Healthy Aging Concentration
Learn to work with our nation’s fastest growing population in one of the nation’s most beautiful locations.
This concentration meets the educational requirements for California licensure as a
Marriage and Family Therapist with a concentration in counseling with older adults.
This ratio of students to faculty ensures you are never just one of the crowd.
Healthy Aging Plan of Study
*Courses offered online or on alternate cohort day.
|Total Units 96 for Healthy Aging MFT |
(or 105 units with optional 9th quarter MFT/LPCC)
|Healthy Aging Plan of Study|
|Fall Quarter (10.5 units)|
|PSC 501A||Theories of Psychotherapy in Context (3)
PSC 501A Theories of Psychotherapy in Context (3)In this course, students critically examine some of the influential theories of counseling and psychotherapy by exploring the social, cultural and historical contexts that produced them. Theories are considered in terms of their evidence base and 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, and therapeutic techniques. Students begin the process of developing their philosophy of treatment and therapeutic orientation.
|PSC 504||Human Development and Diversity (3)
PSC 504 Human Development and Diversity (3)This course provides 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 505A||Multicultural Awareness: Self, Culture, and Context (3)
PSC 505A Multicultural Awareness: Self, Culture, and Context (3)This course examines the process of human growth and development throughout the lifespan with an emphasis on how developmental models inform the work of the clinician. Students will learn the use of developmental, family, socio-economic and cultural context in their conceptualizations of psychological health and psychopathology. Particular attention is paid to the transitions between developmental periods.
|PSC 532A||Crisis, Disaster and Emergency Response (1.5) *
PSC 532A Crisis, Disaster and Emergency Response (1.5) *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.
|Winter Quarter (11 units)|
|PSC 503A||Research Methods (3) *
PSC 503A Research Methods (3) *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 520A||Clinical Skills I: The Psychotherapeutic Relationship (3)
PSC 520A Clinical Skills I: The Psychotherapeutic Relationship (3)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 524||Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy (2)
PSC 524 Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy (2)This course expands upon the material in PSC 501A by reviewing contemporary theories and 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 561||Social, Cultural, and Systemic Aspects of Aging (3)
PSC 561 Social, Cultural, and Systemic Aspects of Aging (3)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.
|Spring Quarter (13.5 units)|
|PSC 507A||Theories of Family Systems (3)
PSC 507A Theories of Family Systems (3)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 individuals, couples, and families from a systemic point of view.
|PSC 508||Psychological Assessment: Evaluating Individuals and Systems in Context (3) *
PSC 508 Psychological Assessment: Evaluating Individuals and Systems in Context (3)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 is addressed. Students will learn to administer level B instruments and to interpret them within the cultural, developmental and systemic context of the individual.
|PSC 520B||Clinical Skills II: The Psychotherapeutic Process (3)
PSC 520B Clinical Skills II: The Psychotherapeutic Process (3)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) *
PSC 522 Group Theories (1.5) *This course serves as an introduction to the theories and concepts of group psychotherapy including stages of group development, membership and dynamic processes.
|PSC 538B||Professional Ethics and the Law (3)
PSC 538B Professional Ethics and the Law (3)This course addresses the most current statutes, regulations and ethical standards governing the practice of marriage and family therapy and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors in California. Students will become familiar with the therapeutic, clinical, and practical considerations involved in the professions’ legal and ethical practices and 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 and professional practice.
|Summer Quarter (13 Units)|
|PSC 506A||Psychopathology (3) *
PSC 506A Psychopathology (3) *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 507||Clinical Skills with Families and Couples (3)
PSC 507 Clinical Skills with Families and Couples (3)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 538E||Practicum: Professional Orientation (1) -w-
PSC 538E Practicum: Professional Orientation (1) -w-In this course students are oriented towards beginning practice in their traineeships as licensed professionals and developing professional persona. 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 550B||Domestic Violence: Spousal, Elder and Child Abuse (3)
PSC 550B Domestic Violence: Spousal, Elder and Child Abuse (3)This course provides 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 560||Healthy Development Throughout the Aging Process (3)
PSC 560 Healthy Development Throughout the Aging Process (3)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 that contribute towards positive adjustment and healthy aging. Students will examine later life transitions in work, social roles and health, as well as how aging processes vary by gender, race, ethnicity and other variables.
|Fall Quarter (12 units)|
|PSC 650F||Practicum I: Clinical Evaluation and Crisis Intervention with Older Adults (3)
PSC 650F Practicum I: Clinical Evaluation and Crisis Intervention with Older Adults (3)This practicum course is a blend of theory, skills, and consultation focusing on students’ initial experiences in a clinical traineeship. Students will learn the basics of working with non-profits and other agencies. Early stages of treatment will be examined including establishment of the therapeutic relationship, identification of critical issues and factors related to healthy functioning. Students will learn to conduct a comprehensive interview to obtain an assessment of cases within a family, social, economic, and medical context, and standards of documentation. 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. Attention will be given to prevention and intervention with older adults and their families.
|PSC 520||The Process of Group Psychotherapy (3)
PSC 520 The Process of Group Psychotherapy (3)The course integrates theories and concepts learned in the group theory course through an experiential group process oriented learning model. Students will learn the curative power of group therapy, leadership skills and treatment strategies through instructor facilitated groups that include group participation and group facilitation practice opportunities.
|PSC 546||Psychopharmacology for Therapists (3) *
PSC 546 Psychopharmacology for Therapists (3) *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 562||Clinical Skills with Older Adults (3)
PSC 562 Clinical Skills with Older Adults (3)This course draws from clinical approaches used with all populations, for application in working with older adults and their families. Interventions are informed by the clinician’s knowledge of and sensitivity to the unique and profound changes experienced by individuals during the natural progression of this phase, who also encounter discrimination and marginalization. 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.
|Winter Quarter (12 units)|
|PSC 650G||Practicum II: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning with Older Adults and their Families (3)
PSC 650G Practicum II: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning with Older Adults and their Families (3)This practicum course focuses on the assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders. Students learn to write a basic treatment plan that addresses goals for psychotherapy and to make community referrals for collaborative treatment services. Cases are discussed with a focus on evaluation and treatment planning with older adults including differentiating developmental factors from psychopathology. Students will learn to write 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 discuss cases in class with a focus on evaluation and treatment planning
|PSC 531A||Intimate Relationships (3)
PSC 531A Intimate Relationships (3)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 communications theory, cognitive-behavioral theory, psychodynamic theory, and research based methods.
|PSC 545A||Substance Related Disorders and Other Addictive Behaviors (3) *
PSC 545A Substance Related Disorders and Other Addictive Behaviors (3) *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, and cultural sensitivity when working with diverse populations.
|PSC 563A||Loss and Bereavement Through the Life Cycle (3) -w-
PSC 563A Loss and Bereavement Through the Life Cycle (3) -w-This course addresses issues related to losses of all kinds through the life cycle 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.
|Spring Quarter (13 units)|
|PSC 650H||Practicum III: Clinical Interventions with Older Adults and their Families (3)
PSC 650H Practicum III: Clinical Interventions with Older Adults and their Families (3)This practicum course focuses on providing individual and family interventions, including the use of evidence based treatments and the effects of trauma. The discussion will focus on interventions with older adults and their families within a systemic context The course will address social, community, family, and cultural systems (including uses and abuses of technology), and points of intervention as they interface with psychological health, resiliency and wellness. Boundary issues, confidentiality issues, therapist use of self, and the therapeutic relationship will be examined.
|PSC 507H||Advanced Family Therapy: Special populations (2) -w-
PSC507H Advanced Family Therapy: Special populations (2) -w-This course is designed to teach students in-depth skills in working with specific populations. Students will learn about characteristic psychological and social issues associated with specific client populations and/or disorders and the most promising mental health treatments related to those populations.
|PSC 530||Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents (3)
PSC 530 Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents (3)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 551||Community Mental Health (3)
PSC 551 Community Mental Health (3)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 555B||Substance Related & Co-Occurring Disorders in the Older Adult (2) *
PSC 555B Substance Related and Co-Occurring Disorders in the Older Adult (2) *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.
|Summer Quarter (11 units)|
|PSC 650I||Practicum IV: Integrating Clinical Skills with Older Adults and their Families (3)
PSC 650I Practicum IV: Integrating Clinical Skills with Older Adults and their Families (3)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 plans.
|PSC 507I||Advanced Family Therapy: Evidence Based Practice (2) *
PSC 507I Advanced Family Therapy: Evidence Based Practice (2) *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 532||Trauma Counseling (3)
PSC 532 Trauma Counseling (3)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 psychological disorders are addressed.
|PSC 537B||Human Sexuality and Counseling (3) *
PSC537B Human Sexuality and Counseling (3) *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.
|Total Units 96 Healthy Aging MFT|
|Optional Fall Quarter (9 units) Optional to add LPCC coursework|
|PSC 503B||Evaluation Outcome and Research (1.5) *
PSC 503B Evaluation and Outcome Research (1.5) *This course provides an overview of the purposes and uses of outcome-based evaluation approaches and methods in mental health, social service and other non-profit settings where psychological and career services are provided. In this course students will gain an understanding of recent developments in measurement and evaluation, examine the role of evaluation in developing programs and services, learn about approaches to outcome-based evaluation and gain skill in identifying appropriate data collection and analysis methods for research, needs assessment and program evaluation.
|PSC 508A||Social and Cultural Factors of Assessment and Evaluation (1.5) *
PSC 508A Social and Cultural Factors of Assessment and Evaluation (1.5) *This course builds upon the theoretical basis for social, psychological and cultural assessment and evaluation of individuals and groups. Students will learn how to use the major psychological assessments with normal and pathological clients and apply these assessments within a social and cultural context. Students will also learn ethical strategies for selecting, administering and interpreting assessment instruments from a social and cultural context.
|PSC 525||Career Theories and Practice in the System (4.5) *
PSC 525 Career Theories and Practice in the System (4.5) *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 546A||Psychopharmacology for Therapists (1.5) *
PSC 546A Psychopharmacology for Therapists (1.5) *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.
|* = online/hybrid or weekend|
w = weekend only
|Total Units 105 MFT/LPCC|