Clinical Psychology Program

Our Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Program follows a scientist-practitioner (i.e., "Boulder" [Raimy, 1950]) model of training and the basic principles as established by the National Conference on Scientist-Practitioner Education and Training for the Professional Practice of Psychology (Belar & Perry, 1992). We expect all graduates of our Program to be critical thinkers who are “capable of functioning as an investigator and as a practitioner…consistent with the highest standards in psychology” (Belar & Perry, 1992; p. 72). The Program’s tracks have different emphases, while adhering to the scientist-practitioner model.

Training in the Clinical Psychology Program focuses on developing scientist-practitioners who have an in-depth understanding of the biopsychosocial factors affecting health in evidence-based practice, research, teaching, and public policy. The unique position of the Department and the Program in the School of Medicine and the location of USU in the National Capital Area, affords students rich opportunities for training.

Graduates in the Clinical Psychology-Military Track are primarily trained to provide evidence-based care in military settings and develop the skills to conduct independent research. 

Graduates of the Clinical Psychology-Civilian Track are primarily trained to be independent clinical researchers, and have the skills to provide evidence-based care across a variety of settings.

The Clinical Psychology Program adheres to the training mission and vision of the Department. The training mission of the Department is: “The Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology is an integral part of the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, the Nation’s federal school of medicine, and is committed to excellence in psychology during periods of peace and war. We provide the Nation with health service military clinical psychologists dedicated to career service in the Department of Defense, as well as, psychologists dedicated to both research and evidence-based clinical care advancing the health of the uniformed services and the Nation. We serve the uniformed services and the Nation as a premier graduate program in psychology with a worldwide perspective for education, research, policy, service, and consultation; we are unique in relating these activities to military medicine, disaster medicine, and military readiness.”

The training vision of the Department states “The Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology will be the recognized leader for training health service military clinical psychology leaders in all branches of the Department of Defense. Additionally, the department will train the preeminent researchers and scientist-practitioners in medical psychology, with a specific emphasis on militarily relevant populations and areas of study.”

The training goals for the Clinical Psychology Program are:

Goal #1: Graduates are scientist-practitioners or scientists who apply their work to improving the health of military communities, Veterans, and the Nation.

Objectives for Goal #1:
  1. Graduates base their research on questions informed by the individual, organizational, and/or population health problems they encounter, services they provide, and the settings where they work.
  2. Graduates seek evidence-based evaluations and interventions in their clinical practice.
  3. Graduates develop research questions and practice skills specific to military and veteran populations.

Goal #2: Graduates are ethical, professional, and reflective psychologists who value individual and cultural diversity.

Objectives for Goal #2:
  1. Graduates possess professional values and ethics as evidenced by their behavior and conduct, which reflects accountability, integrity, and identification as professional psychologists.
  2. Graduates possess awareness, sensitivity, and skills in working with a diverse population that includes individuals with varied cultural and personal backgrounds and characteristics.
  3. Graduates conduct their work ethically and consider the rights and needs of the individuals and communities with whom they work.
  4. Graduates are aware of their personal and professional competencies and engage in appropriate self-care.

Goal #3:  Graduates effectively communicate with psychology and interprofessional colleagues, patients, leaders, and communities.

Objectives for Goal #3:
  1. Graduates communicate clearly using verbal, nonverbal, and written skills in a professional context.
  2. Graduates negotiate differences and handle conflict satisfactorily.
  3. Graduates demonstrate skill in forming and maintaining professional relationships.

Goal #4:  Graduates apply a deep understanding of the biopsychosocial factors affecting health in evidence-based practice, research, teaching, and/or public policy.

Objectives for Goal #4:
  1. Graduates demonstrate integration of biopsychosocial factors into their evidence-based clinical practice.
  2. Graduates integrate biopsychosocial factors into the development of their research questions.
  3. Graduates educate clients, colleagues, and communities about biopsychosocial factors that affect health.
  4. Graduates participate in the development and dissemination of public policy relating to biopsychosocial factors that affect health.

Goal #5:  Graduates are knowledgeable about effective supervision and leadership practices.  They apply these practices to the training, supervision, and leadership of support personnel, psychology trainees, and other health-care professionals.

Objectives for Goal #5:
  1. Graduates gain the knowledge and ability to supervise, train, and lead other healthcare professionals including support personnel and trainees.
  2. Graduates gain the knowledge and ability to manage the direct delivery of services (DDS).

Goal #6:  Graduates engage in effective interprofessional collaborations to provide care, conduct research, provide education, develop policy and/or lead programs and organizations.

Objectives for Goal #6:
  1. Graduates demonstrate the ability to provide expert guidance or professional assistance in response to a client's needs or goals.
  2. Manage the administration of organizations, programs, or agencies (OPA).
  3. Knowledge of key issues and concepts in related disciplines. Identify and interact with professionals in multiple disciplines.
Belar, C. D., & Perry, N. W. (1992). National conference on scientist-practitioner education and training for the professional practice of psychology. American Psychologist, 47, 71-75.
Raimy, V. C. (1950). Training in clinical psychology. New York: Prentice-Hall.