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Counseling Banner

Introduction | Master of Science in Counseling
Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure
Counseling Courses
Dept Homepage

Jeffrey Kottler

Education Classroom 405


Master of Science in Counseling
Marriage and Family Therapy
MFT Licensure Preparation

Leah Brew, Joseph M. Cervantes, Sapna Batra Chopra, Matt Englar-Carlson, Jeffrey Kottler, Olga Mejia, Thuy Nguyen, Mary Read, David S. Shepard, and Rebekah Smart

Counseling, Master of Science: Jose Cervantes
Admissions: David S. Shepard
Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)
Licensure: Mary Read
Clinical Training Director: Mary Read
Off Campus Programs: Leah Brew
Graduate Counseling Students Association: Sapna Batra Chopra
Chi Sigma Iota: Leah Brew
Alumni Association: Mary Read

The Department of Counseling offers a program leading to the Master of Science in Counseling, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program is designed to prepare students to meet California State Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) licensure requirements as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT).

Our emphasis is on the training of clinicians who can serve the needs of individuals and families in their communities. We train students to provide brief and long-term counseling while maintaining professional identities as counselors and marriage and family therapists.

The program strongly emphasizes a multicultural perspective. We prepare counselors who will be sensitive to the diverse heritages, lifestyles, and special needs of individuals and families. Both our student body and our faculty encompass a wide range of backgrounds and values.

Our theoretical orientation is grounded in humanistic and integrative principles. This means that we are respectful of different counseling philosophies, flexible in our approaches depending on client and student needs, and united in our belief that relationships remain at the core of all helping encounters. We also believe that counselors can best help people by understanding the relationship of emotional distress to family dynamics and to the social and cultural contexts that shape our lives.

The curriculum comprises 60 units (61 including an optional one-unit child abuse course). The curriculum is designed so that students begin with introductory-level courses and take courses with increasing complexity as they proceed through the program. In the second half of the program, students take a year-long practicum sequence, during which they counsel clients in community mental health agencies. In the semester prior to beginning their practicum, students apply for Classified Standing. Classified students are designated as trainees by the state MFT licensing board, allowing them to provide counseling services and to accrue hours towards the 3,000 hours required for state licensure. In their final semester, students complete a final project, an original research study.

Conditionally Classified Standing
Phase I 12 units: Counseling 500, 502, 511, 518

Classified Standing
Phase II 15 units: Counseling 520, 522, 523, 524, 526
Phase III 18 units: Counseling 521, 525, 527, 528, 530, 535
Phase IV 15 units: Counseling 560, 562, 584, 590, 597

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Counseling class

Admission Requirements
The Department welcomes applicants from diverse academic, social, and cultural backgrounds. International and minority students are especially encouraged to apply. Preparation for the counseling profession is rigorous and multifaceted, necessitating the student’s development in intrapersonal, interpersonal, and academic realms. Admission is therefore based upon indicators of the applicant’s potential for becoming an effective counseling practitioner, including, but not limited to, grade point average (GPA), personal statement, departmental interview and potential for success based on personal and professional evaluation of qualifications and is at the sole discretion of the Counseling Department’s Admission Committee. The following are required for consideration for admission to the program:

  1. An acceptable bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution or its equivalent.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 sequential semester units completed.
  3. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in four prerequisite behavioral science courses (or their equivalents): counseling theory, statistics or research methods, abnormal psychology, and human development. At least two of the four prerequisites must be completed at the time of entrance; any remaining prerequisite(s) must be completed during the first semester of enrollment.
  4. A detailed personal statement (1,500-3,000 words). This statement should inform the faculty about the following:
    a) applicant’s personal and educational background, strengths and weaknesses;
    b) applicant’s understanding of, motivation and suitabil- ity for entering into the counseling     profession; and,
    c) applicant’s long-term professional goals. This state- ment is very important.
  5. An interview with department faculty.
  6. Three letters of recommendation. These letters should address the author’s assessment of your suitability for pursuing graduate studies and entering the counseling profession. At least one letter must be academic (i.e., written by a professor or an instructor). The Department understands that for some applicants, contacting former instructors is not feasible; in these situations, professional references, written by supervisors or managers who are familiar with your work, are also appropriate.

Application Procedures
Applicants must apply to the University and to the Department of Counseling.

  1. University application. Applicants must apply online to the university and mail one set of official transcripts from all colleges/universities to:
    Admissions and Records
    California State University, Fullerton
    P.O. Box 6900
    Fullerton, CA 92834-6900
    The application code is MFT. The online URL is www.csumentor.edu.
  2. Department application. Send three letters of recommendation, your personal statement, and a copy of all transcripts to:
    Department of Counseling, EC-105
    California State University, Fullerton
    P.O. Box 6868
    Fullerton, CA 92834-6868

No separate department application form is required.

All required materials must be received by the University Office of Admissions and Records and by the Department of Counseling office by the deadline date. Late applications will not be reviewed.

For more information about admissions, please contact our Prospective Student Adviser, at 714-278-3042, or e-mail us at applycounseling@fullerton.edu.

All successful applicants are initially admitted as conditionally classified graduate students. They are invited to attend an orientation session before classes begin, and are encouraged to join the Graduate Counseling Students Association (GCSA).

The department recommends that students take at least six units per semester. Students working full-time are strongly advised against taking more than six units per semester because of the demanding nature of the program; however, students should be aware of time limits for completion of the degree and of the possibility that they may be unable to enroll in a specific course because of the class size limits or other factors.

Application Deadlines
Please contact the Department of Counseling at (714) 278-3042 for application deadlines or email us at applycounseling@fullerton.edu. You can also check the Department of Counseling website for information on deadlines. Our address is www.hdcs.fullerton.edu/Counsel/counseling.htm. Further information about current deadlines may be found on the university graduate studies website http://www.fullerton.edu/graduate.

Each student is assigned to an adviser upon admission to the department. Advisers provide academic assistance, help students develop official study plans, recommend them for classified standing and advancement to candidacy, and monitor their progress throughout the duration of enrollment.

Students should consult their adviser on a regular basis. It is especially important to initiate contact with an adviser as soon as possible during the first semester of enrollment to verify enrollment in any remaining prerequisite courses and to discuss preclassification requirements.

Classification and Advancement to Candidacy
Admission to the department as a conditionally classified student does not guarantee advancement to classified standing.

Each student undergoes a comprehensive evaluation in the semester prior to his or her beginning Practicum (Counseling 530). This evaluation determines advancement to classified standing and to candidacy. Advancement requires a 3.0 GPA and the faculty’s ongoing assessment of the student’s aptitude and suitability for the counseling profession, progress in skill development, interpersonal and cultural sensitivity, readiness to see clients, and ethical and professional conduct. A student who receives more than two grades below “B minus” (2.7) is automatically disqualified from the program. Students may also be placed on administrative academic probation for reasons other than cumulative and/or study plan grade-point average and may be disqualified under certain conditions. See the “Graduate Regulations” section of this catalog for details concerning advancement to classified standing, candidacy, probation and disqualification.

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To practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California, a license issued by the State Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) is required. Our 60-unit program with the MFT concentration is designed to prepare students to meet licensure requirements (Business and Professions Code, Section 4980.37). Students should note that licensure requirements extend beyond those of the M.S. degree and include an internship and passing official BBS examinations. It is the student’s responsibility to keep informed about licensure requirements as they are subject to change from time to time. An authoritative source of information is Laws and Regulations Relating to the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy and Licensed Educational Psychology issued by the BBS. For further information, write to the Board of Behavioral Sciences, Department of Consumer Affairs, 400 R Street, Suite 3150, Sacramento, CA 95814-6240; Tel. (916) 445-4933.

Upon graduation, students have 90 days to register with the BBS as an intern. It is advisable to write early to the BBS for a registration packet (e.g., at the beginning of the last semester).

Courses are designated as COUN in the class schedule.

COUN 252    Career Exploration and Life Planning

Description: Prerequisites: introductory course in Oral Communication and English Composition. Career planning is a continual process that occurs over the lifespan. The focus is on career, personal and educational awareness as they relate to the process of career choices and the culture of work. Specific strategies include resume writing, interviewing skills and job search techniques. Exploration of personal career potentials, employment trends, decision making, goal setting and job search methods.
Units: (3)

COUN 350    Leadership Skills and Personal Development

Description: (Same as Human Services 350)
Units: (3)

COUN 380    Theories and Techniques of Counseling

Description: (Same as Human Services 380)
Units: (3)

COUN 449    Seminar on Child Abuse

Description: Prerequisite: Human Services 201 or Child/Adolescent Studies 301. Presents characteristics of child abuse and a review of current laws, appropriate procedures for intervention, and methods of community networking and referral.
Units: (1)

COUN 500    The Counseling Profession

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing. The study of counseling as a mental health profession, including its history, current functions and future directions. Examination of the counselor as a professional, including educational goals, personal values, and cultural understandings. Opportunity to observe master counselors at work.
Units: (3)

COUN 502    Career and Lifestyle Development

Description: Prerequisite: completion of or concurrent enrollment in Counseling 500. Survey of career and lifestyle development throughout the lifespan. Major theories and strategies in career counseling. Integration of knowledge of career development with the practice of counseling.
Units: (3)

COUN 511    Pre-Practicum

Description: Prerequisite: completion of or concurrent enrollment in Counseling 500; or admission to the Concentration in School Nursing. Basic counseling skills, including establishing a therapeutic relationship, facilitating client self-exploration and understanding how one’s values influence the counseling process. Crisis intervention also will be addressed. Extensive role play practice.
Units: (3)

COUN 518    Human Development and Functioning

Description: Prerequisites: completion of or concurrent enrollment in Counseling 500. Integrated study of human development from infancy to old age and its effect upon individuals, couples, and family relationships. Emphasis on relevance to counseling. Role of human sexuality in lifespan development will be addressed.
Units: (3)

COUN 520    Modes of Individual Counseling

Description: Prerequisite: Counseling 511. Advanced study of major theoretical frameworks in counseling, including models of personality, definitions of individual dysfunction and approaches to treatment. Practice in case conceptualization and application of theories to counseling.
Units: (3)

COUN 521    Science of Human Inquiry

Description: Pre- or co-requisite: completion of or concurrent enrollment in Counseling 530 or consent of faculty. Applied research methods and program evaluation. Comparative review and synthesis of inquiry approaches. Completion of literature review for anticipated Counseling 597 project. Instructional fee required.
Units: (3)

COUN 522    Techniques of Brief Treatment and Assessment

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 511 and 518. Advanced study of the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM) with emphasis on detection and assessment of alcohol and substance, spousal or partner, elder, and child abuse, and human sexual dysfunction. Review of brief treatment models.
Units: (3)

COUN 523    Counseling and Culture

Description: Prerequisite: Counseling 500 and 511. Theory, research, and techniques related to counseling people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Emphasis on role plays and skills applications.
Units: (3)

COUN 524    Child and Adolescent Counseling

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 500, 511, 518; and 520 concurrent. Course provides an overview of child/adolescent development theories and counseling frameworks, with emphasis on utilizing strategies, examination of ethical issues, and explores assessment techniques to evaluate the range of disruptive behaviors.
Units: (3)

COUN 525    Psychopharmacology for Counselors

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 500, 511, 518; and 522 concurrent. Course introduces counseling students to the biochemical basis of behavior and a general knowledge of the effects and side effects of the major classes of psychotropic drugs. Such knowledge is to make appropriate referrals and a comprehensive approach to treatment.
Units: (3)

COUN 526    Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling

Description: Prerequisite: Counseling 522. Ethical and legal standards as related to critical professional issues, including child abuse, spousal or partner abuse, elder abuse, and substance abuse. The relationship and integration of values for the counselor’s role in practice, training, supervision, test usage, and consultation.
Units: (3)

COUN 527    Systems of Family Counseling

Description: Prerequisite: Counseling 511. Survey of family systems models, including Adler, Satir, Bowen, Haley, Minuchin, and others.
Units: (3)

COUN 528    Groups: Process and Practice

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 500 and 511. Basic issues and concepts related to group process. Demonstration of group leadership skills with an emphasis on self-reflection.
Units: (3)

COUN 530    Practicum

Description: Prerequisites: classified standing; Counseling 520, 523, 526, 527; consent of fieldwork coordinator; and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Counseling 524 and 528. Supervised clinical practice with adults, families and children in approved community agencies. A minimum of 105 contact hours of counseling required for course completion.
Units: (3)

COUN 535    Addictions Counseling

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 500 and 511. Addresses etiology and treatment of addictive behaviors, (e.g., substance abuse, gambling). Theories linking addiction to biological, psychological, and other factors will be evaluated critically with an emphasis on developing effective recovery and relapse prevention programs.
Units: (3)

COUN 560    Psychological Testing For Counselors

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 522. Theories and applications of psychological testing and other means of appraisal, as they relate to the practice of community-based counseling and marriage and family therapy.
Units: (3)

COUN 562    Counseling Couples

Description: Prerequisite: Counseling 527. The treatment of couples, including overview of current theories, assessment, goal-setting, interventions, ethical issues, and diversity issues. Assessment and treatment of spouse abuse. Study of sexual dysfunctions and sex therapy.
Units: (3)

COUN 584    Advanced Practicum

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 530 and consent of Fieldwork Coordinator. Advanced supervised clinical practice wit adults, families, and children in approved community agencies. A minimum of 105 contact hours of counseling required for course completion.
Units: (3)

COUN 590    Advanced Counseling Techniques

Description: Prerequisites: enrollment in either Counseling 530 or 584. This course focuses on case conceptualization and the integration of advanced techniques into the student’s repertoire of counseling skills. Case presentations and analysis of videotaped sessions will be emphasized. Must be taken as part of the year-long practicum experience. May be repeated up to four times for credit.
Units: (3)

COUN 597    Project

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 521 and consent of faculty adviser. Capstone program experience; taken final semester. Student conducts original research relevant to the counseling field.
Units: (3)

COUN 598    Thesis

Description: Prerequisites: Counseling 530; consent of graduate program adviser. Independent research culminating in a thesis. Recommended for pre-doctoral students. May be repeated for credit.
Units: (1)

COUN 599    Independent Study

Description: Prerequisite: consent of instructor or graduate program adviser. Research and development in counseling pursued independently with periodic conference with instructor. May be repeated for credit.
Units: (1-3)

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