Clinical Psychology: Doctor of Psychology Program

The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology program has been designed to educate and train students so that they will be able to function effectively as clinical psychologists. To ensure that students are adequately prepared, the curriculum is designed to provide for the meaningful integration of psychological science, theory, and clinical practice.

Clinical Training Overview

Students begin formal practicum training in their second year in the program, allowing them to integrate their classroom learning with real world clinical experience. In their first year, students are encouraged to engage as volunteers in order to gain exposure to clinical service delivery in clinical settings. This first year work usually occurs either through our on-site Intensive Clinic or through volunteer positions in community agencies. Practicum training proceeds through the second, third, and fourth years in the PsyD program, allowing for a solid foundation of clinical experience that lead to internship.

Practicum training sites affiliated with the ASPP, San Francisco Bay Area are located throughout the Bay Area and provide our students hand-on learning opportunities in a wide array of settings with our diverse and multicultural community. Sites are chosen based on their ability to provide students the appropriate breadth and depth in training per American Psychological Association criteria, as well as on the quality of supervision that serves to foster and further integrate necessary learning.

Practicum sites at ASPP, San Francisco Bay Area are generally all located in the greater Bay Area and are members of the Bay Area Practicum Information Collaborative (BAPIC;http://www.bapic.info/), of which we are a founding member. BAPIC is a partnership between Bay Area doctoral psychology programs and practicum agencies. BAPIC was organized in 2008 with the primary goal of centralizing practicum training information and streamlining the practicum application process for doctoral students and agencies. This partnership simplifies the application process for students and provides ease of access to the best practicum training opportunities the Bay Area has to offer.

Students at ASPP, San Francisco Bay Area train in settings that include community mental health centers, VAs, hospitals, colleges, school districts and other non-profit agencies, all supervised by licensed psychologists. In addition, students have the opportunity to train in our on-campus Argosy Assessment Clinic providing assessment services to the surrounding community under the supervision of program faculty, or to complete supplemental clinical training through our Intensive Clinical Training program that features the use of our program’s one-way mirror.

For internship training beginning in the fifth year, students are expected to seek internships that are APA accredited. Students also have the option of applying to our own San Francisco Bay Area Internship Consortium– a great benefit to students who must remain in the area– or applying broadly in California and nationally. As a member of the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC; http://www.capic.net/), our students also gain access, when approved, to a network of internship training sites throughout California in addition to those found through the national APPIC match. Students also have the option of completing internship part-time over two years, requiring a sixth year in the program. Regardless of which type of internships our students pursue (APA, APPIC or CAPIC), our faculty are prepared to support students through every step of the internship application and selection process.

Research Training

In the summer of the second year, PsyD students begin work on their Clinical Research Project (CRP), with the goal of completing the CRP proposal by the fall of the third year. Students continue working on their CRP in their third and fourth year, or until it is complete. Students are strongly encouraged to complete their CRP prior to internship in the fifth year, which allows more time to focus on internship and on advancing to postdoctoral training.

The CRP is designed to develop and refine the skills necessary to integrate one’s clinical knowledge with the research literature in order to produce an original, scholarly research contribution in an area of clinical psychology. In conducting the project, students are expected to significantly deepen their knowledge about a particular area (or areas) of clinical psychology, enhance and sharpen their critical thinking and writing skills, and develop and apply skills in research methodology.

The CRP requires students to analyze and synthesize the psychological literature and to develop original research questions that they can then investigate in order to draw conclusions based on the results of their study. CRPs may involve original empirical research using quantitative, qualitative or mixed-methodologies, integrated literature reviews, or a comprehensive literature review with an original contribution, such as a proposal for program development, evaluation or a novel treatment approach.

The Clinical Research Project can serve as a launching point for students and alumni to pursue further scholarship such as publications and presentations, often in collaboration with program faculty.

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