Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
On-Campus and Hybrid- Online programs
"Learn how to be a therapist and also how to expand the container of you while you hold the container for your clients." - Program Chair Jennifer Crane, MA., LMFT
With a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Sofia University, you will have the education and pre-degree training to pursue licensure as a clinician skilled in whole-person approaches to health and healing. Moreover, you will learn to care for your own growth and well-being in a supportive, collaborative atmosphere.
Sofia MACP Mission Statement – What Makes Us Different?
The Sofia Masters in Counseling Psychology Program offers a collaborative inquiry into the full range of human experience, including spiritual, intellectual, emotional, creative, physical and social. We are unique in that we emphasize integrity and self-reflection with the aim of encouraging students to see themselves as global citizens, to ask questions, and make decisions consistent with the values of respect for peace and social justice. Our curriculum, which features traditional as well as transpersonal approaches, is designed for students wishing to apply for LMFT and/or LPCC licensure in California. We also offer a hybrid program that is accepted by licensing boards in most other US states, and many foreign countries.
In addition to providing the educational and pre-degree clinical training requirements for both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC), Sofia University’s MACP program offers:
- Both on-campus and low-residency (online) formats.
- Education shaped through a collaborative cohort experience.
- Experiential transpersonal skill-building labs.
- Optional specialization in Creative Expression.
- Four quarters of clinical experience before graduation.
- Focus on individual, child, couple and family therapy.
- Professional preparation for both public and private practice.
The MACP curriculum is designed to meet the California Board of Behavioral Sciences educational and pre-degree clinical training requirements for both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC). In the second year, you will have the option to choose either or both licensure track, LMFT or LPCC.
Transpersonal Skills Labs
The MACP program features Transpersonal Skills Labs that combine theory, practice, and group formation with deep personal growth and development. These unique learning labs provide practical application and integration.
The Transpersonal Mosaic
A particularly dynamic component of the program is the Transpersonal Mosaic – an immersion into spiritual practices and innovative transpersonal theories and tools. Coursework includes various styles of meditation, principles of Aikido, theories of transpersonal psychology, and diverse modalities for creative expression.
Actively Practicing Faculty
Mentorship is an important teaching tool that helps you flourish academically, personally and professionally. Classes are taught by experienced scholars and clinicians who have integrated psychological and spiritual principles into their counseling practices. Small class size encourages dynamic exchange between students and faculty.
The Practicum Year
This year allows you to practice learned theories and techniques and hone your counseling skills with a full year of clinical work in an agency setting. The practicum includes both face-to-face client hours (LMFT minimum of 225, LPCC minimum of 280) and on-site supervision. Additionally, a clinical faculty member will mentor you in a seminar-style class where you will learn to present case histories in accord with professional standards.
Choice of two delivery formats:
Sofia University’s MACP curriculum is offered in two delivery modes: (Both formats offer an optional specialization in Creative Expression)
Daytime MACP (2 or 3 Years): This on-campus program allows you to complete your degree in two or three years, including summer sessions.
Hybrid / Online Face-to-Face MACP (3 or 4 Years): With just two on-campus intensives per year and online coursework, you can complete this three or four year program without relocating. Note: Check with your state agency to be sure this program is accepted.
This degree prepares you for:
Sofia’s Masters in Counseling Psychology curriculum meets the educational and pre-degree clinical training requirements for both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC), as established by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. www.bbs.ca.gov
- Bachelor’s degree with 3.0 GPA from an accredited school.
- Foundational psychology course(s) may be required by the program chair.
TUITION: Estimated total cost of tuition for the degree: $56,700.00
CONTACT: For more information, contact Sofia University Admissions (888)-98-SOFIA ext. 271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Associate Core and Faculty (Not Pictured):
Saru Sivanesan, MA, LMFT
Dana Helman, M.A.
Serenity Serseción, Ph.D
Melissa Risso, M.A.
Melissa Fritchle, M.A., MFT
John Fox, Ph.D.
Kate Bartenhagen, MA, LMFT
Antonia Fokken, LMFT
Michelle Daly, M.A.
Linda R Hammond, LMFT, RDT, REAT
Shanon Sitkin MA, LMFT
David Leong, LMFT
Roni Gillenson, MACP, LMFT
Jennifer Crane M.A., LMFT
Learn more about the curriculum from Program Chair Jennifer Crane and Alumna Kaye-Ailsa Rowan
MACP Program Completion: 90 units
- Add LPCC : 10.5 units
- Add Creative Expression certificate : 4 units
Course descriptions are available in the online catalog.
Alumna Miriam Lamb-Perrone, M.A.
Miriam Lamb-Perrone is interested in the whole body-whole mind approach to medicine and healing. She has always been interested in how individuals are influenced by their macro and micro environments--- their genes, families, cultures, and societies. She believes that the question of defining oneself is not a simple one. She would like to help individuals discover their higher Selves and fullest potential. She believes that the processes of releasing emotional pain; gaining insight; changing core beliefs; and deepening one's spiritual evolution are completely intertwined. Her overall career interest is to provide integrative holistic counseling with a whole mind/whole body approach.
Attending Sofia University was a cathartic, life altering experience. She gained much wisdom from faculty and other Sofia students. She believes that the therapeutic process is multidirectional and there is always much wisdom to learn from life experiences and other people.
Prior to receiving an MACP degree from Sofia University, Miriam studied cultural anthropology and human resources. She pursued these fields in order to gain awareness about how people operate in various cultural, systemic, and corporate contexts. However, after working for a number of years in human resources, she began seeking a career path that would provide greater personal satisfaction. She chose Sofia University because of its rigorous programs which integrate counseling, somatic modalities, culture, ritual, and spirituality.
In the future, she would like to open up her own practice. Miriam has a passion for working with youth. Miriam recently completed her traineeship at CHAC (Community Health Awareness Council) in Mountain View, CA, and will begin working at Family Services Agency in Lompoc, CA at the end of January 2015. She will be working with grade school children and adolescents in school based settings. Miriam is also interested in obtaining a PhD to allow her to pursue research and teaching interests.
Miriam participates in several metaphysical groups throughout the community. Her personal interests include practicing Reiki (she is a level 2 Reiki practitioner); learning about EFT, shamanism, Eastern Spirituality, and history; and writing in its various forms (especially poetry/screenwriting). She plans to get immersed in similar activities in the Lompoc and Santa Barbara areas.
Her specific career interests are multidisciplinary in nature. She is particularly interested in creative visualization; transpersonal/humanistic approaches/Jungian approaches; somatic modalities; dreamwork; creative expression; and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
What is a Licensing Board?
All US states and many foreign countries have government entities, known as Licensing Boards, which regulate the practice of psychotherapy. In California, LMFTs (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists) and LPCCs (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors) are under the purview of the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). The BBS sets the curriculum and training standards for all LMFT and LPCC programs in California. Sofia’s Masters in Counseling Psychology Program features all the BBS-mandated education and pre-degree training for students pursuing the LMFT or LPCC license.
What if I live outside California?
We offer a Low Residency Program for working students and those who live too far away to come to campus regularly. Individuals who live outside of California and are planning to become licensed outside of California need to contact their local Licensing Board to make sure that a Low Residency Masters in Counseling Program is recognized by that Board. If so, we work with all our out-of-state Low Residency MACP students to provide any coursework or pre-degree clinical training that their Licensing Boards require above and beyond our California-based curriculum and training requirements.
What is the MACP Program’s personal psychotherapy requirement?
As a condition for receiving the MACP degree, a minimum of 20 hours of personal psychotherapy with a licensed therapist (LMFT, LCSW, LPCC, Psychologist or Psychiatrist) is required. Up to 10 hours of personal psychotherapy can be obtained in couples, family, or group therapy from a licensed therapist. The 20 hours of personal psychotherapy must be completed at students’ expense before students are eligible to see clients in Clinical Practicum. Personal psychotherapy received prior to initial enrollment in the MACP program is not applicable.
What is the Clinical Practicum?
Clinical practicum in the MACP program consists of two main components:
1. Obtaining a training position at an MACP program‐approved practicum training site.
2. Enrolling in Clinical Practicum Seminar courses while gaining experience at that practicum site.
Clinical Practicum Seminar runs concurrently with students’ placement and is taken every quarter until the required number of pre‐degree hours required by the BBS and Sofia University are accrued. In order to provide counseling to clients, students must be enrolled in a clinical practicum seminar course during each academic quarter.
LMFT‐Track Students: According to CA BBS regulations for LMFTs, practicum involves direct client contact of a minimum of 150 hours of face‐to‐face supervised clinical experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups, and 75 hours of either client‐centered advocacy* or face-to‐face hours of experience, while working under the supervision of a licensed clinician, for a total of 225 clinical experience hours. These 225 hours of supervised clinical experience are required to satisfy the practicum experience requirement for the Sofia University MACP degree for the LMFT track.
*Client‐centered advocacy is defined as including but not limited to, researching, identifying, and accessing resources, or other activities, related to obtaining or providing services and supports for clients or groups of clients receiving psychotherapy or counseling services.
LPCC‐Track Students: According to CA BBS regulations for LPCCs, practicum involves a minimum of 280 hours of face‐to‐face supervised clinical experience counseling individuals, families, or groups. These 280 hours of supervised clinical experience are required to satisfy the practicum experience requirement for the Sofia University MACP degree for the LPCC‐track. Client‐centered advocacy does not apply to the 280hrs for LPCC practicum.
Low Residency MACP students outside California: Please refer to the LMFT or LPCC licensing rules provided by the applicable Licensing Board, depending on location and choice of license. In the US, all of the state LMFT licensing boards can be found by starting here: www.amftrb.org and all of the state LPCC licensing boards can be found by starting here: www.nbcc.org/directory
MFT and PCC Tracks: The MACP degree offers two tracks, one in Marriage and Family Therapy and one in Professional Clinical Counseling. Most courses are shared across both tracks, with 6 units of different courses. Students can choose to complete one or both tracks—completing both tracks requires completing 96 units and may add to the cost of the degree. Graduates who complete both tracks can (in California) have the option to register for both MFT and PCC internships and may eventually hold dual licensure if they choose. PCC students who also complete the MFT track will meet California’s academic requirements for performing couple and family therapy as an LPCC. PCC graduates who do not complete the MFT coursework cannot legally provide couple and family therapy.
Out-of-state students may need to complete both tracks or take additional electives or independent studies to meet their out-of-state licensure requirements. Coursework required for the students local laws may be completed as an Independent Study if we do not regularly offer it. These additional courses increase the number of units required for the degree and may increase the cost of tuition.
What happens after I graduate?
All US Licensing Boards and those of many countries require additional post-degree supervised clinical training and some form of licensure examination. Typically, students become eligible for licensure between 2-5 years after obtaining their degree.
Intern Status: Graduates who submit their MFT Intern or PCC Intern registration application materials to the BBS within 90 days of the award date of their degrees can count supervised clinical experience hours gained between graduation and the day they receive their Intern numbers towards the 3,000 hours required for eligibility to take the LMFT or LPCC licensing examinations. Graduates who do not register within 90 days after graduation cannot begin counting post‐graduation hours for licensure until an Intern Registration number is issued. The MFT Intern Registration Application Packet, and the PCC Intern Registration Application Packet, can be obtained online at the BBS website (http://www.bbs.ca.gov/forms.shtml).
Licensing Exam: California requires two licensure examinations for MFT and PCC licensure. All new Interns must take a Law and Ethics examination during their first year of intern registration. Once Interns have finished accruing 3,000 hours toward licensure, they can send the BBS an LMFT Examination Eligibility Application Packet, or an LPCC In‐State Examination Eligibility Application Packet. MFT and PCC Examination Eligibility Application Packets, as well as other items and valuable information, can be obtained online on the BBS website (http://www.bbs.ca.gov/).
In states other than California:
Before graduating from the MACP program, out-of-state students need to refer to the LMFT or LPCC licensing rules provided by their Licensing Board.
You can find state MFT licensing boards by starting here: www.amftrb.org
And you can find state LPC licensing boards by starting here: www.nbcc.org/directory