Course Descriptions

PSC 501A Theories of Psychotherapy 3 units
In this course, students critically examine some of influential theories of counseling and psychotherapy by exploring the social, cultural and historical contexts that produced them. Theories are considered in terms of their relevance in the contemporary social context. The course compares and contrasts theories in terms of key theoretical concepts such as personality development, health and illness, therapeutic techniques and relevance in the contemporary social context. Students begin the process of developing their philosophy of treatment and therapeutic orientation.

PSC 503A  Research Methods 3 units
This course examines different approaches to the generation and evaluation of psychological theory and data. Strengths, weaknesses, and ethical practice of quantitative and qualitative methods are examined with attention to the descriptive and inferential statistical methods used in hypothesis testing and psychological assessment.

PSC 504 Human Development and Diversity 3 units
This course will provide an overview of human development throughout the lifetime in the family, social and cultural context. The individual and family life cycles will be viewed as mutually interactive processes which are also affected by such factors as biology/genetics, gender, race, ethnicity, acculturation, religion, etc. The development of the individual will be traced chronologically through a survey of a select number of major theoretical approaches. The family and other factors influencing and generated by the individual’s developmental tasks will be explored concurrently.

PSC 504G  Lifespan Human Development:  The Older Adult  1.5  units
This course meets the ten-hour BBS requirement for the study of the biological, psychological and social aspects of aging from an holistic perspective. Students will learn to identify red flags, assess common disorders such as depression and dementia, as well as incorporate positive components that contribute to healthy aging. Students will learn how to consider and implement treatment options for elderly clients and their families, as well as working with community supports and making community referrals.

PSC 505A Multicultural Awareness 3 units
Professionals in a multicultural society must be aware of psychological, social, economic and political issues associated with culture, race, class, ethnicity, age and gender. This course examines the experience of cultural difference, with particular emphasis on power, oppression and marginalization. The course promotes self-awareness and cross-cultural exploration of cultural heritage as well as student’s attitudes and biases.

PSC 505 Clinical Skills in the Multicultural Context 3 units
This experiential course builds on the student’s developing multicultural awareness and clinical skill repertoire. Students are introduced to culturally responsive assessment practices and work to develop case conceptualization and treatment planning skills that integrate knowledge about cultural influences and identities as well as the concepts of oppression, power, poverty, and acculturation into their clinical practice.

PSC 506A Psychopathology 3 units
In this course students develop basic competency in formulating a psychological diagnosis using the most up-to-date DSM criteria. Using knowledge of the etiology and diagnostic criteria of psychological disorders, participants will learn to view symptoms of psychopathology from a biopsychosocial framework in order to assess, diagnose, and plan treatment.

PSC 507A Family Systems 3 units
This course examines the major concepts and theories of the family systems movement in psychotherapy. By exploring the history, premises, cultural influences and approaches of family therapy practice, students learn to conceptualize about individuals, couples, and families from a systemic point of view.

PSC 507 Clinical Skills with Families and Couples 3 units
This experiential course focuses on the application of systems theory to psychotherapy with couples and families. Students learn assessment and intervention techniques that consider the context of the client and are aimed at changing the interactions between individuals as well as at the level of the system.

PSC 507H  Advanced Family Therapy:  Special Populations 2 units
This course is designed to teach students in-depth skills in working with a specific population. Students will learn about the characteristic psychological and social issues associated with a specific client population or disorder and the most promising mental health treatments.

PSC 507I  Advanced  Family Therapy:  Evidence-based  Practice 2 units
This course is designed to teach students in-depth skills of an evidence based treatment approach. Through a focused study of an evidence based therapy students learn to use the theory to conceptualize a case, plan treatment, and apply the associated techniques.

PSC 508 Psychological Assessment 3 units
This survey course covers the major psychological assessment instruments used with normal and pathological populations. Evaluating the psychometric properties of tests and their use in planning treatment are addressed. Students will learn to administer level B instruments and to interpret them within the client’s cultural, developmental and systemic context.

PSC 511 Latino Mental Health 3 units
The course focuses on the understanding of the sociopolitical context of Latinos and its effects on the mental health and psychosocial development of Latino adults, families and children within the social context. The course addresses multicultural issues such as Latino subgroup differences, immigration, acculturation, family values, gender socialization, and language and how these relate to providing culturally responsive therapy.

PSC 512A Clinical Skills in the Latino Context 3 units
In this experiential course students work on the development of basic counseling skills and the building of a therapeutic relationship that is accomplished within and with reference to the Latino cultural context and healing practices.

PSC 515   Clinical Skills w/ Latino Families and Couples 3 units
This experiential course focuses on the applications of systems theories to Latino couples and families. Students will learn assessment and intervention techniques that consider the systemic context of the client with the aim of changing family interaction patterns.

PSC 516  The Process of Bilingual Group Psychotherapy 3 units
This course serves as an introduction to the theories and concepts of bilingual group psychotherapy including group development, membership, and dynamic processes. Students will learn about the curative power of group therapy, leadership skills and treatment strategies and how cultural factors affect group behavior. All students participate in the classroom process group under the supervision of the instructor and an opportunity is provided to practice group facilitation skills in Spanish.

PSC 517 Clinical Skills II: The Psychotherapy Process with Latino Clients 3 units
This course focuses on developing fluency and clinical competency in psychotherapy with the Latino client using learning methods. Skills are developed for differentiating between content and process, and for working with client affect, resistance and defense, transference and counter transference as they relate to the bilingual Latino client.

PSC 520 The Process of Group Psychotherapy 3 units
This course serves as an introduction to theories and concepts of group psychotherapy including stages of group development, membership, and systemic behavior. Students will learn the curative power of group therapy, leadership skills and treatment strategies. All students participate in the classroom process group under the leadership of the instructor and an opportunity is provided to practice group facilitation skills.

PSC 520A Clinical Skills I: The Psychotherapeutic Relationship 3 units
This course provides an introduction to basic psychotherapeutic concepts and skills, with particular attention to the nature of the relationship between psychotherapist and client. Students learn fundamental clinical skills aimed at establishing core therapeutic conditions, building a therapeutic alliance, and identifying a treatment focus in the initial phase of psychotherapy.

PSC 520B Clinical Skills II: The Psychotherapy Process 3 units
In this course, students learn to attend to process variables in psychotherapy and gain practice experience in applied psychotherapy techniques. Skills are developed for differentiating between content and process, and for working with client affect, resistance and defense, transference and counter transference.

PSC 522 Group Theories 1.5 units
This course serves as an introduction to the theories and concepts of group psychotherapy including various kinds of groups, stages of group development, membership, and dynamic processes. Students will develop a foundation in formulating and creating groups for specific populations and gain basic skills in group facilitation.

PSC 525 Career Theories and Practice in the System  4.5 units
This course will provide both the theoretical foundation and the practical experience necessary to understand and foster the career/lifestyle development for clients both individually and in groups. The course will address career/lifestyle development of diverse populations. Students will learn to assess and attend to the unique career development needs of individuals within particular socio-economic and cultural groups in context from a systemic perspective. Students will be prepared with the necessary knowledge and skills to collect, evaluate, and use occupational and life development data in helping individual clients and various client populations to make effective decisions and take appropriate actions in their career/life development.

PSC 524 Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy 2.0 units
This course expands upon the material in PSC501A by reviewing contemporary theories and promising mental health practices that have shown to be effective. The underlying theoretical framework, key theoretical concepts and techniques, and the applications of the approach are emphasized.

PSC 530 Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents 3 units
This course focuses on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents. Students learn to assess and integrate the child or adolescent’s developmental, social, cultural, educational, and familial context in the formulation of a clinical case conceptualization and treatment plan.

PSC 531A Intimate Relationships 3 units
In this course, students examine relationships of intimacy, including same-sex and opposite-sex partnering, and marriage. Systemic theories and processes for facilitating change in intimate relationships will be explored, including attachment theory, solution focused theory, brief strategic therapy, cognitive-behavioral theory, psychodynamic theory, and research based methods. This course will provide students with an intermediate – advanced level of learning in theoretical knowledge, multicultural competence, clinical skills, interpersonal competence, and critical thinking in working with couples.

PSC 532  Trauma Counseling 3 units
This course examines the cognitive, behavioral and neurological effects associated with traumatic situations and experiences. Assessment strategies and intervention principles for individuals with trauma related mental or emotional disorders are addressed.

PSC 532A  Crisis, Disaster and Emergency Response 1.5 units
This course examines the role of the mental health professional in natural disasters and community emergencies.  Application of crisis theory and multidisciplinary responses ranging from short-term crisis intervention to long-term approaches designed to prevent the development of mental health problems and trauma responses are emphasized.

PSC 537B Human Sexuality and Counseling 3 units 
In this course students examine biological, psychological, psychosocial, and cultural aspects of sexuality in order to gain an appreciation for the diversity of human sexual response. The course also covers psychosexual disorders and their treatment. Students will have the opportunity to explore their values regarding sexual behavior as it relates to their work as therapists

PSC 538D Professional Orientation 1 unit
In this course students are oriented towards beginning practice in their traineeships as licensed professionals. The policies and procedures of the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) including knowledge of the required paperwork and regulations involving training that meets BBS standards are covered. Students will gain an overview of the licensure process and their responsibilities and limitations at the Trainee level. Professional persona is addressed and a vocational component helps prepare students to apply for and interview with training sites.

PSC 538B Professional Ethics and the Law 3 units
This course addresses the most up-to-date statutes, regulations and ethical standards governing the practice of marriage and family therapy in California. Students will become familiar with the therapeutic, clinical, and practical considerations involved in the legal and ethical practice of marriage and family therapy as well as current legal patterns and trends in the mental health professions. Emphasis is placed on the application of legal and ethical standards to cases, and upon learning a structured approach to ethical decision making in clinical practice.

PSC 545A Substance Related Disorders and Other Addictive Behaviors 3 units
This course addresses the major substance related disorders and other addictive processes.  It includes a comparative study of different diagnostic, therapeutic, and theoretical approaches to the treatment of these disorders. Additional Topics include a classification of the major substances of abuse and other objects of addiction; the impact on families; the impact on society; cultural sensitivity when working with diverse populations.

PSC 546 Psychopharmacology for Therapists 3 units
This course covers fundamentals of psychopharmacology needed to inform practitioners when referring clients for psychotropic medication consultations and in working collaboratively with psychiatrists. Students will learn the various classifications of psychotropic medications, their indications, contraindications and efficacies. Attention will be given to the diagnostic criteria for major DSM disorders that are treatable with medication, including a list of these medications, their therapeutic dosage ranges, side effects, and drug interactions.

PSC 547 Brain and Behavior 1.5 units
This course provides students with a foundational understanding of conscious thought and awareness and human behavior. Students will learn to recognize and describe major concepts and terminology in the field of behavioral neuroscience and the interface with psychopharmacological medications and evaluations related to psychological practice.

PSC 550B Domestic Violence: Spousal, Elder and Child Abuse 3 units
This course will provide students with foundational learning in clinical skills and ethical competence in domestic violence inclusive of spousal, elder and child abuse. Students will learn to recognize and assess spousal, elder and child abuse, to recognize risk factors and family dynamics, intervene from a variety of approaches and understand the psychological and traumatic consequences of abuse. Students will also gain knowledge in professional responsibility regarding mandated reporting laws and utilization of community resources for intervention and prevention.

PSC 551 Community Mental Health 3 units
This course examines the theories, history, research, and practice of community mental health as a foundation for effective community based treatments for people with serious mental illness. The biopsychosocial factors that support this population’s ability to live as symptom free as possible, with the highest quality of life in the least restrictive environment will be examined. Additionally, evidence based methods and promising practices of rehabilitation, recovery, and empowerment for currently served and underserved people with serious mental illness will be explored.

PSC 555A Dual Diagnosis: Substance Related and Co-Occurring Disorders 1.5 units
This course examines the evaluation and treatment of individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance related disorders. Topics include diagnosing common co-occurring disorders, risk factors for development, and the interrelationship of these disorders. Students will learn about evidence-based Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT), and other specific approaches targeted to this population such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Referral resources for these disorders will also be identified and investigated.

PSC 560 Healthy Development Throughout the Aging Process 3 units
Individual and family lifecycle development perspectives are used to understand the psychological, social, and biological changes that are associated with aging with an emphasis on factors related to positive adjustment and “healthy” aging. Students will examine later life transitions in work, family, and social roles and health as well as how aging processes vary by gender, race, and ethnicity.

PSC 561 Social, Cultural, and Systemic Aspects of Aging 3 units
This course provides a broad perspective on the social effects of our increasing population of older adults. Social attitudes, cultural values and changes in society and the family are examined as they relate to resiliency in later life. Specific issues such as the economic effects on the family, living arrangements, multi-generation relationships, and the utilization of social service programs are examined in diverse families and communities.

PSC 562 Clinical Skills with Older Adults  3 units
Drawing from clinical approaches used with the general population, this course teaches skills specific to working with older adults and their families. Intervention with a unique lens to the aging population will include topics of loss including; roles, financial resources, support networks, partners, friends, cognition, health, overall sense of well-being. Challenges and corresponding interventions which relate to the “whole person” including; mind, body and spirit, physical changes, interpersonal relationships and sexuality will be addressed. The course will also look at the impact on the family system including; care giving, and transition to alternative living arrangements. Clinical approaches will be presented which incorporate a response to the marginalization of older adults, and support resilience and the positive reframing of the experience for aging populations and their families.

PSC 563 Loss and Bereavement 2 units
This professional course focuses on issues related to the loss of physical and cognitive functions, dying, and death and other losses that naturally accompany the aging process. Theories of bereavement and loss, caregiver stress, and cultural differences are applied to clinical issues of grief and mourning and caregiver coping and burnout within the family context.

PSC 563A Loss and Bereavement Through the Life Cycle 3 units
This course addresses issues related to losses of all kinds through the lifecycle with a  particular focus on physical and cognitive functions, dying, and death and other losses that naturally accompany the aging process.  Theories of bereavement and loss, caregiver stress, and cultural differences are applied to clinical issues of grief and mourning and caregiver coping and burnout within the family context. 

PSC 650B Practicum I: Clinical Evaluation and Crisis Management   2 units
This practicum course is focused on the skills needed in the early stages of treatment including establishment of the therapeutic relationship, identification of critical issues and factors related to healthy functioning. Students learn to conduct a comprehensive interview to obtain an assessment of the case with a family, social, economic, and medical context, as well as the standard for documentation of the evaluation. The course also addresses the identification of psychosocial stressors, emergent issues, and crisis situations in order to target them for immediate intervention and establishing treatment goals.

PSC 650C Practicum II:  Diagnosis and Treatment Planning   2 units
In this practicum course students will focus on the assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders. Students will learn to write a basic treatment plan that addresses goals for psychotherapy and to make community referrals for collaborative treatment services. Students working in a training site will discuss cases in class with a focus on evaluation and treatment planning.

PSC 650D Practicum  III: Clinical Interventions   3 units
This practicum classes focuses on providing individual and family interventions, including the use of evidence based treatments and the effects of trauma. A systemic perspective is emphasized that examines social, community, family and cultural systems points of intervention and as they interface with psychological health, resiliency, and wellness.

PSC 650E  Practicum IV:  Integrating Clinical Skills  3 units
This course is the capstone course of the program and covers the integration of theory and professional practice. The theoretical foundations of clinical psychology are reviewed and used as a basis for clinical cases conceptualization. Students learn to plan interventions over the course of stages of psychotherapy, to write case conceptualization reports, and to document short and long term treatment plans.

PSC 650F  Practicum I  Clinical Evaluation and Crisis Intervention with Older Adults and Their Families 2 units
This practicum course is focused on the skills needed in the early stage of treatment including establishment of a professional relationship and identification of critical issues and factors related to functioning in the elderly. Students learn to conduct a comprehensive interview of the individual’s family, social, economic, and medical context, and how to document the evaluation. The course also addresses the identification of stressors, emergent issues, and crisis situations in order to target them for immediate intervention.

PSC 650G Practicum II  Diagnosis and Treatment Planning  with Older Adults and Their Families 2 units
In this practicum course students will focus on the diagnosis of psychological disorders in older adults and the associated issues including differentiating developmental factors from psychopathology. Students will learn to develop a basic treatment plan that addresses short-term goals for psychotherapy and to make community referrals to the range of community based services that maintain the health and productivity of the older adult. A continuum of care is addressed from programs that assist older adults to remain in their communities to those required for long term care. Students working in a training site will present cases for class discussion with a focus on evaluation and treatment planning.

PSC 650H Practicum III: Clinical Interventions with Older Adults and Their Families 3 units
This practicum class focuses on providing individual and family interventions with older adults and their partners, families or adult children. Interventions include use of evidence based treatments and interventions designed to promote and maintain resiliency and healthy aging. A systemic perspective is emphasized that includes social, community, family and cultural systems as a point of intervention and supporters of psychological health and wellness.

PSC 650I Practicum IV: Integrating Clinical Skills with Older Adults and Their Families 3 units
This course is the capstone course of the program and covers the integration of theory and professional practice. The theoretical foundations of clinical psychology are reviewed and used as a basis for clinical cases conceptualization. Students learn to plan interventions over the course (stages) of psychotherapy, to write case conceptualization reports, to document short and long term plans and terminate treatment effectively.

PSC 650L Practicum: Professional Orientation for LPCC 1.5 units
The practicum I-Professional Seminar for LPCC will focus on the ethical standards and legal issues related to clinical practice. Students will become familiar with the American Counselors Association Code of Ethics and the various statutory requirements that impact clinical practice. Students will learn to recognize the ethical principles and legal issues related to the Counselor role and utilize knowledge in their work with clients and as a professional amongst colleagues.