Ways to Learn

  • In-Person

Quick Facts

  • 3-years full time
  • part-time option available
  • 91 units
  • evening option available

Overview

Somatic psychology explores the reciprocal and inseparable relationship between body and psyche. Its most common techniques include bodywork and movement therapy, which trace their roots to traditional Asian movement practices, such as yoga.

The Somatic Psychology Specialization is one of the few university programs in the world to offer professional training in psychotherapeutic practice from a body-oriented—that is, a somatic—perspective.

Highlights

  • Offers a strong foundation in counseling theory and practice from an integrative, whole-person model
  • Curriculum emphasizes the embodiment of personal and cultural beliefs and attitudes
  • One of the few Somatic Psychology Master’s level degree programs in the world

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Curriculum

Year 1

Year 1 - Fall
Units
SPC 5323 Therapeutic Communication A
3
This course is an introduction to basic principles and practices of therapeutic communication. Students will study and practice basic psychotherapeutic concepts, skills, and self-awareness. Through lectures, films, and experiential practice, students will be helped to develop the clinical skills of somatic reflection, awareness, clear communication, flexibility, insight, compassion, cross-cultural sensitivity, and personal presence.
SPC 5220 Principles of Somatic Psychology
3
An introduction to the fundamentals of somatic psychology, the field, and its basic concepts and values. Areas of focus include history, issues, principles, and practices with attention to the origins and psycho-emotional consequences of the mind-body split. Students are introduced to basic practices such a sensory tracking, centering, grounding, self-forming, and the concepts of dynamic systems and self-regulation.
CNS 5010 Paradigms of Consciousness
3
A paradigm is a model of reality, or aspects of reality, held by a community, and affirmed and enacted through communal behavior. Society today is shaped by past paradigms of consciousness as well as those which are newly emerging. This class explores the nature of paradigms, how they emerge, and how they are sustained and changed. We give particular attention to the evolution of various paradigms of consciousness and reality – from indigenous to modern, postmodern, holistic, and integral – and examine the potential of each to contribute to personal, social, and global transformation. This course is offered in both classroom and online modalities.
SPC 5612 Supervised Practicum
var*
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.
HPC 5000 Intro. to Holistic Studies Counseling Program
0
Year 1 - Winter
Units
SPC 5324 Therapeutic Communication B
3
his course introduces students to specific Somatic Psychology clinical processes and practices within a holistic and psycho-dynamic model. Training in recognizing transference and countertransference issues and in developing effective therapeutic interventions is the focus. The emphasis is on understanding and working with nonverbal and verbal communication and somato-psychological defense patterns in individuals, couples, and family systems.
PC 5325 Ethics and the Law
3
Familiarizes students with the existing legal and ethical issues facing therapists including MFT licensing requirements and California laws for psychotherapists. Issues are explored through the examination of personal values and biases. Must be taken prior to field placement.
SPC 5535 Individual Development and the Family Life Cycle A
3
This course introduces students to classic developmental theorists from a dynamic living systems and somatic psychology perspective. The emphasis is placed on early bodily and sensory organization and on the primacy of relationship in development. A holistic theory of self and ego development is presented. This course will consider how Freud, Reich, Mahler, Winnicott, Piaget, Bowlby, Kohut, Stern, Schore, Fogel, and Greenspan help us understand the process by which we come to inhabit our embodied self across the lifespan.
SPC 5612 Supervised Practicum
var*
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.
Year 1 - Spring
Units
SPC 5536 Individual Development and the Family Life Cycle B
3
This course focuses on the phase-specific, holistic process of development from adolescence to the end of life. A biopsychosocial perspective is applied to the areas of cognitive, emotional, and relational development. Contemporary family life is explored through the in-class use of the family genogram and through discussion of multicultural family patterns and the “family body.” Sources include McGoldrick, Erickson, Kegan, Cook-Greuter, and Ram Dass.
HPC 5422 Cross Cultural Issues In Counseling
3
Provides an overview of the field of cross-cultural issues related to counseling. Special emphasis is placed on fostering an understanding of cross-cultural dynamics in counseling through an examination of the historical, political, and sociocultural issues that impact the lives of ethnic minority clients.
SPC 5004 Group Process A
2
Using traditional, holistic, and somatic group therapy techniques, students examine and work with their own and others’ feelings, motivations, and patterns of communication and behavior in a group context. Through class participation, students experience and learn group theory and group facilitation skills. This class must be taken in three consecutive quarters.
PC 5612 Supervised Practicum Touch in Psychotherapy
1
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.
Year 1 - Summer
Units
SPC 5512 Somatic Psychology Perspectives on Stress and Psychobioimmunology
2
This course introduces students to the neurobiology of stress, stress profiling, and stress reduction techniques for clinical practice in everyday life. Psychobioimmunological theory and practice is also explored. Among the technical approaches which will be introduced are stress evaluation, autogenic training, progressive relaxation, guided meditation, visualizations, and somatically based techniques such as parasympathetic breathing, grounding, mindful movement, and conscious self-regulation through awareness.
HPC 5250 Basic Addictions
3
Basic information about alcoholism and chemical dependency including definitions, effects on substance users and their environments, medical aspects, etiology of substance abuse, major treatment approaches, and available community resources. The course is taught from a systems perspective and covers spiritual and nutritional issues in chemical dependency.
SPC 5005 Group Process B
2
Using traditional, holistic, and somatic group therapy techniques, students examine and work with their own and others’ feelings, motivations, and patterns of communication and behavior in a group context. Through class participation, students experience and learn group theory and group facilitation skills. This class must be taken in three consecutive quarters.
SPC 5612 Supervised Practicum
var*
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.
Year 1 - Winter
Units
SPC 5324 Therapeutic Communication B
3
his course introduces students to specific Somatic Psychology clinical processes and practices within a holistic and psycho-dynamic model. Training in recognizing transference and countertransference issues and in developing effective therapeutic interventions is the focus. The emphasis is on understanding and working with nonverbal and verbal communication and somato-psychological defense patterns in individuals, couples, and family systems.
PC 5325 Ethics and the Law
3
Familiarizes students with the existing legal and ethical issues facing therapists including MFT licensing requirements and California laws for psychotherapists. Issues are explored through the examination of personal values and biases. Must be taken prior to field placement.
SPC 5535 Individual Development and the Family Life Cycle A
3
This course introduces students to classic developmental theorists from a dynamic living systems and somatic psychology perspective. The emphasis is placed on early bodily and sensory organization and on the primacy of relationship in development. A holistic theory of self and ego development is presented. This course will consider how Freud, Reich, Mahler, Winnicott, Piaget, Bowlby, Kohut, Stern, Schore, Fogel, and Greenspan help us understand the process by which we come to inhabit our embodied self across the lifespan.
SPC 5612 Supervised Practicum
var*
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.
Year 1 - Summer
Units
SPC 5512 Somatic Psychology Perspectives on Stress and Psychobioimmunology
2
This course introduces students to the neurobiology of stress, stress profiling, and stress reduction techniques for clinical practice in everyday life. Psychobioimmunological theory and practice is also explored. Among the technical approaches which will be introduced are stress evaluation, autogenic training, progressive relaxation, guided meditation, visualizations, and somatically based techniques such as parasympathetic breathing, grounding, mindful movement, and conscious self-regulation through awareness.
HPC 5250 Basic Addictions
3
Basic information about alcoholism and chemical dependency including definitions, effects on substance users and their environments, medical aspects, etiology of substance abuse, major treatment approaches, and available community resources. The course is taught from a systems perspective and covers spiritual and nutritional issues in chemical dependency.
SPC 5005 Group Process B
2
Using traditional, holistic, and somatic group therapy techniques, students examine and work with their own and others’ feelings, motivations, and patterns of communication and behavior in a group context. Through class participation, students experience and learn group theory and group facilitation skills. This class must be taken in three consecutive quarters.
SPC 5612 Supervised Practicum
var*
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.

Year 2

Year 2 - Fall
Units
SPC 5241 The Cultural Body: Society, Body Image and the Self
2
Examines the manner in which family, society, and culture act as intervening variables in our relationship to bodies. Beliefs (personal, familial, social, and cultural) and mythologies regarding the body and the impact of these beliefs on our somato-psychological experience will be examined. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and compulsive eating are examined as specific examples of cultural distortion of bodily self-awareness. In addition, the course will also look at cross-cultural differences in the manner and meaning of embodiment and the ramifications for clinical practice.
SPC 5430 Movement Seminar A: The Self in Movement
2
This course is an experiential and theoretical introduction to movement as a process of somatic inquiry, clinical exploration, and therapeutic intervention. Students will become familiar with a variety of both directive and free-movement approaches including psychodynamic traditions, developmental movement, authentic movement, body mind centering, and continuum movement.
HPC 5200 Diagnosis, Assessment and Therapeutic Strategy A
3
A review of traditional and transpersonal diagnostic systems including DSM-IV and alternative typologies(such as the Enneagram, a phenomenological approach, or a body-oriented approach), assessment methods including interviewing and projective and objective testing, and therapeutic strategies appropriate to different diagnostic categories.
SPC 5006 Group Process C
2
Using traditional, holistic, and somatic group therapy techniques, students examine and work with their own and others’ feelings, motivations, and patterns of communication and behavior in a group context. Through class participation, students experience and learn group theory and group facilitation skills. This class must be taken in three consecutive quarters.
Year 2 - Winter
Units
SPC 5431 Movement Seminar B: Seminar in Clinical Technique
3
This course focuses on the learning and practice of movement-based psychotherapy interventions with diverse populations in a variety of therapeutic settings. Students explore the development of movement patterns, the process of re-patterning, and the use of movement for exploration, expression, and psycho-emotional integration in the psychotherapy process.
SPC 5205 Diagnosis, Assessment and Therapeutic Strategy B
3
Examination of specific diagnosis, assessment, and treatment skills and concepts from traditional and somatic psychology perspectives including character analysis, formative psychology, and other somato-psychological systems for evaluating and developing psychotherapeutic treatment strategies.
HPC 5550 Marriage and Family Counseling A
3
Introduction to the principles and methods of marriage and family counseling including family systems theories, methods for assessment of family interaction patterns, and intervention strategies appropriate to different types of family dysfunction. The relationship between family systems and principles of holism are discussed.
Year 2 - Spring
Units
HPC 5245 Psychopharmacology
3
An introduction and general overview of psychopharmacology as it relates to the practice of psychotherapy. Current medication, research in psychopharmacology, and psychoneurology will be covered. The course will also look at alternative remedies, natural medicine, and cultural issues from a holistic perspective as well as the relationship between psychotherapist and physician in medication management.
SPC 5552 Marriage and Family Counseling B
3
This course focuses on the application of principles and methods of experiential and somatic techniques, marriage and family counseling, and marriage and family systems theory to specific family problems—terminal illness, psychosomatic disorders, addictive behavior, relational conflict, divorce, blended families, and multiracial families.
SPC 5620 Holistic/Somatic Approaches to Trauma And PTSD A
2
An overview of the history of the concept of trauma and trauma treatment and a basic understanding of the psychobiology and neurobiology of trauma and PTSD. Conceptual distinctions will be made between developmental wounding, developmental trauma, and shock trauma. Current diagnoses overtly linked to trauma (PTSD, Acute Stress Disorder, Complex PTSD and Developmental Trauma Disorder) will be discussed. The topics covered include phase-oriented treatment, dissociation models, countertransference, and building somatic and relational resources. The discussion and training will include application of somatic trauma approaches to help stabilize situations involving personal trauma, disasters, and violence.
SPC 5612 Supervised Practicum
var*
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.
Year 2 - Summer
Units
HPC 5158 Child Therapy
3
This course provides an overview of theories and “best practices” approaches in the treatment of children. Students will become familiar with therapeutic work in various treatment settings and develop an appreciation of the overarching importance of multicultural, social, and developmental contexts in understanding child behavior. Students will develop skills for working in collaborate relationships in child therapy and study psychodynamic and child centered approaches to child therapy.
HPC 5216 Sexuality
2
The sexual response cycle, male and female sexuality, and sexual development and dysfunction are discussed from physiological, psychological, sociocultural, and somatic perspectives. Explores therapeutic approaches as they apply to individuals, couples, and families.
SPC 5621 Somatic Approaches to Trauma And PTSD B
2
An exploration into the complexities of traumatic experience, and will explore the particulars of developmental trauma. Topics covered will include models of understanding and treating dissociation and fragmentation, the intersubjective field, vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue as well as working with positive states of experience. The application of somatic trauma approaches with disaster populations, violence, childhood trauma, and intergenerational trauma will be addressed. Advanced phase 1 and 2 skills of the trauma treatment model will be taught and phase 3 skills will be introduced. Students will learn to help clients process, metabolize and integrate personal historical experiences of trauma as well as ongoing challenges with activation. This course draws on the work of theorists such as Levine, Ogden, Rothchild, van der Kolk, and others.
SPC 5612 Supervised Practicum Trauma
var*
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.
Year 2 - Winter
Units
SPC 5431 Movement Seminar B: Seminar in Clinical Technique
3
This course focuses on the learning and practice of movement-based psychotherapy interventions with diverse populations in a variety of therapeutic settings. Students explore the development of movement patterns, the process of re-patterning, and the use of movement for exploration, expression, and psycho-emotional integration in the psychotherapy process.
SPC 5205 Diagnosis, Assessment and Therapeutic Strategy B
3
Examination of specific diagnosis, assessment, and treatment skills and concepts from traditional and somatic psychology perspectives including character analysis, formative psychology, and other somato-psychological systems for evaluating and developing psychotherapeutic treatment strategies.
HPC 5550 Marriage and Family Counseling A
3
Introduction to the principles and methods of marriage and family counseling including family systems theories, methods for assessment of family interaction patterns, and intervention strategies appropriate to different types of family dysfunction. The relationship between family systems and principles of holism are discussed.
Year 2 - Summer
Units
HPC 5158 Child Therapy
3
This course provides an overview of theories and “best practices” approaches in the treatment of children. Students will become familiar with therapeutic work in various treatment settings and develop an appreciation of the overarching importance of multicultural, social, and developmental contexts in understanding child behavior. Students will develop skills for working in collaborate relationships in child therapy and study psychodynamic and child centered approaches to child therapy.
HPC 5216 Sexuality
2
The sexual response cycle, male and female sexuality, and sexual development and dysfunction are discussed from physiological, psychological, sociocultural, and somatic perspectives. Explores therapeutic approaches as they apply to individuals, couples, and families.
SPC 5621 Somatic Approaches to Trauma And PTSD B
2
An exploration into the complexities of traumatic experience, and will explore the particulars of developmental trauma. Topics covered will include models of understanding and treating dissociation and fragmentation, the intersubjective field, vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue as well as working with positive states of experience. The application of somatic trauma approaches with disaster populations, violence, childhood trauma, and intergenerational trauma will be addressed. Advanced phase 1 and 2 skills of the trauma treatment model will be taught and phase 3 skills will be introduced. Students will learn to help clients process, metabolize and integrate personal historical experiences of trauma as well as ongoing challenges with activation. This course draws on the work of theorists such as Levine, Ogden, Rothchild, van der Kolk, and others.
SPC 5612 Supervised Practicum Trauma
var*
Through a variety of different practica, students explore somatic practices that can be used with individuals, couples and families. These practica provide students with the opportunity to practice and experience the application of somatic psychology clinical skills.

Year 3

Year 3 - Fall
Units
HPC 5751 Field Placement A
3
In this four-quarter sequence, the focus is clinical fieldwork under supervision. Students train at community mental health sites, schools, hospitals, hospice centers, therapeutic nurseries, at one of the JFK University Community Counseling Centers, or other sites. Students gain firsthand knowledge and experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Supervision is provided by qualified, licensed therapists.
HPC 5243 Community Mental Health and Principles of Recovery
3
Preparation for challenges and opportunities, taking a holistic approach to working in community mental health settings. Topics include: the history of institutionalization and the community mental health movement; navigating the complex public health and social services systems; working with clients diagnosed with serious mental disorders; useful therapeutic models and effective practices; principles of recovery; strength-based assessment and resilience; fundamentals of case management; coordination of care and family and community involvement.
Year 3 - Winter
Units
HPC 5752 Field Placement B
2
In this four-quarter sequence, the focus is clinical fieldwork under supervision. Students train at community mental health sites, schools, hospitals, hospice centers, therapeutic nurseries, at one of the JFK University Community Counseling Centers, or other sites. Students gain firsthand knowledge and experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Supervision is provided by qualified, licensed therapists.
SPC 5350 Integrative Final Project A
1
HPC 5703 Clinical Skills: Partner and Spousal Abuse, Elder Care
2
This course looks at the whole family system and the impact of violence and abuse upon it. Trauma issues and their impact on each family member will be discussed, as well as the physiological effect of trauma on the brain. Topics include identification and treatment of abusers; victims and the children and teens living with them; attachment and physiological issues that keep couples together; identification, treatment, and reporting issues of elder and child abuse; cultural, religious, and GLBT issues and abuse; and countertransference issues. In addition, mental health issues in aging and long-term care will be addressed. Therapeutic strategies will be presented to enhance collaboration between families and care providers and maximize quality of life for the elder client.
Year 3 - Spring
Units
HPC 5753 Field Placement C
2
In this four-quarter sequence, the focus is clinical fieldwork under supervision. Students train at community mental health sites, schools, hospitals, hospice centers, therapeutic nurseries, at one of the JFK University Community Counseling Centers, or other sites. Students gain firsthand knowledge and experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Supervision is provided by qualified, licensed therapists.
SPC 5705 Counseling Case Seminar
3
This course focuses on clinical case presentation for students in field placement. Case presentations from the student’s current placement serve as a starting point for lecture, clinical discussion, exploration of diversity issues, role-play, and self-exploration within a somatic psychology perspective. This class supports students in acquiring professional competence in the important clinical skill of case presenting.
HPC 5530 Psychological Testing
3
This survey course is designed to help students understand the basic concepts and applications of psychological testing and the psychometric properties of psychological tests. The course will emphasize the appropriate applications and limitations of many of the current psychological tests—especially with regard to their use with people of non-dominant cultures. Issues of validity and ethics will be reviewed in this regard.
SPC 535X Integrative Final Project Extension
0.5
Year 3 - Summer
Units
HPC 5754 Field Placement D
2
In this four-quarter sequence, the focus is clinical fieldwork under supervision. Students train at community mental health sites, schools, hospitals, hospice centers, therapeutic nurseries, at one of the JFK University Community Counseling Centers, or other sites. Students gain firsthand knowledge and experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Supervision is provided by qualified, licensed therapists.
SPC 5351 Integrative Final Project B
1.5
Year 3 - Winter
Units
HPC 5752 Field Placement B
2
In this four-quarter sequence, the focus is clinical fieldwork under supervision. Students train at community mental health sites, schools, hospitals, hospice centers, therapeutic nurseries, at one of the JFK University Community Counseling Centers, or other sites. Students gain firsthand knowledge and experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Supervision is provided by qualified, licensed therapists.
SPC 5350 Integrative Final Project A
1
HPC 5703 Clinical Skills: Partner and Spousal Abuse, Elder Care
2
This course looks at the whole family system and the impact of violence and abuse upon it. Trauma issues and their impact on each family member will be discussed, as well as the physiological effect of trauma on the brain. Topics include identification and treatment of abusers; victims and the children and teens living with them; attachment and physiological issues that keep couples together; identification, treatment, and reporting issues of elder and child abuse; cultural, religious, and GLBT issues and abuse; and countertransference issues. In addition, mental health issues in aging and long-term care will be addressed. Therapeutic strategies will be presented to enhance collaboration between families and care providers and maximize quality of life for the elder client.
Year 3 - Summer
Units
HPC 5754 Field Placement D
2
In this four-quarter sequence, the focus is clinical fieldwork under supervision. Students train at community mental health sites, schools, hospitals, hospice centers, therapeutic nurseries, at one of the JFK University Community Counseling Centers, or other sites. Students gain firsthand knowledge and experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Supervision is provided by qualified, licensed therapists.
SPC 5351 Integrative Final Project B
1.5

Faculty

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