Program Requirements

The Master’s in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Community Mental Health is a Board of Behavioral Sciences approved, 2.5 year, weekend cohort program. You will work closely with a core faculty advisor throughout your course of study.

The program is offered in an online hybrid format. Students receive asynchronous online lectures, readings, and engagement on a weekly basis. Each semester, students are required to attend five in-person, full-weekend immersions.

During the weekend immersions, students take in-person classes at CIIS with their cohort, allowing for deep and enriching relationships to form between students and with faculty. 

During the first year, students develop a theoretical foundation and engage in clinical coursework. In the second year, students enter a clinical practicum while continuing to take required courses. The program concludes with an integrative project in the final semester.

Personal Psychotherapy Requirement 
During practicum placement, students are required to complete 50 hours of personal psychotherapy with a licensed mental health professional.

Course of Study

MFT (60 units total) | LLPC (67 units total) 

Semester 1 | Fall
Theories and Practice in Community Mental Health (3 units)
Human Development Across the Lifespan (Online) (3 units)
Community Trauma and Healing (3 units)

Semester 2 | Spring 
Psychodynamic Foundations for Clinical Practice (3 units)
Therapeutic Communication (3 units)
Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment (3 units)

Semester 3 | Summer 
Research Methods (3 units)
Psychotherapies with Families, Couples and Systems (3 units)
Professional Ethics and Family Law (Online) (3 units)

Semester 4 | Fall
Advanced Therapeutic Skills: The Clinical Relationship (3 units)
Diagnosis and Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders (3 units)
Supervised Clinical Practicum- Group (2 or 3 units)
Human Sexuality (1 unit)

Semester 5 | Spring 
Child and Adolescent Multi-systemic Therapies (3 units)
Multicultural Foundations of Family Therapy (3 units)
Supervised Clinical Practicum- Group (2 or 3 units)

Semester 6 | Summer
Trauma, Crisis and Recovery-Oriented Practice (3 units)
Group Facilitation and Group Therapy (3 units)
Supervised Clinical Practicum- Group (2 or 3 units)

Semester 7 | Fall
Advanced CMH Practice: Severe Mental Illness and Early Psychosis (3 units)
Integrative Seminar - Final Project (3 units)
Elective (2 units)


An integral part of the Community Mental Health program is on-site clinical training and supervision at a variety of placement sites.

Completion of the practicum requirement includes attendance in weekly classes plus 16-20 hours per week of documented training at an approved site.

Each student plays a key role in identifying sites for field work and clinical practicum. The Community Mental Health program and the MCP Field Placement Office are eager to help with placements. Once made, your placement choice must be approved by the Director of the program and the Director of Field Education.

A minimum of 225 qualifying BBS hours must be completed during practicum training to qualify for graduation. If you are pursuing your LPCC licensure, you must complete a minimum of 280 qualifying BBS hours during practicum training to qualify for graduation.

The Practicum Experience at CIIS | Hands-On Clinical Training for Counseling Psychology Students Play Video
Play Video

The Clinic Without Walls 

The Clinic Without Walls (CWOW) is one of CIIS’ six award-winning community counseling clinics and an affiliated practicum site for the Community Mental Health program. 

Situated in San Francisco low-income housing environments, CWOW aims to provide psychological therapeutic services available to underserved communities, particularly children, adults, and families who have been denied services on the basis of stigmatization, discrimination, and/or socioeconomic factors. All services are provided free of charge.

Practicum at CWOW

The student practicum at CWOW fosters development of essential clinical skills with an emphasis on multicultural awareness. Trainees acquire experience in individual, couple, family, and group therapy. The Clinic also incorporates "Therapy on the Margins," a frontier modality that offers an alternative to formal treatment and cultivates community engagement. Trainees lead workshops on topics ranging from self-care, to parenting skills and mindfulness. Student therapists receive weekly supervision and training from licensed clinicians.

A CWOW practicum is structured to provide a conceptual and experiential framework for community mental health as informed by multiple theoretical perspectives. CWOW aims to provide quality psychological services and to provide students interested in community mental health with a dynamic training opportunity rooted in social justice.

Curriculum Highlights 

CMH 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 community mental health settings. Reviewing the history of the mental health system, as well as of the consumer movement, this course provides an understanding of the context of current practice and will prepare students to enter the field and work effectively as therapists in publicly funded settings. Course will include contemporary community psychology theory, including liberation psychologies. Topics include best practices, practice based evidence, pre-clinical meetings with consumers or family members, the role of SES on treatment, and health disparities in both the prevalence of mental health concerns, as well as in the effectiveness of treatment.

CMH 5034 Community Trauma and Healing (3 units) 
This course focuses on developing an understanding of what trauma is and how it functions on individual, community, and collective levels. You will learn about the sensory, affective, cognitive, and spiritual components of trauma and how an integrative approach to treatment can provide resources for working with trauma. You will explore diverse community healing rituals and develop interventions aimed at catalyzing healing and recovery in community settings. Through experiential activities, you will have opportunities to participate and cultivate your own style of leadership in the classroom community.

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

Questions? Contact us.

We are here to help! If you have any questions about applying to a program or registering for an Info Session, please reach out to the Admissions Office

Stay Connected to CIIS