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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)

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.
* 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)

Students will;

* 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)

Students will:

* 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)
Comprehensive Exam/Thesis

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

University of the West is offering an online certificate program covering Buddhism and its application in daily life. This program is designed for those who are interested in Buddhism and Buddhist leadership in practice. Buddhists, non-Buddhists, beginners and advanced students in Buddhism are welcome.

Schedule for courses

Summer 2011 (Aug 16, 2011 ~ Oct 26, 2011)
HBL100 “Introduction to the Study of Buddhism”: Aug 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26
Lecturer: Dr. Lewis Lancaster

Fall 2011 (Oct 5, 2011 ~ Dec 21, 2011)
HBL200 “Introduction to Dunhuang Studies”: Oct 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2, 9, 16, 23
Lecturer: Dr. Darui Long

Spring 2012 (Jan 31, 2012 ~ Apr 20, 2012)
HBL250 “Buddhist Leadership in Practice”: Jan 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28, Mar 6, 13, 20
Lecturer: Dr. Ven. Jue Ji and Mr. Roger Lu

The courses will be offered from 6:00pm – 7:30pm (Pacific Standard Time) on campus and online. Live sessions take place at the specified dates/times listed above.

For those who are at a distance or have conflicting scheduling, the class meetings will be made available via a live private video webconference. This is the time for live interaction with the lecturer and your fellow students. The sessions are recorded, processed, then made available the next day. Since videos take time to process, convert, then upload, there is a turnaround time of about 24 hours. The videos can then be replayed via a link in the Course Management System. To log in, you will receive a username/password and granted access when you are registered for the class.

To get the best experience out of the course, participation is recommended and encouraged. Students will only truly benefit from the classes with direct interaction from peer students and the lecturer.

For more information and registration, please visit: http://www.uwest.edu/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=358&Itemid=390

Race to Nowhere is changing lives, one film at a time… We all want to get from point A to point B, and often the journey itself is enough to transform us. But what happens when racing becomes an end in itself?

As written on the movie official website, Director Vicki Abeles turns the personal political, igniting a national conversation in her new documentary about the pressures faced by American schoolchildren and their teachers in a system and culture obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform. Featuring the heartbreaking stories of young people across the country who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and worried that students aren’t developing the skills they need, and parents who are trying to do what’s best for their kids, Race to Nowhere points to the silent epidemic in our schools: cheating has become commonplace, students have become disengaged, stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant, and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.

Race to Nowhere is a call to mobilize families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens.

Featured in the film:
– Dr. Madeline Levine, Clinical Psychologist and author of the best-seller, The Price of Privilege
– Dr. Wendy Mogel, Clinical Psychologist and author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee
– Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, Adolescent Medicine Specialist, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
– Dr. Deborah Stipek, Dean of the School of Education at Stanford University
– Dr. Denise Pope, Co-Founder, Challenge Success, Stanford University
– Sara Bennett, Founder, Stop Homework

Director Vicki Abeles wrote a letter, addressed to potential audience, telling the story behind Race to Nowhere:

Three years ago my only knowledge of film came from buying tickets at the box office and going to see a movie with my kids.

Race to Nowhere was inspired by a series of wake-up calls that made me look closely at the relentless pressure to perform that children face today.

I saw the strain in my children as they navigated days filled with school, homework, tutoring and extracurricular activities. But it wasn’t until the crisis of my 12-year-old daughter being diagnosed with a stress induced illness that I was determined to do something.

After months of long evenings battling homework assignments, studying for tests and panic attacks in the middle of the night, we found her doubled over in pain, and rushed her to the emergency room. Her cheerful façade and determination to keep up had masked her symptoms to us, to her friends and to her teachers.

I started to make some changes in my home, but the pressures on my children and family felt more systemic and beyond my control. In thinking about my own childhood, it seemed that education hadn’t changed much in the past 30 years, but today’s system is driven by a high-stakes, high-pressure culture.

In trying to understand what was driving those pressures, I began speaking to experts. I was stunned to learn of the soaring rates of youth depression, suicide, cheating, and “dropping out” occurring in all types of communities.

I spoke with students and their families and teachers across the country, and realized how widespread the problems were, crossing economic and geographic lines — and how powerless they felt to address these issues in the face of current education policies focused on high stakes tests and competitive college admissions.

This problem was affecting millions of kids and yet it wasn’t being talked about.

I wanted to do something to raise awareness on a large scale, and to bring communities together to galvanize change. Films had always been a powerful force in my life, so I decided the best way to raise awareness on a large scale was to make a film that clearly captured these stories and issues. I was determined to give voice to those on the front lines of education – students and teachers.

So I picked up a camera and began to assemble a team of film professionals.

After interviewing students, parents and teachers, I met with top education and child development experts at Stanford University and other leading institutions. I interviewed my own daughter. And I went on camera myself to provide context.

One of the high school pupils I talked to, Natan, gave us the film’s title when he said students “get caught up in a race to nowhere.”

Several months into the film’s development, without any warning signs, a 13-year-old girl in our community committed suicide after getting a poor grade on a math test, adding urgency to the need for change.

Childhood has become indentured to test scores, performance and competition. We face an epidemic of unhealthy, disengaged, unprepared kids trying to manage as best they can.

We cannot keep silent any longer. If I don’t speak out and share these stories, who will? And if not now, when?

We cannot wait for large institutions or the government to make the changes our kids need today. Education should not be driven by political and corporate interests. There’s too much evidence that it isn’t working for any of our kids. Layers of change are needed, starting from the ground up.

Once you’ve seen the film, please take a look at the resources on our website as a starting place for you to make changes in your home, classroom and community.

Let’s join forces to change the system and our culture. Together we must safeguard the health of our children and ensure that they all receive an education that allows them to reach their full potential.

Thank you for watching, and acting on what you see. Let’s work together to improve the lives and education of our next generation.

Vicki H. Abeles

A Psychology of Human Strengths: Fundamental Questions and Future Directions for a Positive Psychology features leading scholars of contemporary psychology, setting a research agenda for the scientific study of human strengths. In many cases, their findings have turned “established wisdom” on its head. What results is a comprehensive volume that provides a forward-looking forum for the discussion of the purpose, pitfalls, and future of the psychology of human strengths.

This volume is a must-read for those looking for new ways of thinking about such topics as intelligence, judgment, volition, social behavior, close relationships, development, aging, and health as well as applications to psychotherapy, education, organizational psychology, gender, politics, creativity, and other realms of life.

More information on: http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/431685A.aspx

Neuroleadership is the application of findings from neuroscience to the field of leadership. Coined by David Rock, neuroleadership “has entered the vocabulary faster than you can say brainwave.” NeuroLeadership is an emerging field of study focused on bringing neuroscientific knowledge into the areas of leadership development, management training, change management, education, consulting and coaching.

Neuroleadership provides a new scientific framework for understanding and therefore enhancing the practice of leading others. An enhanced understanding of how the brain works has shed on light on ways that leaders can:
* Enhance their thinking
* Strengthen their ability to influence others
* Help staff successfully work through change

The NeuroLeadership Institute (http://neuroleadership.org) assist students who want to study of the field and focuses on the core areas of Decision Making & Problem Solving, Emotional Regulation, Collaborating with Others, and Facilitating Change.