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Behavioral Health Department

Hands-on Training, Real World Experience

Clinically experienced faculty, simulation labs and co-operative employment provide unparalleled opportunities for students to learn and excel in the exciting field of behavioral health.

Behavioral Health Counseling Department

Located at the dynamic Center City Health Sciences Campus, complete with a clinical skills simulation lab, the Behavioral Health Counseling major responds to a growing national need for competent mental health and addictions treatment professionals.

Our innovative courses integrate biological, psychological, and social sciences with emerging treatment technologies to offer an unparalleled undergraduate education for those interested in the helping professions. Our clinically experienced faculty and co-operative employment opportunities combine to offer active, real-world learning experiences that give you a head start in pursuing a behavioral health care career.

The advanced skills-based “hands-on” training provided in this Bachelor of Science degree major far exceeds that found at most other universities. Students may enter the workforce well-prepared immediately upon graduation or go on to graduate school, knowing that the quality of their education is well-recognized by leading universities throughout the United States.

Programs

Students interested in the Behavioral Health Counseling major can choose from a variety of program options including full-time or part-time study, co-operative work experience, or two minor programs of study.

Entering freshmen take courses in the humanities and social sciences, as well as biological sciences, writing, and math in their first and second years along with introductory courses in the Behavioral Health Counseling major. You can read about specific behavioral health counseling courses in the course description section.

Bachelor's Full Time
For freshman and transfer students dedicated to full time study, this option is much more specific than traditional undergraduate majors in preparing students for careers in behavioral health care treatment settings or for acceptance into master's and doctoral degree programs in a variety of behavioral healthcare disciplines.

Saturday Scholars
Balance the challenges of education, work, and family life and complete your Bachelor of Science degree in the accelerated Behavioral Health Counseling major entirely on Saturdays.

Certificate in Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counseling Minor
This minor provides students with an essential focus on clinical competencies in implementing evidence-based rehabilitation services to people with serious mental illness.

Addictions Counseling Minor
This minor provides students with an essential focus on current best-practice approaches in counseling interventions aimed at assisting people to recover from substance use disorders.

Behavioral Health Counseling Faculty

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News & Events

08/27/15

The primary goal of Drexel’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program is to develop graduates who are competent, caring physician assistants, possessing the skills of life-long learning needed to incorporate new knowledge and methods into their practices and to adapt to a changing medical environment. 

A key marker on the road to this profession is clinical training. At Drexel, the clinical training phase consists of six, five-credit, five-week clinical rotations in medicine, surgery, women’s health, pediatrics, emergency medicine and behavioral health, assigned in varying order in locations across the United States. The final portion of the clinical training phase curriculum consists of two, 10-credit, quarter-long, primary care practica (preceptorships). During these practica, each student is assigned to primary care sites for individualized clinical training with physician preceptors. 

Two students, Amina Wirjosemito and Julia Jackson, at two different stages in their Drexel PA education – one four months from graduating and one in her first year, respectively – share their perspectives on the clinical phase of the Program and how each has benefitted from Drexel PA’s long-standing mentorship program.

Amina has just completed clinical at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, CT, where she worked in the Emergency Department. Reflecting on her experience, she said, “At this stage in the game we are starting to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it almost feels surreal.  Job prospects are becoming a reality, and my clinical knowledge and skills are finally come together.  It is so rewarding to look back at all of the hard work that we've put in so far and see how it is coming to fruition!”

Comparatively, Julia is preparing for her first rotation. Her six rotations will all be in different locations, including surgery at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center at Pomona, NJ; Adult Medicine at Mainland Cardiology Associates, Pomona, NJ; Behavioral Medicine at Wellington Retreat, Lantana, FL; Pediatrics at St. Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT; Emergency Medicine, Camden, NJ; and last but not least OB/GYN at Alafia OBGYN in Millville, NJ. She said, “My first rotation is surgery and for me it’s quite intimidating. I am eager to learn from hands on experience and develop relationships with my co-workers and patients alike.

Though the experience is completely new for her, Julia can lean on her mentor, Amina, to share her insight. She sees her mentor as a “personal life jacket” and said, “She helps to build up my confidence when I have doubt, and also helps to relieve anxiety by telling me tips and tricks on how to make the most out of my future rotations.”

Amina has armed Julia with sound advice, encouraging her to be open-minded. “She needs to be confident in her abilities as a student, realize that the preceptors are NOT expecting her to know everything, and be open minded to experiencing everything she can in the clinical setting,” said Amina.

Their open-communication and supportive peer-to-peer relationship has benefitted Amina as much as it has Julia. “Julia is the most determined, driven and compassionate person I've ever met, and she has taught me the value of perseverance, especially in this really challenging program.  She has also taught me to be humble, which is a quality that is hard to come by these days.”

07/30/15

If you were given a week to sample a desired major and connect with professionals in your field, all before coming to college, would you take it? The high school students who attended Drexel’s Exploration in Mental Health Careers hosted by the Behavioral Health Counseling Department certainly did. From June 22 – 26 and July 6 – 10 nearly 30 students made the journey to Drexel to get the inside scoop on all things mental health, and their experiences couldn’t have been more positive.

“I loved the counseling workshop where we practiced skills we learned during the week on one another,” said one student. The counseling skills workshop prepared the students for a more realistic counseling experience in the College’s Standardized Patient Lab that took place later in the week.  Students engaged in a simulated counseling session with Standardized Patient actors who served as clients in 15 minute, digitally recorded sessions. Standardized Patients, which are regularly used in College of Nursing and Health Professions programs, gave the students an authentic Drexel experience. “I was caught off guard by how real and challenging the actors were,” remarked another student.

In addition to counseling simulations, Summer Institute guests sampled creative arts therapies techniques and toured two outpatient facilities in Philadelphia: Horizon House and Sobriety Through Out Patient. The tours exposed students to real patients in actual treatment settings and gave insight to the dynamics of outpatient care. Students were also impressed when given the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Wilush, President and CEO of Horizon House, who spoke with them about the services offered at their locations.

The students found it beneficial to meet professionals and clients in actual treatment facilities, but two aspects they found to be the most exciting and innovative were sampling creative art therapies and simulated counseling sessions. “I had no idea what creative arts therapies were before Summer Institute,” recalled one student, “but could definitely see myself doing that in the future.” Another student revealed that learning and practicing basic counseling skills, then seeing those skills used by professionals in treatment settings, was extremely beneficial. “It was interesting to see such a wide variety of illnesses and people at different places [in their treatment]” she said.

At week's end, at the celebratory lunch in downtown Philadelphia, students’ faces were beaming with excitement. The group collectively felt like they learned a lot about the field of behavioral health, had a rewarding academic and professional experience and made many new friends. We hope to see Summer Institute students at Drexel full-time soon!

06/25/15

Since joining the Behavioral Health Counseling Department in 2006, Robert Chapman, PhD has endeared himself to students and to faculty throughout the College and University with his thought-provoking lectures on alcohol and other drugs and, more specifically, how to better understand the people who abuse these substances.  Among many important contributions to excellence in training the next generation of behavioral health care clinicians is his integration of the Standardized Patient labs in teaching cognitive-behavioral and motivational interviewing counseling skills. 

Chapman is also credited with initiating the Department’s Explorations in Behavioral Health Care Careers Summer Institute for high School students.  He is probably best known both locally and nationally for his written work and numerous conference presentations on best practices in addressing the problems among college students related to alcohol abuse. 

On June 15 at the Department’s Annual Alumni Dinner, Chapman was praised by both former and current students.  “They shared personal accounts of how he inspired them through his metaphorical sayings, his experiential learning activities and his mentorship, often conducted via an open invitation to visit his office to share a cup of tea and conversation,” said colleague, Ron Comer, DSW.  “Dr. Robert’s influence on the Drexel community will be felt for years to come.”


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