Healthy Aging Concentration

AUSB’s Healthy Aging concentration is unique in its focus on a strength based, holistic counseling approach that supports resilience in older adults and their families. Students in the Healthy Aging Concentration meet all course requirements towards MFT licensure while focusing on the psychological, physical, and social needs of the growing population of older adults and their families.

This concentration is a response to the critical need in the counseling field, for professionals to serve the expanding and growing needs of adults over 50 and their families. Students who complete this concentration will be well equipped to meet the growing demand, both nationally and globally, for trained professionals with an expertise in Healthy Aging.

The concentration includes:

  • Assessment and counseling skills around the challenges and opportunities of healthy aging from a wellness perspective
  • Support and prevention resources for families and caretakers of older individuals
  • Emergency and crisis intervention training
  • Clinical field work and supervision
  • All of the courses required for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the 96-unit program

Job Statistic iconAccording to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, one in three living Americans is 50 years of age or older. By 2035, one in five people will be over the age of 65.

Healthy Aging Concentration

Antioch University Santa Barbara

#1

AUSB’s Healthy Aging concentration
is the only of its kind in the nation.

Antioch University Santa Barbara

96 units

This concentration meets the educational requirements for California licensure as a
Marriage and Family Therapist with a concentration in counseling with older adults.

Antioch University Santa Barbara

27:1

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.

Healthy Aging Plan of Study Total Units 96
First Quarter (10.5 units)
PSC504Human Development and Diversity (3)

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.
PSC505AMulticultural Awareness: Self, Culture, and Context (3)

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.
PSC532ACrisis, Disaster and Emergency Response (1.5) *

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.
PSC501ATheories of Psychotherapy in Context (3)

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.
Second Quarter (11 units)
PSC503AResearch Methods (3)

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.
PSC524Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy (2)

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.
PSC520AClinical Skills I: The Psychotherapeutic Relationship (3)

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.
PSC561Social, Cultural, and Systemic Aspects of Aging (3)

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.
Third Quarter (15 units)
PSC550BDomestic Violence: Spousal, Elder and Child Abuse (3) *

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.
PSC507ATheories of Family Systems (3)

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.
PSC560Healthy Development Throughout the Aging Process (3) *

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.
PSC508Psychological Assessment: Evaluating Individuals and Systems in Context (3) *

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.
PSC506APsychopathology (3)

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.
Fourth Quarter (11.5 Units)
PSC507Clinical Skills with Families and Couples (3)

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.
PSC522Group Theories (1.5) *

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.
PSC538BProfessional Ethics and the Law (3)

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.
PSC520BClinical Skills II: The Psychotherapeutic Process (3)

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.
PSC538DProfessional Orientation (1) *

Professional Orientation (1)

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.
Fifth Quarter (12 units)
PSC 520The Process of Group Psychotherapy (3)

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.
PSC562Clinical Skills with Older Adults (3)

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.
PSC650FPracticum I: Clinical Evaluation and Crisis Intervention With Older Adults (3)

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.
PSC546Psychopharmacology for Therapists (3) *

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
Sixth Quarter (12 units)
PSC531AIntimate Relationships (3)

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.
PSC650GPracticum II: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning with Older Adults and Their Families (3)

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
PSC545ASubstance Related Disorders and Other Addictive Behaviors (3) *

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.
PSC563ALoss and Bereavement Through the Life Cycle (3)

Loss and Bereavement Through the Life Cycle (3)

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.
Seventh Quarter (13 units)
PSC530Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents (3)

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.
PSC551Community Mental Health (3)

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.
PSC555BDual Diagnosis: Substance Related and Co-Occurring Disorders in the Older Adult (2)

Dual Diagnosis: 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.
PSC650HPracticum III: Clinical Interventions with Older Adults and Their Families (3)

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.
PSC507HAdvanced Family Therapy: Special populations (2) *

Advanced Family Therapy: Special populations (2)

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.
Eighth Quarter (11 units)
PSC532Trauma Counseling (3)

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.
PSC650IPracticum IV: Integrating Clinical Skills With Older Adults and Their Families (3)

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.
PSC537BHuman Sexuality and Counseling (3)

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.
PSC507IAdvanced Family Therapy: Evidence Based Practice (2) *

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.
Total Units 96