Department Overview​​

The Counseling Psychology department, in the School of Professional Psychology and Health at CIIS, supports prospective clinicians who value a modern, holistic, and culturally sensitive approach to the practice of psychotherapy.

Our Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree reflects CIIS’ commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice. The integral pedagogy of both classroom and clinical training is designed to ensure that students have the knowledge and skills they need to provide effective and compassionate mental health care. 

Our programs prepare attentive, reflective, culturally-sensitive counselors and therapists with an unwavering commitment to equity in therapeutic practices. Our faculty have a wide range of research interests, among them trauma and recovery, ageism, gender and cultural identity, eating disorders, addiction and codependency, military families, foster youth and young adults, Buddhist psychology and mindfulness-based therapies.

Learn More About Our Programs

Choose from one of our five Master’s in Counseling Psychology degree programs.

Our Approach  

Excellence in clinical skills is a top priority for the Counseling Psychology department. Each of our five programs includes broad training in psychological theory and methods, while also providing program-specific coursework and training in specialty disciplines.

The department is committed to advancing and promoting diversity, inclusion, and social justice throughout the core curriculum. As a pedagogic community, we work collaboratively to identify and challenge entrenched systems of racism, ableism, classism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppression in the classroom, clinical training situations, and therapeutic spaces. 

All of our programs meet national norms for training in counseling and fulfill the educational requirements of California's Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license or the optional Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) with additional coursework. CIIS graduates have a 92% pass rate on the MFT licensure exam and have held the #1 position in California for pass rates over the last six exam cycles.

Our graduates go on to work in private practice, hospitals and school settings, governmental agencies, community non-profits, and other clinical settings.

Common Core Courses

All courses meet California and national licensing requirements. Depending on your chosen program, you will take the courses with your cohort or with other counseling psychology students.

  • MCP 5023 Advanced Treatment of Addiction (2 units)
  • MCP 5101 Professional Ethics and Family Law (2 units)
  • MCP 5108 Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment (3 units)
  • MCP 5109 Psychopharmacology (3 units)
  • MCP 5201 Human Development and Family (3 units)
  • MCP 5646 Career Counseling Theory and Practice for Therapists (3 units)
  • MCP 5651 California Ethics and the Law (1 unit)
  • MCP 6101 Human Sexuality (1 unit)
  • MCP 6102 Assessment and Treatment of Addiction Disorders (1 unit)
  • MCP 6103 Multicultural Counseling and the Family (2 units)
  • MCP 6233 Intro to CMH and the Recovery Model (2 units)
  • MCP 6331 Psychological Assessment: Psychometric Theory (3 units)
  • MCP 6401 Research Methods (3 units)
  • MCP 6502 Child Therapy (2 units)

See a full list of courses in our Academic Catalog


One year of approved clinical fieldwork experience (practicum), or the equivalent of six semester units, is required as a part of each program. More than 200 clinical agencies and schools in the Bay Area and beyond are currently approved for students in all of our Counseling Psychology programs. 

The MCP Field Placement Office maintains a database of practicum sites and offers workshops to help students move through the process.

Counseling Clinics  

Our Counseling Psychology students have the opportunity to apply to complete their practicum training at one of our six award-winning counseling clinics. Each clinic trains students in integrative psychology in a variety of therapeutic orientations, including: somatic, transpersonal, psychodynamic, and Gestalt.

Sunset over San Francisco, the location of the three CIIS Integral Center Clinics Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care Play Video
Play Video

Which License Track is Right for You?

Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Track – 60 units
The Counseling Psychology degree is designed to fulfill the educational requirements of California’s MFT license, one of the most exacting state licenses for counseling therapists in the country. The MFT Track emphasizes relationships and family therapy and is designed for students who are committed to the practice of individual, couples, family, adolescent, and child psychotherapy. LMFT’s are trained to focus on the diagnosis and treatment of issues relating to marriage and family dynamics.

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) Track – 64-72 units
Each program also offers the option to take additional units for licensure as Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC). The LPCC track emphasizes clinical mental health practice including the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, the recovery model of mental health, prevention, and early intervention. LPCC’s must undergo additional coursework and additional practicum hours prior to graduation on topics such as: career counseling, treatment of addiction, psychopharmacology and psychological assessment. All LPCC courses are offered online to accommodate all students. Students who complete the LPCC track are eligible for both the MFT license in California and the LPCC license nationwide.

*Please note, for both licenses, you must also complete 3,000 clinical hours in addition to your educational requirements. 

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 contact the Admissions Office at 415-575-6154 or .

Stay Connected to CIIS