Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Program Goals & Objectives

  1. To develop clinical skills that are founded on the integration of practice and research
    1. Students will understand the scientific research behind psychological assessment and develop skills in assessment
    2. Students will develop skills in diagnosis and clinical conceptualization
    3. Students will understand and apply evidence-based practices for a wide range of psychological problems
    4. Students will exemplify professional values, attitudes, and behavior including reflective practice
    5. Students will gain knowledge of and skills in applying ethical and legal issues in the practice of psychology
    6. Students will learn proficiency in relationships
  2. To develop competence in research and scholarship
    1. Students will understand the scientific foundations of the broad and general areas of psychology
    2. Students will appreciate and develop skills in science and research
  3. To instill an appreciation of human diversity by serving the underserved
    1. Students will gain competency in cross-cultural psychology, including personal awareness, knowledge of cultural factors, and skills in culturally-sensitive psychological services
    2. Students will build skills in client advocacy

Psy.D. Program Philosophy

The educational model of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at CLU is based on the Vail Model, which was developed for professional schools who were focused on training clinicians and awarded the PsyD degree (Nelson & Messenger, 2003). This training model places particular emphasis on the clinical aspects of professional work while retaining the rigorous and prudent standards for knowing and utilizing the extant research. In addition to maintaining the standards of the Vail Model, our program is unique in that we place further emphasis on and training in research.

The foundation of CLU's PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology is built upon the deliberate integration of research and clinical practice. As an institution, CLU has adopted three Core Commitments that guide its mission and are manifest in the vision for advanced training in clinical psychology. Liberal Learning encompasses the critical thinking that is essential for psychologists to be effective in all domains of their work while preparing for life-long learning. Professional Preparation is exemplified by integrating the theoretical, research, and practical frameworks for students to excel as skillful clinicians. Finally, students who will become exceptional citizens and leaders of their communities for psychological good through their work with the underserved will understand the university's focus on Character and Leadership Development. The PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology will prepare students to become licensed clinical psychologists and will have a distinctive emphasis in understanding how research contributes to and informs clinical practice.

To these ends, the PsyD program has three goals:

  1. To develop clinical skills that are founded on the integration of practice and research
  2. To develop competence in research and scholarship
  3. To instill an appreciation of human diversity by serving the underserved

This approach to clinical training demonstrates the program's emphasis beyond the broad and general foundations of psychology to embrace the fundamental characteristic of evidence-based clinical practice: integration. We aim to ensure that our students are sufficiently knowledgeable about different approaches and change principles so that they can make informed judgments regarding which approach is effective for particular sets of problems with certain clinical populations having specific cultural characteristics. That is, clinicians must be flexible, knowing what works for whom through an integration of the best available research, the client's contextual background and preferences, and clinical judgment. The PsyD Program at California Lutheran University is proud to offer a contemporary, integrated model of professional psychology designed to further the science of behavior and uplift the human condition.

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