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Counseling Psychology and Counseling Course Descriptions

Courses offered specifically for Education students are listed in the Department of Education section of the bulletin; however, some Counseling Psychology courses are cross-referenced with Education.


The foundation course for all CPSY programs, this course provides a laboratory setting in which students master basic skill sets that are fundamental for effective communication, advanced counseling and therapy. Among the basic skills essential to counseling psychology are the cultivation of attention, learning to ask questions, paraphrasing and encouraging, reflecting feeling and meaning, confrontation and empathy. The course allows students the opportunity to create, discover and/or examine and expand their personal counseling style through deep investigation of both self and the professional literature. A primary focus is on being more conscious and intentional in interpersonal communication and subsequently in the counseling process. Prerequisite: None (3 units)


CPSY 200 Syllabus


This course provides information and perspective to future therapists regarding biological, developmental, behavioral, emotional, and cultural aspects of human sexuality. It is principally clinical in focus: reading materials, classroom experiences and discussions are used to augment students' knowledge of human sexual functioning, both potential and problematic, and to expand students' comfort with their future role as therapists to couples and individuals. Prerequisite: 200 and (212 or 216). (3 units)

CPSY 211 Syllabus 2019

The focus of this course is relationships: how human beings develop as relational beings; how they orient toward themselves and toward others in relationship; how they orient in the therapeutic relationship; how their relational templates may be the focus of therapeutic intervention. Study is focused on the formation and dynamics of interpersonal relationships in the individual, family, and couples. Study also includes traditional and nontraditional relationships. Prerequisite: 200 or 216.

CPSY 212 Syllabus


This course provide counseling psychology students with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with issues like to be encountered when working with LGBT clients. Students will confront their own beliefs and feelings about same sex relationships and how these might affect their clinical work. Teaching methodology will include lecture, readings and discussions, case studies, experiential exercises, testimonies of LGBT persons, and films. Prerequisite: 200. (3 units)


CPSY 213 Syllabus

This course focuses on research and clinical technique related to evidence-based practice in psychotherapy. It includes instruction on methodology, analysis, and synthesis of research on the efficacy and outcomes of psychotherapy interventions, as well as training in evidence-based counseling techniques from a variety of theoretical perspectives, including cognitive, behavioral, person-centered, and psychodynamic. Students gain an understanding of how research can inform what techniques to practice in the therapy encounter and how those techniques should be implemented with a variety of disorders and psychosocial issues. NOTE: Students who have taken this course should not enroll in CPSY 224. Prerequisites: None. (3 units)


CPSY 214 Syllabus

A developmental approach to the entire human life cycle from childhood through old age, with focus on significant transitions and passages. Includes coping with change in the personal, social, and transpersonal domains and how it has an impact on human growth and development. Prerequisite: None (3 units)

CPSY 216 Syllabus


A comprehensive review of fundamental concepts in personality theories and their applications to counseling and psychopathology, with special focus on explicating the relationship between theory and practice. Key elements, concepts, and techniques associated with major theories of counseling are examined; identifying the strengths and limitations of each of the major theories, as well as commonalities and divergences among them. The course will help students formulate an initial personal theory of counseling from which to build as they evolve through the program. Exploration of Psychoanalytic, Humanistic, Cognitive, Behavioral, Systems and multi-cultural theory and technique are among the course foci. Prerequisite: None (3 units)


CPSY 218 Syllabus

Introduction to small-group dynamics. Techniques of small-group leadership and experiential involvement in group process. The phases of natural group development and ethical, professional leadership are examined. Primary focus is on process-oriented, especially closed-ended groups. Lab group required concurrently or prior. Prerequisites: 200 and 218; pre-requisite or co-requisite: 220; 221 are strongly recommended. (3 units)


CPSY 219 Syllabus

This lab is an experiential application of the theories and principles learned in 219. Must be taken prior to or concurrently with 219; Prerequisites: 200 and 218; 220 strongly recommended. (0 units)


Fundamentals of research and statistics in analyzing research in counseling and psychotherapy. Emphasis on the review, evaluation and interpretation of research literature, particularly in the areas of child development and counseling, and marital and family therapy. Discussion of formulations of research proposals and theses. Prerequisite: None (3 units)

CPSY 220 Syllabus

This lab is an experiential application of the theories and principles learned in 219. This lab is taken prior to or concurrently with 219. Prerequisites: 200 and 218; 220 strongly recommended. Note: 78 Unit LPCC and LPCC/MFT combined track students. (1.5 units)

Intensive focus on the development of individual counseling skills through readings, discussion, experiential exercises, and feedback on skill development. Reviews of videotaped interviews enhance self-observation skills and understanding of therapeutic process. Prerequisites: 200 and 218. (3 units)


CPSY 227 Syllabus

An intensive skill-building class presenting an integrative model of individual therapy. Theory and interventions are based on process experiential (Emotion-Focused Therapy) and interpersonal (Time-Limited Dynamic, Control Mastery) approaches. The class offers students opportunities to (a) learn and practice strategies and techniques for working with process dimensions of therapy, (b) learn a wide range of therapy markers and the specific interventions recommended for each of them, (c) gain experience as counselors in supervised therapy mini-sessions, (d) practice advanced therapy skills during class, and (e) receive extensive feedback on their counseling skills. The class is particularly useful for students just before or during their practicum experience. Prerequisites: 200, 218 and 227. (3 units)


CPSY 228

The focus of this course is the development of clinical skills and interventions to work with issues presented by lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. Therapeutic concerns of individuals, couples and families will be explored through readings, discussions, experiential exercises, and feedback on skill development. Prerequisite: 213. (3 units)

This class addresses the evaluation of the various models of psychotherapy as they relate to diverse populations and the influence of the mores and values of various ethnically and culturally diverse populations upon the counseling process. Within-group differences associated with culture, acculturation, and identity development are explored in depth. Self-exploration of racial/ethnic perceptions, attitudes, and experiences, as well as perceptions of gender, privilege, SES, class, and other issues. Review and evaluation of contemporary examples of multicultural research. Prerequisites: 200 and 218. (3 units)


CPSY 231 Syllabus

Concepts and characteristics of child and adolescent delinquency, including the effects of trauma, violence and abuse; gangs; substance abuse;teenage parenthood; and dropout, anti-social, and nonconventional behavior. Introduction to the treatment of these issues, including correctional education, special education, juvenile justice, and social welfare systems as well as effective practices for counselors, including crisis, safety, and weapons management among others. Prerequisite: None (3 units)


CPSY 243 Syllabus

Principles and procedures of correctional psychology and correctional education, including current research on best practices. Discussion of pro-social development and skills, functional assessment and curriculum, correctional psychology, criminal justice, vocational programs, aggression reduction, prejudice reduction, life skills training, comprehensive systems, and treatment planning. Examination of therapeutic approaches and model programs. Prerequisite: None (3 units)

CPSY 244 Syllabus

Program planning, treatment planning, effective transitions, and vocational planning for delinquent, at-risk, and nonconventional youth. Coordinating planning, existing processes (IEP, IFSP, ILP, ITP), and promoting future success. Functional assessment and intervention, program identification, placement, and support. Vocational education programs, training options, assessment, and instruments. Job development, recruiting, placement, and support. Impact of disability, criminality, lifestyle, and cognitive distortion. Thinking processes, distortions, and retraining. Prerequisite: None (3 units)

CPSY 245 Syllabus

An introduction to the central ideas and processes involved in the object-relations approach to psychotherapy. Critical concepts such as projective identification, transference/countertransference, the holding environment, internal objects, transitional phenomena, the therapeutic matrix, etc. are explored and practiced. Readings from the British school (Klein, Winnicott) and American (Ogden) are blended with clinical practice and discussion. Prerequisites: 200, 212, 216 and 218. (3 units)


CPSY 264 Syllabus

This course provides a "hands-on" approach to understanding the basic tenets of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Beginning with a comprehensive review of the fundamental concepts and research supporting CBT, students will learn about and practice cognitive behavioral therapy through didactic lectures, experiential learning, readings, group discussion, videos, and role plays. A primary focus in this class is practical applications of CBT, including relaxation training, activity scheduling, and development of treatment plans for diverse populations. Prerequisites: 200, 218; 214 recommended. (3 units)

CPSY 265 Syllabus

Study of professional, legal, and ethical issues that emerge in marriage and family counseling, psychotherapy, and private practice; understanding values as a method of critical thinking and behavioral analysis. Students confront such issues as confidentiality, clients' rights, mediation, as well as child, spousal/partner, and elder abuse. Prerequisites: 200 and 218. (3 units)

CPSY 275


Study of licensing law and process, regulatory laws that delineate the profession's scope of practice, strategies for collaboration, and advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients. Prerequisites: 200, 218, 275. (1.5 units).

CPSY 276 Syllabus

An overview of the research on adult development, with an emphasis on large-sample longitudinal studies. Concepts and definitions of adulthood are explored. Primary emphasis is on the clinical utility and integration of stages of adulthood and both their empirical parameters and those presented in the world's great mythologies and contemplative traditions. Focus on identification and assistance with the transitional challenges of middle and late adulthood. Finally, theories of aging and issues that concern the elderly; dynamics and complexity of intergenerational families; social responses to aging and concerns of the extended family are integrated into practical counseling models for individual, family, and group therapy. Prerequisite: 200 and 216. (3 units)

Among the major theories of psychotherapy, Existential Psychotherapy holds a place that both blends with other approaches and stands distinctly apart. Focused on the personal experience of meaning, this form of psychotherapy explores the inner world as the client creates it. Beginning with the thinking of Viktor Frankl, the course focuses primarily on the American approaches to existential therapy. Constructs employed include the centrality of choice, the tension between the fear of the unknown (freedom) and the stagnation of the status quo (security), the salience of the here-and-now experience of self and the therapist use of self. Although a theory class, significant portions of the class are clinical and pragmatic; exploring existential psychotherapy in film, demonstration and experimentation. Prerequisites: 15 units including CPSY 227. (3 units)

CPSY 288 Syllabus

Explores psychological issues and skills in counseling people coping with loss, grief, and life-threatening illness, and other traumatic circumstances. Topics include: current theory and research on coping with and resilience to grief, loss, and trauma; assessment and therapeutic interventions with individuals and families; cultural and spiritual dimensions; the evolving philosophy and practice of hospice and palliative care; stress management for the therapist. The applicability of these concepts and skills to everyday psychotherapy practice is emphasized. Prerequisite: 200. (3 units)

CPSY 291 Syllabus

A comparative study of various Eastern and Western themes and schools of spirituality. In-depth exploration of the implications and relationship of these views to counseling psychology. The nature of the human person and criteria for assessing a person's spiritual-psychological health and growth; stages of development; teachings on how to guide or work with another; and views on such themes as authentic love, humility, guilt, and discernment. Prerequisite: 200. (3 units)


CPSY 298 Syllabus



Overview of the career development field, focusing on current career development and decision theory. Applications of theory across various settings (industry, clinics, schools, rehabilitation, etc.). Exploration of changing concepts of work and career. Examination of the meaning and spirituality of work, and of "calling," conscious life planning and lifestyle choices. Prerequisite: None (3 units)

CPSY 300 Syllabus

Familiarity with, and use of, current career assessment instrumentation. Evaluation of leading instruments; selection criteria governing use of instruments according to client needs. Interpretation of individual and group assessment data. Practice in completing the career counseling interview, including appropriate assessment and interpretation. Course includes an approved, individualized, formal career assessment to be completed either prior to or concurrent with 302. Prerequisite: 300. Recommended: 318. (3 units)
Note: Required for 90 unit LPCC or LPCC/MFT Track only.

CPSY 302


This course examines special issues in career counseling with special attention on working with multicultural populations, disabled populations, and the Americans with Disability Act. Requirements: 78 Unit LPCC Track students only; Prerequisites: 300. (1.5 units) This course will be discontinued after Spring of 2014.

This course focuses on trauma and crisis and the therapist's role in both immediate response and longer term recovery. Emphasis is placed on an integrative framework including psychological first aid, crisis assessment and management, resourcing and stabilization, basic therapeutic principles of working with crisis and trauma, and therapist self-care. 
Prerequisites: 200 and 291 (1.5 units)
(note: MFT/LPCC dual track correctional psychology emphasis students please see instructor regarding 291)
This course presents a skills-focused, evidence-based, phase-oriented therapeutic framework to treating complex trauma. Specific areas of emphasis include neurobiological and developmental aspects of complex trauma, cultural trauma and cultural competence, treatment assessment and goals, resilience-based therapeutic interventions, vicarious trauma, treating chronic shame and dissociation, trauma memory processing, and complex trauma in couple and family therapy.
Prerequisites: 291 and 308 (3 units)
(note: 308 and 309 can be taken in the same quarter)

Supervised course of study initiated by the student. A written proposal and course syllabus must be submitted to the Graduate Services Office by the end of the first week of the term in which the course will be conducted. The proposal must be approved with signatures from the faculty member of record and the Department Chair.
NOTE: Only Full-time faculty members may direct an independent study. (1-6 units)

Introduction to methods, theories, and techniques of premarital, marital, sexual, and divorce counseling. Initial focus is on normal relational development, followed by characteristic methods of intervention with relationship difficulties in a primary dyadic relationship. Couple relationships within the cultures most common in California are explored and integrated with the more generic foci. This class includes considerable media and experiential components. Prerequisites: 200, 212, 218 and 227. (3 units)


CPSY 311 Syllabus


Introduction to systems theory (e.g., Structural, Bowenian, Strategic) and procedures appropriate to working with families. Opportunity to practice counseling with simulated families. Prerequisites: 200, 212, 218 and 227. (3 units)

CPSY 315 Syllabus 2019

A broad range of therapeutic interventions with children and families are presented, with a particular focus on play therapy. Case conceptualization, diagnostic formulation, and issues related to treatment planning are addressed. The influence of class, culture and ethnicity on the assessment/treatment process is explored. Prerequisite: 200, 216 and 218. (3 units)



CPSY 317 Syllabus

Study of the therapeutic decision-making process in the context of psychopathology and the clinical setting. Emphasis on the recognition, classification, and understanding of abnormal behavior. Traditional DSM diagnostic categories are studied, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis, affective disorders, psycho­physchological disorders, and other abnormal lifestyle patterns. Prerequisites: 200, 212, 216 and 218. (3 units)


CPSY 318 Syllabus

Emphasis on diagnosis and clinical judgment, including such issues as type of impairment, degree of impairment, predictability, and treatment plan, as well as sources of error judgment and how these errors are minimized. The use of individual, couple, and family assessment techniques, projective tests, personality inventories, and other instruments in a professional setting. Prerequisites: 318. (3 units)

CPSY 319 Syllabus

This class focuses on substances that are abused, the effect on the abuser, and treatment strategies in both individual and group psychotherapy modalities. Included are various clinical approaches to treatment; coordination of treatment with 12‐step programs; co‐occurrence of substance use with other disorders; understanding the stages of recovery; and working with adolescents. (3 units)Prerequisite: None (3 units)

CPSY 320 Syllabus

This class covers the complexities and interactions in the diagnosing and treatment of Axis I and Axis II disorders in the presence of substance abuse. Prerequisite: None. (1.5 Units)

This is an introductory course designed for those without biological or medical training to provide a firm basis in practical neurophysiology and psychopharmacology. Course foci include the structure and functions of the nervous system, interactions of other organ systems, principles of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. The material is presented from a clinical orientation with illustrative case examples. Boundaries of practice and practical issues of assessment and referral are covered in depth. Prerequisites: 216, 218, 318. Can be taken concurrently with practicum. (3 units)

This course examines the biological basis for neonatal to early childhood development and behavior. Emphasis is placed on an understanding of the positive and negative effects of environment on early brain development and their sequalae in later life, including development and behavior in adolescence, adulthood and old age. Prerequisites: 216 and 218.
NOTE: This course was previously listed as 223. (1.5 units)

Study of diagnostic issues in working with pediatric psychiatric disorders. Emphasis on DSM diagnostic criteria and interviewing children, parents, and families. Special attention to developmental disorders affecting later stages of maturation. Requirements: 78 Unit LPCC and MFT/LPCC Combined Track students and all 90 Unit students. Prerequisites: 200, 212, 216, 218, and 318. (1.5 units)
NOTE: This course was previously numbered 318A.

CPSY 328 Syllabus

Supervised counseling experiences in community services such as juvenile probation, mental health, community colleges, etc. To be taken in the second half of the counseling program, after completion of the counseling core. Weekly seminars for consultation and discussion with a supervisor on such topics as case management and evaluation, referral procedures, ethical practices, professional and client interaction, confidential communication, and inter-professional ethical considerations. By permission only; must begin in fall quarter. Arrangements with site must be made before the beginning of fall quarter. Enrollment of 331A is typically very small. Meetings with professor are individual and ongoing. Prerequisites: Nine core classes; 311, 315, 317, and 318. (3 units per term; 6 units required)

To culminate their emphasis program, students spend 15 hours per week engaged in supervised career development-related fieldwork at a practicum site. By permission only; must begin in fall quarter. Arrangements with site must be made before the beginning of fall quarter. Enrollment of 331C is typically very small. Meetings with professor are individual and ongoing. Prerequisites: Nine core classes; 300, 301, 302, 303, and 304. (3 units) NOTE: This practicum will be discontinued after Spring 2013.

Counseling experience in health psychology. At a practicum site, students engage in health psychology-related work (e.g., research, counseling, health promotion). By permission; fall quarter only. Arrangements with site must be made before the beginning of fall quarter. Enrollment of 331H is typically very small. Meetings with professor are individual and ongoing. Prerequisites: Nine core classes and permission of instructor. (3 units)

At a practicum site, students engage in Latino/ counseling-related work. By permission; fall quarter only. Arrangements with site must be made before the beginning of fall quarter. Enrollment of 331L is typically very small. Meetings with professor are individual and ongoing. Prerequisites: Nine core classes and permission of instructor. (3 units)

In this course, students will develop clinical skills to work effectively with Transgender/Gender Nonconforming, Intersex, Genderqueer clients, and with others exploring alternative expressions of gender and sexuality. Readings, discussions, experiential exercises, case studies, and feedback on skill development will be components of this class. Prerequisite: 213. (3 units)


Supervised counseling experience designed specifically to meet California MFT and LPCC licensing requirements. Weekly seminars for consultation and discussion with a licensed supervisor on such topics as case management and evaluation, systems of care, community resources, advocacy issues, referral procedures, ethical practices, professional and client interaction, confidential communication, and documentation, among other issues. Prerequisites: Nine core classes; 311, 315, 317, 318, 319, and permission of instructor. Must begin in fall quarter. (3 units per term; 9 units required)

CPSY 333 Syllabus

The major purpose of this course is for students to learn about gender issues within the field of counseling psychology from a multicultural and feminist perspective. Students will gain essential knowledge and techniques to work with developmental gender issues in diverse setting. In building on their extant multicultural competency, students will cultivate greater knowledge, awareness, and skills to provide culture-and gender- sensitive clinical practice. This course will help students recognize the ways in which gender issues and socialization affect men, women, and non-binary experiences and identities in an evolving and multicultural society. Prerequisites: CPSY 231 (Multicultural Counseling)

Designed to enhance the knowledge and skill components of their multicultural training (CSPY 231), with a specific focus on Latino/a cultures. An overview is offered of the Latinx experience within a socio-political and psycho-social context, and implications for therapeutic interventions are explored. Topics covered include: culture and personality, acculturation and ethnic self-identification, gender role socialization, influence of family and other systems, educational achievement, religion and spirituality, traditional healing practices, immigration and diversity within the Latinx population. Prerequisite: 231. (3 units)


CPSY 360 Syllabus

This course examines the special topic in multicultural counseling.
NOTE: 78 Unit LPCC and MFT/LPCC combined track students and all 90 Unit students




Development of counseling skills within a cultural context. An examination is provided of how the counseling process is affected by cultural dynamics and counselor/client variables. Students will learn how to use cultural variables to help develop empathy and a strong working alliance with Latino/a clients. Discussion, demonstration and application of various therapeutic and treatment approaches. Feedback and supervision provided for specific skill development. Prerequisite: 200. Recommended: 231. (3 units)


CPSY 362 Syllabus

Offers specific information on "therapy techniques" with Latino/a family members. The importance of setting for the "therapy" is examined. An enhanced understanding is proffered of common experiences Latino families have with various systems of care including schools, hospitals, community mental health agencies, and social service agencies. Within this framework, applied therapy techniques for children and families are examined. A strength-based, systems approach will be used to guide our discussions. Prerequisite: 200. Recommended: 231 and 360. (3 units)

Course conducted completely in Spanish. Emphasis will be placed on conducting client interviews, assessments, making recommendations, and providing instructions in Spanish. Use of advanced-level Spanish in job/field-related language contexts. Discussion of field-related articles and theories. Prerequisite: 200 and fluency in Spanish. (3 units)

CPSY 366 Syllabus

Introduction to "Positive Psychology and Health," the empirical study of what leads humans to develop and flourish. Introduces theory, research and applications, exploring the implications of positive psychology for our understanding of health and illness. Topics include: What is health? Wholeness? Wellness? What makes people happy? How do you help people not merely survive, but thrive? How do we foster stress-related growth? What is the role of spirituality in health? What are positive psychological interventions? Students are encouraged to think critically about what it means to be healthy, and to reflect on personal experiences related to health and illness. Prerequisites: 200 and 218. (3 units)


CPSY 380 Syllabus

Introduction to health psychology theory, research, and practice, with a special focus on health promotion and health behavior change. Topics include: models of health and illness; biopsychosocial factors in illness; personality, health, and coping; social support and health; health assessment; models and strategies for health behavior change, including Prochaska's stage model and motivational interviewing; issues and preventions with specific health behaviors; and health promotion in the workplace and other settings. Prerequisite: None (3 units)


CPSY 381 Syllabus

Introduction to conceptual models of chronic stress in home, work, and community environments. Particular attention to methods and programs to assess, as well as alter, chronic stress. Emphasis is placed on the bio/psycho/ social factors in the etiology, maintenance, and modification of stress. Intervention methods are demonstrated and practiced. Prerequisite: None (3 units)

CPSY 385 Syllabus


This course will focus on the construct of mindfulness and its applications to psychotherapy. An experiential and academic understanding of mindfulness will be emphasized. The experiential component will involve training in meditation and mindfulness practices. The academic component will involve rigorous examination of current research on the applications of mindfulness in health care, as well as exploration of current theories of mindfulness and its applications to clinical work. The intention of the course is to help students better understand the construct of mindfulness and how it can be applied in clinical practice as a technique for clients, a theoretical frame for therapists, and as a means of enhancing therapist skills, for example, empathy and attention. A final intention is for students to explore the potential benefits of mindfulness for their own self-care and self-inquiry. Prerequisite: None (3 units)


CPSY 388 Syllabus


For students who have completed 219 and wish advanced training in group leadership procedures. This class focuses on practices of group therapy, and on the complexities of parallel process and the transference/ counter transference issues in groups. Both practical and academic approaches are taken; each student applies classroom learning to an ongoing group process situation. Extensive use of videotape, role-playing, and hands-on practice. The class includes a required one-day "marathon" group session. Recommended for students who expect to do group counseling and therapy in their post-master's employment. Prerequisites: 200, 218, 219, 221; P/NP. (3 units)


CPSY 389 Syllabus

Introduction to hypnotherapeutic techniques in the therapy context. Students learn to induce trance states and the appropriate application of these for therapeutic purposes. Emphasizes ethical utilization in both traditional and indirect hypnosis. The use of hypnosis as a part of psychotherapy is explored in depth. A clinically oriented course; research and literature are used to support the clinical application of hypnosis for such issues as pain control, memory retrieval, anesthesia, habit control, and direct therapy. Prerequisites: 15 hours completed, must include 227. Usually taken on a pass/ fail basis. (3 units)

CPSY 391 Syllabus

Optional course; usually selected by candidates preparing for doctoral studies. The thesis should concern a recognized problem in the student's field of specialization, should make a scholarly contribution to the extant body of knowledge in this area, and should review the principal sources of knowledge. Format should follow the guidelines established by the American Psychological Association. Supervision and review of the thesis provided by faculty member(s) designated by the chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology. Students may replace the Comprehensive Examination with completion of an approved thesis. Requirements for thesis submission are negotiated with the thesis faculty director. (1-6 units)

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