Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Bita Ashouri Rivas

Title: Assistant Professor of Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling

Office Location: Eureka Hall 321

Email: b.rivas@csus.edu

Office Phone: 916.278.5950

Mailing Address: 6000 J. Street, Sacramento, CA. 95819

Office Hours: Fall 2020: Monday 2-4pm; Tuesday 3-5pm

Schedule an Appointment : https://calendly.com/dr-bitarivas

Biography

Dr. Rivas is a faculty member in the Counselor Education program, specializing in marriage, couples, and family counseling. She currently serves as Lead Coordinator, the CSUS CACREP Liaison, and Fieldwork Coordinator for the program.

Prior to joining CSUS, Dr. Rivas held faculty positions at Western Connecticut State University and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She holds her licenses in Colorado as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC). She also holds her credentials as a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), and Master Addiction Counselor (MAC).

Dr. Rivas is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); having recently completed her term as a Board Member and Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (CALPCC). She has previously held positions at the Colorado Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, Colorado Counseling Association, and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. Dr. Rivas is excited to be part of the CSUS faculty and larger California Counseling Community.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change” ~Carl Rogers

Courses Taught

EDC 476: Practicum in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling (Seminar)
EDC 475: Practicum in Counseling: Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling
EDC 280: Practicum in Communication
EDC 234: Seminar in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling
EDC 233: Substance Abuse and Addiction
EDC 231: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
EDC 219: Group Processes in Counseling
EDC 218: Assessment in Counseling
EDC 216: Counseling Theory
EDC 214: Dynamics in Human Development

Education

Ed.D. Counselor Education and Supervision, Argosy University, Denver, Colorado (CACREP Accredited Doctoral Program) 2013 

M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Argosy University, Denver, Colorado (CACREP Accredited Program) 2009

B.S. Biology (Chemistry Minor), Metropolitan State University of Denver, Denver, Colorado 2007 

Additional Training

Marriage and Family Therapy, The Colorado School for Family Therapy (COAMFTE Aligned), Aurora, Colorado, 2016-2018. Marriage and Family Therapy courses for licensure (LMFT).

Addiction Counseling, The Colorado School for Family Therapy (Colorado Office of Behavioral Health [OBH] Aligned), Aurora, Colorado, 2016-2017. Addiction Counseling courses for licensure (LAC).

Licensure and Certifications

Licenses

Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies:
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT#1563 (Colorado – August 2018-Present)
Licensed Addiction Counselor, LAC#873 (Colorado – July 2017-Present)
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC#11298 (Colorado – 2012-Present)

Certifications

The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC): 
Master Addiction Counselor, MAC#511810 (2018-Present)

National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC):
National Certified Counselor, NCC#345260 (2014-Present)

Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE):
Approved Clinical Supervisor, ACS#2108 (2015-Present)
Human Services Board-Certified Practitioner, HS-BCP#5817 (2017-2019)

Publications & Research Interests

Research interests include: substance use disorders; the impact of the opioid epidemic on rural communities, children, and families; drug policy as a means of oppression; training of addiction counseling and counseling self-efficacy; creative practices in counseling and counselor training programs; and bullying/incivility in higher education. 

Published Manuscripts

Refereed Book Chapters:

Rivas, B. & Rivas, A. (2020). ‘Causes and implications of the opioid crisis in rural America in Greene, C. & Manner, J. (ed) Handbook of Research on Leadership and Advocacy for Children and Families in Rural Poverty. IGI Global Publishing.  

Manuscripts in Submission

Edited Book Chapter:

Rivas, B. (2020). ‘Chapter 5: Potential Long Term Consequences for Children Exposed to Alcohol and Substance Use’ in Mahr, M. (ed) Research and Strategies for Counselor Educators: Modern Approach to Substance Abuse and Addiction. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. Submitted for publication.

Rivas, B. & Maguire, K. (2020). ‘Chapter 11: Co-Occurring Diagnosis’ in Mahr, M. (ed) Research and Strategies for Counselor Educators: Modern Approach to Substance Abuse and Addiction. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. Submitted for publication.

Edited Volumes:

Rivas, B. (2019). ‘Attachment theory of love’ in Marriage and Divorce in America: Issues, Trends, and Controversies. Two Volume Encyclopedia Set. Jaimee Hartenstein (ed), ABC-CLIO, LLC. Submitted for publication.

Works in Progress

Migliaccio, T., Rivas, B., Stark, R., & Rivas, A. (2020). Bullying in Academia. IRB #19-20-188. Manuscript in preparation.

Rivas, A. & Rivas, B. (2019). Social class bias in the clinical relationship: Does socio-economic status impact treatment? Manuscript in preparation.

Rivas, B. & Currier, E. (2018). The impact of viewing artwork through visual thinking strategies in the group setting: Implications on anxiety, stress, and group cohesion. UCCS IRB #17-094

Rivas, B. & Reyero, T.M. (2018). Art therapy strategies and viewing artwork through use of visual thinking strategies, on anxiety, stress, and group cohesion with a military artistic healing group. UCCS IRB #17-173

Related Scholarly Activity

Chapter Reviewer: (2019) ‘Specialized Educational Leadership for Rural Students Living in Poverty’ in Greene, C. & Manner, J. (ed) Handbook of Research on Leadership and Advocacy for Children and Families in Rural Poverty. IGI Global Publishing.

Dissertation Title: The Impact of the Supervisor’s Education and License on the Professional Identity and Self-Efficacy of the Post-Graduate, Pre-Licensure Counselor in the Rocky Mountain Region.

GRANTS

Rivas, B. (2019). Addiction Think Tank. 2019-2020 the Center at Sierra Health Foundation Mini Grant Award. Fully Funded: $10,000.

Rivas, B. & Lomas, G. (2018). Are mental health professionals ready to testify as a witness in court? 2018-2019 CSU-AAUP Research Grant Award. Fully Funded: $10,000.

Presentations

International

Rivas, A. & Rivas, B. (2019, September). Social class bias in the clinical relationship. Presentation presented at the 60th Annual Conference of the European Branch of the American Counseling. Vienna, Austria.

Rivas, B. & Reyero, T.M. (2016, October). Aesthetics in mental health: An influential model for taping into art appreciation. Presentation presented at the European Branch of the American Counseling Association Conference, Geneva, Switzerland.

National

Rivas, B. & Rivas, A. (2020, January). Causes and Implications of the opioid crisis on children and families: Prevention and intervention as a community response. Presentation presented at the International Association for Marriage and Family Counseling, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Rivas, A. & Rivas, B. (2020, February). Social class bias within the clinical dyad: The negative effects on individuals and family systems. Presentation presented at the International Association for Marriage and Family Counseling, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Rivas, B., Rivas, A. & Migliaccio, T. (2019, March). Bullying and incivility in higher education: How do we protect our mental health? Presentation presented at the Lilly Conference: Teaching for Active and Engaged Learning, Anaheim, California.

Rivas, B., Rivas, A. & Reyero, T.M. (2017, October). Aesthetics in mental health: An influential model for taping into art appreciation. Roundtable presented at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Chicago, Illinois.

Rivas, A. & Rivas, B. (2017, September). Social class bias in the clinical relationship: Does socio-economic status impact treatment? Presentation presented at the National Association for Addiction Professionals, NAADAC 2017 Annual Conference, Denver, Colorado.

Rivas, B. & Reeck, L.P. (2015, March). Sign language interpreters in a counseling session: Third party assistance or interference? Presentation presented at the American Counseling Association Conference, Orlando, Florida.

Regional

Rivas, B. & Rivas, A. (2020, November 12-14). Everyone's Addicted, Now What? How Training Programs Can Intervene. WACES Conference, Tucson, AZ, United States. (Conference canceled) 

Rivas, A. & Rivas, B. (2017, April). Social class bias in the clinical relationship: Does socio-economic status impact treatment? Presentation presented at the 2017 Annual Nebraska Behavioral Health Conference, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Rivas, B. (2014, October). Fostering professional identity and counseling self-efficacy in the classroom and supervision process. Presentation presented at the Rocky Mountain Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Benham, R., Senstock, T., Young, A., & Rivas, B. (2012, October). Supervising future supervisors: Challenges facing educators with supervisors-in-training in clinical training courses. Presentation presented at the Rocky Mountain Association of Counselor Education and Supervision Conference, Park City Utah.

State

Rivas, B. & Rivas, A. (2019, May). Fostering professional identity & counseling self-efficacy in the supervision process. Presentation presented at the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, CALPCC 2019 Annual Conference. Northridge, California.

Rivas, A. & Rivas, B. (2019, May). Social class bias in the clinical relationship. Presentation presented at the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, CALPCC 2019 Annual Conference. Northridge, California.

Rivas, B., Field, J., & Bell, D. (2014, March). The ethical way. Presentation presented at the Colorado Counseling Association, DTC, Colorado.

Young, A. & Rivas, B. (2013, March). Fostering professional identity and counseling self-efficacy in the classroom and supervision process. Presentation presented at the Colorado Counseling Association Conference, Denver, Colorado.

Invited Speaker

Rivas, A. & Rivas, B. (2020, July). Social Class Bias and the Negative Impact Client Treatment Outcomes. Invited Speakers for the National Association for Addiction Professionals, NAADAC Cultural Humility Online Training Series via Webinar.

Scarton, C. & Rivas, B. (2019, November). Narrative Therapy. Invited Speakers for the Migrant Education Advisor Program (MEAP) Butte County Office of Education, California State University Sacramento, Sacramento, CA.

Rivas, B. (2016, November). Bridging the gap: Tri-Lakes culture and LPSD. Invited Speaker for Lewis Palmer School District Administration, Monument, Colorado.

Rivas, B. (2016, September). Conflict & Resolution. Invited Speaker for Lewis Palmer School District Counseling Professional Development, Monument, Colorado.

Rivas, B. (2014, May). Balancing a family: Hearing loss, sibling needs, relationships, and self-esteem. Invited Speaker at the Spring Parent Education Workshop for the Listen Foundation, Littleton, Colorado.

Rivas, B. (2013, September). Local professional organizations and the importance of professional involvement. Guest speaker at the Chi Sigma Iota, Chi Upsilon Sigma at University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Rivas, B. (2012, July). Trauma, grief, and loss. Presented at the Community College of Aurora, CentreTech Campus. Campus Information Session Post-Shooting. 

Rivas, B. (2012, July). Trauma, grief, and loss. Community College of Aurora, Lowry Campus. Campus Information Session Post-Shooting.

Awards

American Counseling Association, Ethics Committee, Faculty Advisor for Ethics Competition Honorable Mention, (2015).
Chi Sigma Iota, Recognition of Service Chapter Faculty Advisor (2015).
University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Department of Counseling and Human Services, Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (2015).
University of Colorado, Recognition of Service, Chair of Budget Committee and Faculty Council Member, (2015).
Argosy University, Outstanding Student Award, (2013).
Colorado Counseling Association, Certificate of Recognition, Events Co-Chair, (2013).
Excelsior Youth Center, Employee of the Month, (2009).

Professional Service & Volunteer Activities

CACREP Board of Directors, July 2020-June 2025
Counselor Educator Member of the Board of Directors for the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), term: July 2020-June 2025. Participation in the following additional activities and committees: External Relations Committee (ERC), International Registry of Counselor Education Programs (IRCEP) Taskforce, CSI Essay Reader 2020 prompt, and mid-cycle report review subcommittee. 

CALPCC Board of Directors, July 2019-June 2020
Board of Directors for the California Association of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (CALPCC). Chaired the Legislative and Advocacy Committee & Co-Chaired the 2020 Conference. 

On-Site Registration Chair, Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), May 2016-October 2017
Helped support the 2017 ACES Annual Conference, held in Chicago. Served as the on-site registration chair, coordinated all conference related registration tasks, coordinated volunteers, and welcomed registrants at the desk in concert with the conference chair and committee. 

California State University Sacramento:

  • Faculty Senate, Academic Policies Committee, Faculty Representative, 2019-2021.
  • Faculty Senate, College of Education Representative, 2019-2021.
  • College of Health and Human Services, Center for Health Practice, Policy, and Research (CHPPR) Advisory Committee, 2019-Present.
  • Curriculum, Assessment, Technology, and Teaching Excellence (CATTE) Committee, 2018-Present.
  • Counselor Education Program Liaison to the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), 2018-Present.
  • College of Education, Graduate and Professional Studies in Education, Center for Counseling and Diagnostic Services (CCDS) Users Group Committee, 2018-2020.
  • Faculty Senate, College of Education Representative Alternate, Spring 2019.
  • College of Education Post-Tenure RTP Ad Hoc Committee, Spring 2019.
  • Counselor Education Program Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) Taskforce Committee Lead, 2018-2019.
  • Faculty Scholarship Community (FSC): Translational Health-Related Research, 2018-2019.
  • Counselor Education Program Student Dispositions Taskforce, Fall 2018.

Professional Associations & Activities

  • American Counseling Association (ACA), Professional Member 2008-Present
    • ACA Mentor 2013-2015
    • *Colorado Counseling Association (CCA), Member 2009-2014
      • CCA Conference Committee for the 2014 Conference
      • CCA Sponsor Coordinator, 2013-2014
      • CCA, Events Co-Chair, 2012-2014
      • CCA, Speakers Bureau Chair, 2012-2013
      • CCA ACES Ad Hoc Committee, 2012-2013
      • CCA, Nomination Selection Committee, 2012
      • CCA, Co-Founder of the Speakers Bureau, 2012
    • *Connecticut Counseling Association (CCA), 2018-2019
    • *California Counseling Association (CCA), Member, 2019-2020
    • *European Branch of the American Counseling Association (EB-ACA), Member 2019-Present
    • *International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC), 2019-Present
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Clinical Fellow 2014-Present
    • *Colorado Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (COAMFT), Member 2014-2018
      • COAMFT Elections Committee, 2014-2017
      • COAMFT Elections Committee Chair, 2017
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), 2013-Present
    • ACES 2017 Conference Registration Chair, 2017
    • ACES Program Proposal Reviewer, 2013
    • *Rocky Mountain Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (RMACES), Member 2013-2018
      • RMACES Interstate Licensing Committee, 2014-2016
      • RMACES Conference On-Site Coordinator & Program Co-Organizer, 2012
    • *North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NARACES), Member 2018
    • *Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES), Member 2019-Present
  • California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (CALPCC), Member 2019-Present
    • CALPCC Board Member, 2019-2020
    • CALPCC Chair of the Legislation and Advocacy Committee, 2019-2020
    • CALPCC Member of the Conference 2020 Committee, 2019-2020
  • Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), Member 2012-Present
    • Member for Argosy Omega Sigma Phi Chapter, 2012-2013
    • Chapter Faculty Advisor for UCCS Chi Upsilon Sigma Chapter 2014-2015
    • Chapter Faculty Advisor for the WCSU Zeta Omega Eta Chapter 2018
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) Board of Directors, Counselor Education Position (2020-2025)
  • The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), Professional Member 2016-Present
    • Master Addiction Counselor (MAC), 2018-Present

Academic & Related Professional Experience

ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE:

Assistant Professor of Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling, California State University Sacramento (August 2018-Present)       

            Teach 3-4 courses in the counseling program within the Department of Graduate and Professional Studies in Education. Including: Group Processes in Counseling; Diagnosis and Treatment Planning; Assessment in Counseling; Dynamics in Human Development; Counseling Theory; Practicum in Communication; Substance Abuse and Addiction; Practicum in Counseling; Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling Practicum; and Seminar in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling.

            Serve as Lead Coordinator, Fieldwork Coordinator, and Liaison for CACREP accreditation. Completed and submitted self-study for accreditation in January 2019, Addendum in November 2019, and secondary Addendum in May 2020. As liaison, will oversee all aspects of the Fall 2020 Virtual Site Visit and coordinates with the CACREP site visit team, the counselor education program, and the COE/CSUS administration. The CACREP liaison serves as the primary point of contact between CACREP and the institutions accredited program(s). As Lead Coordinator, developed a strategic plan and initiated a new assessment plan, to include Key Performance Indicators, to meet the 2016 CACREP standards; have integrated an organizational chart, workflow, and ongoing canvas shell to streamline communication and duties; and developed a formal process of policies and procedures for Counseling. As fieldwork coordinator, have developed a master site list, organizational chart and workflow to monitor sites and meet CACREP standards related to fieldwork oversight.

Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT (January 2018-May 2018)

            Teach four courses in the clinical mental health (CMHC) and school counseling (SC) program within the Department of Education and Educational Psychology. Including Advanced Group Counseling Skills for School Counselors, Advanced Group Counseling Skills for Clinical Mental Health Counselors, and Interviewing and Consultation across the Lifespan.

            Served as the Clinical Mental Health Coordinator and Chapter Faculty Advisor for the WCSU branch of CSI, Zeta Omega Eta Chapter. Reactivated the Zeta Omega Chapter and started chapter activities including our Induction Ceremony.

            Applied for and received a CSU grant of $10,000 for a study to survey counselors experience and training in court ordered testimony.

Senior Instructor, University of Colorado Colorado Springs (2013-2018)

            Taught four courses each semester in all of the following graduate programs: clinical mental health counseling (CMHC), school counseling (SC), and air office command (AOC) (in partnership with USAFA), as well as the human services minor undergraduate courses. Including: CMHC Practicum, CMHC Internship, Laboratory in Individual Counseling, Human Growth & Development, Measurement & Appraisal, Ethics, Interviewing & Mediation, Intracultural Socialization Patterns, Culturally Informed Treatment, Introduction to the Counseling Profession, Roles and Function of the Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and Clinical Supervision I & II.

            Served on department, campus, and systems committees. Specifically, COE Curriculum Committee, COE Accreditation Committee, COE Awards Committee, UCCS Faculty Assembly Secretary, UCCS Library Committee, Chair of CU Systems Budget Committee, and CU Systems Faculty Council, CFA for our chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, Coordinator of the Human Services Minor, Coordinator of the Addictions program, advising of undergraduate and graduate students. ACA Ethics Competition Faculty Advisor. Developed online supervision training modules for UCCS fieldwork site supervisors.

            Developed a proposal for an undergraduate major, Bachelor of Arts in Human Services. The proposal for a major was reviewed by the campus in November 2017 in its campus review process, prior to making it through the system, and finally to the Board of Regents in spring of 2018. In addition to the undergraduate proposal, worked in collaboration with Colorado State University faculty on a program called Campus Connections. Campus Connections is a mentoring program, linking undergraduate students with at risk youth in the community. Graduate students will be overseeing the process and working with at risk students that need more support or counseling. Created an undergraduate human services club and serving in the position of faculty advisor. Created full undergraduate addiction certification program and helped expand the addiction counselor graduate emphasis to a licensing program.

Teachers Assistant, Argosy University, Denver, CO (2011-2013)

            Taught 2-3 classes a term in clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) program: Practicum for CMHC, two sections of Internship for CMHC, Counseling Skills I and II, and Special Topics in Counseling. As well as three sections of practicum for the marriage and family therapy (MFT) program.                 

Academic Department Assistant, Argosy University, Denver, CO (2012)

            Assist the Counseling Faculty in the coordination of the RMACES conference held in Park City Utah in 2012. Calculate proposal reviews, organize conference programs, assist with student advising/orientation/special projects, help with preparation of materials and course activities, data management, and assist with correspondence and reports.           

Adjunct Psychology Faculty, Community College of Aurora, Aurora, Colorado (2010- 2013)

            Taught 3-5 classes each semester to include several sections of Introductory Psychology 101 and 102, Human Growth & Development, and Child Development.

RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:        

Professional Counselor, Private Practice, Alchemy of Healing Counseling, Colorado Springs, CO (2010-2018)

           Worked with adults, couples, and adolescents in the areas of bereavement, trauma, life and family transitions, dissociative disorders, anxiety, depression, and grief and loss related to hearing loss and cochlear implants. Provided post-graduate supervision to counselors-in-training working toward Colorado licensure for LPC/CAC/LAC.

Pro-Bono Therapist, Maria Droste Counseling Center, Denver, CO (2011)

           Provided pro bono and low fee therapy for individuals and adolescents at MDS Counseling Center for the Options Program.

Counselor, NCTI, Denver, CO (2009-2010)

           Facilitating court ordered classes for juvenile offenders such as petty theft and conflict management.

Milieu Counselor, Excelsior Youth Center, Aurora, CO (2008-2010)

           Worked with adolescent female clients between the ages of 11-21 placed at EYC through either court ordered or state/agency placements from throughout the United States. The client population consists of those with behavioral issues including diagnoses of, chronic mental illness, dual diagnosis, and poly-substance abuse.