The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree is the degree of choice for persons interested in becoming high-level practitioners when pursuing a career in clinical psychology. The curriculum for the program does not follow any one theoretical perspective; rather, the emphasis is upon the development of the essential diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills for the practice of clinical psychology.
The overall goal is to prepare students for careers in the practice of professional psychology. There are five specific goals, defined as competencies, and an emphasis on training in Integrated Behavioral Health Care. These competencies are:
(1) Research and Evaluation/Foundations of Psychological Science: This competency includes the areas of research and evaluation, test construction, statistics, scholarship, and scientific mindedness. This competency rests on the assessor's foundation of knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes in the areas of tests and measurement, statistics, qualitative methods, and experimental design. This competency also encompasses knowledge of the history of scientific psychology and its clinical applications, including the areas of physiological psychology, neuropsychology, psychopharmacology, cognitive and affective bases of behavior, history and systems of psychology, and social psychology.
(2) Professionalism: This competency includes the areas of ethics, diversity (defined broadly), self-care, awareness, self-reflection, practice management, collegiality, professional problem solving, a commitment to lifelong learning, and critical thinking which underlies all subject matter and professional behavior.
(3) Diagnostics and Assessment: This competency rests on the foundation of knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes in the areas of human development and psychopathology. The Diagnostics and Assessment competency requires an ability to acquire and synthesize multiple sources of data into a comprehensive, cohesive and clearly articulated communication form.
(4) Intervention: This competency requires students to demonstrate an ability to intervene with clients from an articulated theoretical perspective. Intervention is broadly defined to include a variety of activities that promote or sustain well-being or provide remedial or preventative services. Intervention populations are broadly defined (e.g. individuals, groups, couples, families, communities). Students demonstrate knowledge, skills and attitudes congruent with evidence-based practice rationales and can articulate them.
(5) Relationship and Communication: This competency requires a demonstration of interpersonal skills and effective written and oral communication. Ability to consult and collaborate with others, interdisciplinary teams and members of agencies and organizations is considered part of relationship skills. Evidence of ability to teach/present and manage at a developmentally appropriate level is also included. Supervisory ability (including the ability to be supervised) is part of this competency.
Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Emphasis: The MWU Clinical Psychology Program emphasizes broad and general training in psychology. In addition, emphasis on psychological practice in integrated healthcare settings is provided. MWU views psychologists as generalists in healthcare. Because the program is housed in a medical school and healthcare environment, students have the opportunity to interact with many healthcare professionals. As part of this interprofessional approach, training in other related psychological activities is available to interested students, including neuropsychology, health psychology and behavioral medicine.