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Introduction  
The rapidly aging population and urbanization brought about the breakdown of the traditional family system, consequently creating numerous one-person households. In addition, the number of children who are not getting proper care from parents is growing as the result of an increasing number of families where both parents have to work, and there are a significant number of adolescents who are ailing both physically and mentally as the result of the alienation of individuals, which is a characteristic of modern society.
These social realities call for the production of new professionals who can provide comprehensive treatment and therapy services for individuals to become healthy both physically and mentally. In response to this reality, Gachon University opened the Graduate School of Special Therapies in 2012 and has been devoted to the production of special therapists who have both caring hearts and rich medical knowledge.
Currently, the Graduate School of Special Therapies offers seven major courses. They are: Psychological & Cognitive Therapy; Speech Therapy; Arts Therapy; Music Therapy; Movement & Dance Therapy; Sports Therapy; and Clinical Nutrition.
 
Major Areas  
   Psychology & Cognitive Therapy Major
The growth process of children--- from the toddler stage to childhood and adolescence ---is marked by continuous interactions between various developmental areas including physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and character. During the toddler, childhood, and adolescent stages that are marked by rapid growth and development, an integrated approach that covers various developmental factors is more ideal than a therapeutic approach that focuses only on one area. Up until recently, therapies for children and adolescents have been focused solely on play therapy, psychological therapy, or special education. For example, children who have normal intellectual capacity but emotional problems were treated with play therapy (psychological therapy), and for children who have developmental or intellectual disorders such as autism, the treatment offered took a special education approach. Consequently, in the case of children who are suffering from complicated developmental or emotional troubles, or a significant problem with concentrating or learning disabilities, it was difficult to get the appropriate integrated specialized treatment.
In the clinical fields, there is a growing awareness about the need for cognitive learning therapy for children and adolescents. Psychology & Cognitive Therapy is a major course that includes crucial elements from cognitive learning therapy to the existing psychological therapy areas in response to the demand from the field. The program offers a field-oriented educational system where students will get practical field training in a clinical setting while learning diverse theories on psychological therapy and cognitive learning therapy.


   Speech Therapy Major
Speech Therapy is an academic discipline that comprehensively covers impairments in the ability to make the sounds and words that constitute communication, which begins from the moment of birth. This condition is also known as speech-language pathology or communication disorder. It is broadly divided into several categories: childhood language development disorder which is about delayed language development; articulation disorder which is about speech sound disorder; fluency disorder which is about stuttering; voice disorder which is about abnormal production or absences of vocal quality; neurogenic speech disorder which is inability to exchange information with others due to nervous system impairment such as aphasia; and speech and language disorders accompanied by hearing impairment. The goal of the speech therapy major course is to produce competent speech therapists that have a wealth of knowledge and clinical experiences. In order to achieve this goal, the program offers a curriculum with special focus on observation and practice in clinical fields in addition to theories about all speech and communication disorders. The speech therapy major course is a great opportunity for those who wish to study speech and language pathology and become professional speech therapists, or move on to get master's degree while working as a speech therapist after graduation.


   Art Therapy Major
Art therapy has the ability to unlock the inner thoughts that are hard to express in words through artistic activity, and help develop a healthy sense of identity by releasing emotional stress. Therefore, an art therapist needs to build professional qualifications based on the fundamental understanding of humans. Given this, the art therapy major course ensures students learn mental theory, psychopathology, art techniques for diagnosis and therapy, and clinical art therapy case studies and other classes, systematically. Students who enroll in the art therapy major course have an opportunity for clinical training and supervision in the closed, rehabilitation, and female wards at Gachon University Gil Hospital so that they can build clinical skills and put them into practice.


   Music Therapy Major
Music therapy is a newly emerging therapy that is getting extremely popular in the clinical field. To become a music therapist, you need to acquire systematic knowledge about related academic disciplines in addition to music. The music therapy major course ensures students have the theoretical background and practical skills needed by offering education with treatment techniques and the field training that is necessary for clinical treatment, in addition to psychology, music therapy philosophy, and basic theories that are necessary for music therapy. The major course also offers classes on other related subjects such as speech therapy, psychological therapy and art therapy so that students can build inclusive and multilateral thinking skills. This integrated approach is expected to greatly improve the student's competency as future therapists, and qualify them to thrive at various health and medical facilities (hospitals) as professional music therapists. Students can also acquire a Korean Certified Music Therapist certificate issued by the National Association of Korean Music Therapists after the required clinical field training and passing a dissertation upon graduation.


   Movement & Dance Therapy Major
The Movement & Dance Therapy major course is a program that combines movement therapy and dance therapy. Movement therapy is a branch of the therapy field that involves physical movements to heal physically and mentally. Students can learn diverse academic theories and practices about systematic, scientific, and functional body movements. Students will be educated to become qualified as professional movement therapists who thrive in their careers through clinical training and field training for a required period. Dance therapy is a branch of art therapy that is based on the academic premise that the body and mind are connected in union. This academic discipline focuses on integrated psychological therapy through dance and physical movement for individuals and groups who are seeking endopsychic growth, or who have psychosocial disorders. The program also strives to produce professional and competent therapists by offering a specialized curriculum that focuses on actual clinical training based on artistic therapeutic factors and theories on psychotherapy.


   Sports Therapy Major
The growing national interest in people's well-being and the aging population have resulted in the demand for professionals who can prevent diseases, suggest the right way to exercise, and solve diverse problems that can result from sports injuries. The Sports Therapy major course strives to contribute to the health and wellbeing of society by training sports therapy specialists who can handle the physical, mental and social problems that happen before, during, and after engaging in sports. The major course focuses on the production of field-oriented sports therapists by offering both theory and practical education in sports athlete-related areas (elite sports) and health related areas (prevention of disease).


   Clinical Nutrition Major
The Clinical Nutrition major course is a four-semester, master's degree program and the classes are held at night. The last semester consists of 12 weeks of field training. Students become professional clinical nutritionists who can offer advice and consulting services when asked about nutrition issues or who make rounds to patients as part of a health management team with doctors or nurses with professional skills acquired through 480 hours of practical training and knowledge learned on such subjects as Advanced Theories of Nutrition, Pathological Physiology, Clinical Nutrition Therapy I & II, Advanced Clinical Nutrition Therapy, Nutrition Counseling & Education, Parenteral Nutrition, and Development of Diet for Treatment. Students will also learn clinical nutrition research methods so that they can build the academic foundation for evidence-based practice.
Students have the option to take practical training at affiliated hospitals including Gachon University Gil Hospital, Inje Baek Hospital in Ilsan, or Catholic St. Mary's Hospital in Bucheon, depending on their locational situation.