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Degree: Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
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Foundations of Psychological Assessment
This course focuses on the methods used to evaluate the quality of measures, such as psychological tests, that are used in research and applied settings by psychologists and others interested in human behavior. The fundamentals of psychometric theory such as scaling, central tendency and variability, individual differences and correlation, reliability, validity, and the principles of test development and standardization will be examined. In addition, the nature and use of psychological tests, along with different types of tests, will be explored. Issues related to the legal, ethical, and cultural implications of psychological assessment with special populations will be addressed.
This course covers knowledge and skills relevant to the assessment of cognitive functioning in children, adolescents, and adults. The course explores historical as well as contemporary issues in the field of cognitive psychology, including the theoretical frameworks utilized in the development of cognitive assessment instruments and procedures. The major instruments utilized for the assessment of cognition will be discussed (WPPSI-III, WISC-IV, WAIS-III & IV, K-ABC-II, and WJ-III) as well as instruments for the assessment of visual-constructional skill and memory (ROCF, VMI-5, BVMGT-II, WMS-III). Practical, legal, ethical, and socio-cultural issues relevant to the competent practice of psychological assessment are covered, including issues relevant to working with clients from diverse ethnic-linguistic minority backgrounds.
Cognitive Assessment Laboratory
This course is the applied companion of PSY 702, and as such, it provides hands-on practice on the administration, scoring, interpretation, and reporting of cognitive assessment tests and procedures. All practice activity will be undertaken with the guidance and supervision of the instructor. Students may have the opportunity to use some of these instruments and procedures at the discretion of their site supervisors.
Adult Personality Assessment
This course presents the principles and practices of self-report and projective personality assessment. The class focuses on the MMPI-2 and the MCMI-III. Students will also become familiar with other self-report tests (such as the PAI and 16PF), projective instruments (such as Rorschach and TAT), and structured interviewing techniques (SCL-R-90). The course also addresses related issues such as report writing, test construction, and ethical and diversity issues in testing.
Adult Personality Assessment
This course will provide students with a basis for integrating information gained from psychological assessment into a comprehensive narrative psychological report. It explores the meaning of clinical inference in the assessment enterprise. Psychological assessment is the development of diagnostic meaning from a person’s history, clinical interviews and observations, records, and psychological tests. The ability to obtain, shape, integrate, and ultimately export meaningful information about a person is the basis of psychological assessment. Available only to students who have completed PSY 701, 702, 703, & 704.
Introduction to the Rorschach
This course will provide students with an introduction to the Rorschach Inkblot Method. Students will be trained in administration, scoring, and interpretation of the Rorschach using Exner’s Comprehensive System. Some emphasis will be placed on the integration of data from various sources to supplement and verify Rorschach findings, and to develop clinical formulations for presentation in reports. Methods: A variety of didactic models will be used. Lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and case presentations will be employed. Students will engage in practice by recruiting volunteers to serve as subjects for practice test administration. Other projective instruments and methods, such as the TAT, sentence completion, and projective drawings, will also be reviewed. Available only to students who have completed PSY 701, 702, 703, & 704.
Individual Psychotherapy I & II
PSY 711 & 714
3 & 2 credits
This two-semester course provides both an introduction and in-depth review of some of the major theories and practices of individual therapy. It covers the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes required to engage in psychotherapy as a professional psychologist. Students develop a flexible, integrated way of conducting treatment, focusing on brief to mid-range therapies. The course emphasizes psychodynamic, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral, existential-humanistic, constructionist, and integrationist approaches. Faculty and students discuss selected clinical practice and process issues, including the therapist’s role, theories of problem formation and change, individual and cultural diversity, treatment duration, and therapist theoretical flexibility. Participants learn ways to plan, conduct, and evaluate psychotherapy, and synthesize their own psychotherapy philosophy and style.
Clinical Psychology and Systems Theory
This course introduces students to the field of clinical psychology and to systemic thinking. The course will review the foundational components of clinical psychology and introduce the student to current research and practices, including evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence models. It provides an overview of systems theory and its application, examining a variety of systems configurations, as well discussing the transition from an individual to a systemic to a sociopolitical/cultural perspective.
This course examines small group formats for therapeutic change, personal development, interpersonal skills training, and relationship enhancement. Ethical and cultural competence issues related to group psychotherapy are explored. Participants will learn effective leadership techniques and procedures for planning, conducting, and evaluating group interaction and progress.
This course reviews major theories for understanding the dual influences of nature and nurture throughout the lifespan. Students grapple with varied explanations of social, moral, emotional and intellectual development. Students critique theoretical and practical applications of developmental psychology as they relate to clinical and social issues. Individual development is considered within familial, cultural, and societal contexts. The course places emphasis on “typical” development and on developmental concepts and processes that have high relevance to clinical work and that are not discussed in other courses.
Narrative therapy views problems as separate from people and conceptualizes problems as situated within larger socio-cultural and political contexts. It places importance on the therapist maintaining a position of curiosity in understanding people’s values and beliefs and views consumers of therapy as experts regarding their own lives. This course examines the underlying theoretical tenants and practical applications of narrative therapy, with an emphasis on a variety of “maps” of practice with individuals, families and groups. The course includes presentations, live chats sessions, threaded discussions, and practice exercises.
Mindfulness in Clinical Practice
Mindfulness is a method of using focused, conscious attention as a therapeutic tool for wisely working with thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Mindfulness has been called the “third wave” of cognitive-behavioral therapy, and several mindfulness-based therapies are now considered evidence-based approaches. This course covers the theories and applications of mindfulness in clinical settings. The course reviews the use of mindfulness in individual therapy and group approaches, as utilized in the practices of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Cultural Influences on the Self
This course increases students’ ability to conduct psychotherapy with clients from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The course focuses on self-examination and consideration of how the clinicians’ and clients’ backgrounds influence the work. Topics covered include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability and religion.
Cultural Competence in Clinical Practice
This course considers the complex interplay of values, expectations, and social and political forces in psychotherapy. students examine and critique cultural literacy, including guidelines for psychotherapy with people from specific cultural groups.
Cognitive-Behavioral Theory and Practice
This course addresses issues relevant to the conceptualization and treatment of distress in adult clients from a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) perspective as empirically-supported in the literature. Theoretical issues such as the content-specificity hypothesis and the hierarchical organizational model of personality will be delineated. Clinical issues such as agenda setting, Socratic questioning, eliciting client feedback, homework assignments, dealing with avoidant clients, use of the therapeutic relationship, and termination issues will be addressed. While a variety of techniques including activity scheduling, tests of evidence (reattribution), and behavioral experimentation are introduced, a special emphasis is be placed on case conceptualization.
This course examines psychopathology in adults and critically reviews the theory and history of scientific classification of behavioral disorders. Students acquire mastery of current diagnostic conventions and review basic treatment issues for each major category. Multiple contributions to psychopathology are considered including physiological and social influences.
Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
This course reviews the etiology, diagnostic criteria and developmental course of the psychiatric disorders most commonly diagnosed during childhood and adolescence. It also examines the difficulties that children with those disorders and their families typically experience. The contribution of contextual factors, such as family composition and sociocultural and economic conditions to the development, manifestation and treatment of children with psychiatric disorders, will be emphasized. Students gain basic knowledge of: diagnostic categories in the DSM IV-TR, clinical assessment procedures and case formulation. Evidence-based treatments for disorders of childhood and adolescence are reviewed, and their usefulness and limitations are examined.
Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior
This course is designed to introduce students to basic human cognitive and affective processes. Specific topics include attention and perception, long-term and working memory, learning, executive function, decision-making, problem-solving and creativity, and language. The course will examine the affective, motivational, and cultural influences on basic cognitive processes in supplemental empirical journal articles.
Social Bases of Behavior
This course is an advanced introduction to the psychological study of social behavior. The emphasis of the course is upon the scientific examination of social cognition, influence, interaction, judgments, relationships and other relevant topics, with specific attention paid to social psychological theories, methods and current issues. This course will also emphasize the study of individual experience and behavior in relation to social situations.
Biological Bases of Behavior
This course examines physiological influences on normal and abnormal human behavior including the role of the central nervous system, sensory processes, memory, neurobiology and psychopharmacology. The course focuses on recent developments in the field that are most relevant to the practice of clinical psychology, particularly recent findings in neuroplasticity and epigenetics.
This course provides an introduction to the principles of pharmacology, particularly the interaction of chemistry and biology to produce behavior, and the use of psychotropic medications for a range of populations and disorders. This will include an examination of the pharmacological features of different drugs and their biological effects, drug interactions, and the psychological impact of medications in therapeutic contexts. Also addressed will be a review of regulatory and governmental control issues, and the role of the psychologist in collaborating with physicians and other primary healthcare providers. This course is not intended to prepare the student for a primary role of prescribing, administering or overseeing the use of medications. Available only to learners who have completed PSY 725.
This course examines sexuality in the adult years, the nature and origin of sexual challenges and difficulties, and approaches to sex therapy and sexual enhancement. Participants will learn how to conduct a psychosexual history, diagnose sexual dysfunction, plan effective techniques of intervention, and evaluate therapeutic progress. They will learn appropriate interventions for individuals, couples, and groups, and they will learn when it is appropriate to refer a client to another healthcare provider. Ethical and cultural competence issues related to sex therapy will be explored.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
This course provides an examination of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for treating individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The empirical basis of the treatment will be reviewed, and students will develop knowledge and skills in the following areas: the biosocial theory of BPD; dialectical theory; individual DBT and its use of validation, contingency management, diary cards, and behavioral analyses; group DBT and the four DBT skills modules (core mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness); and the roles of telephone coaching and the DBT consultation team. Instruction modalities will include lecture, class discussion, role-play, and video-recorded sessions.
This course focuses on the principles and techniques of descriptive and inferential statistical methods and their application to research in psychology. During the course we will also emphasize statistical applications in psychological research. Students will learn to select and apply appropriate simple parametric tests and non-parametric statistical methods, and to interpret statistical results and their implications. This course also covers the analysis and presentation of statistical data using the computer program: Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).
Qualitative Research in Clinical Psychology
This course provides a theoretical and practical grounding in qualitative research methods and their application to clinical psychology. Data gathering approaches include individual and focus group interviews, observational research, clinical case studies, grounded theory, and participatory action research. Students acquire the skills needed to design studies and collect, analyze, and present qualitative data.
Quantitative Research Methods
This course provides a foundation for quantitative research methods, which forms the basis for psychological theory and models. We consider common research paradigms; the scientific method; causal inference; refining the research question; and formulating hypotheses. Then we will explore a range of research designs and methodological techniques that are available for empirical research. Topics include: sampling; survey and experimental designs, including simple 2-variable and multivariate designs; advantages and limitations of designs; selecting appropriate research instruments; criteria and recruitment of human subjects; collecting data and presenting it in tables and graphs; and understanding statistical measures used in quantitative research reports. Examples from health, education, clinical, and social psychology will be utilized in critical reviews.
Special Topics in Clinical Psychology
This course provides an examination of applied issues in selected aspects of clinical psychology. Topics will vary and may include family assessment, workplace and the family, forensic evaluation/assessment, current and emerging family interventions, working with specific populations in the context of the family, family evidence-based practices, substance abuse, trauma and domestic violence, professional issues, mind-body interactions, etc.
This course presents the theory and practice of community psychology, including primary prevention and the delivery of related health, education and human services. The course examines actual programs addressing areas including mental health, juvenile delinquency, community violence, and family support.
Professional Development Seminar I: Social Justice and Ethics in Clinical Psychology
The first year Professional Development Seminar introduces students to the field of clinical psychology and to the multiple roles of professional psychologists. Through readings, videotape presentations, classroom discussions, individual and group presentations, role-plays, clinical simulations, and online interactions, students gain knowledge of ethical and legal issues, state licensing laws and rules, professional standards, and diverse interpretations and applications of social justice in clinical psychology. students develop a working knowledge of basic clinical concepts and skills in preparation for the first practicum. Throughout the year there is attention to “self-in-role” issues such as boundary management, supervision, and the roles and responsibilities of psychologists-in-training.
Professional Development Seminar II: Social Justice and Ethics in Clinical Psychology
Professional Development Seminar III: Social Justice and Ethics in Clinical Psychology
Professional Development Seminar IV: Clinical Conceptualization
The second year Professional Development Seminar focuses on the conceptualization of psychotherapy cases and intervention strategies while integrating the best available research with clinical expertise in an evidence-based approach to the practice of psychology. Through readings, videotape presentations, classroom discussions, role plays/simulations, individual and group presentations, and online interactions, students will develop increased skills in applying clinical theory and best practices to the development of therapeutic relationships, the diagnostic process, assessment procedures; and to the design and execution of clinical interventions in their practica. They will also learn skills in preparing and reporting clinical experiences. These courses are taken in conjunction with PSY 801-803 Practicum I-III.
Professional Development Seminar V: Clinical Conceptualization
Professional Development Seminar VI: Clinical Conceptualization
Professional Development Seminar VII: Clinical Presentations
The third year Professional Development Seminars focus on clinical conceptualization, assessment, report writing, oral case presentations, preparation for the capstone comprehensive Clinical Review competency evaluation, clinical supervision, consultation on cases, integration of theoretical and applied clinical practices, and clinical self-review for readiness for internship. Through readings, video presentations, report writing, classroom discussions, role plays/simulations, individual and group presentations, and online interactions, students will develop increased skills in applying clinical theory to the development of therapeutic relationships, the diagnostic process, and the design and execution of clinical interventions in practica. They will also learn skills in preparing and reporting on clinical cases, both written and verbally. These courses are taken in conjunction with PSY 804-806 Practicum IV-VI.
Professional Development Seminar VII: Clinical Presentations
Professional Development Seminar IX: Clinical Review
This course will cover the theories, strategies, techniques, applications, evidence base, and outcome measures for humanistic and existential psychotherapy methods. Issues of diversity and social justice will also be explored within this framework. The course includes demonstrations and role plays.
Hypnosis has become an important component of a number of current psychotherapy approaches, particularly for pain management. This course will focus on learning how to determine when hypnosis is an appropriate approach and how to do hypnosis in clinical contexts. The course will examine its use regarding pain and medical conditions, as well as with other clinical issues, such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, smoking, and eating disorders. We will focus on both direct and indirect approaches, and will consider the use hypnosis with clients with special cases of normal pain, such as childbirth or athletic training. The course will include a review of both traditional and current literature of empirically supported treatments. This will include a review of the neurobiological underpinnings of hypnosis and discussion of some of the literature on absorption, flow, attention, and perception that support the efficacy of hypnosis. Students will gain a mastery of basic hypnosis knowledge and skills in preparation for continued practice and/or more advanced training.
While traditional approaches to mental health focus on diagnosis of problems and their appropriate treatment, this course explores human strengths – including our strengths as the treating professional. Human strengths are the qualities and processes that promote life satisfaction, well-being and thriving. Specifically, this course covers the theory and practice of Positive Psychology in a variety of areas, including personality, aging, gender differences, intimate relationships, creativity and decision-making, and then relates personal well-being to global and societal issues. It also includes constructive criticism and future directions for this emerging discipline.
This course examines the intervention techniques and major theories, models, and schools of couples and family therapy. The course uses a systemic perspective to consider both traditional and recently developed family treatment models, including empirically supported treatments. Ethical, gender, and cultural competence issues related to family therapy are explored.
Family Violence and Trauma
This course explores psychological aspects of family violence and trauma. Issues include the demographics and dynamics of family violence, and treatment of the victims and perpetrators of family violence. The course also examines approaches to trauma in individuals, families, and communities.
History and Systems of Psychology
This course explores the historical and philosophical underpinnings of modern psychology. The course examines major schools of thought in psychology concerning human nature, the self, and modes of inquiry. These include, but are not limited to: structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis, and behaviorism. This review will include major contributions to the study, practice, and methods of psychology. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking in relation to how controversies and issues facing the psychology have and will shape it. This course will also focus on the evolution of psychology as a research, evidence-based discipline.
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
This course examines the relevant therapeutic and developmental considerations in treatment with children and adolescents. This course provides an overview of the major evidence-based approaches and the basic therapeutic interventions when working with children and adolescents. This course will emphasize the importance of case conceptualization and intervention within family, school and community systems. Available only to students who have completed PSY 715 & 722.
Education, Consultation and Organizational Development
This course presents theory and practice concerning consultation and management including organizational assessment and analysis, diversity within organizations, group dynamics, systems theory, managing resistance, and intervention theory. students develop practical skills in organizational consultation and training including conducting meetings, making presentations, entering and analyzing organizations, team building, executive coaching, transition management, and diversity training. The course also provides skills needed for clinical consultation to schools, community agencies and organizations.
Dissertation Proposal Development I
Dissertation Proposal Development II
Dissertation Development I
Dissertation Development II
During this four term sequence, students research and develop a topic for their dissertation, determine appropriate methodology, prepare a proposal, and then conduct the research for their doctoral dissertation. These courses review the stages of dissertation proposal development and differentiate among the various types of dissertation designs. These courses help students conceptualize their dissertations, choose an approach to study their chosen topic, and begin their dissertation proposals. These courses include presentations, small group exercises, individual consultations with the instructor, and review and feedback on initial proposal ideas. By the end of this course sequence, many students will either have completed or will have made significant progress on their dissertation.
Independent Study (Elective)
An Independent Study allows the student to expand and individualize her/his academic program by focusing on identified areas of interest or of perceived training needs. students engage in independent study to acquire or deepen knowledge and/or skills in a specific area of psychology under the supervision of a faculty member. students are limited to a maximum of four (4) credits of Independent Study during the length of their program.
1-3 credits (Total per year may not exceed 6 credits)
This practicum course provides the first year of clinical training at a Psy.D. student placement site. The placement includes a minimum of 600 hours of training, including individual supervision, with 50% of the student’s time spent in direct contact with clients doing psychological assessment/testing, individual, group and family psychotherapy, community action, and psychoeducation. The remaining time may be spent in report writing, clinical conferences, group and peer supervision, professional development, and other related indirect services of a psychological nature. Practicum I-III is taken in conjunction with PSY 754-756 Professional Development Seminars I-III.
1-3 credits (Total may not exceed 6 credits)
This practicum course provides the second year of clinical training at a Psy.D. student placement site. The placement includes a minimum of 600 hours of training, including individual supervision, with 25% to 50% of the student’s time spent in direct contact with clients doing individual, group and family psychotherapy, community action, and psychoeducation. The remaining time may be spent in report writing, clinical conferences, group and peer supervision, professional development, and other related indirect services of a psychological nature. Practicum IV-VI is taken in conjunction with PSY 757-759 Professional Development Seminars IV-VI.
Advanced Practicum I
Advanced Practicum II
Advanced Practicum III
1-3 credits (Total may not exceed 6 credits)
This advanced practicum course corresponds to the third or fourth year of clinical training at Psy.D. student placement sites. The placement is optional to students who have completed a minimum of 1200 hours of practicum training. This time can be spent in direct contact with clients doing individual, group and family psychotherapy, community action, psychoeducation, report writing, clinical conferences, group and peer supervision, professional development, and other/or related indirect services of a psychological nature.
The program requires the completion of a clinical internship totaling 2,000 hours (typically taking place over 12-24 months). Clinical internships prepare students for the general practice of psychology, through training that increases in difficulty in both clinical acumen and level of responsibility. The internship should be appropriate both to the Psy.D. program’s training model and to the student’s individual program of study. students choosing the emphasis in family psychology are encouraged, but not required, to have an internship that provides training in this area. Students are considered full time equivalent when registered for this course.
Dissertation Proposal Extension
This course is for the completion of the dissertation proposal.
Dissertation Research and Writing Extension
This course is for research and completion of the dissertation, under the supervision of the Dissertation Chair for each student, after the seven year program limitation. students are not considered full time equivalent when registered for this course.
Program Completion Extension
Completion of dissertation, post completion of dissertation defense oral exam. This course is for final editing of dissertation and completion of the program. Students are not considered full time equivalent when registered for this course.
This course is for research and completion of the dissertation, under the supervision of the Dissertation Chair for each student. Students are considered full time equivalent when registered for this course.