Master’s Degree Course Descriptions

PSY 605 Child Abuse: Assessment and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect (1 unit)

Assessment procedures and methods of reporting child abuse or neglect, behavioral indications of abuse, crisis counseling and other interventions, treatment implications for children and adults, consequences of failure to report. This course meets the child abuse training criteria for initial licensure and license renewal for psychologists, clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists.

PSY 606 Psychopathology I (5 units)

This first course of a two-quarter sequence will focus primarily on descriptive psychopathology, i.e., diagnostic approaches and nomenclature as set forth in DSM-IV-TR. It will include the mental status examination, screening for medical pathology, and report writing. Students will develop competence in Axis I diagnosis utilizing a number of case vignettes, role plays, and diagnostic interviews.

PSY 607 Psychopathology II (3 units)

This second course of the two-quarter sequence will move beyond the previous focus of primarily descriptive psychopathology (i.e., DSM-IV-TR). It will stress understanding of personality disorders (Axis II), engage more fully the various defense mechanisms, and introduce students to the theory of Theodore Millon. In this course, students will move from theory to application by diagnosing a number of actual case vignettes. They will also have an opportunity to demonstrate and refine critical thinking skills through collaborative problem solving of selected reading materials, case presentations, mental status exams, and peer consultation as components related to differential diagnosis. Prerequisite: PSY 606.

PSY 608 Ethics, Law and Psychology (4 units)

A graduate seminar designed to provide students with a basic overview of major legal and ethical issues confronting the mental health practitioner today. Students will learn the relevant legal mandates and ethical standards encountered in clinical practice including confidentiality, privilege, mandatory reporting laws, Tarasoff issues, child custody, and conflicts of interest. The seminar will combine didactic material with case presentations and vignettes to facilitate discussion and bring to life the clinical applicability of the concepts presented.

PSY 610 Theory and Techniques of Psychotherapy I (4 units)

Introduction to the philosophy, concepts and methodology of individual fundamental topics such as the role of diagnosis in treatment planning, resistance, transference, interpretation and the necessary ingredients that foster development of a therapeutic alliance. This course and PSY 611 provide the foundation for other therapy classes offered in the curriculum.

PSY 611 Theory and Techniques of Family, Couples & Individual Therapy (4 units)

Continuing exploration of psychotherapeutic interventions with a special focus on an array of intervention models including cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, existential, psychodynamic, and brief therapy. Also addressed are intervention strategies designed for selected clinical populations, such as severe personality disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 610.

PSY 615 Family Therapy (4 units)

Introduction to systems theory and its application to interactional (vs. psychodynamic) therapy. Overview of the six major schools of family therapy (Bowenian, structural, interactional, Milan, narrative, and solution-oriented) with a focus on how each school conceptualizes symptomatology and develops interventions. Students are given practice in treatment planning. Prerequisite: PSY 606.

PSY 616 Introduction to Couples Therapy (2 units)

An introduction to various applied models of treatment for couples, including marital therapy and counseling of non-married couples. Includes exploration of theoretical foundations, such as understanding dysfunctional communication styles and family of origin issues, as well as applied treatment strategies. Prerequisite: PSY 606.

PSY 617 Introduction to Group Psychotherapy (2 units)

This course focuses on traditional methods of group psychotherapy, such as open-ended, focused, and time-limited groups, as well as psycho-educational group formats. Theoretical issues, such as group dynamics, as well as applied clinical strategies are also addressed.

PSY 620 Child Psychopathology and Treatment (4 units)

An introduction and overview of therapeutic approaches appropriate with children. Includes consideration of normal developmental dynamics and child psychopathology as they affect treatment planning. Prerequisite: PSY 606.

PSY 621 Domestic Violence: Assessment, Detection and Treatment (1 unit)

Course objectives include understanding the underlying factors that contribute to family partner violence, gaining the ability to identify and assess family violence with women, men, children and couples, and becoming knowledgeable regarding therapeutic interventions and techniques when counseling victims, perpetrators, couples and families of domestic violence. Other issues addressed are legal and ethical implications and community resources for clients.

PSY 623 Chemical Dependency (3 units)

Examination of various theories regarding the etiology of alcoholism and the abuse of other chemical substances, and the effects of these substances on behaviors and functioning. The effects of biological, physiological, and socio-cultural factors, as well as methods of detection and diagnosis, are discussed. A variety of intervention techniques and treatment approaches are explored. Prerequisite: PSY 606.

PSY 624 Introduction to Psychopharmacology (4 units)

Examination of the effects of psychoactive substances, with particular focus on their utilization as an exclusive or concomitant therapy in the treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders. Effects of substance abuse are explored, as is the relationship between psychologists and physicians in the management of psychiatric medication for patients. Prerequisite: PSY 606.

PSY 650 Developmental Psychology (4 units)

Overview of the major theories and models of human development and adaptation over the lifespan. Emphasizes how events and exigencies of earlier periods affect and relate to later periods of development. Consideration of historical, cultural, and biological contexts of developmental psychology and on the multiple ways in which human development can be understood. Application of theories, ideas, and empirical knowledge of development to individual cases and to clinical and organizational settings.

PSY 651 Developmental Psychology I: Infancy and Childhood (4 units)

Overview of the major theories and models of human development and adaptation. Consideration of historical and cultural contexts of developmental psychology. Emphasis on empirical influences on current knowledge and thought encompassing physical/biological, cognitive, and socioemotional processes.

PSY 652 Developmental Psychology II: Adolescence and Adulthood (4 units)

Extenuation of models discussed in PSY 651 plus addition of other models and theories which inform development and adaptation from adolescence to old age. Focus on critical analysis of research and consideration of the application of both research and theory to developmental issues in clinical and organizational settings.

PSY 655 Cross-Cultural Aspects of Clinical Psychology (3 units)

Consideration of factors of ethnicity, race, sex, culture, and socioeconomic status as they influence appropriate clinical intervention strategies and processes. Examination of the impact of such diversities on identity formation, adaptation, and behavior. Investigation of the culture-bound nature of conceptualizations of mental health and mental illness. Particular emphasis is placed on newly-arrived immigrant groups and the challenges they present. Discussion of the crucial importance of culture, power, language, and lifestyle in the perception and experience of the therapeutic process. Research in cross-cultural counseling is reviewed and further research needs are identified.

PSY 658 Interview Techniques (2 units)

Introduction to the various techniques associated with where to start and what to ask clients. Discussion of the types of clients that students will be seeing. A primary goal is to reduce student anxiety about the people they will be assessing and treating. Numerous experiential exercises are give to help students learn how to obtain factual information about clients. The course is designed to assist the student to accomplish information-gathering in a concise, thorough, and systematic fashion. This course serves as a precursor to the development of intervention strategies.

PSY 661 Introduction to Management (4 units)

The tools of management (selecting, supervising, delegating, motivating) and of human resource development (assessing, developing, and evaluating) as effectively employed in organizations.

PSY 662 Human Sexuality (1.5 units)

Exploration of human sexuality from clinical, developmental, and cultural perspectives, including issues of gender formation, identity and role, sexual preference, dysfunction, abuse, disability and aging. Current therapeutic concepts and intervention techniques are studied.

PSY 670 History and Systems of Psychology (2 units)

Overview of the historical factors within and outside the field of psychology that have formed its character, its enduring struggles and its societal contributions. Particular attention is given to the formulation of theories and systems of thought regarding the philosophical foundations of psychological inquiry, the nature of conscious and unconscious processes, and the nature and purposes of the psychological professions.

PSY 672 Current Literature in Organizational Psychology (4 units)

Analysis and critique of current articles on theory, research, and practice in journals.

PSY 673 Ethical, Legal, and Professional Contexts of Organizational Psychology (4 units)

Consideration of ethical, legal, and professional issues faced in an organizational setting. Attention is given to the socio-economic, political, and societal forces that operate on, and in turn are influenced by, organizations.

PSY 674 Foundations of Individual and Organization (4 units)

Examines the role of the individual in organizations and the effects of organizational variables on the individual worker. Topics include organizational communication, employee socialization, organizational culture and climate, and organizational change.

PSY 675 Introduction to Organizational Theory (4 units)

Explores classical and contemporary theories about organizations. Topics examined include organizational structures, organizational design, the effects of technology, and the process of organizational policy formation and implementation.

PSY 676 Foundations of Organizational Change and Development (4 units)

An examination of the theory and research regarding changing individuals, groups, and organizations to improve their effectiveness. Includes individual change strategies such as training, attitude change, and socialization. Group and organizational change strategies covered include survey feedback, team building, conflict management, and role analysis.

PSY 681 Behavioral Science Research Methods (2 units)

Introduction to methods used in conducting social science research including design considerations, operational definitions, sampling, measurement techniques, data collection and analysis, hypothesis testing and ethical considerations. Focus will be on critically analyzing research articles and increasing skills as consumers of research in the behavioral sciences.

PSY 685 Psychological Tests and Measurement (4 units)

Introduction to the history or psychological testing and assessment; current psychological tests and their uses (particularly in a clinical setting); social and ethical issues of assessment; related statistical concepts including test norms, reliability, and validity; and the psychological assessment report. Emphasis is so hands-on experience with the administration, scoring, and interpretation of selected psychological tests.

PSY 687 Test and Measurements in Organizational Psychology (4 units)

Principles of job knowledge, aptitude, and psychological testing as applied in organizational settings. Topics include technical issues of testing such as reliability, validity, norming, utility, and legal considerations. Procedural matters of selection, administering, and interpreting psychological tests are also covered.

PSY 688 Research Methods I (4 units)

An examination of basic principles in research design as well as basic statistical tools. Consideration is also given in this course to the design and use of computer-based tools for simulating complex and dynamic systems.

PSY 689 Research Methods II (4 units)

Continuation of PSY 688 with an emphasis on multiple and partial correlation, stepwise regression, analysis of variance, and the application of computer-based simulation tools to organizational problem-solving, planning, and learning.

PSY 690 M.A. Clinical Case Conference (4 units)

This seminar focuses on students’ professional development. It is a forum for: (a) introduction students to fundamental clinical skills, such as managing the initial session, setting boundaries, establishing a therapeutic alliance, empathic confrontation, assessment, choosing treatment modalities, interventions, utilizing community resources, termination techniques, and crisis intervention; (b) training students how to prepare oral and written case presentations; (c) assisting students in exploring issues related to developing a “therapist” identity, such as preferred therapeutic style and theoretical orientation, counter transference proclivities, and personal style with clients; and (d) discussing training site issues such as how to get the most benefit from supervision, and concerns or problems with placement. Students are required to complete a clinical self-evaluation and submit a written case presentation of a client.

PSY 695 Supervised Practicum (10 units)

Application of psychotherapeutic techniques in a variety of supervised training experience in clinical settings for 350 hours. Assignments must be approved by the Director of Field Training.

PSY 699 Master’s Thesis or Project (6 units)

Students work independently with the guidance and collaboration of faculty mentor to create and execute an appropriate thesis or project on a topic of interest.