Spring 2021

NURS 6149-001 Psychotherapy for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

All students are responsible for checking their UTHSCSA Livemail account regularly (i.e., daily or several times every week) to obtain Official University Communication regarding their courses, program and student status.

Students are expected to follow all policies related to COVID-19 found on the university webpage: https://wp.uthscsa.edu/coronavirus/.

All students are responsible for checking their UTHSCSA Livemail account regularly (i.e., daily or several times every week) to obtain Official University Communication regarding their courses, program and student status.

Students are expected to follow all policies related to COVID-19 found on the university webpage:https://wp.uthscsa.edu/coronavirus/.

NOTE: Our campus has enabled the CANVAS MOBILE LEARN application. CANVAS tools such as discussions, quizzes or videos May or May NOT function on all mobile devices. This is because mobile devices are available with rapidly changing and different configurations. Hence, students must not depend on only a mobile device to access course materials. Students must have access to a laptop or desktop device to access course materials and complete assignments.

This course is Web Enhanced with WebCT icon
Please be sure to check the Current Computer Requirements

The course begins face-to-face on January 13, 2021.  Students must log into Canvas and select this course for further instructions. 

Please note that due to unforeseeable COVID-19 restrictions face-to-face class may change to synchronous virtual classes. The faculty will update you regarding future changes to the schedule. 

Please log in to Canvas prior to the start of the course to begin your preparation for week 1.  The pre-course readings are required and will prepare you to begin your discussion for week 1.  You can access content for week 1 in the Spring NURS 6149 Course under the module labeled
"Week 1 NURS 6149".  Learning Objectives, required and recommended readings and learning module are all listed for you there.

You may access the course inside Canvas prior to January 13, 2021 as long as you have registered for the course.

Classroom requested will be announced. 


Marta Vives, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC
Assistant Professor/Clinical
Course Coordinator NUR 6149
Email: vivesm1@uthscsa.edu
Office Phone: 210-450-8194
Office FAX: 210-567-5822
Office Room: 2.334
Office Hours: By appointment through Starfish

Mark Soucy, PhD, RN, APRN, FAANP
Associate Professor/Clinical
PMHNP Track Coordinator
Room 2.134
Mobile: 210-269-8651
Office Hours by Appointment through Starfish - Virtual
Email: soucy@uthscsa.edu


This course introduces the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner student to the theory and practice of psychotherapy. Students examine theories and techniques which provide clinically therapeutic interventions with adults and children.  Students explore models of psychotherapy consistent with current professional research and practice. The primary focus is on Person-Centered therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Supportive Psychotherapy.


Credit hour allocation: 1 semester credit hour
Clock hour allocation: 60 clock hours class


NURS 6338 Advanced Pathophysiology
NURS 6302 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
NURS 6210 Advanced Health Assessment & Clinical Reasoning
NURS 6110 Advanced Health Assessment & Clinical Reasoning: Clinical Application


Upon completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program students will:

  1. Integrate nursing science, ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sources to provide the highest level of specialty nursing practices.
  2. Develop, implement, and evaluate healthcare practices in healthcare systems that ensure quality improvement and patient safety.
  3. Use analytic methods and evidence based practices to improve practice outcomes and the practice environment.
  4. Implement and evaluate ethical healthcare information systems and patient care technology to improve the quality of patient health outcomes and care systems.
  5. Advocate for healthcare practices that advance social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare arenas.
  6. Employ interprofessional collaborative teams to improve patient and population health outcomes and healthcare delivery systems.
  7. Lead the integration and institutionalization of (evidence based) clinical prevention and population based health guidelines.
  8. Use clinical judgment, systems thinking, accountability, and specialized knowledge to design, deliver, and evaluate evidence based, culturally proficient care to improve patient, population, and health systems outcomes.



1.     Summarize underpinning in the development and maintenance of the ethical psychotherapeutic relationship with patients and families. (DNP Essentials I, III, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation Competencies 1 – 4, Quality Competencies 1 – 3, Ethics Competencies1-3, Independent Practice Competencies 1 – 8)

2.     Illustrate essential aspects of supportive, cognitive behavioral and person-centered psychotherapy. (DNP Essentials I, II, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1 –4,  Quality 1 – 3, Ethics 1-3,Independent Practice 1 – 8)

3.     Compare supportive, cognitive behavioral and person-centered psychotherapy to determine the best fit for individual patients and problems. (DNP Essentials I, III,VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1 – 4, Quality 1 – 3, Ethics 1-3, Independent Practice 1 – 8)

4.     Differentiate psychotherapeutic techniques of supportive, cognitivebehavioral and person-centered psychotherapy. (DNP Essentials I, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1 –4,  Quality 1 – 3, Ethics 1-3,Independent Practice 1 – 8)

5.     Create a psychotherapy treatment plan for patients and families. (DNP Essentials I, II,VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1 – 4, Quality 1 – 3, Ethics1-3, Independent Practice 1 – 8)

6.     Evaluate outcomes of psychotherapy interventions. (DNP Essentials I, II, VII, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Scientific Foundation 1 – 4, Quality 1 – 3, Ethics 1-3,Independent Practice 1 – 8)

7.  Appraise the reimbursement process for selected procedures/diagnostic tests and how it relates to ethical stewardship of health care resources to ensure sustainability and high quality patient care. (DNP Essentials II, VIII; NONPF Competencies: Ethics 1, 2, 3, Independent Practice 1, 2, 4)


A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (75-79)
D = 1 point (66-74)
F = 0 points (65 or below)


Criteria for assignments, evaluation and grades will be posted online inside Canvas. See course packet inside Blackboard.

A = 90 - 100
B = 80 - 89
C = 70 - 79
D = 60 - 69
F = < 60

A grade of 80 is required to pass the course and progress to the next course in your track major.

Criteria for assignments, evaluation and grades are posted online inside Canvas. See course packet and additional course information inside Canvas. Evaluation of learning and outcome achievements are measured by rubrics for online discussions, and other course assignments as well as computerized examinations. Assignments are due on the due dates and times posted inside Canvas including discussion posts. Students are required to use a laptop or desktop with a web camera and microphone for online classes and for taking examinations. Be sure you have a reliable internet connection. Examinations are taken using Examplify Software which requires the above capabilities.

Exam I 20% of Grade
Exam II 20% of Grade
Final Exam 30% of Grade (New content and cumulative)
Discussions and written assignments 10% of Grade
Group Presentation 10% of Grade
Group therapy participation 10% of Grade

Grading Scale for Graduate Course:
A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (75-79)
D = 1 point (66-74)
F = 0 points (65 or below)


Attendance in class is an expectation of each student.


  1. If written assignments are made in a course they are required.
  2. Students are expected to submit written work on the scheduled date and time.
  3. The student must notify the course coordinator prior to the scheduled due date and time if they are unable to submit the written work as scheduled. Failure to make this notification in advance will result in a "zero" for that written work.
  4. If the excuse is accepted as reasonable and necessary, arrangements will be made for an alternative due date and time.
  5. Each student is responsible for making sure that he or she has completed the written work prior to submission.
  6. Late work will be accepted with consequences as outlined per course syllabi.


The APA Publication Manual 7th edition is required for use in all nursing school programs. 


Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Regents Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22.


Students who are nurses or are preparing to enter the profession of nursing are expected to treat others with respect and compassion. “The principle of respect for persons extends to all individuals with whom the nurse interacts. The nurse maintains compassionate and caring relationships with colleagues and others with a commitment to the fair treatment of individuals, to integrity-preserving compromise and to resolving conflict. This standard of conduct precludes any and all prejudicial actions, any form of harassment or threatening behavior, or disregard for the effects of one’s actions on others” (American Nurses Association Code for Nurses, Interpretive Statement 1.5).

The students, faculty, Department Chairs, Associate Deans, and the Dean of the School of Nursing of the University Texas Health Science Center San Antonio subscribe to the highest standards of conduct. Our aim is professional behavior beyond reproach. Failure to abide by the signed code of professional conduct may lead to suspension and/or permanent dismissal from the UTHSCSA SON. In particular, we subscribe to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Nurses (http://bit.ly/1mtD5p2) and the following points of conduct.


School of Nursing Netiquette Guidelines for Online Interaction

Netiquette guidelines provide information for behaving properly online, when using email, tweets or texts so that you may successfully communicate your thoughts in a manner that is respectful and avoids misunderstandings with others.


Any student seeking reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact either the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services within the first week of the semester or schedule a meeting with the UTHSCSA ADA Compliance Office so that appropriate accommodations may be arranged. A request for accommodations (Form ADA-100: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/form100-Faculty-student-resident.pdf) must be completed and submitted to the Executive Director of the ADA Compliance Office before accommodations can be provided. Additional information can be provided in the Student Success Center, Room 1.118 or through the ADA Compliance Office website: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/request.asp.


American Psychiatric Nurses Association, International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses, American Nurses Association. (2014) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice Nursebooks.org ISBN: 9781558102507

American Nurses Association (2015). Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements: Development, Implementation and Application. ISBN: 9781558106031

American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition Paperback (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association. ISBN 978-0-89042-555-8 (you should already have this text)

Beck, J.S. (2011). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Basics and Beyond 2nd Edition. Guilford Press. ISBN: 978-1-60918-504-6 you should already have this text

Goldenberg H & Goldenberg I. (2013) Family Therapy: An Overview 8th Ed.  Belmont CA: Cengage.  ISBN13: 978-1-111-82880-6

Wheeler, K. (2013). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how to guide for evidence based practice 2nd Edition Springer Publishing. ISBN: 9780826110008 (you should already have this text)

Winston, A., Rosenthal, R., Weiss, L. (2020). Learning Supportive Psychotherapy, 2nd Ed. Washington, DC. APA Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1615372348

Yalom, I.D. & Leszzcz, M. (2005). The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy 5th Ed.  New York: Basic Books. ISBN: 978-0-465-09-284-0


Carlat D.J. (2012). The Psychiatric Interview. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; ISBN-13: 978-1451110197


Psychotherapy for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
A. Introduction to Psychotherapy
   1. The Nurse Psychotherapist and Framework for Practice
   2. Neurophysiology of Trauma and Therapy
   3. Assessment, Clinical Interview and Differential Diagnosis
      a. Mnemonics
      b. Genograms
   4. Psychotherapy Approaches

B. The Initial Contact and Maintaining the Frame
   1. Therapeutic Communication
   2. Assessment Tools, Clinical Evaluation, Maintaining the Frame,           Case Formulation, Diagnosis and Plan of care
   3. Legal and Ethical Issues, and Professional Boundaries

C. Supportive Psychotherapy
D. Person Centered Psychotherapy
E. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
F. Trauma Informed Psychotherapy
G. Documentation, Evaluation, and Interruption of Services
H. Psychiatric Care of Special Populations
   1. Psychotherapy with Pregnancy and Breast Feeding
   2. Psychotherapy with the Older Adult
   3. Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies
I. Cultural Psychiatry
1. Mental Health and Culture
J. Psychotherapy and Substance Use
K. Clinical Evaluation of the Complex Psychiatric Patient
L. Group and Family Therapy

CALENDAR - 1st Day Only

Please check the schedule for recent updates on Class Dates & Room.

Semester begins 7 January 2021

Course begins 13 January 2021 with online assignments listed inside CANVAS

On Campus Face to Face: 13 January 2021

Please note that due to unforeseeable COVID-19 restrictions face-to-face class may change to synchronous virtual classes. The faculty will update you regarding future changes to the schedule. 

For full calendar and details, please refer to information posted in CANVAS on the first day of the semester

© School of Nursing | The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio external link
Links provided from Health Science Center School of Nursing pages to other websites do not constitute or imply an endorsement of those sites, their content, or products and services associated with those sites.

School of Nursing - UT Health Science Center San Antonio