2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    May 30, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, Clinical, PhD

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Graduate Training in Clinical Psychology


Program Mission and Goals

The mission of the Clark University Clinical Psychology Program is to train scientist-practitioners as socially engaged clinical scholars. In keeping with the motto of Clark University to “Challenge Convention and Change Our World,” the Clinical Program aims to train scholars who will be actively engaged in the world and use their work to improve the quality of the world in which we live and the lives of the people in our communities. Thus, the Clark University Clinical Psychology Program adheres to the Scientist-Practitioner model in which our students are trained to be skilled scientists and clinicians who can integrate the science of psychology with its professional practice.

We train scientist-practitioners who think critically about the assumptions underlying their work, the theory guiding it, and the evidence supporting it. This process includes the careful identification and definition of a particular issue or problem, the conceptualization of the problem from one of multiple theoretical viewpoints, and the specification of how to choose appropriate research or clinical interventions in order to approach the problem. This particular emphasis enables our graduates to skillfully use their clinical and research training, and to actively contribute to the creation of new models of intervention and inquiry.

This educational philosophy and training model is consistent with the mission of the larger Psychology Department and University as a whole. The Department emphasizes theoretically-guided research training that orients knowledge and inquiry to how it can be put to use. This use-based approach is connected to Clark University’s long-standing tradition of innovative and transformative research that addresses important social issues through the integration of theoretical, basic, and applied scholarship.

Given this educational philosophy and adherence to the Scientist-Practitioner training model, the Clinical Program emphasizes strong training in both research methods and clinical practice. Moreover, the integration of science and practice is built deeply into the core of the program. We aspire to train graduates who can function as competent scientists and competent clinicians, and who understand the mutually supportive relationship that psychological practice and psychological science have with each other.

In keeping with the Scientist-Practitioner model, the Clinical Training Program at Clark has three broad goals:

Goal #1: To produce competent scientists whose work is theoretically driven, and who are able to critically evaluate the role of assumption, theory, and evidence.

Goal #2: To produce competent clinicians whose work is theoretically driven, who are able to critically evaluate the role of assumption, theory, and evidence.

Goal #3: To produce competent professionals whose clinical work is informed by psychological science, and whose research and scholarship is informed by clinically-based knowledge.

Overview of Training

To achieve our goals, we provide training in research methods, clinical practice, and their integration. This training is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity and occurs through a variety of integrated and coherent educational experiences in the class, laboratory, and practicum settings.

In order to produce competent scientists, the Clinical Program provides training in a range of research methods and statistical approaches, the conduct of independent, empirical research that is theoretically driven, and a range of general professional research skills. This training occurs through both close mentoring and coursework. The core clinical faculty are all active in research, and all clinical graduate students are expected to join in this activity with their primary mentor. Moreover, we mentor students in the development of independent, theoretically-driven research. This research is supported programmatically through coursework, the first- and second-year independent research projects, the research portfolio system, and the dissertation. Overall, the research training builds cumulatively from foundational and more heavily mentored experiences (e.g., introductory courses, first- and second-year research) to the more independent activities (e.g., completion of research portfolio and dissertation research).

In order to produce competent clinicians, the Clinical Program provides training in the basic principles and processes of psychological assessment, evidence-based psychotherapy, and an array of general professional skills. This training occurs in coursework and clinical practica and is provided by both core clinical faculty and affiliated faculty. As with the research training, the clinical training is sequential and cumulative. During their first three years in the program, students receive close supervision and broad-based training from core clinical faculty in adult and child assessment (Years 01 and 02), individual therapy (Year 02), and couples therapy (Year 03). In addition, during their third and fourth years, students participate in off-site clinical practica and externships where they receive more focused training in particular areas of interest. The final stage of the student’s clinical is the completion of an APA-approved clinical internship.

Because of the importance the Clinical Program places on the integration of science and practice, this emphasis is interwoven throughout the research and clinical training activities, including in coursework, clinical placements, and research.
A guiding principle of the Clinical Psychology Program (and the Psychology Department in general) is that the graduate experience be relatively flexible to permit a program of study tailored to the individual’s interests. The formal requirements are minimized to maximize time for developing a close working relationship with faculty, and for establishing one’s own scholarly specialty and research program. Moreover, the program of study is sequential and cumulative, building on foundations set in the early years.

While our training model is relatively simple, there are a number of rules and requirements developed to ensure that (1) students receive the top-quality training; (2) training conforms to the guidelines of the department, university, and American Psychological Association (APA); and (3) students satisfactorily complete coursework and required experiences in a timely fashion.

The clinical psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). For more information, contact the APA Committee on Accreditation at 750 First St., NE, Washington, DC 2002-4242 or 202.336.5979. For further information, contact the Director of Clinical Training,

Dr. Abbie Goldberg.



Psychology Graduate Program General Requirements

Course Work

Students take four courses each semester for the first two years, including one semester of Problem, Theory, and Method (PSYC-301), and two consecutive semesters of Statistical Methods (PSYC-302). In subsequent semesters in residence, students take two or three content courses and research or reading courses. A total of 16 one-semester courses is required for the Ph.D.


Students demonstrate qualification to begin dissertation work by completing a portfolio of elements totaling 6 points during the first three years. Examples of elements include conference posters, papers, journal submissions, and grant proposals.

Independent Research Project

Each student must be actively involved in research from the beginning of their graduate training. At the end of their first year, students will present their work-in-progress in poster format at an annual Graduate Research Conference. At the end of their second year, they will present this work at the Conference as an oral paper. The project will be deemed complete when it is written up in the format of a journal article. Students wishing to obtain a formal M.A. should consult the University Web site for M.A. requirements.

Credit for Prior Graduate Work

Prior completion of a master’s degree in psychology at an institution requiring an empirical master’s thesis may, on rare occasions and at the student’s request, be recognized by waiver of: 1. First- and second-year independent research projects; 2. Up to six content courses because of equivalent (non-applied) graduate courses at the prior institution; and 3. Up to two portfolio elements provided the previous work (e.g., conference presentations, articles submitted for publication) meets the standard requirements for portfolio elements. Previous completion of graduate work in psychology or a related discipline that did not result in a master’s thesis may be recognized by waiver of some requirements at the discretion of the program chair.

Ph.D. Dissertation

The student demonstrates the ability to conduct research by the presentation of an acceptable dissertation. A dissertation committee of three faculty members is formed to supervise all phases of the research. A dissertation proposal is first written and defended at a meeting with the committee and other faculty who have read the proposal. Once completed and approved by the committee, the dissertation is presented publicly to the psychology faculty, graduate students, and appropriate guests, and is open to questions from the faculty. The format of this oral examination is that of a professional presentation. The candidate is expected to demonstrate the ability to address questions on their work and on related matters. This oral includes at least the committee and two additional faculty members.

Special Resident Status

Probationary Status is assigned to any student who has not completed a program requirement on schedule. In such a situation, the student will be placed on Probationary Status for no longer than one semester. During this time, only Directed Study relating to the incomplete work can be pursued. Failure to complete requirements after one semester on Probationary Status will result in termination from the graduate program. Students can be placed on Probationary Status a maximum of two times throughout their time in the Ph.D. program. Thus, any student who has been on Probationary Status twice and then fails to complete a requirement that would normally place them on Probationary Status will be terminated from the program.

Psychology Faculty

Program Faculty

Michael Addis, Ph.D.
Michael Bamberg, Ph.D.
Nancy Budwig, Ph.D.
Esteban Cardemil, Ph.D.
James Córdova, Ph.D.
Nicola Curtin, Ph.D.
Rachel Falmagne, Ph.D.
Abbie Goldberg, Ph.D.
Wendy S. Grolnick, Ph.D.
Lene Jensen, Ph.D.
Ana K. Marcelo, Ph.D.
Nicole Overstreet, Ph.D.
Andrew Stewart, Ph.D.
Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Ph.D.
Marianne Wiser, Ph.D.


Research Faculty

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Ph.D.
Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.
Denise Hines, Ph.D.
Seana Moran, Ph.D.
Kathleen Palm Reed, Ph.D.

Clinical Faculty

Abbie Goldberg, Ph.D. - Director of Clinical Training
Kathleen Palm Reed, Ph.D. - Associate Director of Clinical Training
Michael Addis, Ph.D.
Esteban Cardemil, Ph.D.
James Cordova, Ph.D. - Department Chair
Wendy Grolnick, Ph.D.


Developmental Faculty

Michael Bamberg, Ph.D.
Nancy Budwig, Ph.D. - Dean of Research and Associate Provost
Rachel Falmagne, Ph.D.
Lene Jensen, Ph.D.
Ana K. Marcelo, Ph.D.
Marianne Wiser, Ph.D.

Social Faculty

Nicola Curtin, Ph.D.
Nicole Overstreet, Ph.D.
Andrew Stewart, Ph.D.
Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Ph.D.

Emeriti Faculty

Roger Bibace, Ph.D.
Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.
James Laird, Ph.D.
David Stevens, Ph.D.
Nicholas Thompson, Ph.D.
Jaan Valsiner, Ph.D.

Affiliate Faculty

Cathleen Crider, Ph.D.

Christina Hatgis, Ph.D.

Johanna Sagarin, Ph.D.

Psychology Graduate Courses

Courses offered within the last 2 Academic Years

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