Catalog 2012-2013 
    May 25, 2018  
Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Counseling: Master of Arts (MA-CC), San Francisco

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The goals of the Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling Program are to prepare highly competent professional counselors to work in multicultural communities, with individuals, groups, and social systems, to (1) promote mental health and well-being, (2) conduct appropriate and accurate assessments, and (3) apply critical thinking, reflective self-evaluation, and commitment to life-long learning in order to make decisions in service provision consistent with the Social Justice Advocacy Competencies.

Program Outcomes

The following learning outcomes integrate the eleven core competencies of the Masters in Counseling Accreditation Council (MCAC), the eight common core areas of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) 2009 Standards and the Professional Practice Competencies of A(lliant)-IMPACT.

  1. Professional Identity, Values and Attitudes. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the counseling profession, the role and function of counselors in multiple settings and professional organizations. Students will demonstrate behavior and deportment that reflect the values and attitudes of counseling.
  2. Social and Cultural Diversity. Students will demonstrate the following: an understanding of and sensitivity to issues of diversities in multiple settings including gender, race, ethnicity, mental and physical ability, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation and international contexts; ability to articulate processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and domination; an understanding of counselors’ roles in eliminating bias and discrimination.
  3. Ethical/Legal Standards and Policy. Students will demonstrate knowledge of ethical, legal and professional standards and guidelines, and have an awareness of and ability to apply ethical decision making and conduct regarding professional activities with individuals, groups, and organizations.
  4. Reflective Practice/Self-Assessment/Self-Care. Students will demonstrate practice conducted with personal and professional self-awareness and reflection; with awareness of competencies; with appropriate self-care.
  5. Relationships. Students will demonstrate skills in relating effectively and meaningfully with individuals, groups, and/or communities.
  6. Scientific Knowledge and Methods. Students will demonstrate an understanding of and respect for research, research methodology, techniques of data collection and analysis, biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, being an effective consumer of research, and having skills to understand and contribute to program evaluation.
  7. Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). Students will demonstrate integration of research and clinical expertise in the context of client factors.
  8. Human Growth and Development. Students will demonstrate the ability to utilize theories of human growth and development in multiple settings to address the needs of clients in appropriate and relevant contexts across the lifespan.
  9. Career Development. Students will demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to address lifespan multicultural career issues including career choice and decision making and related life factors in multiple settings.
  10. Intervention in Helping Relationships. Students will demonstrate: an understanding of different aspects of the theory and practice of counseling and consultation; a strengths-based orientation to wellness, prevention, and resilience; an understanding of the principles of the diagnostic process. Students will use interventions designed to alleviate suffering and to promote health and well-being of individuals, groups, and/or organizations (e.g., career, group, family, and/or systems-level interventions).
  11. Group Work. Students will demonstrate an understanding of theory and practice of group counseling and the ability to conduct group work in a multicultural society across multiple settings.
  12. Assessment. Students will demonstrate an understanding of assessment, including standardized and nonstandardized assessment, in a multicultural society across multiple settings.
  13. Interprofessionalism and Interdisciplinary Systems. Students will demonstrate knowledge of key issues and concepts in related disciplines. Students will identify, interact and collaborate with professionals in multiple disciplines.
  14. Advocacy. Students will demonstrate actions targeting the impact of social, political, economic or cultural factors to promote change at the individual (client), institutional, and/or systems level.

Training Model

Clinical Counseling is a master’s level mental health profession that applies counseling and psychotherapeutic techniques to identify and remediate cognitive, mental, and emotional issues, including personal growth, adjustment to disability, psychosocial and environmental problems, and crisis intervention. The MA Clinical Counseling Program incorporates the educational requirements set out by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, the Masters in Counseling Accreditation Council (MCAC) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) 2009 Standards. Graduates are positioned to pursue the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) license, recently adopted by the State of California.

Students develop practitioner skills in diagnosis, treatment planning, and psychological interventions with individuals and groups. The program uses academic, experiential, research-based clinical practice approaches and direct community service learning in coursework and field placements. Integrating a strengths-based and resilience perspective, the program fosters critical consciousness and reflective thinking as students learn counseling and consultation skills found to be effective with a variety of mental health issues. Students gain multicultural competence and a strong foundation in social justice advocacy to empower the clients and communities they will serve.

Field Training

Students conduct a minimum of 700 hours of direct and indirect supervised clinical experience counseling individuals, families or groups. Clinical Counseling students will utilize resources of the CSPP Psychological Service Center (PSC) and other field practica in the surrounding communities in order to gain the supervised training necessary.

Research Training

As part of the social justice advocacy training, students will engage in a two-semester collaborative community research project in the Research Methods and Masters Project courses. This will culminate with students submitting a grant proposal to support community mental health services.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The 60-unit curriculum incorporates the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) educational requirements


Curriculum Plan

Students who begin graduate study after August 1, 2012 or who begin study before 2012 and do not complete it by 2018 will be required to meet a 60-unit minimum program of study.

Required Courses Units
CC Observation and Interviewing 3
Human Development 3
Career Development Theories and Techniques 3
Group Counseling Theories and Techniques 3
CC Assessment 3
Intercultural Awareness Development 3
Psychopathology for CC 3
CC Research Methods 3
CC Profession, Law and Ethics 3
Psychopharmacology 3
Chemical Dependence 3
Crisis/Trauma Counseling 3
Theories and Techniques of Clinical Practice 3
Couples Counseling 3
Sex Therapy 3
Practicum 3; 3
Masters Project 3
Two advanced coursework electives 6
Total        60 units


Comprehensive Examination

Students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination prior to completing their degree program.

Self-growth experiences, reflection and self-disclosure

Faculty, staff and supervisors have professional, ethical obligations to evaluate and ensure the interpersonal competence of trainees. Students will at times be required to participate in learning activities that require different levels of self-disclosure. This can include, but is not limited to, exploration of one’s beliefs and values and the potential impact of one’s disposition toward the backgrounds and histories of a community, clients, peers, faculty, and supervisors.

We strongly recommend that all students complete 20-30 hours of personal growth counseling with a licensed mental health professional in individual and/or group counseling or psychotherapy prior to graduation.

Recommended Optional Training

Clinical Counseling students are highly encouraged to participate in the five-week CSPP Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion Program at Alliant International University’s Mexico City campus during the summer between Year 1 and 2. Students can also opt to take courses towards the Certificate in Latin American Family Therapy. The certificate program focuses on assisting clinicians to develop general multicultural and international competencies, an increased understanding of the historical and cultural influences impacting Latin American clients, and the ability to identify best practice procedures for assessing and addressing issues in Latin American mental health. Courses in this program will count towards the required Clinical Counseling courses

Clinical Counseling Core Faculty

E. Janie Pinterits, PhD, Associate Professor and Program Director

Tiffany O’Shaughnessy, PhD, Assistant Professor

For a detailed description of program faculty background and research interests, please see the alphabetical listing of Faculty  for the California School of Professional Psychology.

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