The Masters level Psychology Program at University of the West offers a Buddhist Psychology Track and prepares students for careers in a wide variety of applied counseling and consultation settings. Furthermore, the psychology program is designed to meet the pre-requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license.
Unique to University of the West 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 Masters of Psychology at University of the West 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. 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 Buddhist Psychology specialty track require a minimum of 48 semester units. Units are divided into 15 foundational course units, 12 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.
Foundation level Courses & Competencies, 15 units
PSYCH 501 Experimental Design & Statistical Analysis (3)
PSYCH 530 Psychopathology: Assessment and Diagnosis in Counseling (3)
PSYCH 531 Theories and Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy (3)
PSYCH 532 Legal & Ethical Issues in Counseling and Psychotherapy (3)
PSYCH 533 Seminar: Counseling of Multicultural Groups (3)
* 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.
* demonstrate an appreciation for diverse cultures as it applies to the therapeutic process and outcome and be able to identify potential limitations in main stream, Western Psychological Practices.
* be able to describe and explain the ethics and laws pertaining to therapeutic services.
* be able to give examples and explain the various psychotherapeutic theoretical approaches and corresponding diagnostic and intervention techniques.
* be able to execute the skills needed to be critical consumers of the psychological research literature relating, but not limited to, methodological design, statistical analysis, and interpretation of research results for practical application in various therapeutic and consultation settings.
Core level Courses & Competencies, 12 units
PSYCH 536 Marriage/Couples and Family Counseling (3)
PSYCH 538 Psychological Testing (3)
PSYCH 540 Adult Development & Aging (3)
PSYCH 545 Psychopharmacology (3)
* be able to develop and describe a counseling style that is tailored to their own personality and related strengths.
* be able to apply the ethics and laws set forth to guide therapeutic practice to sophisticated case scenarios and in vivo counseling sessions.
* demonstrate competency in the assessment, detection, and intervention of both spousal and child abuse in accordance with field guidelines and state laws.
* be able to apply an integrative multicultural approach to therapy. Furthermore, students will be able to show an understanding of the differences in the cultural characteristics of various cultural identities including ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, as well as physical and mental ability.
Advanced level Courses & Competencies (3 units required)
PSYCH 600 Advanced Counseling Group Process & Skills (3)
PSYCH 602 Advanced Couples Counseling (3)
PSYCH 605 Advanced Family Therapy (3)
PSYCH 607 Advanced Seminar in Culture & Psychotherapy (3)
* be able to identify an area of research interest, and subsequently design, analyze, and interpret research projects according to scientific methodology.
* demonstrate knowledge and gain experience needed to synthesize various psychotherapeutic approaches.
* be able to conduct thorough intake interviews (including suicide assessments), summarize the themes of the interview, identify goals for therapy, and evaluate the process and outcome of therapy for individuals (adults & children) as well as in family and group counseling sessions.
* develop cultural responsiveness in terms of intake, diagnosis, treatment planning, and intervention selection. Furthermore, case conceptualizations will reflect a refined understanding of the impact their own cultural identities and values have on the therapeutic process.
Fieldwork (6 units required)
PSYCH 610 & PSYCH 615 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).
PSYCH 560 Fieldwork (1-6)
PSYCH 610 Practicum (3)
PSYCH 615 Advanced Practicum (3)
Electives (12 units required – specialty track courses may also be taken as electives for the Multicultural Generalist track)
PSYCH 499 Practicum Prep (2)
PSYCH 529 Stress & Stress Management (3)
PSYCH 537 Dream Work in Counseling (3)
PSYCH 604 Child & Adolescent Interventions in Therapy (3)
PSYCH 611 The Essential Yalom (3)
PSYCH 699b Comprehensive Exam (0 units)
PSYCH 699a Thesis (1-6 units)*
*The thesis option is reserved for those students who would like to pursue a Ph.D. upon completion of their MA. With Department Chair permission, a thesis may be completed instead of the comprehensive exam.
Specialized level competencies:
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.
REL 460 Buddhist Psychology (3)
REL 470 Women & Religion (3)
PSYCH 460 Introduction to Buddhist Counseling (3)
REL 565 History of Buddhist Psychology (3)
REL 530 Topics in Buddhist Studies: Buddhist Meditation (3)
PSYCH 617 The Application of Mindfulness in Western Therapy
PSYCH 614 Religion & Psychology Seminar (3)
REL 625 Cultural & Social Aspects of Buddhism (3)
For more information, please visit: http://www.uwest.edu/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=128:master-of-arts-in-psychology&catid=55:programs-in-psychology&Itemid=338