Certificates Overview

The East-West Psychology department offers three certificates in conjunction with our graduate programs.

These certificates are designed for students to gain practical experience in conjunction with their academic work and can be completed alongside and applied to the doctorate or master’s programs.

Students typically choose one certificate course of study as an emphasis to supplement their research and help shape their career goals.

Spiritual Counseling Certificate

The certificate in Spiritual Counseling is designed to provide a foundation for students working as therapists, counselors, coaches, and caregivers to navigate spiritual and existential questions related to meaning and purpose, the nature of reality, and the sacred dimension of life for those they serve. 

The certificate is not a licensure program and does not prepare students to offer licensed psychotherapeutic or clinical counseling services. 

Enrolled East-West Psychology students can apply for the Spiritual Counseling Certificate. Acceptance will be granted on an individual basis. 

Course of Study

The 18-unit Spiritual Counseling Certificate provides a foundation to navigate spiritual and existential questions related to meaning and purpose, the nature of reality, and the sacred dimensions of life. The certificate program prepares non-clinical students to serve in these spiritual counseling functions and enables students with clinical backgrounds to broaden their scope and attune to spiritual and religious domains in their work.

Core Courses (6 units)
EWP 7794 East-West Spiritual Counseling Skills 1: The Art of Listening (3 units)
EWP 7795 East-West Spiritual Counseling Skills 2: The Counseling Relationship (3 units)

Applied Skills Electives (6 units)
Choose from program electives.*

Applied Wisdom Electives (6 units)
Choose from program electives.*

*The list of suggested spiritual counseling electives will be given each semester. Students can select electives they feel would be most beneficial to their practice with the approval of the certificate director.

Curriculum Highlight

EWP 7794 Spiritual Counseling Skills 1: The Art of Listening (3 units)

This course explores, through experience and reflection, the meaning, purpose, and practice of the transformative art of spiritual counseling. This inquiry unfolds within a creative dialogue between global wisdom traditions, depth psychology, and current trends in mindfulness-based and transpersonal therapeutic approaches, providing a foundation for a spiritual counseling paradigm and practice. Throughout the semester, students embark upon a threefold path that includes a) developing mindfulness-based listening skills and deep presence for working with clients seeking spiritual counseling b) a personal inquiry into their own psycho-spiritual development and paradigms and c) an exploration of various existential topics that are deemed significant for the spiritual counseling context.

Eco-Resilience Leadership Certificate

The certificate in Eco-Resilience Leadership offers students the knowledge and mentoring to address the psychological effects of global ecological crises like climate change.

Students learn practices and models for helping people move from passivity, trauma, and other counter-productive states into responses that blend deep reflection with thoughtful action on behalf of earth-honoring forms of eco-resilient community. Ways of relating to self, community, nature, and place depend ultimately on recovering a deep sense of re-enchantment, and of inhabiting an animate, wondrous world.

This certificate is available only for matriculated East-West Psychology students and to other CIIS students whose degree programs allow for at least 12 units of electives in another program.

Course of Study

Students are required to complete 12 units, consisting of six units of core courses and six units of directed electives. Students can spread the coursework over four or more semesters as they weave the certificate requirements in with those of the Ph.D. or M.A. programs. When students enroll in the certificate program, Eco-Resilience Leadership becomes their area of specialization.

Students will all take these required courses:

  • EWP 6108 Ecotherapy: Foundations, Applications, Frontiers (3 units)
  • EWP 6165 Leadership, Evolution, and Transformative Change (3 units)

Students will then choose, in consultation with their advisor, several directed electives.

Curriculum Highlight

EWP 6165 Leadership, Evolution, and Transformative Change (3 units)

This course is an experiential exploration of leadership action that arises from deep spiritual wisdom and that fosters personal, professional, and planetary transformation. Students will study the following topics and apply them to a specific idea or project of their choice: (a) East-West psychology, evolutionary wisdom, and the "Bodhisattva Vow" as a foundation for leadership that empowers self and others toward greater service, alleviation of suffering, and a more profound expression of self in one's workplace, community and the world. (b) Leadership competency that is sourced from compassion, integrity, and clarity of purpose, and that solves problems and shifts systems, and can design projects for personal, professional, and social well-being. (c) Tools for envisioning the future, and for creating new patterns, stories, and paradigms for the present, and for manifesting desired results. (d) Leadership practices for enhancing courage, empowering and motivating others, creating conversations that generate possibility, transform breakdowns into breakthroughs, walk the talk, and embody the highest ideals in practical ways with visible results in the world.

Yoga Studies Certificate 

The certificate in Yoga Studies is open to East-West Psychology students and entails 15 units of coursework covering the field.

This certificate is designed to deepen our students' understanding of the various psychological models, practices, and goals in the field of yoga. The coursework provides an overview of the sources of Indian wisdom.

Students will gain a broad historical overview of the traditions of Indian yoga and the historical, philosophical, and practical context, structure and content of the Yoga Sutra.

Through specific classes, students will gain a focused understanding of at least one ancient or medieval and one modern tradition of yoga. In addition, students will gain insight into one tradition of meditation.

Course of Study

One Foundational Course
EWP 6043: Introduction to Yoga Psychology (3 units)

One course in Yoga Sutra
PARA 7225: Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (3 units)

One traditional yoga course, such as:
EWP 6035 Sources of Indian Wisdom: Gita and Upanishads (3 units)
EWP 7510: The Psychology of Advaita Vedanta (3 units)

One modern yoga course, such as:
PAR 6107 Integral Yoga Psychology of Sri Aurobindo (3 units) OR
TSD 6641 Krishnamurti, Bohmian Dialogue and Inquiry (3 units) OR
EWP 6114: Auroville: An Immersive Research Experience (3 units)

One course on Meditation, such as:
Meditation, Mindfulness and Psychology (3 units)

Curriculum Highlight

EWP 6043: Introduction to Yoga Psychology (3 units) 

Yoga is a term with both a broad and general meaning and a narrower and specialized meaning in the country of its origin. The west has its history of reception of the term, which has colored its meanings. In this course, we will look at the broader understanding of yoga as a pervasive Indic cosmo-psychology and an occult anatomy with its archive of practices, cultural expressions and goals related to life-choices. Taking a historical approach, we will explore the roots of yoga practice in the Indus Valley, the cosmological and psychological maps of the Vedas and Upanishads, the occult world of deities and supernaturals, the psychology of ritual, soul and reincarnation, the constitution of human nature, the psychology of knowledge, moksha and samadhi, the Gita's synthesis, the will and its uses, bhakti or devotion, the Tantric system of kundalini and the chakras; siddhis or paranormal powers, and cultural expressions influenced by these understandings. Finally, we will consider attempts at integrating these structures and processes and the utilities of yoga psychology to (post-)human potential.

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