In November 2014, the Shanghai Mental Health Center and Palo Alto University cooperated in establishing a Masters Program in Counseling. The signing ceremony was held at the Shanghai Mental Health Center, and Chun-Bo Li, vice president, presided over the ceremony. Also attending the ceremony were Dr. Bill Froming, Provost at PAU, Dr. Zhao Min, deputy party secretary, Dr. Wang Zhen, director of Research and Education Management Office, Dr. Qiu Jian-Yin, deputy director of Clinical Psychology Department , Dr. Cheng Wen-hong, deputy director for the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (all employed by Shanghai Mental Health Center), and other related personnel.
At the signing ceremony, both sides discussed and exchanged comments about cooperation in some detail. Dean Professor Xu Yi-feng extended a warm welcome to PAU Provost Bill Froming on behalf of the mental health counseling Masters project. Dean Xu Yi-feng said: “Shanghai Mental Health Center and Palo Alto University will work together to train students in compliance with international standards. We are familiar with the new generation of workers in local psychological counseling, and we will deliver high quality consultants and psychological services for China to build a mental health system. With a Chinese person in charge of the project, Shanghai Mental Health Center will provide organization and resources, and clearly the executor of the project will carefully implement the project, and hire a number of European and American psychological trainers to provide students with clinical supervision. On the basis of this project, the Shanghai Mental Health Center also hopes to further collaborate with PAU in both cooperation and exchanges.”
Also at the signing ceremony, Dr. Froming said: “I am glad to establish a long-term cooperative relationship with Jiao Tong University School of Medicine’s Shanghai Mental Health Center, which provides an excellent education and training of teachers. With its rich and diverse community of services and other resources, the Shanghai Mental Health Center is an ideal clinical base for students to receive the best clinical training and supervision. Familiar with and appreciative of Chinese culture, PAU has been involved in Chinese mental health care, education and training in the field of clinical psychology. Development and implementation of this project will help promote and regulate the training of domestic counseling staff and through continuing education will help to train a number of clinical psychologists with a more solid foundation, and then to provide clients with high-quality counseling services.”
At present, while the status of mental illness and mental health concerns has greatly improved in the world, the education and training of counselors remains an urgent need. With the rapid growth of professional education and training over the last two decades, especially in China, PAU has upheld its "Engaging Minds, Improving Lives" motto. PAU’s master network design project, with its creative, comprehensive education strategy, provides training and consulting professional help for improving countries such as China. The strategy includes several key components: to provide students with a system of distance learning courses; a well-designed curriculum to meet the highest international standards of educational consulting; an online lecture series especially designed for online students in China, to provide students with the opportunity to discuss how to apply their knowledge in the context of China; providing face to face clinical interview workshops, and its commitment to the development of clinical practice base in China. In the United States, PAU has worked with many community agencies and schools, such as a joint Ph.D. in clinical psychology with the Stanford University School of Medicine, and with the Palo Alto Veterans health care system and has cooperated with other mental health agencies in providing students with clinical training. Meanwhile, in recent years, PAU also actively has developed international cooperation, so that with the development of the masters counseling program, PAU hopes to find and develop more clinical training bases, looking for additional ways to provide high-quality clinical training for supervisors.