectives

The objectives of this course are for students to:

·      learn basic and specialized skills in counseling within the human relations field;

·      acquire an advanced understanding of counseling as an active helping process;

·      practice various communication skills in order to gain a working familiarity with counseling techniques;

·      develop a thorough understanding of how to set counseling objectives that are outcome oriented;

·      examine the counseling process critically and strategically;

·      increase self-knowledge related to being an effective human relations professional; and

·      enhance the ability to self-monitor as a human relations counselor.

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

Paper #1: Early Recollections, Genogram, Counseling Ideas

On the first day of class, a paper is due drawn from information in Seligman’s text, Fundamental Skills for Mental Health Professionals (pp. 124-133) for Part 1 and Yalom’s entire text, The Gift of Therapy for Part 2. Deposit Paper #1 on Canvas, under Assignments.

Part 1: Material you discuss in Part 1 will frame issues you may choose to work on during the in-class role plays. You should keep a working copy for your own point of reference during the practice sessions. In Part 1, only include personal information you feel comfortable discussing in your paper and/or in practice counseling sessions in class.

On the section of your paper concerning “early recollections” focus on earliest memories that provide some insight into your life, including painful memories, conflicts, happy times, special friendships or specific experiences that mean something to you. Follow Seligman’s guidelines in eliciting, processing and analyzing your 3 memories.

On the section of your paper concerning the “genogram”, draw a 3 generation (brief) genogram and follow the questions Seligman offers on developing a genogram. Include a strength-based analysis and birth-order analysis in addition to the other points of enquiry identified in the text.

In the conclusion of Part 1, briefly identify 3 issues you may want to work on during in-class role plays.

Part 2: Material you discuss in Part 2 is intended to develop your technical knowledge and skills as a counselor. Review Yalom’s book, which is full of short chapters and helpful ideas, and select 10 major ideas that you like and feel will add to your expertise as a counselor. State the idea and briefly indicate how it will help you to be a better counselor.

Overall, Paper # 1 should be 8-10 pages long, using APA style, citing Seligman’s book and Yalom’s book, The Gift of Therapy.

Paper #2: Yalom's Love's Executioner & Other Tales of Psychotherapy

A second paper is due two weeks after the class is finished and should be deposited under Assignments on Canvas. If for some reason, Canvas is not accessible, you may e-mail your paper to the instructor as an attachment in Word format, to (The date you send the assignment, in your site location time zone, will be considered as record of meeting the due date)

After reading Yalom’s book, and a minimum of two other sources relating to counseling, write an 8-10 page paper, APA style, consisting of the following parts:

Part 1: Discuss the importance for counseling theory of what Yalom describes as the four existential givens (p. 5, Prologue). Explain how the “seeds of wisdom and redemption” are present in these existential realities.

Part 2: Briefly discuss 5 of the 10 cases Yalom presents. Summarize the case; point out seminal ideas that Yalom develops and comment on their relevance; and identify ways that the case can help you be a better counselor.

Part 3: Summarize some of your own ideas on the meaning and purpose of counseling and psychotherapy.

Active Participation in Class Activities

You are expected to participate actively in the counseling skills training sessions. This entails practicing the particular skills of the exercise being studied at the given time and trying to do your best to master the skill. When doing role-plays, it is often tempting to get off track in general conversations, or to talk about the exercise rather than to practice the skill, or to fall back on previously learned skills. The key to active participation when doing role-plays and class exercises is to stay focused on the assignment in an energetic and creative manner and to realize that avoidance of the skills training is usually a defense mechanism.

Counseling Demonstration

You and a partner in class will be asked to role play a counseling intervention. You will be in the role of counselor and will serve as “client” for your partner.

As counselor, you will demonstrate various skills and strategies learned in class. Examples of skill sets that you may demonstrate include (but are not limited to) exploring feelings, confronting, taking a strength’s perspective, goal setting, developing an action plan, identifying core messages, examining irrational beliefs or building rapport and empathy. More details regarding the role play will be provided by the instructor during the class time.

Your role play should last about 7-9 minutes and will be conducted on the last day of class. At the end of your role play, you will be asked to describe what you were trying to accomplish and receive feedback on strengths and weakness from your “client”, the instructor and classmates.

Writing Style and Scholarly Effort

All of your written work for this course should be carefully edited before submission. Your papers should be well organized, free of grammatical errors, thoughtful and give evidence of scholarly work. If you cite other writers, APA style should be used in the citations and reference list. The papers should have a cover sheet. Papers submitted in hard copy will be returned in person during class or through the site director after the class is finished. The procedure for returning instructor comments on papers e- mailed to the instructor will be by return e-mail.


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F. Grades will be determined as follows: A = 90 – 100; B = 80 – 89; C = 70 – 79

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.

AssignmentDue DatePoints
Paper #1: early recollections, genogram, counseling ideasFirst class session25 points
Paper #2: case studies from Yalom’s Love’s ExecutionerOne week after last class session, March 26, 202225 points
Active participation in class activitiesDuring class sessions25 points
Final counseling demonstrationDuring class sessions, March 19, 202225 points


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Tim Davidson, Ph.D.



1982    University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Interdisciplinary Studies in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Existential and Phenomenological Philosophy and Theology

Current Positions

  • Associate Professor of Human Relations, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK


Frequently Taught Extended Campus (Advanced Programs) Courses

  • HR 5003    Theoretical Foundations
  • HR 5100    Assessment and Evaluation
  • HR 5463    Counseling Skills in Human Relations
  • HR 5413    Chemical Dependency


Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interest

  • Clinical Practice
  • Race Relations
  • Ethics


Representative Publications and Presentations

  • Davidson, J.R., & Davidson, T. (1996). Confidentiality and managed care: Ethical and legal concerns. Health & Social Work, 21(3), 208-215.
  • Davidson, T. (2000). Economic determinants and managed behavioral healthcare. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 28(2), 55-62.
  • Davidson, J.R., Davidson, T., & Crain, J. (2001). White skin and sheepskins: Challenging the status quo in the education of helping professionals. The Journal of Intergroup Relations, 27(4), 3-15.
  • Davidson, T. (Spring/Fall 2006). Ricoeur’s phenomenology of the ego: A clinical emphasis. Journal of French Philosophy (16)1, 2, 82-92.
  • Davidson, T., & Davidson, J. (2008). “Bell hooks, White Supremacy and the Academy,” Rocks, Margins, Looks: Critical Perspectives on bell hooks. M. Davidson and G. Yancy, Eds. New York: Routledge Press, 68-80.
  • Tim Davidson. (2014). STRENGTH: A System of Integration of Solution-oriented and Strength-based Principles. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 36(1), January, 1-17.


Representative Honors and Awards Received

  • Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities
  • New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (Committee 1995-97)
  • Mid-Hudson Regional Prevention Conference (Planning Committee 1995-97)
  • Faculty-in-Residence, University of Oklahoma (2000-2005)