Aug 08, 2022  
2015-2016 University Catalog 
2015-2016 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, Department of

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Department Chair

Leah Brew

Department Office/Website

Education Classroom 405


Leah Brew, Joseph M. Cervantes, Sapna Batra Chopra, Matt Englar-Carlson, Jeffrey Kottler, Olga L. Mejía, Mary Read, Ginamarie Scherzi, David S. Shepard, and Rebekah Smart


The Department of Counseling offers a Master of Science in Counseling, with a specialty in marriage and family therapy.

Our program meets the educational requirements established by the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to pursue licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT, Business and Professions Code Section 4980.36 and 4980.37) and as a Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC, Business and Professions Code Section 4999.32 or 4999.33, which took effect Aug. 1, 2012),

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation until March 31, 2023, to the following program in the Department of Counseling at California State University, Fullerton: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.).

We emphasize training clinicians who can serve the needs of individuals, couples, families and groups in their communities. We train students to provide counseling to adults, children, adolescents, couples and families. Our students learn to diagnose and design treatment plans, provide short-term and long-term counseling, conduct group therapy, work with addictions, provide crisis intervention, provide career counseling and maintain a professional identity as a counselor and marriage and family therapist in the community. The program strongly emphasizes a multicultural perspective. We are a culturally diverse faculty that specializes in working with students from different backgrounds. We prepare culturally competent counselors who will be sensitive to the diverse cultural heritages, lifestyles and special needs of individuals and families living in our community.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following learning learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in Counseling:

Students understand their professional identity as a counselor

  • Articulate the foundations of the counseling profession, its history and its philosophical underpinnings
  • Develop an identity as a mental health community counselor and understand the licenses and the scopes of practice in the state of California for the LPCC and LMFT
  • Be able to identify the ethical and legal guidelines of the profession as an integral part of constructing a professional identity
  • Compare and contrast the roles of the various counseling professional organizations and licenses (LMFT and LPCC)
  • Demonstrate participation in professional development activities (e.g. join a professional organization; attend a conference or workshop; volunteer at a conference or workshop)

Students are aware of the impact of diversity on the counseling process and are sensitive to differences

  • Identify major cultural constructs and how they intersect with the mental health of clients (e.g. culture, race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual or affectual orientation, transgender, religion, oppression, social justice, advocacy, privilege, identity development and white guilt)
  • Articulate pluralistic trends among groups locally, nationally and internationally, and their potential impact on community mental health
  • Explore and articulate the cultural sources of existing personal value system and acknowledge that these cultural values create biases that may affect clients who are culturally different from the counselor
  • Apply culturally sensitive treatments to clients in community mental health
  • Identify stereotypes and how they derive from systematic oppression and the traditional values and norms of various cultural groups
  • Articulate counselors’ roles in developing cultural awareness, promoting cultural social justice advocacy, facilitating conflict resolution and other culturally supported behaviors that promote optimal wellness and growth of the human spirit, mind or body

Students demonstrate effective counseling skills with clients

  • Demonstrate effective counseling skills with individuals (adults and children), couples, families and/or groups
  • Evaluate client’s progress toward treatment goals during practicum experiences
  • Display an awareness of, and an appreciation for, the intersection of social and cultural influences on human behavior and the impact of individual differences on the counseling process
  • Recognize counter-transference that may be interfering with the client’s process, minimize counter-transference through personal work and understand how counter-transference can be used in therapy
  • Identify ethical and legal issues, understand professional ethical codes of conduct and appropriately apply an ethical decision-making model to clinical cases (hypothetical vignettes and/or actual)

Students can conceptualization cases and write effective treatment plans for clients

  • Utilize knowledge of major counseling theories in the context of individual (adult and child), couple, family and group counseling to formulate case conceptualizations and treatment plans
  • Appropriately apply the diagnostic categories of the DSM 5
  • Recognize the impact of issues and formulate treatment plans for clients with severe mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders

Students are able to conduct research and demonstrate the ability to think critically and problem solve

  • Collect and integrate theoretical knowledge, the relevance of evidence-based practice, clinical information and client perspectives in order to form clinical hypotheses of clients and their issues
  • Critically analyze biases in theories, assessment and diagnoses
  • Utilize a formal system of inquiry that integrates the work of researchers and counselors, and apply it in a “practicum on research”
  • Critically analyze research methodology and can critique the professional literature
  • Demonstrate knowledge regarding a specific clinical issue relevant to community counseling in Southern California

Students are able to write papers well using APA style, proper grammar, and organization

  • Demonstrate writing that includes correct grammar, punctuation and sentence structure
  • Demonstrate writing that uses non-biased language regarding labeling and dimensions of diversity (e.g., gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, age, disability)
  • Demonstrate writing that is structurally and mechanically correct according to APA style
  • Demonstrate original writing that correctly references sources and is not plagiarized
  • Demonstrate awareness of the intended audience and purpose for which the writing is done
  • Demonstrate writing that meets the stated objectives in a concise, organized and logical manner
  • Demonstrate writing that is professional, ethical and respectful with regard to clients

Programs and Courses Offered


    Master of Science



      Courses are designated as COUN in the class schedule.

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