The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling: Centers R Us
By Dr. Shari Tarver-Behring, Chair, Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling (EPC) and Dr. Adele Eskeles Gottfried, EPC and Eisner College Director of Research Enhancement
Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at Fall 2012 Faculty Retreat
For more than thirty years, centers have been a critical part of the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling (EPC) for providing graduate student training, professional development opportunities, and community counseling services. The department currently has two centers, the Valley Trauma Center and the Center for Research, Development and Services in EPC, which includes the Mitchell Family Counseling Center and the EPC Workshops Center. All centers participate in the larger CSUN Community Center for Healthy and Well Being. Centers R Us!
Valley Trauma Center
The Valley Trauma Center (VTC) is a community-based counseling and support services program for adults, children, and families in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys. VTC is dedicated to building caring communities and loving families and to ending interpersonal violence across the lifespan through advocacy, healing, education, and prevention programs. VTC provides a 24-hour emergency and referral phone line, crisis intervention, accompaniment to hospital forensic examinations, counseling, and advocacy to individuals who have experience child maltreatment, domestic, and/or sexual violence.
In the last year, in-home services were provided to 744 families, support services to 2,391 individuals, and individual counseling to 298 people. In addition, VTC has been recognized for its prevention programs, including the Bully Prevention Program, Project D.A.T.E., Teen Prevention Leaders, Child Safety Fairs, and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The Men’s March to End Rape, Sexual Assault, and Gender Violence. In 2011, VTC opened the first Family Justice Center in Los Angeles. Valley CARES Family Justice Center shares the same location with LAPD, the City and District Attorney, Civil Legal Services, Forensic Nurse Examiners, counselors, and forensic nurses to provide a collaborative response to domestic and sexual violence.
VTC has received $2.5 million in federal funding in the last year, provided internships to 20 master’s level CSUN students, and opportunities for master theses and graduate projects. For more information please visit the VTC website at http://www.csun.edu/vtc. The VTC is under the direction of Kim Roth and faculty liaison Dr. Charles Hanson. VTC currently has three locations and can be directly contacted in Northridge (818-772-9981) and Valencia (661- 702-0000).
Center for Research, Development, and Services in EPC Mitchell Family Counseling Center
The Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic (MFCC) was created through a generous donation from CSUN professors Drs. Rie and Rex Mitchell and is a collaborating program within the Michael D. Eisner College of Education Teaching, Learning, and Counseling Consortium. Following the Northridge earthquake in 1994, the MFCC was created to provide much-needed counseling services to members of our local community on a sliding-scale fee basis while also serving as a clinical training and research site for graduate-level students in the College’s counseling programs.
In the last year, the MFCC has offered counseling services to over 400 adult, couples, child, family, and groups. Counseling addresses various issues, including parenting skills, parenting education, anger management, family issues, crisis intervention, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, divorce, developmental states, and social skills. In addition, the MFCC provides highly regarded specialized services, such as play therapy and sand play therapy. Also, MFCC has several satellite school-based counseling programs. The MFCC has continued to be the exclusive provider of individual and group counseling services to students (elementary and secondary) in the Magnolia Science Academy District of Southern California; in the last year, the number of school placements in that district has doubled.
The MFCC offers a successful graduate student-mentoring program within the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. This past year saw a large increase in mentoring due to mentees coming not only from the Marriage and Family therapy program but also from EPC's Career and School Counseling programs. In the last year, the center offered numerous workshops and supervised training to over 50 master’s level counseling students. The center is under the direction of Dr. Michael Laurent. For further information contact 818-677-2568 or see their website at http://www.csun.edu/education/mitchell-family-counseling-clinic/.
EPC Workshops Center
The oldest center in the EPC Department is the EPC Workshops Center, which has been under the direction of Dr. Stan Charnofsky for over three decades. The Center provides affordable and quality continuing education hours and training to the professional community of licensed MFTs, LCSWs, master’s level interns, trainees, and other mental-health professionals. The Center provides 20 workshops per year covering a range of topics, including child abuse, human sexuality, and mindfulness and is approved as a continuing education provider by the Board of Behavioral Sciences, which regulates Marriage and Family Therapy licensure in California. The Center program coordinators are Diana Elaine Castle, M.S. and Heidi Kwok, M.S., MFT. For more information contact http://tsengcollege.csun.edu/programs/edpsyworkshop.
The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling is proud of all our centers’ accomplishments in providing services to the community and training opportunities for our master’s degree students.
The authors would like to thank Charlie Hanson, Kim Roth, Jennifer Graves, Michael Laurent, Donna Pioli, and Stan Charnofsky for their assistance with this article.