|Master of Arts in Psychology|
MASTER OF ARTS IN PSYCHOLOGY
Minimum of 60 units required
The M.A. Psychology Program at UWest prepares students for careers in a wide variety of applied counseling and consultation settings. Furthermore, the psychology program is designed to meet the prerequirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license.
The Multicultural Counseling M.A. program is based on regulations provided by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and on guidelines suggested by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Coursework is designed to prepare the student for the California MFT license examinations. More information about the MFT license can be found at http://www.bbs.ca.gov.
Unique to UWest is a Multicultural Generalist focus, as well as a one-of-a-kind Buddhist Psychology track.
In such a globally connected world, it has become imperative to train psychology professionals who are proficient in working with a wide variety of cultural identities. For this reason, the M.A. Psychology at UWest focuses on exploring both the Western and Eastern contributions to psychology.
The Buddhist Psychology track holds the same multicultural emphasis as the Multicultural Generalist track, but with the additional inclusion of Buddhist perspectives. Buddhist concepts and practices have been successfully used in Western counseling settings, and many are central to current best practices in psychotherapy. For example, the concept of mindfulness and meditation has been empirically supported and widely integrated into contemporary Western psychology practices. Students following this track will gain additional expertise in these areas.
Both the Multicultural Generalist and the Buddhist Psychology specialty track require a minimum of 60 semester units. Units are divided into 3 introductory units, 15 foundational course units, 21 core level course units, 3 advanced level units, 6 units of practicum at an approved practicum site, and a minimum of 12 units to be taken from a list of electives. Specialty tracks (i.e. Buddhist Psychology) require 12 units of coursework in the area of specialty which are taken in lieu of electives. Furthermore, all students are required to pass a comprehensive exam in their final semester.
1) Introductory Course, 3 units
2) Foundation Courses, 18 units
3) Core Courses, 18 units
4) Advanced level Courses and Competencies (3 units required)
5) Fieldwork (6 units required)
PSYCH 700 and PSYCH 710 are required and are to be taken consecutively. PSYCH 560 is optional additional fieldwork. All fieldwork and practicum placements must be approved by the department chair, or training director. All training sites must have a written contract with University of the West indicating their commitment to abide by the supervisory conditions required for the pre-MFT licensure requirements, as guided by California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).
6) Electives (12 units required – specialty track courses may also be taken as electives for the Multicultural Generalist track)
7) Comprehensive Exam/Thesis
*The thesis option is reserved for those students who would like to pursue a Ph.D. upon completion of their M.A. With Department Chair permission, a thesis may be completed instead of the comprehensive exam.
8) Specialized level competency
Buddhist psychology track (select at least 12 units from the courses listed below. Other courses may be considered with permission from the department chair.) Students with a Buddhist focus will obtain the above competencies. They will furthermore demonstrate expertise in Buddhist wisdom that will essentially guide their application of the aforementioned competencies.
1. Wisdom and Skillful Means: Students are thoroughly prepared for academic and professional success. This entails the following:
• Students will be able to demonstrate the knowledge needed to synthesize various psychotherapeutic approaches.
• Students will be able to describe and explain the ethics and laws pertaining to mental health services for MFTs.
• Students will be able list and discuss the various psychotherapeutic theoretical approaches and corresponding diagnostic and intervention techniques.
• Students will be able to conduct thorough intake interviews (including suicide/homicide assessments), summarize the themes of the interview, and identify goals and potential treatment plans for therapy.
• Students will be able to demonstrate competency in the assessment, detection, and intervention for spousal abuse as well as for abuse reporting (for child, elder, dep. adult).
• Students will be able to effectively apply the field’s (MFT) ethics, and California State and U.S. Federal laws to case vignettes and in vivo counseling sessions.
• Students will maintain their academic integrity.
• Students will be able to use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry and, when possible, the scientific method to discern, evaluate and criticize specific issues in psychology.
• Students will be able to clearly articulate their study of psychology in writing and speech.
2. Self-Awareness: Students are prepared to engage in an on-going process of selfunderstanding that enables them to lead happy, purposeful lives characterized by healthy relationships to self and others. This entails the following:
• Students will be able to be fully present, mindfully aware of the moment, during client sessions.
• Students will be able to express an increased level of self-awareness as it applies to their role as therapists, which includes an understanding and ability to articulate their own cultural values and biases.
• Students will demonstrate case conceptualizations which reflect a refined understanding of the impact their own cultural identities and related values have on the therapeutic process (specifically the therapeutic alliance/relationship).
3. Liberation: Students recognize the diversity and dignity of all beings and understand their own role in the pursuit of social justice.
• Students will develop cultural responsiveness in terms of intake, diagnosis, treatment planning, and intervention selection.
Liberation from Suffering
• Students will be able to discuss the various types of privilege and oppression that often arise for select cultural identities (i.e. select racial and ethnic groups, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental ability) and how to use this knowledge to connect with and empower others.
4. Interdependence: Students possess a holistic understanding of global interdependence in order to cultivate compassionate thought, speech, and action in service to themselves, others, and the environment.
• Students will recognize their ability to increase wellness and reduce suffering of self and others through service-oriented activities.
• Students will demonstrate an appreciation for diverse cultures as it applies to the therapeutic process and outcome, and be able to identify potential limitations in mainstream, Western psychological practices.
• Students will demonstrate an awareness of the impact their thought, speech, and behavior have on others – specifically the impact it may have on their clients.