Somatic counseling session with couple and therapist
Campus News

The 6 Degrees of Psychology at CIIS

Spotlighting on the 6 degree programs in CIIS' School of Professional Psychology and Health

Lisa Denenmark January 17, 2016

In Fall 2015, 614 students were enrolled in the School of Professional Psychology and Health, which comprises the Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) doctoral program and the five degree concentrations of the Master's in Counseling Psychology programs: Integral Counseling PsychologyDrama TherapySomatic PsychologyExpressive Arts Therapy, and Community Mental Health.*

The Master's in Counseling Psychology programs have as their core principles equity, inclusion, social justice, and a commitment to education that combines experiential, theoretical, and technical perspectives with rigorous clinical training.

Master's in Counseling Psychology students in their final year of study put these principles to work in the world as they choose one of 160 practicum sites where, under the supervision of a licensed professional, they gain experience as developing therapists serving the Bay Area and broader communities.

Most often they go on to careers in community mental health and nonprofit organizations, hospitals, government agencies, schools, and their own private practices. Several institutional funders provide programmatic support and scholarships for MCP students.

They include the MCJ Amelior Foundation (Drama Therapy), The California Wellness Foundation and The Lisa & John Pritzker Family Fund (Community Mental Health).

CIIS' MHSA (Mental Health Services Act) Project, through a seven-year, $1 million-plus contract with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, supports recruitment efforts, mentoring, and services for students historically underrepresented in professional psychology entering our five Master's in Counseling Psychology programs.

Program Prowess in China

In China, CIIS continues to establish itself as a leader in counseling psychology training and education, developing programs with universities, medical centers, and clinics, and presenting at national conferences. Following faculty trailblazers Denise Boston (Expressive Arts) and Alzak Amlani (Integral Counseling Psychology) this year are:

• Integral Counseling Psychology's Brant Cortright, who led a three-day workshop on transpersonal and integral psychology in Beijing, then gave the keynote address to the 9th Annual Congress of Chinese Psychologists.

• Steuart Gold, Director of the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy, who conducted somatic psychology trainings in Beijing and at University clinics in Henan and Zhejiang.

• Expressive Arts Therapy program faculty and alums, who recently co-presented at the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association Conference in Hong Kong, co-sponsored by CIIS. They focused on their research study with Glide Memorial Church's Family, Youth and Childcare Center. Program Chair Shoshana Simons will visit Shanghai, China, in early 2016 to conduct training in "Tree of Life" arts-based practice.

• Human Sexuality faculty Richard Buggs, who in December will lead a five-day workshop on human sexuality at partner organization SonRoam Group in Beijing.

• Additionally, Judie Wexler, Academic Vice President Emerita, and Lixin Huang, ACTCM Executive Director and V.P. of China Projects at CIIS, traveled widely in China, forging new relationships and building on established ones, including Key-to-Success in Beijing, and a meet-up with CIIS' summer Certificate students. The visit culminated at a conference on Traditional Chinese Medicine in Guanghzou.


*The School of Professional Psychology and Health also includes Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Human Sexuality and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Integrative Health Studies degree programs.

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