Community Mental Health

Course of Study

Community Mental Health


Course of Study

The Community Mental Health Program is a three-year 60-unit BBS approved program that is geared to accomodate working students and to promote a healthy work-life balance. Classes are held weekly during both late afternoons and evenings over the course of three 15-week semesters a year. During Fall and Spring semester students take CMH core classes in a cohort with CMH core faculty. During the Summer semester students have the opportunity to take general master's level courses with other CIIS Masters in Counseling Program students.


Program Format

Courses are taught in the classroom, online and in hybrid formats and are designed to follow the development of skills from Foundational, Clinical Practice and Mastery. During the first year of study students develop a theoretical foundation; engage in clinical coursework along with an opportunity for clinical field study the second year; and progress into a third year of clinical practicum and a culminating Integrative Project.

Students are also required to engage in a total of 50 hours of personal psychotherapy with an approved psychotherapist.


Full-Time Core Curriculum

The curriculum for the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Community Mental Health requires at least 60 semester hours of work. It is divided into the following three groups of courses: common core courses, concentration courses, and electives. The common core courses (designated as "MCP") are shared by all concentrations in Counseling Psychology. They address the theory, technique, and knowledge that apply to the general practice of counseling psychology. Those MCP courses that are designated with an additional "C" are taught with a Community Mental Health concentration. Courses within the Community Mental Health concentration and certificate are designated as "CMH." CMH courses will incorporate principles articulated in the Mental Health Recovery Model. Those principles include the following:

* A holistic view of mental illness that focuses on the person, not just the symptoms.
* New definitions of recovery, which state:

1. Recovery is not a function of one's theory about the causes of mental illness.
2. Recovery from severe psychiatric disabilities is achievable.
3. Recovery can occur even though symptoms may reoccur. Individuals are responsible for the solution, not the problem.
4. Recovery requires a well-organized support system.

* This model stresses the importance of consumer rights, advocacy, and social change.
* This model emphasizes applications and adaptations of theory and practice to better integrate issues of human diversity.

(As the CMH program is new and the BBS is in the process of revising course requirements, this sample grid is offered for your information. Please check with your academic advisor before registering each semester.)

Fall 1st Year Required Units

Theories and Practice in Community Mental Health 3
Human Development Across the Lifespan 3
Research Methods 3

Spring 1st Year Required Units

Psychodynamics 3
Multisystemic Family Therapy: Theories and Practices 3
Humanistic, Mindfulness-based Therapies with Families 3

Summer 1st Year Required Units

Professional Ethics and Family Law 3
Multi-Cultural Foundations of Family Therapy 3
Human Sexuality 1

Fall 2nd Year Required Units

Child & Adolescent Multi-Systemic Therapies 3
Trauma, Crisis and Recovery-Oriented Practice 3
Supervised Clinical Fieldwork 2

Spring 2nd Year Required Units

Severe and Persistent Mental Illness amd Early Psychosis 3
Diagnosis and Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders and Addiction 3
Supervised Clinical Fieldwork 1

Summer 2nd Year Required Units

Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment 3
Group Facilitation and Group Therapy 3
Therapeutic Communication Skills 1

Fall 3rd Year Required Units

Advanced Therapeutic Skills: The Clinical Relationship 3
Advanced CMH Practice: Current Issues in CMH 3
Supervised Clinical Practicum 2

Spring 3rd Year Required Units

Integrative Seminar-Final Project 3
Supervised Clinical Practicum 2

Total number of units 60

Core Courses

CMHW 5029 Theories and Practices in Community Mental Health (3 units)
This course will provide basic theory and introductory practice in the recovery model of mental health and its application in: psychodynamic, family systems, humanistic and mindfulness-based therapies. The course will prepare students to provide therapy in the context of liberation and community psychology. This course will prepare students to work effectively as therapists working in publicly funded settings. Topics include applicability of therapeutic models in public health settings; the integration of medical and mental health services; the continuum of care models of social services and mental health.

CMHW 5201 Human Development Across the Lifespan (3 units)
Theories and research in life transitions, stages of development, and rites of passage, from prenatal conditions through adult experience to dying.

CMHW 6401: Research Methods (3 units)
Overview of research methodologies with special focus on qualitative approaches, comparative ways of knowing, and the creation of an integral inquiry research project.

CMHW 5501: Psychodynamic Foundations for Clinical Practice (3 units)
Presents a history of psychodynamic ideas and their application in clinical settings. Offers a historical perspective beginning with Freudian theory through the development of object relations theory. Covers basic theoretical and clinical concepts, clinical theories about the self and self-development, and the topics of transference, countertransference, and defense. Examines relationships between psychodynamic and other clinical theories.

CMH 5045: Multisystemic Family Therapy: Theory and Practice (3 units)
Presents a history of family systems, related psychotherapies, and their application in community clinical settings. Offers a historical perspective beginning with Murray Bowen's research through the development of evidence based and culturally appropriate theory and practice for the families of California today: including the application of counseling constructs, assessment and treatment planning, clinical interventions, therapeutic relationships, psychopathology, or other clinical topics. Case materials present the impacts of culture, race, sexual orientation and gender identity on family development and process. The effects of poverty, class and immigration will be analyzed and addressed as therapeutic opportunities and challenges. Student will experience and practice multiple methods of evaluation and the implementation of evidence based practices in community mental health settings. Examines relationships between family systems therapy and other clinical theories.

CMH 5042: Humanistic Mindfulness-based Therapies with Families (3 units)
Presents a history of humanistic and mindfulness based psychotherapies and their application in community clinical settings. Offers a historical perspective beginning with Carl Rogers theory through the development of mindfulness based theory and practice. Case materials present assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment planning and treatment options using these theories. Student will experience and practice multiple methods of evaluation and the implementation of evidence based practices in community mental health settings. Examines relationships between humanistic, mindfulness and other clinical theories.

MCP 5111: Professional Ethics and Family Law (3 units)
Professional orientation, ethics, and law in counseling, including California law and professional ethics for marriage and family therapists and professional clinical counselors, professional ethical standards and legal considerations, licensing law and process, regulatory laws that delineate the profession's scope of practice, counselor-client privilege, confidentiality, the client dangerous to self or others, treatment of minors with or without parental consent, relationship between practitioner's sense of self and human values, functions and relationships with other human service providers, strategies for collaboration, and advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients.

MCP 6613: Multicultural Foundations of Family Therapy (3 units)
Students will engage in a 15-hour service learning project in a community mental health setting that is unfamiliar to the student. Using the principles learned in class, this experience will offer the opportunity for the student to explore a growing sense of self-awareness around cultural differences, as well as increase knowledge and skills in working in a diverse community setting. Students will also explore the concept of cultural humility and its application in the provision of culturally informed community mental health work.

MCP 6101: Human Sexuality (1 unit)
This course explores personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal dimensions of sexual experience, including awareness, attitudes, meaning, expression, response, sexual counseling, and integration with personal development.

CMHW 5035: Child & Adolescent Multi-Systemic Therapies (3 units)
Course presents assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment of children, adolescents, transition-aged youth (TAY) and their families. Case material introduces and provides clinical training in multiple strategies of intervention. This course provides the theories, applications, and methods for effectively engaging adolescents and transition-aged youth in therapy. TAY, as a subpopulation, have been identified by the State of California as a priority population for effective therapeutic interventions.

CMH 5031: Trauma, Crisis, and Recovery-Oriented Practice (3 units)
This course will enable students to identify and assess clients with complex traumatic disorders and identify and implement effective treatment protocols. Methods for conceptualizing, assessing, and treating individuals, families, and communities where serious crisis or trauma has occurred will be presented and experienced. As well, current controversies in the field and emerging treatments in line with recovery-based practice will also be covered.

CMHW 6001: Advanced CMH Practice: Severe Mental Illness and Early Psychosis (3 units)
This course involves a careful examination of the etiology (biological, psychological, and social) clinical diagnosis, and treatment of severe and persistent mental illness (i.e., Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Severe Character Pathology, Dual Diagnosis) in a community mental health setting. A comprehensive, integrative, and contemporary theoretical framework through which to understand and treat severe and persistent mental illness across the lifespan will be introduced. Students will become adept at differential diagnosis, and the application of effective, evidenced-based treatments found in community mental health settings. Included will be consideration of issues related to the early onset of psychosis; the inclusion of family members in treatment; and the application of recovery and wellness principles in the treatment of severe mental illness.

CMH 5033: Diagnosis and Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders and Addiction (3 units)
The interrelationships between mental, emotional, behavioral, and chemical dependency problems in the lives of clients will be examined. Effective clinical skills will be presented in the context of issues related to diagnosis, treatment, and treatment compliance of dually diagnosed clients. Student will learn about the legal and medical aspects of substance abuse, populations at risk, the role of support persons, support systems, and community resources.

MCP 5108: Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment (3 units)
This combined course provides a historical, comparative, and contemporary overview of the development and clinical presentation of adult psychopathology and the categorization system of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, along with a survey of the clinical process of testing for both psychopathological structures and nonpathological personality features and traits. The individual counselor's ability to clinically analyze and interpret assessment instruments, including diagnostic tests, will be emphasized.

MCP 5632: Group Facilitation and Group Therapy (3 units)
This course provides the basic theories and practice necessary to design and facilitate psychoeducational groups, special-topic groups, peer support groups, and other groups currently delivered in community mental health settings. In addition students will learn, theories, practice and techniques, including principles of group dynamics, group process components, group developmental stage theories, therapeutic factors of group work, group leadership styles and approaches. Pertinent research and literature on group counseling methods will be presented and students will practice multiple methods of evaluation of group effectiveness.

MCP 5610: Therapeutic Communication (3 units)
This course provides an overview of key concepts and methods in therapeutic communication, integrating psychodynamic, humanistic, and other approaches. Experiential portion includes role-play and simulations. Includes the experiential portion of Therapeutic Communication.

CMHW 5620: The Clinical Relationship and Therapeutic Communication (1 units)
This course provides an overview of key concepts and methods in therapeutic communication and the clinical relationship. The relationship between therapist and client is one of the central concerns of contemporary theories of therapeutic change. This course explores the relationship between therapist and client from the perspectives of contemporary psychodynamics, person-centered, feminist and queer theories. It provides various perspectives on transference and countertransference, the working alliance and the therapeutic partnership and how to work with these dynamics in the clinical setting. The course includes role-plays and simulations to further the understanding of therapeutic communication.

CMHW 7701: Integrative Seminar-Final Project (3 units)
This culminating course provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their processes of personal and academic integration in the CMH program. Students will demonstrate the following: key learning from theoretical and conceptual standpoints, and knowledge of community and public mental health systems and clinical experiences.

CMHW: Advanced Topics in Community Mental Health (1 unit)
This course will explore theory and practice of current issues affecting public mental health and the provision of mental health services in the community. This focus of the class will change year to year to allow for greater breadth of coverage of the current mental health-related issues of the day. For example, the focus might be on the impact of community violence on mental health service provision; when our clients are immigrants; the impact of multi-generational trauma on families; the use of a specific best practice in CMH; the use of specific community-informed practices at use in public mental health. The course may include an online component and fieldwork in the community as part of class requirements.

CMHW 7606: Supervised Clinical Practicum: Group, in Community or Public Settings (3 units)
Presentation and discussion of case material. Emphases upon case formulation, the therapeutic relationship, and the development of clinical skills. Specific skills in case documentation and professional writing will be practiced.

CMHW 7602: Supervised Clinical Practicum (2 units)
Presentation and discussion of case material. Emphases upon case formulation, the therapeutic relationship, and the development of clinical skills.