The Sanville Institute began over four decades ago as a response from dedicated professionals who desired to bring the best-practices and theories developed in academia into the greater community. We are proud of our history, our accomplishments, and the community of excellence we have fostered and developed.
The mission of the Sanville Institute is to provide excellence in doctoral education and ongoing professional growth for a culturally diverse community of master’s-level mental health professionals.
Promote a healthier world by creating innovative leaders and critical thinkers in the field of mental health and social policy.
- Adult Learners
The Institute nurtures the capacity of adult learners for professional growth and personal development through education.
- Advanced Clinical Practice
The Institute is committed to teaching advanced clinical practice that is grounded in psychodynamic understanding, includes a breadth of psychotherapeutic modalities, and reflects awareness of the impact of society and culture on the development of the self, theory, and knowledge.
The Institute encourages diversity of all kinds, including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic, gender expression, religious, physical ability, and sexual orientation in its board, administration, faculty, and student body.
- Integrated Educational Model
The Institute strives to make learning a relational process that fosters the integration of theory, experience, practice, and research.
- Promotion of Psychological Understanding
The Institute fosters the application of psychological understanding to enhance the well-being of individuals and groups, and specifically values this in relation to itself at all levels, including the board of trustees, faculty, administration, alumni, and students.
Pre-1974 Informal Planning Period
1974 Signing of the State Charter founding the Institute for Clinical Social Work
1975-1976 Formal Planning Year
1976-1977 Experimental Year
1977-1978 First Operational Year of the Institute
1984 Change of Name to California Institute for Clinical Social Work
1992 Admission of Marriage & Family Therapists
2004 Admission of master’s-level mental health professionals
2005 Change of name to The Sanville Institute
The Institute for Clinical Social Work was incorporated in October, 1974, by a small group of experienced practitioners with a vision of advanced professional education that would permit students to continue their practices while earning a doctoral degree. The founders were members of the California Society for Clinical Social Work, a California professional association, which sponsored the foundation of the Institute.
Following incorporation in 1974, the founding Board of Trustees began a series of meetings to develop the philosophy and direction of the program. After nearly a year of regular meetings, in September 1975, the trustees invited a group of highly esteemed clinical social workers from different areas of the State to participate in planning. In March 1976, this planning group was further expanded to include prominent social work educators, administrators, consultants, and practitioners.
Committees collected and reviewed literature on existing doctoral programs in social work, on other innovative educational programs offering advanced degrees, and from the World Health Organization, which had delineated model programs in professional education. Other committees formulated standards for selecting faculty and students and studied the requirements of the California State Department of Education, Office of Private Post-secondary Education. These studies culminated in the establishment of a nine-month program to test the tentative format and to further develop educational philosophy, curriculum, and modus operandi.
Forty-three highly qualified students were admitted out of 46 applicants for the experimental academic year of 1976/77. Five colloquia were established, each led by an “animateur,” a faculty member who served as facilitator. Each colloquium was charged with the further development of an aspect of the emerging program. The essential structure and content of the program as it exists today was created, and the program opened for new students in the fall of 1977.
In the spring of 1984, the Institute’s Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the Institute to the California Institute for Clinical Social Work in order to differentiate it from another similarly named school that was established in Chicago. In 1992 the Institute expanded its admission policies to include marriage and family therapists who demonstrate a commitment to the principles underlying clinical social work. In 2004, the Institute changed its admission criteria to a master’s degree in a field that leads to licensure as a mental health professional, sufficient practice to support clinical learning, and malpractice insurance. In January 2005, a new name for the Institute was inaugurated, The Sanville Institute.