Master of Arts in Psychology Course Descriptions

PSC 5011 Theories of Psychotherapy in Context
3 units
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 5031 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 5040 Human Development and Diversity
3 units
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 5041 Lifespan Human Development: The Older Adult
1.5 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. Students will examine later life transitions in work, social roles and health as well as how aging processes vary by gender, race, and ethnicity.

PSC 5051 Multicultural Awareness: Self, Culture & Context
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 students’ attitudes and biases.

PSC 5061 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 5200 The Process of Group Psychotherapy
3 units
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 5220 Group Theories
1.5 units
This course serves as an introduction to the theories and concepts of group psychotherapy including stages of group development, membership and dynamic processes.

PSC 5250 Career Theories and Practice in the System 
3 units

This course will provide the theoretical foundations of career counseling and explore important considerations in the provision of career counseling to multi-cultural client populations.  Students will reflect on their own personal career/professional development and use this experience to gain a broader understanding of how clients experience their career development and what motivations guide their choices.  Students will learn basic career counseling interview skills and become familiar with commonly used assessment tools. Students will be prepared with the necessary knowledge and skills to collect, evaluate, and use occupational and life development data to help diverse client populations make effective decisions.

PSC 5251 Career Theories and Practice 
3 units

This course acts as a companion course to Career Theories and Practice in the System. It provides students with the practical experience necessary to understand and foster career/lifestyle development for diverse populations. This course teaches a range of skills to assist clients facing work and education related issues from a multi-cultural perspective. In addition, the course will address the role of career planning within the counseling domain by discussing subjects such as job searches, resume building, and interview preparation. Major course topics will include the delivery of culturally sensitive career counseling, the complex relationship between professional life and personal life, and career assessments. Students will learn to utilize knowledge gleaned within each of these realms to administer thoughtful, ethical, and competent career counseling.

PSC 5320 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 psychological disorders are addressed.

PSC 5321 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 5372 Human Sexuality & 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 5450 Substance Related Disorders & 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, and cultural sensitivity when working with diverse populations.

PSC 5502 Domestic Violence: Spousal, Elder & Child Abuse
3 units
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 5510 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 5551 Dual Diagnosis: Substance Related & 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 5600 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 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.

PSC 5610 Social, Cultural, & 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 6530 Practicum/Special Project
(11 units over three quarters)
This course allows students to develop a project that focuses on an area of special interest in the field of Psychology. The project can be a thesis, project, or supervised practicum relevant to the chosen area of specialization. The project is proposed by the student and approved by the supervisor assigned who oversees the practicum/project. Additional readings and learning resources are integrated and practiced throughout the project to strengthen application.

 

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