MA Somatic Counseling Psychology

In addition to the standard graduate admissions requirements, the following is required to apply for Fall 2015 admittance to the MA Somatic Counseling Psychology program:

Experience

  • A bachelor's degree, preferably in a field related to the helping professions (e.g. psychology, human services, physical or mental health, dance or other somatic practices).
  • A minimum of 100 hours of either paid or volunteer fieldwork experience, preferably in a supervised setting in the mental health field, or through work in a community facility or service organization, in direct service to others. Ideally this exposure gives the applicant a basis of experience that can help to clarify career goals and potential populations of interest.

Prerequisite Coursework

  • One 3 semester credit (45 contact hours) course in human anatomy from an accredited academic institution or accredited massage school.
  • Two 3 semester credit (totaling 90 contact hours) core psychology courses of your choosing from an accredited academic institution. Suggested courses include: Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Theories of Personality.

An Unofficial Coursework Evaluation Worksheet is now available to help you track your prerequisite coursework.

A grade of "C" or above is required for all prerequisite coursework. All prerequisites are to be completed at accredited on-site or online academic institutions for credit (not Pass/Fail or Audited). Applicants must submit an official transcript showing proof of completion of the prerequisite coursework by August 1, 2015. If applicants apply before their prerequisite coursework is completed, they must submit proof of scheduled enrollment in the prerequisite coursework. To ensure that transcripts of prerequisite coursework arrive to the Office of Admissions by August 1, 2015, we strongly recommend that all prerequisites are completed no later than July 1, 2015. Applicants cannot take prerequisites alongside their Naropa coursework, and prerequisites cannot be taken at Naropa without enrolling as a full-time undergraduate student.

If using the online application, please record prerequisite coursework and details in the spaces provided. If using a paper application, please record all prerequisite coursework on the MA Somatic Counseling Psychology Supplemental Application Form and submit the form with the paper application. Official transcripts of this coursework must be sent to the Office of Admissions for both online and paper applicants.

Admissions Interview

Candidates are required to have a personal interview before an admissions decision can be made. Candidates chosen for interviews will be invited to attend one of the MA Somatic Counseling Psychology Interview Days (dates to be announced). In addition to group and individual interviews, candidates will have an opportunity to observe a class, talk to faculty and current students, take a campus tour, and meet with a financial aid counselor.

The 2015 interview dates are as follows:

  • Saturday, February 28
  • Saturday, March 7

If candidates are unable to make the in-person interview due to an extreme situation, they will discuss alternative options with the interview committee once they have been invited to the interview.

Supplemental Essays

It is our hope to ascertain applicants' level of exposure to and experience with different forms of movement and body-based expression from the applicants' essays. Please limit answers to a total of 500 words for each question. If submitting a paper application, please double-space answers. Note: there are two questions specific to the concentration to which applicants are applying, and one question that is common to both concentrations. Please make sure to address all three questions, with a separate essay for each questions.

Dance/Movement Therapy

  1. Please list and explain your formal or informal training relating to the bullet points below and describe how this training supports your interest in working psychotherapeutically with the human body:
    • One to two years of consistent formal training with at least three dance/movement forms
    • Experience in modern dance technique and/or maturity integrating body and spatial awareness
    • Experience with improvisation and exposure to composition, choreography, performance, and dance history
  2. How is your current movement practice(s) informed or supported by your awareness of expressive movement, improvisation, and spatial awareness?
  3. Exposure to fieldwork, ideally, gives you a basis of experience from which to begin to understand the mental health fields, clarify career goals, and determine potential populations of interest. Please describe what you have done to complete the 100 hours of required fieldwork experience in direct service to others.

Body Psychotherapy

  1. Please list and explain your formal or informal training and describe how this training supports your interest in working psychotherapeutically with the human body. Illustrate your experience with one or two years of consistent training with somatic practice(s), which may include energetic healing practices; body/mind psychotherapy trainings; sports, fitness, and outdoor trainings; physical and occupational therapies; bodywork; martial arts; and yoga and movement practices.
  2. How is your current somatic practice(s) informed or supported by your awareness of internal sensation and body-based processes?
  3. Exposure to fieldwork, ideally, gives you a basis of experience from which to begin to understand the mental health fields, clarify career goals, and determine potential populations of interest. Please describe what you have done to complete the 100 hours of required fieldwork experience in direct service to others.

Dual Concentration

It is our hope to ascertain your level of exposure to and experience with different forms of dance, movement sensory awareness, and body-based expression from your essays. Please limit your answers to a total of 500 words for each section. 1.) Please describe to us your committed study, training, and instruction in various dance and movement forms and body-based practices and how this training supports your interest in working psychotherapeutically with the human body:
  1. One to two years of consistent instruction/training with at least three dance/movement forms
  2. One to two years of consistent instruction/training with conscious breathing practices, sensory awareness/integration practices, or Body Psychotherapy modalities
  3. How is your particular background in the dance form(s) you studied relevant to the modern dance roots of the field of Dance/Movement Therapy as you understand it from the assigned reading for this application?
  4. How is your particular background in the body/mind practices you studied relevant to the roots of the field of Body Psychotherapy as you understand it from the assigned reading for this application?
  5. Experience with improvisation, and exposure to composition, choreography, performance/dance history, and with recognized Body Psychotherapy modalities

Exposure to fieldwork, ideally, gives you a basis of experience from which to begin to understand the mental health fields, clarify career goals and determine potential populations of interest. Please describe what you have done to complete the 100 hours of required fieldwork experience in direct service to others and how that relates to the identity of a counselor. Direct service means engaging in a helping relationship with the intention to be a support to the physical/emotional/psychological wellbeing of another.

Statement of Interest Essay

Please refer to the following when writing your essay:

Citations: 

  • Diversity, Multiculturalism - Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2013). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice, 6th edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Body Psychotherapy - Caldwell, C. (1997) Getting In Touch: The guide to the new body-centered psychotherapies. Wheaton, IL: Quest books.
  • Dance Movement Therapy - Chaiklin, S. & Wengrower, H. (2009). The Art and Science of Dance/Movement Therapy: Life is Dance. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Contemplative Reading - Siegel, D. (2007). The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
All of Naropa University's counseling psychology programs offer skills training and counseling career preparation, diversity work, contemplative practice, community engagement, and deep personal reflection.

How are you prepared to participate in this distinctive community, and how would your educational goals and professional goals be reached by attending the Somatic Counseling Psychology program? Using specific examples from your life experience and the assigned readings, please describe your inspiration, intention, and commitment to studying psychotherapy in the Somatic Counseling Psychology program. Describe your plans for how you might take this degree program out into the world.

Please be sure to include:

  • Your experience with working in service to others, as a professional or volunteer, in a mental health or comparable setting and what you have learned about yourself as it pertains to becoming a counselor. Please discuss the Multiculturalism, Diversity reading as you answer this question.
  • Being an effective counselor requires a person to have the following qualities and skills: warm, accepting and multi-culturally competent, interpersonally perceptive, emotionally skilled and expressive, empathic, flexible and adaptive, aware, and skilled with one's own psychological material. Please discuss your readiness to engage in this skill-building endeavor while completing this program.
  • Your experience with sitting meditation and/or body/mind awareness disciplines. Feel free to discuss this in relationship to the Contemplative reading as you answer this question.
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