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Behavioral Health Science (BHS)

BHS-440: Understanding Trauma 4 credits

This course offers an overview of various types of trauma, and effects of traumatic experiences within the physical, emotional, sociological, cognitive, and spiritual domains of a human being. It studies the dynamics of trauma throughout the human life-span development. It offers a brief overview of trauma, informed care assessment and treatment, and ethics associated with working with trauma victims.

BHS-450: Childhood and Adolescence 4 credits Disorders

This course provides students with an understanding of the biological, emotional, and environmental aspects that impact childhood and adolescent development. The course addresses assessment, diagnosis, and intervention as it relates to childhood and adolescent disorders. Students examine the classification and epidemiology of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, conduct problems, ADD/ADHD, language and learning, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and other childhood- and adolescence-related disorders according to the DSM. Prerequisite: BHS-420.

BHS-240: Group Dynamics and Process 4 credits

This course provides a broad understanding of group development stages, group dynamics, group counseling theories, and ethical standards pertaining to group work. In addition, this course explores theoretical approaches to group work. The course also addresses the growth and development of group members.

BHS-320∆҂: Ethics of Behavioral Health Science 4 credits

This writing-intensive course provides a broad understanding of ethics, legal standards, and responsibilities in behavioral health. Students explore basic ethical concepts, legislation, and current trends in behavioral health ethics. This course pays special attention to technology and its effects on lawmaking and ethics in behavioral health. Important goals of this course are to help students develop a comprehensive understanding of the history and current application of ethics in the behavioral health field.

BHS-330: Cultural and Social Diversity in 4 credits Behavioral Health

This course provides a comprehensive foundation through exploring the content areas of cultural diversity, social justice, and religious and spiritual values. Examination of these areas strives to offer an overarching framework to guide students and gain perspectives for working with multicultural populations in the behavioral health field. This course will assist students with developing knowledge and application of cultural diversity, cultural competency, and the importance of self-awareness, social justice, and advocacy. In addition, this course provides students a blended approach of the beliefs and values associated with religion and spirituality as a component of cultural competency.


Introduction to Childhood and Adolescent Physical and Behavioral Health

4 credits


Report Writing, Research, and Information Literacy in Behavioral Health

4 credits


Introduction to Couples and Family Systems

4 credits

This course provides a broad understanding of the components and theories related to childhood and adolescent physical and behavioral health. Also covered are the modalities that can be utilized to promote best practice approaches in behavioral health treatment of both children and adolescents. Students gain the necessary knowledge to advance in the Childhood and Adolescence Disorders emphasis program. Prerequisite: BHS- 420.

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the various documentation styles used in the behavioral health field. Students critically examine evidence-based research in the field of behavioral health. The course offers an introduction to conducting applied clinical research.

BHS-420҂: Human Development 4 credits

This course provides an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals across the life-span development. This course covers physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development across various points in human development. Additionally, students learn about the influence of spiritual and moral beliefs throughout the life span.

This course introduces the historical and theoretical perspectives of couples and family systems. Topics include a review of family systems, including family of origin, and roles within couples and family systems. Also covered are the influence of family of origin attachment styles on couple and family dynamics, the developmental stages of couples, and characteristics of successful couples and families. Additionally, the course explores the impact of substance use and mental health illness, and cultural influences on couple and family dynamics. Treatment modalities in working with couples and families are explored. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and BHS-430.


Marriage and Family Ethical and Legal Issues

4 credits


Introduction to Family Dynamics

4 credits

This course describes the ethical and legal practice of marriage and family therapy. Special emphasis is placed on the Marriage and Family Therapy Code of Ethics and rules and regulations as it pertains to working within the context of marriage and family therapy. Prerequisites: BHS-320 and BHS-430.

This course introduces the historical and theoretical perspectives of family dynamics and systems. Topics include roles, communication styles, boundaries, generational patterns, cultural influences, and couples and parenting dynamics. Skills and modalities relevant to working with families in the behavioral health field are explored. 



BHS-470: Introduction to Trauma-Informed 4 credits Care

This course offers an overview of the six key principles of the trauma-informed care approach. The purpose of the course is to develop knowledge and awareness about safety building, trustworthiness, peer support networking, connectedness, empowerment, cultural, historical, spiritual, and gender issues. In addition, the course addresses recovery, support systems, resiliency, and an integrated approach when working with trauma victims.



Overview of Assessment and Treatment of Trauma

4 credits

This course offers an overview of the evidence-based screening and assessment tools utilized in assessing the impact of trauma. In addition, this course will cover best practice approaches to trauma treatment. Prerequisite: BHS-470.

BHS-490Ω: Professional Capstone Project 4 credits

The capstone project is a culmination of the learning experiences while a student is within the behavioral health science program at Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students prepare a written proposal for a community- based behavioral health organization related to the student’s specific area of focus. The proposal includes the name, geographical location, identified service gap, target populations, types of service/treatments, potential challenges, ethical considerations, and supervision/oversight considerations. The professional capstone project proposal needs to reflect synthesis and integration of course content. This course is the last course in the program of study; all other course work must be completed before this course.