Students hanging out in New Hall quad

Catalog

Clinical Psychology

Helen Marlo, Ph.D.
Interim Chair
(650) 508-3674
hmarlo@ndnu.edu

Master of Science

NDNU offers master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology, Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), and Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy/Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling.

The Master of Science degree is available effective January 2009 for all new students accepted and enrolled in the program from the Spring 2009 semester and beyond as well as those current students who applied and were accepted into the degree name change. The Master of Arts degrees are no longer being offered in Clinical Psychology or Gerontology.

Please note that program requirements, course descriptions, etc., apply to all of the Master of Science degrees.

The Department of Clinical Psychology and Gerontology offers programs leading to the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP) (Option 1: 37 units), in Clinical Psychology/ Marriage and Family Therapy (MSCP/MFT) (Option 2: 60 units), and in Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy/Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (MSCP/MFT/LPCC) (Option 3: 67 units). The Department also offers an embedded Concentration in Clinical Gerontology, via 8-additional units. These exciting master's programs are based upon the scientist-practitioner model and provide training, research, and personal growth in the field of Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy (preparation for MFT licensure), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. The MSCP, MFT, and MSCP/MFT/LPCC degrees provide current evidence-based, strength-based, and recovery-based approaches in conjunction with a focus on community resources and networking in the psychotherapeutic approach to clinical practice and intervention. All three programs provide comprehensive clinical training and offer a range of innovative courses in different forms of therapy and psychological assessment. Both the Marriage and Family Therapy and combined MFT/ Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor degrees lead toward licensure.

Our students have the opportunity to learn the following applications and approaches to the field of clinical psychology: psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectic behavioral, interpersonal, emotion-focused, family systems, humanistic, marriage and family, play, sand play, expressive arts, experiential, somatic, and brief psychotherapies. Similarly, our students learn about and practice Psychological Assessment (adult and child) in personality, intellectual functioning, emotional and cognitive functioning, and Geriatric Assessment, which includes capacity evaluation, cognitive functioning, independent living, and elder abuse. Students also acquire a solid foundation in research via an individual capstone Thesis Project in a trilogy of Thesis courses aligned with the current SB33 requirements, hallmarking the scientific approach of the Master of Science Clinical Psychology degree. The thesis entails collaboration with the Thesis Advisor and a Second Reader. A portfolio requirement enables students to capture their signature experiences here at NDNU.

Five prerequisite undergraduate foundation courses (General Psychology, Personality Theory, Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and Statistics) may be obtained at Notre Dame de Namur University or transferred from other accredited institutions, pending departmental approval. These courses should be 3-unit semester-long, in-class experiential courses, earning a B- or better, and should be current to best enable a solid foundation for the student’s academic success at the graduate level.

Option I: Master of Science in Clinical Psychology

This degree program consists of 37 units. This option prepares students for future doctoral studies in the field of psychology or may serve as a terminal degree for master's level mental health professionals who wish to work within a broad range of clinical and administrative settings, integrating psychobehavioral educational intervention within the healthcare field. Courses address those skills and topics most useful to the beginning mental health practitioner.

Students may also choose an optional embedded Concentration in Clinical Gerontology, comprising 8 additional units of study. A 2-unit elective requirement also enables students to gain more specialized knowledge and training in an area of interest within our core courses.

Upon completion of the degree requirements and the concentration, students are awarded both the MS in Clinical Psychology degree and a Concentration in Clinical Gerontology.

Option II: The Master of Science in Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)

This degree program consists of 60 units. The program meets the educational requirements for MFT licensure as defined by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). Once licensure is successfully obtained, the individual is qualified for work as a therapist in a variety of mental health professions.

For MFT licensure, the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), which mandates and accredits our curriculum, along with WASC, presently requires 3,000 hours of field practicum experience. A maximum of 1,300 hours may be acquired prior to graduation from our program. The 60-unit MS Clinical Psychology/MFT program provides 500 hours of field practicum experience (250 per semester) to be gained concurrently with enrollment in Case Seminar. Additional supervised training hours may be earned while enrolled in CPY6992Supervised Field Experience. Approved training sites include government agencies, nonprofit agencies, schools, and licensed health facilities. The Board of Behavioral Sciences allows a minimum of 100 hours of personal psychotherapy while in the master’s degree program, which they will triple to a maximum of 300 hours. Students who wish to graduate in May must complete all supervised training site hours by the May 15th deadline.

All MFT students should ensure that their contract year for Practicum with their site runs between August 15 and May 15; any hours earned outside that time frame will not be acceptable or fall under NDNU purview. Any student who wishes to have his/her Practicum site hours count toward BBS licensure while in the NDNU master’s degree program post-May 15 must be enrolled in CPY6992. Failure to do so may result in a delay of degree posting. Students must ensure that their Practicum site is aware of these restrictions. Ultimately, BBS, the MSCP Department, and NDNU all require that students are supervised by a licensed professional at their site as well as being enrolled in and supervised in a Supervised Field Experience and/or Practicum course by the MSCP faculty. NDNU will not be liable for any students at a site, inclusive of earned credit hours toward BBS requirements, postgraduation.

A practicum Training Fair hosted by the department in early spring enables students and neighboring approved agencies an opportunity to network for practicum placement.
Additionally, personal psychotherapy is strongly recommended during the program and may even be required by the instructor, advisor, faculty or Chair at any time throughout the program to provide educational, professional, and/or personal development.

Courses review the highly specific range of skills required by the beginning practitioner, prepare the student for the MFT licensing exams, and address the needs of any student who desires to continue studies in a doctoral psychology program or work in a clinical setting. An optional embedded Concentration in Clinical Gerontology, comprising 8 units, can also be earned with the MS in Clinical Psychology/MFT degree. Upon completion of the degree requirements and the concentration, students are awarded both the MS in Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) degree and a Concentration in Clinical Gerontology.

Option III: The Master of Science in Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy/Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (MFT/LPCC)

This degree program consists of 67 units and builds upon all of the requirements of the MFT degree (Option II). Additional course work in Neurophysiology and Psychopharmacology; Crisis, Trauma and Recovery; Addictions; Group psychotherapeutic theories and techniques; and Career Counseling as well as continued course content in evidence-based, strength-based practices and recovery models will be embedded in this new degree. In addition, this combined degree track enables students to pursue dual licensure in the state of California in Marriage and Family Therapy and Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling. The additional LPCC component enables students to have a more “transferable” license within the U.S.

Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes are expected upon degree completion in each of the three programs.

  • Psychopathology Domain: Learning Outcome 1-- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association in relation to assessment, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis of various mental disorders and personality disorders and understanding of symptomatology, etiology, and treatment (inclusive of treatment plan and intervention across the lifespan) and write a comprehensive mental status exam.
  • Psychotherapy Domain: Learning Outcome 2-- Students will comprehend, integrate, and apply various systemic theories of Marriage and Family Therapy.
  • Professional Law and Ethics Domain: Learning Outcome 3--Students will be able to recognize the ethical and legal codes for mental health professions and demonstrate personal and professional awareness of the relevance of ethical issues and their implication for clinical work.
  • Research Domain: Learning Outcome 4--Students will understand research designs and parameters of psychological research and will implement a research study from start to finish via a written thesis and present at the NDNU Graduate Research Conference.

Program Requirements for both Master of Science in Clinical Psychology Programs (MSCP and MSCP/MFT)

Completion with a grade of B- or better in the following prerequisite courses (may be taken at NDNU) is required:

  • General Psychology
  • Personality Theory
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Statistics

*Please note that while public California colleges and universities may not allow “retaking” of courses with “D or better” grade we require a B- or better for each prerequisite. If these courses need to be retaken, the student may opt to retake them here at NDNU upon approval of the Clinical Psychology and Gerontology Department Chair. All prerequisites must be completed by 15 graduate units. Failure to do so may result in a hold on your registration (you will not be able to register/take any more classes in the program), nonadvancement in the degree, and possible dismissal from the program.

Admission

All master's programs in Clinical Psychology require the following:

1. Completed Application and Fee (see Graduate Admissions)
2. Official Transcripts (undergraduate and any graduate; see Graduate Admissions)
3. A minimum GPA of 3.0
4. Prerequisites (see above)
5. Two letters of recommendation (one academic, one professional)
Note: If you have been away from your academic institution for a prolonged period of time and have difficulty obtaining an academic letter, please provide a letter from an academic source qualified to pass judgment on your academic potential in a graduate degree program (for example, a letter from an instructor for an outstanding prerequisite)
6. Autobiographical Statement: two-three typed, double-spaced pages describing why you are interested in the field, the program, and NDNU as well as other pertinent personal or professional experience

Clinical Psychology and Gerontology Department Application Submission Timelines
To be considered for priority admission, please submit your completed application packet to
the Graduate Admissions Office by the following dates:

  • August 1 – Fall Semester
  • December 1 – Spring Semester
  • April 1 – Summer

Other Requirements

  1. Upon recommendation of the faculty based on evaluation of writing samples, students may be required by the Program Director or Chair to take additional course work in writing, inclusive of APA-style writing.
  2.  At 15 graduate units, students will be evaluated for advancement to candidacy, pending academic performance and suitability (all five prerequisites met, grade of B- or better in all classes, 3.0 overall GPA). Professional and clinical suitability will be evaluated by the department. Registration may be delayed due to failure to fulfill prerequisites and requirements. Students will still be bound by the seven-year limit.
  3. No incompletes will be given in any of the research courses. Similarly, no incompletes will be given in other courses unless approved at department level and only under documented extenuating circumstances upon approval. Attendance policy must be strictly followed.
  4. Letter grades will be earned for the embedded Concentration in Clinical Gerontology (with certificate).
  5. The CPY6992 Supervised Field Experience course will be taken as Pass/No Pass.
  6. Any course for which a grade below a B- is obtained must be repeated. A student may not take the same course more than two times, inclusive of withdrawals. Doing so may result in dismissal from the program and nonconferment of degree. Exceptions may be made by the Department.

Research Guidelines

CPY4884 Research: Methodology, CPY4996 Research: Proposal, and CPY4997 Research: Completion must be achieved during the semester that the course is taken. Students must be in residence (such as registered) for all three courses at Notre Dame de Namur University while completing the Research track. No Incompletes or arrangements for an Independent Study are accepted.

Failure to successfully complete the Research and fulfill all course requirements within the semester the course is taken will result in a nonpassing grade (anything below a B- is considered nonpassing in this and most external psychology graduate programs). The student will be required to repeat the course. However, please note, as above, a student may not take the same course more than two times, and doing so may result in dismissal from any program in the department and nonconferment of degree. The research trilogy is sequential; you must successfully complete and pass each course in order to advance to the next one. Thus, students are encouraged by faculty to balance their course loads (inclusive of practicum/case seminar) in order to ensure academic success.

Students must have completed all Research courses prior to graduation (to be able to walk at graduation), displaying academic competence and meeting all of the requirements.

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (Option I)

Major Requirements Units
CPY4205 Neurophysiology and Psychopharmacology I 2
CPY4210 Psychopathology I 3
CPY4215 Psychopathology II 3
CPY4230 Lifespan Development 3
CPY4235 Human Sexuality 1
CPY4240 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 3
CPY4245 Professional Ethics and Law 3
CPY4310 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 2
CPY4420 Clinical Practicum I* 3
CPY4430 Clinical Case Seminar I* 3
CPY4884 Research: Methodology 3
CPY4996 Research: Proposal 3
CPY4997 Research: Completion 3
Elective Course(s): Two elective units chosen from the following courses**: 2
CPY4200 Group Psychotherapy (1)
CPY4220 Cross-cultural Issues (2)
CPY4225 Principles of MFT
CPY4252 Clinical Assessment and Treatment
CPY4260 Abuse in Family Systems (2)
CPY4265 Diagnosis and Treatment of Addictions I (1)
CPY4270 Psychotherapeutic Techniques of Brief Therapy (2)
CPY4275 Couples Psychotherapy (2)
CPY4422 Clinical Practicum II *
CPY4432 Clinical Case Seminar II*
CPY4550 Crisis, Trauma, and Recovery I (2)
Optional:
CPY6992 Supervised Field Experience (3)
Total Major Requirements   37

*Students must complete all core courses except CPY4884, CPY4996, and CPY4997 prior to taking this two-semester sequence. The Fall semester of Practicum/Clinical Case Seminar (6 units) is required for students prior to or during any fieldwork. Students may opt to get placement in a research facility if they are planning to go on to doctoral studies. Such a placement should be coordinated with and must be approved by the Program Director and Chair.
** The 2 units of elective may be in a specialized area of interest approved by the advisor.

Concentration in Clinical Gerontology (with Certificate) 8
GER4110 Assessment in Clinical Gerontology 2
GER4115 Biopsychosociospiritual Aspects of Aging 2
GER4120 Psychotherapeutic Techniques in Aging 2
GER4135 Ethnicity and Aging 1
GER4145 Dying, Death, and Bereavement 1
Total Unit Requirement  45

A certificate will be awarded for the Concentration in Clinical Gerontology upon successful completion of the Clinical Psychology degree and requisite Clinical Gerontology courses. Letter grades will be earned for the embedded Concentration in Clinical Gerontology (with certificate).

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) (Option II)

Major Requirements Units
CPY4200 Group Psychotherapy 1
CPY4205 Neurophysiology and Psychopharmacology I 2
CPY4210 Psychopathology I 3
CPY4215 Psychopathology II 3
CPY4220 Cross-cultural Issues 2
CPY4225 Principles of MFT 3
CPY4230 Lifespan Development 3
CPY4235 Human Sexuality 1
CPY4240 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 3
CPY4245 Professional Ethics and Law 3
CPY4252 Clinical Assessment and Treatment 3
CPY4260 Abuse in Family Systems 2
CPY4265 Diagnosis and Treatment of Addictions I 1
CPY4270 Psychotherapeutic Techniques of Brief Therapy 2
CPY4275 Couples Psychotherapy 3
CPY4310 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 2
CPY4420 Clinical Practicum I ** 3
CPY4422 Clinical Practicum II ** 3
CPY4430 Clinical Case Seminar I ** 3
CPY4432 Clinical Case Seminar II ** 3
CPY4550 Crisis, Trauma, and Recovery I 2
CPY4884 Research: Methodology 3
CPY4996 Research: Proposal 3
CPY4997 Research: Completion 3
Optional:
CPY6992 Supervised Field Experience (3)
Total Major Requirements  60

*CPY4250 and CPY4255 will be replaced by CPY4252, effective Fall 2012. CPY4540 will be replaced by CPY4550 Crisis, Trauma, and Recovery, effective Spring 2012 (all current students will substitute this class for Advanced Clinical Case Seminar).
**Students must complete all core courses except CPY4884, CPY4996, and CPY4997 prior
to taking this two-semester sequence. The Fall semester of Practicum/Clinical Case Seminar (6 units) is required for students prior to or during any fieldwork. MSCP students may opt to get placement in a research facility if they are planning to go on to doctoral studies. Such a placement should be coordinated with and must be approved by the Program Director and Chair.

Concentration in Clinical Gerontology (with certificate) 8
GER4110 Assessment in Clinical Gerontology 2
GER4115 Biopsychosociospiritual Aspects of Aging 2
GER4120 Psychotherapeutic Techniques in Aging 2
GER4135 Ethnicity and Aging 1
GER4145 Dying, Death, and Bereavement 1
Total Unit Requirement  68

A certificate will be awarded for the Concentration in Clinical Gerontology upon successful completion of the Clinical Psychology degree and requisite Clinical Gerontology courses. Letter grades will be earned for the embedded Concentration in Clinical Gerontology (with certificate).

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family
Therapy/Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (MFT/LPCC) (Option III)

Major Requirements  Units
CPY4210 Psychopathology I 3
CPY4215 Psychopathology II 3
CPY4220 Cross-cultural Issues 2
CPY4225 Principles of MFT 3
CPY4230 Lifespan Development 3
CPY4235 Human Sexuality 1
CPY4245 Professional Ethics and Law 3
CPY4252 Clinical Assessment and Treatment 3
CPY4260 Abuse in Family Systems 2
CPY4270 Psychotherapeutic Techniques of Brief Therapy 2
CPY4310 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 2
CPY4420 Clinical Practicum I ** 3
CPY4422 Clinical Practicum II ** 3
CPY4430 Clinical Case Seminar I ** 3
CPY4432 Clinical Case Seminar II ** 3
CPY4884 Research: Methodology 3
CPY4996 Research: Proposal 3
CPY4997 Research: Completion 3
CPY5200 Group Psychotherapy: Theories and Techniques 3
CPY5205 Neurophysiology and Psychopharmacology 3
CPY5240 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 2
CPY5265 Diagnosis and Treatment of Addictions 3
CPY5275 Couples Psychotherapy 2
CPY5550 Crisis, Trauma, and Recovery 3
CPY5560 Career Development Theories and Techniques 3
Optional:
CPY6992 Supervised Field Experience (3)
Total Major Requirements 67

Please note that, effective Fall 2012, additional “tag” unit courses will be offered to enable returning and new students with an MFT degree to fulfill the SB33 BBS mandate of course work for either grandfathering in or pursuing the additional course work for the LPCC licensure path. This is to accommodate the transition phase for people pursuing dual licensure during these next few years and may be phased out as needed. These courses will be reflected on individual term schedules to avoid any confusion regarding additional courses in the Catalog. Thank you for your understanding. The tag unit courses are in the course descriptions in this Catalog.

Concentration in Clinical Gerontology (with certificate) 8
GER4110 Assessment in Clinical Gerontology 2
GER4115 Biopsychosociospiritual Aspects of Aging 2
GER4120 Psychotherapeutic Techniques in Aging 2
GER4135 Ethnicity and Aging 1
GER4145 Dying, Death, and Bereavement 1
Total Unit Requirement 75

A certificate will be awarded for the Concentration in Clinical Gerontology upon successful completion of the Clinical Psychology degree and requisite Clinical Gerontology courses. Letter grades will be earned for the embedded Concentration in Clinical Gerontology (with certificate).