2011-2012 Archived Catalog Information

  • Psychology


Ph.D Program in Clinical Psychology

Suffolk University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology was established in accordance with the scientist-practitioner model proposed at the national conference in Boulder, Colorado in 1949 (Boulder Model). Our philosophy is that clinical practice should be grounded in scientific knowledge and that scientific research should be informed by and be relevant to clinical practice. Thus, our program involves the systematic and cumulative training in both psychological research and practice in order to prepare students for careers in practice, research, or academic settings.

Our overarching goal is to prepare students to be competent professionals in clinical psychology who may function in a variety of professional settings including academic, research, clinical and community. The program’s orientation is that of understanding of the processes underlying adaptation and maladaptation within a cultural frame, thus throughout all aspects of training the program encourages an awareness of and respect for diversity. Our faculty approach clinical work from a variety of perspectives including developmental, psychodynamic, systemic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic and integrative/eclectic. Our intent is to enable students to take a creative, empirical, and ethical approach to clinical problems among diverse populations; to critically evaluate and contribute to the evolving body of scholarly literature in the science and practice of psychology; and to integrate the clinical, theoretical, and scientific foundations of psychology. Our specific objectives are to:

  1. Provide students with didactic instruction and supervised training in the practice of clinical psychology. Students will develop the skills needed to:
    1. Evaluate, administer and interpret psychological assessments with an understanding of the psychometric and empirical underpinnings of assessment
    2. Formulate and apply psychological diagnoses with an appreciation of the conceptual strengths and limitations of current diagnostic approaches and an understanding of the role of etiological and risk processes
    3. Develop, evaluate, and implement treatment plans that reflect both knowledge of empirically-based principles and an appreciation of individual client characteristics and contextual factors
  2. Provide students with didactic instruction and mentored supervision in the evaluation and conduct of research. Students will develop the skills needed to:
    1. Understand the strengths and limitations of different research methods
    2. Understand, utilize and interpret basic descriptive and inferential statistics
    3. Develop and conduct conceptually-driven and empirically sound research
  3. Cultivate an understanding of and appreciation for individual and cultural diversity across content areas of science and practice. Students will develop the skills needed to:
    1. Consider the nature and impact of diversity on the administration and interpretation of assessments, the validity of diagnostic formulations, and the appropriateness of a particular treatment plan
    2. Conduct and evaluate research with an understanding of the influence of cultural diversity on all aspects of the research process
  4. Prepare students to make ethically and legally informed decision about clinical, research, and other professional issues. Students will develop the skills needed to:
    1. Comprehensive knowledge of the ethical/professional codes, standards and guidelines related to clinical work
    2. Comprehensive knowledge of the ethical/professional codes, standards and guidelines related to research

In addition to the overarching goals, the program also offers elective concentrations in neuropsychology or clinical child psychology. Further, students may opt to pursue additional learning and mentoring in a variety of areas such as, cultural diversity, community psychology, life span development, health psychology, acceptance and mindfulness, and teaching through research mentoring, elective coursework, and clinical placements (when available).