Counseling Psychology (MS, MFT, PCC)

The Counseling Psychology Department develops professionals committed to excellence. Graduates are thoughtful practitioners who demonstrate ethical purpose, apply best practices, and use intercultural knowledge to serve the needs of a diverse and global society.

The Department of Counseling Psychology at Dominican offers professional training leading to the degree of Master of Science (MS) in Counseling Psychology. Those wishing to apply for licensure are required to take the concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC).

Program Learning Outcomes

The student will demonstrate:

  1. An ability to effectively apply theories & techniques of counseling and psychotherapy.
  2. Competency in diagnosis, assessment, client advocacy, and treatment planning.
  3. An understanding of human diversity issues in counseling and the ability to implement interventions with clients from a variety of cultural communities.
  4. An understanding of and ability to apply current law and professional ethics and values to specific client situations.
  5. Effectiveness and clarity in both written and verbal communication

Requirements for Admission

New students are admitted for Fall and Spring semesters. Applicants for the Counseling Psychology Program must meet the requirements as stated in the Additional Requirements Specific to Some Graduate Programs section of this catalog.

Admitted Student Status

Upon receipt of all required application materials, the Office of Admissions will notify applicants of the status of their applications. Those applicants selected for interviews will be invited to meet with 2 members of the Department of Counseling Psychology faculty. Applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision within two weeks.

Curriculum

The Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology requires 60 semester units for MFT and/or PCC concentration, and 43 semester units for GM concentration. Six of these units may be transferred from another institution with the approval of the Chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology. All classes are limited to a maximum of 20 students, depending upon course content. Practicum and General Master’s seminars are limited to a maximum of six students. Students who have not already taken an undergraduate or graduate course in Theories of Personality must take this course prior to the completion of their first year in the program.

In order to be eligible to take CP 5294 Practicum Seminar and CP 5995 GMPP Seminar, a total of 24 units including the following courses need to be completed: CP 5201, CP 5208, CP 5217, CP 5221 and CP 5237. For that reason, it is recommended that students take these courses early in the program.

 

The core courses offered by the Department of Counseling Psychology at Dominican and the additional courses for the area of concentration are as follows:

Counseling Psychology (MS) Requirements

 

CP 5201Fundamentals of Clinical Practice: Individual Psychotherapy

3.00 units

CP 5205Advanced Counseling Techniques: Assessment and Treatment of Children

2.00 units

CP 5206Crisis Intervention and Trauma

1.00 unit

CP 5207Advanced Counseling Techniques: Psychodynamic

2.00 units

CP 5208Advanced Counseling Techniques: Brief and CBT Therapies

3.00 units

CP 5209Advanced Counseling Techniques: Client Advocacy and Collaborative Care

3.00 units

CP 5210Fundamentals of Clinical Practice: Group Psychotherapy

3.00 units

CP 5214Domestic Violence: Assessment, Reporting and Treatment

1.00 unit

CP 5215Child Abuse: Assessment, Reporting and Treatment

1.00 unit

CP 5216Alcohol and Substance Abuse

2.00 units

CP 5217Professional Ethics and Law

2.00 units

CP 5219Human Diversity

2.00 units

CP 5221Psychological Assessment

3.00 units

CP 5222Research in Human Systems and Treatment Outcomes

3.00 units

CP 5231Phases of Human Development

3.00 units

CP 5237Psychopathology and Treatment Planning

3.00 units

CP 5995GMPP Seminar

3.00 units

CP 5995GMPP Seminar (second course)

3.00 units

Total Credit Hours:43

Counseling Psychology (MS) with a Concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy and/or Professional Clinical Counseling Requirements

 
CP 5201Fundamentals of Clinical Practice: Individual Psychotherapy

3.00 units

CP 5205Advanced Counseling Techniques: Assessment and Treatment of Children

2.00 units

CP 5206Crisis Intervention and Trauma

1.00 unit

CP 5207Advanced Counseling Techniques: Psychodynamic

2.00 units

CP 5208Advanced Counseling Techniques: Brief and CBT Therapies

3.00 units

CP 5209Advanced Counseling Techniques: Client Advocacy and Collaborative Care

3.00 units

CP 5210Fundamentals of Clinical Practice: Group Psychotherapy

3.00 units

CP 5214Domestic Violence: Assessment, Reporting and Treatment

1.00 unit

CP 5215Child Abuse: Assessment, Reporting and Treatment

1.00 unit

CP 5216Alcohol and Substance Abuse

2.00 units

CP 5217Professional Ethics and Law

2.00 units

CP 5218Geriatrics and Long-Term Care

1.00 unit

CP 5219Human Diversity

2.00 units

CP 5220Career Counseling

3.00 units

CP 5221Psychological Assessment

3.00 units

CP 5222Research in Human Systems and Treatment Outcomes

3.00 units

CP 5224Psychopharmacology

3.00 units

CP 5231Phases of Human Development

3.00 units

CP 5237Psychopathology and Treatment Planning

3.00 units

CP 5245Clinical Aspects of Human Sexuality

1.00 unit

CP 5246Advanced Counseling Techniques: Family Therapy

3.00 units

CP 5247Advanced Counseling Techniques: Couple Therapy

3.00 units

CP 5294Practicum Seminar

3.00 units

CP 5294Practicum Seminar (second course)

3.00 units

CP 5294Practicum Seminar (third course)

3.00 units

Total Credit Hours:60

Additional Requirements

Competency Based

The Counseling Psychology program is a competency/outcome-based, program of academic and professional training. For those pursuing state licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor, the Board of Behavioral Sciences requires that coursework be taken in prescribed areas. The Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counselor is designed to meet the requirements of the Business and Professions Code Section 4980.36 and 4999.32 and the California Business and Professions Code Section 4999.32 and 4999.33. The areas of professional competence required of all students include:

  • Effectiveness and clarity in written communication according to graduate and clinical writing standards.
  • Effectiveness and clarity in verbal communication according to professional and ethical standards.
  • Skill in assessment and problem definition.
  • Ability to write a Treatment Plan that effectively aligns with a given diagnosis and utilizes an appropriate, and in some cases, evidence based Theoretical Orientation and Model of treatment.
  • Ability to write and clearly document the course of treatment and the clinical decisions made in all phases of treatment.
  • Understanding of human diversity issues in counseling and the ability to apply culturally congruent interventions.
  • Understanding of and ability to apply current law and professional ethics and values to specific client situations.
  • Understanding of appropriate professional and community resources and the process of referral; effective implementation of client advocacy and collaborative care skills in consultation with various systems of care.
  • Ability to effectively apply theory and techniques of counseling and psychotherapy to the needs of psychotherapy clients.
  • Critical thinking and clinical analytic skills that extend beyond the concrete specifics of a Case Study.
  • Ability to self-reflect upon strengths and weaknesses of a particular course of treatment and self-assess clinical ability according to the chosen theoretical framework.

Declaration of Concentration and Mid-Program Performance Reviews

The Counseling Psychology department has three concentrations: Master of Science (MS) in Counseling Psychology and the MS in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy, and MS in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling. Students must declare their area of concentration upon completing their first semester. Students cannot register for any additional courses until they have been approved for their declared concentration. The declaration of concentration will be discussed and approved at the Faculty meeting.

Formal evaluations are conducted at two points in a student’s program. First, on an academic level after completing 24 units and second, on a clinical level after completing the first semester of practicum or volunteer work experience. In addition, each student in a Practicum or GM Seminar will receive individual feedback each semester from the seminar instructor and site supervisor(s). The faculty may provide feedback to specific students in regards to particular issues or concerns and may require that a student who is unsuited to provide professional services to others withdraw from the program or change her/his concentration.

MFT and PCC Concentration and Practicum

A minimum of 500 hours of practicum is required for the MFT Concentration and PCC Concentration. Students work in governmental agencies, schools or colleges, nonprofit and charitable corporations, or licensed health facilities. On-site licensed professionals closely supervise all students during their MFT and/or PCC Practicum experience. In addition, faculty members serve as fieldwork-consultants teaching Practicum Seminars, which are limited to a maximum of six students.

General Master’s Concentration & Volunteer Placement

On-site professionals closely supervise all students during their volunteer placements. A minimum of 280 hours of volunteering is required for General Master’s Concentration. In addition, students participate in a General Master’s Proficiency Project seminar composed of a maximum of six students.

Psychotherapy Requirements

The Department of Counseling Psychology requires that all students in the MFT/PCC concentration have a minimum of 45 hours of personal psychotherapy (up to 15 of these hours may have been done within 2 years before entering the program). This requirement is based on the belief in the value of students personally experiencing a process they are being trained to provide for others. The personal psychotherapy may be in the form of individual, couple or family therapy or a combination of these.

Students in the General Master’s concentration are not required to complete 45 hours of personal psychotherapy. If a General Master’s student chooses to participate in personal psychotherapy during his/her time in the program they may count those hours towards required 280 Fieldwork volunteer hours.