Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies

This certificate equips community providers with education and training to increase their knowledge and skill base with strength based therapies. A variety of strength based therapies will be reviewed including Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Ericksonian and Short Term Family Therapy. By focusing on client’s strengths, the therapist is able to put the client’s resources into action more rapidly in order to resolve his/her concerns. An additional benefit to this approach is that it may reduce or eliminate client resistance.

On Campus and Online
Courses for the Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies are offered in a “blended” format which includes both classroom and online sessions.

A Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies Provides Expertise In:


  • Solution Focused Therapy

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Ericksonian Therapy

  • Short Term Family Therapy

Why Strength Based Therapies?

Is A Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies Right for Me?

Many agencies desire counselors who have education experience with strength based therapies. These therapies include Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Ericksonian and Short Term Family Therapy. By focusing quickly on client’s strengths and resilience, the therapist is able to put the client’s resources into action more rapidly in order to resolve his/her concerns. It also sets the stage for a collaborative therapeutic relationship. One additional benefit of a strength based approach is that it may reduce or eliminate client resistance as the focus is on what is going well rather than what is wrong.

Strength based therapies are appropriate for many populations and tend to work well with “involuntary” clients, children, youth, adolescents and individuals with substance use issues. The focus on client goals, as well as amplification of client strengths and things that are already going well for the client, leads to more rapid client trust and empowerment.


What Can I do With a Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies?

The Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies courses are credit bearing and can be applied toward the Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program. The Certificate program provides the individual with an expansion of counseling skills to use in counseling sessions. Training in Strength Based Therapies, when applied in sessions with clients, provides desirable benefits for the client. While the client’s strengths and resilience are focused upon, client’s resources are put into action much quicker to resolve concerns.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow by 36 percent and employment of marriage and family therapists is expected to grow by 41 percent from 2010 to 2020, both much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as the overall population grows and as insurance companies increasingly provide for reimbursement of counselors and marriage and family therapists as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists.*

Source: 12-10-2013

Mental Health Counseling Offers Diverse Job Opportunities

Students wishing to compete in the Southwest Florida counseling job market need to prepare a knowledge and skill set for work with diverse client, family and community populations in the areas of Inpatient, Residential, Intensive Outpatient and Outpatient treatment for both mental health and substance issues separately or concurrently. A student also may find employment in career counseling and life coaching arenas, among other opportunities.

A student in this area may practice at public agencies, local sites for larger non-profit agencies, public and private hospital facilities, smaller non-profit agencies, and private organization and practice settings. Future trends may include more practice in medical settings, increased use of online counseling, and the use of evidence based treatment for certain populations and conditions. While the student might eventually specialize their focus, a comprehensive understanding of individual, group and family counseling, as well as prevention and community work is crucial in the education process.

  • Elderly
  • Young Children
  • Teens
  • Adults
  • College Age Students
  • Employee Assistance
  • Hospitals
  • Residential Treatment Centers
  • Outpatient Treatment Centers
  • State Government
  • Private Practice
  • Colleges
  • Substance Abuse Centers
  • Local Government


What Will I Learn?

This graduate certificate program is appropriate for students meeting the following criteria:

Required: A Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, or Human Services related master’s degree or a related bachelor’s degree with one year of counseling experience in the field.

Prerequisite for a nonrelated degree or related bachelor’s degree with no counseling experience: Passing grade in a Counseling Theories course.

Faculty reserve the right to make changes based on student/community need while maintaining the integrity of the Certificate.

Hover over the course names below to view course descriptions.

Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies

Semester Hour Credit

PSY5010 Social and Cultural Foundation of Counseling Practice

PSY5010- Social and Cultural Foundation of Counseling Practices - 3 Credits

This course addresses the needs and issues relevant to working with clients from diverse racial and ethnic groups. Diversity within these groups in the context of the counseling relationship as well as an understanding of ethnic psychology will be explored. Basic principles, sensitivities, and knowledge that will lay a foundation for becoming a culturally competent professional will be examined. Focus is on student development and use of modalities which mesh with strengths of local cultural populations.

PSY6100 Strength Based Assessment and Counseling

PSY6100 - Strength Based Assessment and Counseling - 3 Credits

Current therapy modalities emphasize shorter term solutions and therapy length. Identification of client strengths, and use of the principle of Occam’s Razor both shorten the time necessary to assist a client to find solutions. This course will emphasize finding “solution talk” instead of “problem talk”, and will assist the student to find ways to creatively and credibly identify client strengths. Work with client emotions and behaviors will be emphasized also.

PSY6401 Advanced Addiction Treatment Methodologies

PSY6401 - Advanced Addiction Treatment Methodologies - 3 Credits

Substance abuse therapy theory and technique has gone through a revolution of change, with Motivational Enhancement and Cognitive therapies demonstrating research based effectiveness along with 12 Step Enhancement and Harm Reduction methodologies. Also the increasing role of Pharmacotherapy and the essential nature of including Family Treatment methodologies in Substance Abuse treatment will be reviewed.

Prerequisite: PSY6301 or equivalent.

PSY6010 Family Treatment

PSY6010 - Family Treatment - 3 Credits

Family therapy skills require an awareness of the family as a system. Basic methodologies of systems therapy will be discussed and emphasized through discussion, videotape and other methods. Methodologies stemming from the original Communication School, through the Structural and Insight approaches, to the Strategic Systems approach will be explored. Awareness of family diversity and cultural competence will be strongly emphasized.

Prerequisite: PSY5010 or equivalent.


Total Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies


How is Hodges Graduate Certificate in Strength Based Therapies Different?

Faculty Experience

Nichols School of Professional Studies faculty are highly experienced and qualified in the field. This real-world, applied knowledge is an invaluable resource for students studying to begin or advance their careers. Our faculty members recognize students as individuals and provide personal attention.

Flexible Scheduling

You can obtain your degree on campus or completely online. Night and weekend classes are also available in the traditional on campus delivery.

More Information

For more information about our program or Hodges policies and procedures review our Student Handbook and our Graduate Bulletin.


What Will the Program Cost?

Hodges University tuition continues to be one of the lowest among private institutions in the state of Florida. Basic tuition for all graduate credit hour courses is $660.00 per credit hour.

Additional fees may apply. Books and supplies are not included in tuition. For a complete schedule of Tuition and Fees, see the current Catalog or Graduate Bulletin.

How Does Hodges Help?

Hodges University holds several fundraising events every year that benefit institutional scholarship funds. We also directly contribute an average of approximately two million dollars per year in loan offsetting funds to assist students in achieving their educational goals. Remember that tuition may be reduced by scholarships and grants and financial aid is available.

"They say your first impression is what counts. The first impression I received at Hodges when I was looking to enroll back in school was exceptional. Now I'm glad I chose Hodges, because it’s a great school." - Jeff Louissaint Applied Psychology Graduate 2012

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Need More Information?

You may also contact us to speak to an admissions coordinator who will guide you through the application and admissions process. To speak to an admissions coordinator call us at 1-800-466-8017 (Naples), 1-800-466-0019 (FM), use our contact form, email or schedule a one-on-one visit to tour one of our campuses.

Your Admissions Coordinator will:

  • Help you complete the application in its entirety.
  • Help you obtain necessary transcripts.
  • Schedule your admissions test (if necessary).
  • Coordinate the Financial Aid process with a Financial Aid Professional.
  • Refer you to your Academic Advisor for class scheduling.
  • Give you information regarding your orientation.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Hodges family!


Mary Nuosce

Program Director : Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

As the field of counseling continues to evolve, our commitment ever increases to develop the counseling knowledge and skills of our Clinical Mental Health Counseling students.


Attending Hodges has been the most wonderful experience of my life.

- Kelly O'Brien

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Hodges University’s Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) Program supports the University’s philosophy of being an open, creative, and community conscious institution of higher learning.

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