Training within the context of a scientist-practitioner model requires that students take courses that reflect the breadth and depth of psychology, obtain foundational knowledge in clinical psychology relevant to clinical psychology, and gain discipline specific knowledge and professional-wide competencies.
During the first two years of the program, students complete basic core courses in clinical psychology, including courses in assessment, theories and techniques of clinical interventions, behavior pathology, and interviewing. These courses are designed to provide the student an initial foundation in the basic clinical skills and research relevant to assessment, conceptualization, and intervention. At the same time students begin to build on this foundation through carefully supervised, "hands-on" experiences in their Basic Clinical Skills practicum teams, which are described in more detail in the "Practicum" section below.
During the last two years in residence, students take advanced level courses and specialized seminars consistent with their developing interests. Students may elect to concentrate their advanced clinical topics, assessment and intervention courses in one of three areas: Clinical Child Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, or Community Psychology. Alternatively, students may choose to follow a more broad-based, general path by taking a sampling of electives from those concentrations and/or other electives relevant to the general field of clinical psychology. Students who specialize in the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality can also choose to adopt one of these three concentration areas.
Although described as a discrete entity here for discussion purposes, research training should go hand-in-hand with developing clinical interests and progression through the course sequence. During the first year, clinical students enroll in a survey course which introduces them to major clinical research methods used to address questions and issues faced by clinical psychologists in research and professional practice.
Students also enroll in faculty-student research groups in which research questions are explored, methods are critiqued and new projects are designed and implemented. Examples of research groups include: clinical child psychology; social networks in severely mentally disabled individuals; alcohol problems; behavioral medicine; stress management; life span development; and religion and spirituality.
These activities and regular meetings with an advisor prepare students to develop a program of research. Students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty in research areas that match their interests and may do their research with faculty in any area of psychology, including clinical, developmental, social, cognitive, psychobiology, or industrial-organizational psychology.
Following are the formal research requirements: 1) complete an M.A. level research project; 2) complete a post-M.A. research project or an examination in one's area of research specialization; and 3) complete a doctoral dissertation.
In their beginning years, students are placed on Basic Clinical Skills practicum teams that provide experience with a broad range of clients and clinical problems. These teams are comprised of five to seven student clinicians and at least one clinical faculty member and provide services through the Psychology Department's training clinic, the Psychological Services Center. Students focus on the application of such basic clinical skills as psychological assessment and interventions, the integration of science and practice, case conceptualization, clinical judgment and decision- making and report writing.
As students progress through the program they are placed on Advanced Clinical Skills teams that involve them in current projects providing "hands-on" experience with the integration of research and practice as it applies to individuals, health/behavioral medicine, the community, or special populations (e.g., children; problem drinkers). This aspect of our program is seen as a special strength.
In addition, more advanced students are provided practicum opportunities consistent with their interests through a number of outside placements, such as community mental health centers, a nearby medical college, the university counseling center and health service, hospital-based rehabilitation centers, treatment centers for children and families, and programs for individuals with severe mental disabilities and emotional disorders. As with their advanced course work, students may elect to concentrate such experiences in one of three areas, Clinical Child Psychology, Behavioral Medicine or Community Psychology, or they may elect placements consistent with a general background in Clinical Psychology, with or without an emphasis on the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.
In addition to the training opportunities afforded by clinical teams and through local agencies, students receive "in-house" training in psychotherapy. All clinical faculty provide therapy supervision to students, usually beginning in the second year of training and continuing throughout the program. Students typically receive hour-for hour supervision and an exposure to a range of theoretical orientations and therapeutic techniques.
This training model enables students to engage in clinical work early in their graduate training as skills and competencies develop; it allows for continuous discussion and integration of observations, theoretical perspectives, research, and practice; and it provides a framework within which faculty teach clinical approaches and serve as role models.
Psychological Services Center (PSC)
The department's practicum facility is the Psychological Services Center (PSC). This facility is viewed as an important component of the mental health network in northwest Ohio. The Center has a full-time faculty member as director, a half-time graduate student as assistant director, and a full-time office manager. The Center is equipped with diagnostic materials and tests, biofeedback equipment, microcomputers, reference works, and a cassette tape library. Rooms in the Center are fitted with one-way mirrors, and audio and videotape recorders, to facilitate supervision.
The Center draws its clients from agencies in northwest Ohio, including referrals from human services and health departments, law enforcement agencies and the juvenile justice system, domestic relations courts, physicians, rehabilitation facilities, clergy, schools, and mental health agencies. Hence, clients with a wide range of problems are assessed and treated within our Center. The Center also provides a number of indirect services consistent with a community psychology model, such as educational programs and consultations with community agencies.
In summary, training within the Center provides all of the essential components of clinical-community practice. This training is provided in a learning context in which faculty serve as role models and case supervisors, and in which students engage in activities consistent with their level of training and competence.
A one-year internship at a distant station is required. This period of intensive clinical training is usually completed at an APA-approved facility during the fifth year. Students from our program compete very favorably at well-respected training centers throughout the United States. The sites selected by students include medical schools, community mental health centers, VA installations, university counseling centers, private hospitals, military medical centers, prisons, and state hospitals.