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Course Descriptions

Selected Courses have web-enhanced learning components. The curriculum is not intended to meet all the requirements of each state for licensure in clinical psychology. The curriculum may vary depending upon changing academic needs.

History and Systems PSY 700, 2 units

Students will explore the evolution of psychological concepts in Western history from antiquity to the present era. The course will examine and critique how the historic development of the psychodynamic, behavioral, contextual, systems, humanistic, existential, and other selected theoretical models has led to current practices in clinical psychology. The importance of a multicultural and critical perspectives will be emphasized. The systems developed throughout history to define and treat mental illness will be reviewed and evaluated. The course will examine the history of organized and professional psychology in the context of current trends in counseling psychology as a scientific discipline and an applied profession.

Psychoanalytic Based Psychotherapy I PSY 711, 2 units

This course focuses on the fundamental assumptions underlying psychoanalytic treatment and a review of the foundational assumptions of psychoanalytic thought. The course will examine the historical and thematic developments governing the evolution of psychoanalytic models over time, including the classical Freudian model, Kleinian perspectives and the development of object relations, and ego and self psychology theory. The course provides the basis for exploration of current trends in psychoanalytic assessment and treatment.

Psychoanalytic Based Psychotherapy II PSY 712, 2 units

This course continues examining psychoanalytic theory and practice, including a scholarly and clinical focus on attachment, defenses, and psychoanalytic personality theory. This review will continue a discussion on the relationships among attachment experiences, defensive style, level of personality organization, and personality style. In addition to advanced conceptualization and diagnostic skills, students will examine and apply treatment considerations based on psychoanalytic case conceptualization. Prerequisite: PSY 711

Psychoanalytic Based Psychotherapy III PSY 713, 2 units

This course provides an exploration of three related themes underpinning psychoanalytic technique: the capacity to mentalize, the effects and impact of trauma on the psyche, and the principle of intersubjectivity in psychotherapy. Foundational literature in these theoretical areas will be explored, and treatment implications elaborated within the broader context of practice. Prerequisites: PSY 711

Psychoanalytic Based Psychotherapy IV PSY 714, 2 units

The final course in the psychoanalytic sequence addresses the integration of psychoanalytic thought with other clinical and counseling traditions, including neuropsychology and neurophysiological advancements in the study of the unconscious, outcome research and developments in establishing the efficacy of psychodynamics and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Jungian theory and ways in which analytic and psychoanalytic theory may function synergistically, and contextual models such as multicultural perspectives and feminist psychoanalytic perspectives. Students examine ways to integrate these integrative perspectives in their clinical practice. Prerequisites: PSY 711

Advanced Psychopathology I PSY 730, 2 units

This course emphasizes key concepts related to psychopathology, including dominant and critical contemporary paradigms in diagnosis and conceptualization as well as various perspectives on defining mental health and illness. Mental illness, several mental disorders, and co-occurring disorders, are examined with an understanding of the social and psychological implications of socioeconomics, age, gender, and other cultural and political factors that affect social position and social stress. Psychodynamic therapeutic approaches to psychopathology will be illustrated.

Advanced Psychopathology II PSY 731, 2 units

This course represents a literature-based review of special topics in psychopathology through a psychodynamic lens, particularly focusing on presentations of trauma and character pathology. Selected topics include psychodynamic conceptualizations of different anxiety states, attachment disorder and trauma, narcissism, impairment in mentalization, and loss and mourning. Prerequisites: PSY 730

Biological Foundations of Human Behavior PSY 735, 3 units

Students examine the theoretical concepts and constructs that explain the phylogenic origins underlying human experience, behavior, and the processes of change. This course reviews anatomical and neurological functioning, examining the importance on behavior of micro- biological systems (neuron, synapse, neurotransmitter systems) and macro-level biological systems (central and autonomic nervous systems). Current trends in psychological research regarding the neurobiological foundation of consciousness, dreaming, sensory-motor systems, cognitions, motivation, memory, mindfulness, and attention will be evaluated. The sense of a biological self in relation to attachment, trauma, empathy, and neuroplasticity will be examined.

Principles of Clinical Supervision, Consultation, and Community Assessment PSY 752, 2 units

This course provides an exposure to the professional role of psychologists as supervisors and consultants. Theories and approaches to clinical supervision and consultation are examined with special attention given to the interpersonal and psychodynamic aspects of the supervisor-supervisee interaction within broader practice and cultural context. Ethics, diversity, and other professional issues related to clinical supervision and consultation are examined within community mental health and independent practice settings. This course is also designed to introduce students to program evaluation theories and techniques related with focus on community-based assessment of psychological needs and access to care. Grant writing skills with implications for community mental health services will be emphasized.

Professional and Ethical Development Seminar I PSY 755, 1 unit

The Professional and Ethical Development Seminars occur in sequence and are designed to assist students in developing the personal and professional capacities and skills necessary for successful functioning as a counseling psychologist. Each installment of this seminar also introduces theoretical concepts informed by the psychodynamic and depth psychological tradition, as well as clinical applications related to boundaries and ethical practice. Students maintain a process journal which is intended to help integrate course material with personal development. Pass/No-Pass

Professional and Ethical Development Seminar II PSY 756, 1 unit

The Professional and Ethical Development Seminars occur in sequence and are designed to assist students in developing the personal and professional capacities and skills necessary for successful functioning as a counseling psychologist. Each installment of this seminar also introduces theoretical concepts informed by the psychodynamic and depth psychological tradition, as well as clinical applications related to boundaries and ethical practice. Students maintain a process journal which is intended to help integrate course material with personal development. Pass/No-Pass

Professional and Ethical Development Seminar III PSY 757, 1 unit

The Professional and Ethical Development Seminars occur in sequence and are designed to assist students in developing the personal and professional capacities and skills necessary for successful functioning as a counseling psychologist. Each installment of this seminar also introduces theoretical concepts informed by the psychodynamic and depth psychological tradition, as well as clinical applications related to boundaries and ethical practice. Students maintain a process journal which is intended to help integrate course material with personal development. Pass/No-Pass

First Year Annual Assessment for Program Advancement PSY 758, 0 unit

The annual assessment is conducted through a face-to-face evaluation by Counseling Psychology faculty to assess academic, clinical, interpersonal, professional, ethical and research progress as well as professional values, attitudes and behaviors in order to advance to the second year of the Psy.D. program and to a Supervised Practicum. Pass/No Pass; No Incompletes

Assessment Practicum Seminar I PSY 759, 1 unit

This seminar is designed to assist students in the integration of applied practicum training with coursework at Pacifica. Students will examine and articulate their personal and professional identities through developing professional values, roles and behaviors consistent with the role of a counseling psychologist. To support student’s socialization into the field of counseling psychology, the seminars will specifically focus on assessment, case conceptualization, and treatment planning. Ethical and cultural aspects of clinical practice and supervision are emphasized.

Assessment Practicum Seminar II PSY 760, 1 unit

This seminar is designed to assist students in the integration of applied practicum training with coursework at Pacifica. Students will examine and articulate their personal and professional identities through developing professional values, roles and behaviors consistent with the role of a counseling psychologist. To support student’s socialization into the field of counseling psychology, the seminars will specifically focus on assessment, case conceptualization, and treatment planning. Ethical and cultural aspects of clinical practice and supervision are emphasized. Pass/No-Pass

Assessment Practicum Seminar III PSY 761, 1 unit

This seminar is designed to assist students in the integration of applied practicum training with coursework at Pacifica. Students will examine and articulate their personal and professional identities through developing professional values, roles and behaviors consistent with the role of a counseling psychologist. To support student’s socialization into the field of counseling psychology, the seminars will specifically focus on assessment, case conceptualization, and treatment planning. Ethical and cultural aspects of clinical practice and supervision are emphasized. Pass/No-Pass

Second Year Annual Assessment for Program Advancement PSY 762, 0 unit

In this assessment each student will be evaluated to assure readiness to perform in the advanced practicum with an emphasis on case conceptualization, integration of foundational psychological knowledge and practice, and interpersonal skills. Prerequisite: PSY 758 Pass/No Pass; No Incompletes

Psychotherapy Practicum Seminar I PSY 763, 1 unit

This seminar offers students a forum in which to integrate psychotherapy experiences of practicum with academic coursework at Pacifica. Professional and ethical values, attitudes and behaviors as well as communication and interpersonal skills are emphasized. Pass/No Pass

Psychotherapy Practicum Seminar II PSY 764, 1 unit

This seminar offers students a forum in which to integrate psychotherapy experiences of practicum with academic coursework at Pacifica. Professional and ethical values, attitudes and behaviors as well as communication and interpersonal skills are emphasized. Pass/No Pass

Psychotherapy Practicum Seminar III PSY 765, 1 unit

This seminar offers students a forum in which to integrate psychotherapy experiences of practicum with academic coursework at Pacifica. Professional and ethical values, attitudes and behaviors as well as communication and interpersonal skills are emphasized. Pass/No Pass

Social Foundations of Human Behavior I PSY 800, 2 units

This course focuses on the examination of social psychology with an emphasis on social influence which includes the principles and theory of group formation and development, impact of culture on group behavior, conformity, and persuasion. The course also examines current research in group dynamics, interpersonal behavior, intimacy, leadership, and helping. Discussion also includes relevance of social psychological research to clinical practice and depth psychology.

Social Foundations of Human Behavior II PSY 801, 3 units

This course studies current advancements in social psychology and provides an overview of the three main areas of social psychological thought which include social thinking, social influence, and social relations. Social thinking area includes discussion of self, beliefs, judgments, and attitudes. The study of social influence includes the impact of culture, conformity, persuasion, and group behavior on social functioning. Social relations area examines social relationships and how they are influenced by prejudice, aggression, attraction, and helping. This course emphasizes social thinking and social relationships as well as current social psychological research findings and the role of depth psychology in each of these areas.

Jungian Based Psychotherapy I PSY 810, 2 units

Classical and contemporary scholarship on Jungian concepts related to personality structure and function such as ego, Self, persona, shadow, anima/animus, archetype, collective unconscious, transcendent function, and individuation are examined. Clinical application of Jungian thought is demonstrated through theoretical discussions, case examples, and the reading of primary Jungian sources. An analysis is provided of the critiques of Jungian concepts from postmodern and multicultural perspectives.

Jungian Based Psychotherapy II PSY 811, 2 units

This course will expand consideration of classical Jungian scholarship related to theories of affect and cognition (mind) such as the individuated ego, personal and collective shadow, the contra-sexual archetypes anima/animus, manifestations of the Self, dreams and numinous experiences, and their application to clinical practice. In addition, Jungian personality typology is examined, archetypal figures and patterns explored, and the use of myths in depth psychotherapy elaborated. Affective and cognitive applications of Jungian approaches to psychotherapy are presented. Students continue the work of self-reflection to further their individuation process as central to their work as clinical depth psychologists. Prerequisite: PSY 810

Post-Jungian Based Psychotherapy PSY 815, 2 units

This course examines the scholarly works of post-Jungian theorists and psychotherapists who contributed to the development of Jungian/Post-Jungian psychotherapy and scholarship. The course discusses recent developments in the evolution of Jungian thought and practice, which includes multicultural, alchemical, somatic, and ecological considerations. Interactions between biological sciences, specifically contemporary neuropsychological developments, complexity theory, and biological systems theories are emphasized. The importance of myths, fairytales, the mystery traditions and various cultural mythologies are discussed in relation to their applicability to culturally relevant clinical practice. Students are asked to engage in self-reflection to further their individuation process as central to their work as clinical and depth psychologists. Prerequisites: PSY 801 and PSY 811

Introduction to Depth Psychology PSY 819, 2 units

This course is a scholarly introduction to the theories and traditions of depth psychology with an emphasis on the role that depth psychology attributes to the unconscious. Exploration of the cultural-historical and multicultural contexts of depth psychology in relation to myth, religion, philosophy, art and literature is highlighted. Particular attention is given to the origins of depth psychology in the analytic and psychoanalytic literature, subsequent scholarly and clinical developments in depth psychological traditions, as well as contemporary elaborations in depth psychology.

Community Mental Health, Public Policy, and Depth Psychology PSY 825, 2 units

This course emphasizes how public policy impacts all aspects of clinical practice in both the public and private mental health service delivery system. Mental health policy practices will be explored. Students learn how to utilize the principles of depth psychology in the community mental health system. The importance of learning administrative skills to improve service delivery is emphasized including the development of administrative strategies that include the Jungian concepts of organizational archetypes, complexes, and the shadow in order to create effective work place environments.

Developmental Psychology I: Childhood Through Adolescence PSY 830, 2 units

Students study developmental theories, constructs, research, and methods as they contribute to understanding normative human development and its variants in early childhood and adolescence. Emphasis is on the psychological, biological and neurological development from conception through childhood and adolescence and attachment issues that shape early human development. Childhood experiences of violence and trauma are emphasized. Current developmental and biopsychosocial research, clinical implications, cultural considerations, and contemporary trends in childhood and adolescent development are examined.

Developmental Psychology II: Adulthood through Old Age PSY 831, 2 units

This course continues the study of developmental theories, constructs, research, and methods as they contribute to understanding normative human development and its variants in adulthood through old age. Emphasis is on the psychological, social, biological, and neurological development during adulthood and the later stages of life. Special focus is given to aging and long term care, elder violence and abuse, end of life meaning, and life-long psychological development as part of developmental human trajectory. Specifically, the course provides a review of biological, social, and psychological aspects of aging as well as multicultural and clinical considerations in regard to these experiences.

Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice PSY 832, 2 units

The ethical and legal considerations involved in the practice of clinical and scientific psychology are examined with an emphasis on the American Psychological Association’s ethical guidelines. The course features discussion of key issues involved in academic work, research and professional practice with an emphasis on the development of ethical and professional judgment. Child abuse assessment and reporting as well as suicide and homicide prevention and intervention are emphasized. Topics include forensic psychology, cultural competence, malpractice, and legal responsibilities. This course meets the criteria set forth by the California Board of Psychology for training in Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice required for California licensure.

Violence and Trauma PSY 834, 3 units

The course will review scholarship in relation to social, developmental, and relational theories of violence in intimate relationships and families with special focus on partner and child abuse, detection, intervention and prevention. The intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics related to trauma and recovery will be discussed. The coursework also provides coverage of partner and child abuse assessment and reporting. The developmental impact of early trauma, including splitting, dissociation, and introjection as well as depth psychological treatment approaches will be emphasized.

Cognitive Foundations of Human Behavior PSY 837, 2 units

This course examines the interdependence of cognition and emotion in psychological experience and behavior. Discussion of this relationship includes the interactive influence of perception, attention, learning, memory, contextual appraisals and biases, emotional regulation, creative thinking, conscious and unconscious processing and problem solving. Related topics include sensation, perception, memory, cognition, emotion, motivation, and psychophysiological processes.

Affective Foundations of Human Behavior PSY 838, 2 units

This course aims to provide an overview and clinical implications of understanding the development of affective regulation related to psychological functioning. In addition to discussing theories of emotions and emotional regulation, the course focuses on how capacity for affective self-regulation and communication is influential in intrapersonal and relational functioning of individuals and communities. Discussion of emotion involves the biological and social bases of emotion, its cognitive correlates, and the impact on emotional states. Specifically, the course emphasizes classic and contemporary psychoanalytic and Jungian scholarship on affective foundations of human behavior.

Psychotherapy with Diverse Populations PSY 845, 2 units

Cultural competence or the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to work effectively as a diversity-focused and social justice-oriented clinician are an ethical responsibility in a multicultural society. This course examines the role of culture in psychotherapy and assessment, as well as key issues in the provision of psychological services with individuals or communities, which face cultural and institutional forms of oppression and have been marginalized within systems of social care. Biases in traditional clinical theory and practice are discussed, while culturally relevant intervention strategies with individuals of different cultural backgrounds are introduced. Depth psychological concepts in relation to culture, such as the notion of an ethnic or minority unconscious, cultural trauma, and cultural complexes are also explored.

Principles of Psychopharmacology PSY 873, 2 units

This course examines the principles of psychopharmacology as well as an overview of pertinent neurochemistry. The indications and side effects of common psychoactive medications are evaluated. Contemporary scholarship on plant based medicines and use of mood-altering substances in psychological treatment is introduced. The impact of medications on the psychotherapeutic process and the importance of a coordinated treatment plan with the prescribing medical provider are examined. Issues of ethical and cultural values in pharmacological questions are raised.

Alcohol, Chemical Dependency, and Addictive Behaviors PSY 900, 2 units

This course covers the theory and treatment of addictive behaviors. Areas covered in this course include current theories of etiology, physiological and medical aspects of substance abuse and dependence, psychopharmacological and interaction of varied classes of drugs, dual-diagnosis, cultural and ethnic considerations, iatrogenic dependency, treatment approaches, differences in populations related to substance abuse, prenatal effects of abuse, implications for elderly clients, referral process, family issues, prevention and education, and ethical and legal issues.

Gender and Human Sexuality PSY 901, 1 unit

This course will focus on cultural, historical, theoretical and clinical constructions of gender and sexuality. Biological and psychological as well as socio-cultural variables associated with gender, sexual identity, sexual desire, sexual behavior and disorders are discussed. Feminist, critical, cross-cultural and depth psychological lens will be applied within the material.

Evidence Based Best Practices PSY 913, 2 units

This course is an overview of clinical treatments in relation to their efficacy in treatment of psychological disorders. Methods of evaluations of the efficacy of interventions and their limits are discussed. The findings in outcome research regarding therapeutic interventions are evaluated and critiqued. Interventions and combinations of interventions for the major disorders are examined, as well as the integration of individual, group, and psychopharmacological therapies are discussed. Specific focus is given to short term psychoanalytic and psychodynamic approaches as well as the scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of depth psychological practices.

Cognitive and Intellectual Assessment PSY 930, 3 units

The psychological assessment course series begins with the study of psychometric theory including test construction, standardization, validity, reliability, and the appropriate and ethical use of assessment for individuals from diverse backgrounds. The administration, scoring, and interpretation of the Wechsler intelligence scales, Wechsler Memory Scales, and selected achievement tests and tests of adaptive behavior are highlighted with special emphasis on integrating the results with clinical judgment, effective report writing, evidence-based treatment planning, and communication of assessment results. Students are provided with an overview of neuropsychological assessment including structured interviewing, review of typical neuropsychological batteries, and strategies of interpreting and integrating neuropsychological assessment data. The course will focus on foundational psychometric theory in the context of emphasizing applied, evidence-based best practices in cognitive assessment.

Objective Personality Assessment PSY 931, 3 units

The course focuses on foundational psychometric theory in the context of emphasizing practical, evidence-based best practices in personality assessment. Students learn the principles of personality assessment and learn how to administer, score, and interpret instruments including the MMPI-2, MCMI-III, and BDI-II. Integrating results into client-centered, case-focused, and therapeutic reports for clinical, vocational, medical, and forensic settings is emphasized.

Projective Personality Assessment PSY 932, 2 units

This course focuses on psychometric theories and practical applications of performance-based personality instruments (projectives) with an emphasis on the Rorschach. Course also includes examination of the Thematic Apperception Test, Sentence Completion Test and projective drawings. Information derived from performance-based personality assessment is used to develop therapeutic, client-centered, case-focused reports that describe the psychological background of the client as well as answer the referral question. An emphasis on using assessment results to enhance the therapeutic process by utilizing evidence-based best practices is made.

Theories of Psychometric Measurement PSY 933, 3 units

The course covers classical and current psychometric theory and procedures involved in constructing and evaluating measurement instruments in clinical psychology including the key concepts of scale development. Cronbach’s alpha, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, types of reliability and validity, multi-trait and multi-method validation, item response theory, psychometric scaling and structural equation modeling are examined.

Clinical Interview PSY 940, 1 unit

Students learn the essential skill sets involved in biopsychosocial assessment and related clinical interviewing techniques. The course focuses on how to conduct a clinical interview as part of an initial assessment. The course also examines the ethical dilemmas, interdisciplinary conflicts, human diversity and system of care issues that may surface during the clinical interview. Child abuse and reporting, suicide and homicide assessment are emphasized.

Research Design and Methodology I PSY 950, 3 units

This course provides an overview of univariate statistical methods or those pertaining to analysis of a single, continuous, dependent variable. The goal of this overview is to prepare students to be competent and critical consumers of quantitative research for clinical practice. An applied overview of both descriptive and inferential statistics is provided. Topics covered include: (1) Descriptive statistics (Measurement scales, frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, measures of spread (variability), measures of linear relationships, and standard scores), and (2) Inferential statistics (hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, Z-tests, t-tests, one way analysis of variance [ANOVA], Chi-Square tests and estimation of population parameters from sample data). Survey and experiential approaches to research and clinical investigations are examined.

Research Design and Methodology II PSY 951, 2 units

The course examines major human science traditions such as phenomenology, narrative approaches, ethnography, grounded theory, focus groups, hermeneutic approaches and case study. Theory and praxis of these approaches are examined within a particular qualitative methodology (i.e., phenomenology). Emphasis is given to ethics and cultural diversity as well as the parallels between research and clinical practice.

Research Design and Methodology III PSY 952, 3 units

This course continues to prepare students to be competent and critical consumers of quantitative research for clinical practice by the examination and applicability of advanced quantitative methods including multivariate statistical analysis. This course assists students in becoming skilled in reading, understanding, and using quantitative research designs. Course also examine the broad principles and application of multivariate statistical models for the design of quantitative studies and the treatment of data as well as the statistical methods employed in clinical research studies. Topics include multivariate analysis of variance and covariance, factor analysis, binary logistic regression, multiple regression, discriminant analysis, power, and meta-analysis. Prerequisites: PSY 950

Dissertation Development PSY 955, 2 units

This course emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills related to evaluating research studies and the writing of a dissertation in counseling psychology. The course focuses on the completion of an initial proposal, which contains a literature review of the seminal sources, a well-defined clinical research question, a preliminary review of methods used in addressing the question and an explication of the relevance of the question for the practice of clinical psychology. Prerequisites: PSY 950, 951, 952. Pass/No Pass

Advanced Research Methods in Counseling Psychology I PSY 956, 3 units

This course focuses on the review of current approaches to applied research in clinical psychology. Particular attention is given to research methodologies as well as the philosophical and epistemological foundations of clinical research. The course results in an advanced review of the literature on a selected topic related to the clinical research question developed for the dissertation. Prerequisite: PSY 955

Advanced Research Methods in Counseling Psychology II PSY 957, 2 units

This course critically examines the variety of applied methods in clinical psychology, including both quantitative and qualitative methods as well as theoretical and interpretative approaches. The course results in an advanced application of selected research methods to the clinical research question of the dissertation. Prerequisite: PSY 955, 956

Dissertation Completion I PSY 958A/B/C/D, PSY959A/B, 3 units each

This course is intended to accompany student work with their dissertation committee in order to assure timely completion of the Dissertation. Students will work closely with their chair and committee to coordinate written drafts and committee feedback. Dissertation Completion is taken under the direction of the Chair of the dissertation committee and concurrently with third year academic courses. Prerequisite: PSY 955. Pass/No Pass, No Incompletes

Comprehensive Portfolio PSY 989, 0 unit

The Comprehensive Exam Portfolio is designed to assess student competencies in the area of each of the three Program Domains: Depth Psychological Clinical Practice, Research and Scholarly Inquiry, and Community Service and Clinical Engagement. Students must pass all components of the Comprehensive Portfolio in order to advance to Internship. Prerequisite: PSY 762; Pass/No Pass; No Incompletes