Community Mental Health


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Learning Activities and Training

As an integral part of their counseling psychology education, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of treatment planning in public mental health settings, intensive and supplemental case management, and the provision of public-sector therapeutic services in order to prepare them to work effectively in collaborative, multidisciplinary teams with other mental health and primary care providers.

Coursework will be closely integrated with practicum work in community agencies, where students will be observed and supervised in their work with clients of diverse cultures and with complex and often severe mental health and behavioral health issues.

The degree program consists of a 60-semester-unit program of core, concentration, and elective courses and related practicum work that will fulfill all of the educational requirements of California’s MFT license.

The curriculum will expand upon traditional psychology education, promoting a holistic view of the individual in the context of family, community, and culture; and cultivating understanding of and respect for all clients’ values, beliefs, and expectations.

The program is designed to provide students with a solid background in psychological theory and methods as a foundation for intensive clinical training in systemic approaches to human problems.

Clinical Training

The clinical training component of the CMH program is fully integrated with the academic component. After completing qualifying first-year courses, each student gains one year of practicum experience in community agencies. The typical supervised practicum experience requires 10 to 20 hours a week at the clinical-training site.

Students play a key role in identifying a practicum experience that will advance their professional training and development.

However, each site must be approved by CIIS’s director of career development and the CMH program director. In addition to clinical experience, there are requirements for specific supervision structures as defined by the BBS. During the second year, in addition to the practicum, students take MCP 7602: Supervised Clinical Practicum.

This 2-unit course is offered during each semester that the student is engaged in practicum (6 units total). This course is designed to fully integrate clinical and theoretical experiences, and it provides valuable support for students in diverse practicum engagements.

There are additional courses during year two, and in each case, the experience at the practicum site is built into the discussion in class. When all required coursework has been completed, students meet with the program chair for approval. Students must complete 500 qualifying BBS hours prior to graduation but may complete as many as 1,300.

Through supervised professional work in different service settings located in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in the U.S., students deepen their skills in working with a variety of intervention strategies and psychological services across the spectrum of psychopathologies as they are presented in diverse populations.