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Winter, 2013




FS511: Cultural & Ethnic Issues in Marital and Family Interventions (4 Units).  Carolyn Pela, PhD




In this course, students will explore the many facets of culture and will examine their own ideas, perceptions, and assumptions about culture.  A general overview of selected ethnic groups will be offered as a way to increase sensitivity to and awareness of group distinctions and tendencies.  The readings, discussions, and assignments are intended to facilitate curiosity about and a greater awareness of the studentÕs beliefs about culture and how these beliefs shape their clinical work.



Students who successfully complete this course will:

1.     Learn the importance of having an awareness of oneÕs own cultural biases, assumptions, and beliefs.

2.     Develop a new lens for thinking about and delving into issues of diversity.

3.     Gain basic knowledge about relevant clinical issues in certain ethnic or racial groups.



The course learning outcomes above serve the School of PsychologyÕs outcome of training students in the following ways:

1.     Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and attitudes necessary to serve effectively in diverse communities locally and globally.

2.     Graduates will be prepared to serve underserved populations and to integrate in their practice and personal lives the disciplines of compassion and charity.


Furthermore, the course learning outcomes serve the larger Seminary learning outcomes in the following ways:

1.      Graduates will be aware of and critically engage ecclesial, societal, and global issues from Christian theological perspectives and demonstrate the ability to make informed choices toward positive change.

2.     Graduates will demonstrate the ability to identify critical issues of diversity and make appropriate responses.



This 4 unit course will meet once a week for 3 hours, Wed. 6:30-9:30 in the Winter Quarter.  Class sessions will include lectures, discussions, video viewing, guest speakers, role-plays and other group activities.



Fadiman, A.  (1997).  The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures.  New York:  The Noonday Press. ISBN: 0-374-52564-1 Estimated retail price: $15.00

McGoldrick, M., & Hardy, K.  (Eds.).  (2008).  Re-visioning family therapy: Race, culture, and gender in clinical practice.  New York: The Guilford Press. ISBN: 978-1-59385-427-0 Estimated retail price: $50.00

Priest, R.J., & Nieves, A.L. (Eds.).  (2007).  This side of heaven:  Race, ethnicity and Christian faith.  New York:  Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-531056-6 Estimated retail price: $35.00

Additional readings will be made available on Moodle.



Students will be expected to complete the assigned readings prior to class for participation in thoughtful and interactive discussions. Written assignments will focus on application of concepts to the studentÕs culture and other select cultures. Grades will be based on attendance, participation, and the completion of assignments.



The course is open to MSMFT and MAFS students.



1.     Meets BPC Sections 4980.36(c)(1)(C); 4980.36(d)(1)(A); 4980.36(d)(2)(B)-(G) for the State of CA.

2.     Meets AAMFT core competency domain 2.1.



The final exam will be a take-home essay test.