MA, Psychology - Marriage and Family Therapy & Professional Clinical Counseling Emphasis

Master of Arts in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling

The program is designed to help students acquire a broad-based knowledge of psychology in its historical and cultural contexts, both as an empirical science of human behavior and as a foundation for a professional career in human services. The Master of Arts in Psychology with a combined emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling explores areas such as advanced psychopathology, diagnosis, child abuse reporting, crisis and trauma counseling, community and environmental mental health, and human diversity. It includes a substantial experimental component in which the student works under supervision at an approved counseling site.

The degree curriculum meets the education requirements for licensure in California as a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Completing both emphasis areas may give students more options in terms of future careers and may increase marketability in diverse work settings. In addition to this combined emphasis Brandman also offers the ability to take one of the two as a stand-alone emphasis.  Alternative emphasis areas include:

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Family Theories and Intervention: Implement theory and techniques to therapeutic problems and developmental challenges of families.
  • Community Mental Health:  Analyze the role of environmental factors and community resources in providing mental health services.
  • Assessment, Psychopathology and Diagnostics: Apply assessment techniques to include crisis evaluation and diagnostic assessment to clinical cases.
  • Ethics, Law, and Professional Issues: Apply ethical and professional decision making to issues in the practice of psychotherapy and counseling.
  • Group Counseling Theories and Interventions: Implement theory and techniques to facilitate a group process.
  • Psychopharmacology: Analyze the role of the psychopharmacological agents on the prevention and treatment of psychological dysfunction.

Applicants must have regular admission status prior to enrollment in graduate coursework. Applicants from the Washington Campuses are permitted to enroll in up to 12 credits of graduate coursework prior to receiving regular admission.
  • Department of Psychology Supplemental: includes Licensing and Certification and Ethical & Professional Responsibility Statement
    • Note that licensing and certification agencies typically have regulations denying licensure or certification to anyone who has been convicted of a felony, most especially one which reflects an offense which would be a cause for disciplinary action if committed by one already holding the license. Please contact the licensing board in the state you plan to license for clarification of how a conviction may affect licensing. This clarification should be done before the application for admission to this program is submitted.
  • Psychology Program Introduction Video: viewing and acknowledging that the video was reviewed
  • Autobiographical Statement, 3 – 4 pages: The autobiographical statement should be sent directly to campus to which you are applying.
    • Include childhood, family and (if applicable) marital data and values derived from these experiences in relation to your choice of a career in marriage and family therapy/counseling. Incorporate two or three relevant experiences that have helped to shape your development and personality.
    • Discuss how you arrived at this point in your career development. Include any relevant professional experience.
  • Three Psychology Recommendation Forms
    • From individuals who know you in a professional, and/or academic, and /or personal context (i.e. skills with youth, intellectual problem solving skills, character). Relatives may not submit recommendations.

(Offered at California campuses only)


Foundation courses (15 credits)

PSYU 501 The Counseling Process 3
PSYU 508 Life Span Development/Aging and Long session Care 3
PSYU 511 Psychological Assessment 3
PSYU 532 Research & Bibliographic Methods 3
PSYU 578 Ethical & Professional Issues 3


Marriage and Family Studies and Therapy (9 credits)

PSYU 541 Family Therapy Theories and Techniques: A Modern Emphasis 3
PSYU 556 Family Systems Theories and Techniques: A Postmodern Emphasis 3
PSYU 561 Marital Systems & Studies and Domestic Violence 3


Multicultural Counseling and Techniques (3 credits)

PSYU 613 Clinical Issues in Human Diversity 3


Adult Counseling Core (9 credits)

PSYU 570 Advanced Psychopathology & Diagnosis 3
PSYU 575 Advanced Individual Counseling I 3
PSYU 576 Advanced Individual Counseling II 3


Specialized Topics (24 credits)

PSYU 533 Psychopharmacology 3
PSYU 565 Child/Adolescent Psychopathology and Child Abuse Reporting 3
PSYU 581 Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Disorders 3
PSYU 582 Community and Environmental Mental Health 3
PSYU 586 Assessment and Treatment of Substance Abuse 3
PSYU 595 Crisis and Trauma Counseling 3
PSYU 617 Transition to Work and Career 3
PSYU 652 Theory and Practice of Group Counseling 3


Practicum (9 credits)

PSYU 688 3
PSYU 689 3
PSYU 690 3


Total Credits 69
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