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The public mental health system in California is in the midst of a transformative change and CIIS has stepped boldly into this reality by creating the Community Mental Health MA program, training a future generation of MFTs and LPCCs.
The Community Mental Health MA program is designed to address critical transformations taking place within the public mental health sector where a growing number of clients with multiple diagnoses require a different level and type of therapy. The profession of psychotherapy today needs more practitioners who come from a wider range of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, and who are culturally competent and bilingual or multilingual.
The program emphasizes systemic approaches to mental disorder and challenge. These approaches, which look at individuals in the context of community, are essential in public mental health settings. To provide better services to the community, therapists must understand how social forces and cross-cultural issues have an impact on their clients.
The program has since evolved out of this trend to provide innovative educational opportunities and to respond to the changing needs of the field of counseling psychology. In order to better meet the changing landscape of public mental health, CIIS became an early adapter of the program's curriculum, and as such, a forerunner in developing master's level coursework and specialty training for those passionate about a career in public mental health.
In the spirit of the Mental Health Services Act, stakeholders in the public mental health system were invited to the table to help plan the needs of master's level counseling psychology students. Out of this collaboration with local public mental health service provides; community-based organizations; consumers; and community members, our program developed the following goals:
CMH will provide strong clinical training built on
- Psychodynamics, Humanistic Mindfulness, and Family Systems Therapy
- Trauma-informed therapies;
- Recovery and resiliency models of treatment;
- Social justice perspectives, and
- Community psychology theory and praxis.
CMH trains students with a strong theoretical base to be proficient as licensed, independent mental health practitioners either as a licensed MFT or LPCC. These skills include:
- Assessment, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment planning;
- Outcomes Evaluation;
- Cultural Humility;
- Best Practices; and
- Practice-Based Evidence.
The CMH program models itself on the public mental health model, providing opportunities for peer-based support and services; Wellness Recovery Action Planning for students; community meetings; and access to MHSA-based support services for students of color; LGBT students; consumers of public mental health services and their family members; and veterans. We welcome a diverse cohort of students to come together to learn to become licensed therapists, clinical case managers, change agents within the mental health system. Our trainees and graduate students are consistently sought after in the public mental health system and in community organizations. We welcome you to become part of the next generation of students trained and ready for system transformation.
Statement of Diversity:
Diversity and the recognition of multiple perspectives is a core value of the Community Mental Health Program at CIIS. We celebrate and embrace these diverse perspectives as a source of strength, creativity and relevance in our field. Our differences and how we each live those differences - be they of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, abilities, experiences and more - enhance our ability to achieve the Institute's core mission to embody spirit, intellect, and wisdom in service to individuals, communities and the Earth. We do this by framing our studies in the context of social justice, liberation psychologies and inclduing, respecting, and valuing the voices of the communities we serve in our students, staff, faculty and where we provide service.