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Clinical Psychology Training Model and Areas of Specialization

Our American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited* clinical psychology program emphasizes the scientist-practitioner model as articulated at the Boulder Conference. This perspective emphasizes the integration of science and practice in clinical psychology, giving equal emphasis to the roles of investigator and practitioner. We believe that clinical psychology, in its ideal form, is based on cross-fertilization of the science and practice of psychology. We aim to provide a common core of knowledge, methods and philosophy that will be shared by students who pursue applied and scientific careers.

Our program is designed to prepare students to draw from established theoretical frameworks, research findings, and empirically-validated strategies as they conceptualize cases, plan treatment strategies, and administer interventions. Another aim is to prepare our students to be clinically informed in their conduct of research. The program prepares students not only to conduct empirical research but also to write integrative review papers. Because we also value skills in teaching, another goal is to prepare students to teach their own courses and to present their research and clinical work to professional audiences.

Below are descriptions of the different sub-specialties that are available within the clinical program.

Adult and Gerontology Track

Students can emphasize work with adults by taking the appropriate assessment courses, several year-long adult psychotherapy practica, and pre-internship placements which focus on adult populations. The in-house adult therapy practica involve a weekly seminar with student case presentations, plus weekly individual supervision. The cognitive-behavioral therapy practicum typically involves intervention with adults, although work with adolescents and children is possible. These practica and the two-year pre-internship placements offer students extensive clinical experience with adults.

Students may also elect a subspecialty in adult aging that provides research and clinical experience related to both the physical and psychological changes associated with aging. In addition to completing the general clinical requirements, the student may take courses and seminars offered by other departments or schools (e.g., Sociology; Anthropology; Nursing), which examine current research and theories in specific areas of aging. The program’s goal is to prepare students for a career in geropsychology that integrates research and clinical practice in the assessment and treatment of elderly adults. Click here to see a typical schedule for an Adult Track student.

Child and Family Track

Students may choose a sub-specialty in clinical child/family psychology. There is a developmental focus, with a goal of integrating research, theory, and practice. In addition to completing general clinical requirements, trainees also take child development and developmental psychopathology classes. A year-long didactic seminar focuses on intervention approaches with children, families, parents, and couples from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Students participate in and develop child-related research projects. In their third year, they take a year-long seminar where they present child and family cases. There are two child-oriented, pre-internship placements where students acquire experience with a variety of assessment and intervention approaches and populations. Specialized clinical experience relevant to a student’s particular interest also may be arranged. Click here to see a typical schedule for a Child/Family Track student.

Pediatric Specialization (within the Child and Family Track)

Students may choose to specialize in pediatric psychology within the Child and Family Track. Students who choose to specialize in pediatric psychology complete all of the requirements of the Child and Family Track but also complete didactic and clinical work related to pediatric psychology. Didactics include a recurring pediatric psychology seminar with topics focused on adjustment to pediatric chronic illness, psychological interventions for children with chronic medical conditions, and professional development related to working in a pediatric medical setting. A paper describing this class was recently published in the “Best Practices in Pediatric Psychology Training” special issue in Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. In addition, students are assigned to clinical placements within pediatric medical settings that complement didactic training in pediatric psychology. Clinical placements in pediatric settings include participation in multidisciplinary clinics (e.g. sleep clinic, diabetes clinic, craniofacial clinic) and inpatient medical settings.

 

*Information about program accreditation may be obtained from:

Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone (202) 336-5979

Page last modified: August 1, 2017