2018-19 Catalogs

Concentration in Counseling - Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Counseling Concentration is available to SBS majors.  A concentration is simply a way for students to organize their six required SBS electives at the 300-level or above for the major.

SBS students in the Counseling Concentration may also take the MHRT/C subtrack; see below for more information.

The Counseling Concentration provides students with an introduction to theory, topics, and skill areas relevant to professional applications in counseling.  Embedded in the interdisciplinary SBS major, it provides perspectives and critical thinking skills related to the multiple layers of influence - individual, social, and cultural - that shape human behavior. Students gain familiarity with developmental trajectories and the roots of personality; issues of diversity, gender, and culture; biopsychosocial approaches to diagnosis; social services and factors that impact access to them; and the broad array of available counseling and psychotherapy techniques. They can also choose from special topics such as Substance Abuse, Introduction to Expressive Therapies, Legal Issues in Health and Human Services, Brain and Behavior, occasional offerings such as Behavioral Forensics, and many more. Coursework relevant to understanding and, when appropriate, influencing social policy fills out the SBS curriculum.

Organizing the choice of SBS electives through this concentration strengthens students’ preparation for entry into a variety of positions related to the helping professions, as well as for the pursuit of graduate study.

Students should complete the necessary paperwork so that the counseling concentration appears on their MaineStreet academic plan.


Students who wish to earn the Maine MHRT/C (Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician - Community) certificate should inform their advisor as early as possible. There are three levels of certification.

  1. All graduates of the SBS program are eligible for the MHRT/C Provisional Level A.
  2. Students in the MHRT/C subtrack of the Counseling Concentration who have completed all MHRT/C track required courses, with the exception of their Internship, are eligible for the MHRT/C Provisional Level B (which provides expanded internship opportunities). 
  3. SBS students who have completed the MHRT/C subtrack of the Counseling Concentration earn the MHRT/C Full certificate upon graduation.

See also the MHRT/C advising handout.

Social Work: 

Students interested in Social Work should use the following advising sheet: Advising Sheet.

Graduate School Options:

Accelerated undergraduate to graduate pathways from the SBS Counseling Concentration to USM Masters degree programs in Counseling and Social Work are available. Check with your advisor for more information.

In addition to the requirements listed in the BA (see BA page), the following requirements apply to the Counseling Concentration:

Students select their six SBS electives by taking two foundational courses, plus one chosen from each of the four categories below. Any substitutions must be approved by a faculty adviser.  In addition, the internship must be in a counseling/clinical setting (broadly defined).

Foundational courses (both are required for the concentration):

SBS 311 Theories of Personality*
SBS 411 Counseling and Psychotherapy*

Plus one course selected from each of the following categories:

Psychosocial Disorders and Services:
SBS 303 Abnormal Psychology*
SBS 346 Introduction to Social Services*
SBS 348 Responding to Mental Health Crisis in the Community
SBS 350 Psychosocial Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence

Diversity and Multiculturalism:
SBS 315 The Social Psychology of Disability*
SBS 316 Diversity in the Workplace
SBS 345 Diversity: Many Voices
SBS 470 Study Abroad

Developmental Contexts:
SBS 305 Child Development
SBS 306 Adolescence
SBS 341 The Family

Applied Topics:
SBS 304 Food and Culture
SBS 308 Medical Anthropology
SBS 332 Death, Dying, and Denial
SBS 343 Substance Abuse*
SBS 344 Violence: Causes and Control 
SBS 349 Trauma and Narrative
SBS 390 Brain and Behavior
SBS 420 Mindfulness
SBS 450 Assessment of Individual Differences in Children

MHRT/C subtrack:

Students wishing to earn the MHRT/C must select: all of the starred (*) courses; plus either SBS 348 or SBS 349; and any course from the Developmental Contexts category. Only students in the SBS Counseling Concentration may take the MHRT/C subtrack. Note that the subtrack requires 8 courses rather than 6; the additional 2 are used to fulfill general electives.  For more information, see the MHRT/C advising handout.