The Transpersonal Counseling track of the MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling program offers three rigorous and personally transformative concentrations that cultivate learning through focused self-exploration, contemplative practice, individual support, small class size, and experiential activities. This three-year full-time track is composed of four key elements: transpersonal and contemplative orientation; theoretical, experiential, and clinical training courses; the counseling experiential; and the internship.
Transpersonal and contemplative courses survey the interplay between psychology and spiritual paths, provide training in moment-to-moment awareness, offer opportunities for the development of compassion, and introduce various body awareness disciplines. Students maintain a contemplative practice throughout the program.
Theoretical, experiential, and clinical training courses offer various views of psychology, counseling, and healing. Clinical courses include participation in group process and skills courses emphasizing personal and professional development.
The counseling experiential requires participation in a counseling relationship, with documentation of a minimum of thirty one-hour sessions with a qualified psychotherapist.
Because of the professional nature of our training programs for licensure, students are evaluated on an ongoing basis to assess their readiness for practicum, internship, and progression in the overall program. Based on these assessments, the school may deny a student permission to continue in the program. Although grades are one indication of progress, other criteria for evaluation include how a student interacts with peers, faculty, and administration, as well as how a student handles ongoing situations and feedback during the program.
All second-year students are required to complete a Counseling Practicum, which provides for the continued development of counseling skills through fieldwork at a community agency with on-site consultation and supervision. The Counseling Practicum course is designed to provide a supportive and instructional forum for students’ initial experiences working with clients in community settings. Students also become familiar with ethical guidelines relating to the counseling profession. Within a supportive classroom environment, students discuss professional and personal issues as they relate to their development as beginning counselors. Topics include discussion of client populations served, client transference and therapist countertransference, case presentation, agency structure and organization, and community resources.
Internship for Clinical Programs
The Transpersonal Counseling track is directed toward careers in the clinical professions. For this reason, the 700-hour supervised internship is a core element of the curriculum. Clinical field placements are arranged through Naropa University and provide students with an opportunity to experience work in an area of specialization, such as child and family therapy, crisis intervention, out-patient or in-patient care, or alcohol and drug abuse counseling. On-site supervision and classroom seminars provide support and opportunities for self-examination. Please be aware that students with a criminal background may find that some agencies require additional information prior to acceptance for clinical placement, and may have fewer site choices for placement.
Licensure for Clinical Programs
Learners are strongly encouraged to carefully research the educational requirements for the intended licensure or certification in the state(s) where they intend to seek licensure or certification. The Art Therapy concentration within the Transpersonal Counseling track has been approved by the American Art Therapy Association since 1998. Art Therapy graduates are eligible to apply to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) after completing the necessary post-degree requirements.
Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam
All GSCP students, regardless of concentration, are required to take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) in the fall of their third year. This exam is designed as a "practice" experience for state board licensing exams, and will help the student to identify areas of strength and challenge in their theoretical knowledge before taking any LPC or NBCC state licensing exam. The current expense is $50 and will be paid by the student directly to the Center for Credentialing & Education. Proof of taking the exam is needed to pass fall internship course work.
There are three areas of concentration within the Transpersonal Counseling track: Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling, Transpersonal Art Therapy, and Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy. Each concentration has its own admissions process and a number of specialized courses for enrolled students. However, all three areas share a commitment to a transpersonal vision and excellence in counseling training.
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