Doctoral Program (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology
Doctoral study in the helping professions rooted in psychology and the Catholic tradition.
Psy.D. Course Descriptions
PSY 500 – History and Systems of Psychology (3 credit hours)
Behaviorism, psychoanalytical theory, and biologically based theories (e.g., cognitive neuroscience) have been offered as coherent accounts of the nature of the human person. All derive support from versions of evolutionary theory. On this account, theories of motivation are of the survivalistic variety, conduct is understood as “adaptive,” and complex social phenomena are reduced to socio-biological processes. This course assesses these empirical and conceptual orientations.
PSY 503 – Personality Theories (3 credit hours)
Introduces the major theories of personality used in clinical/counseling psychology, including those schools of thought associated with Freud, Object-Relations theory, Erikson, Jung, Adler, Horney, Rogers, Maslow and Cognitive-Behavioral theory. Emphasis is also put on relevant research findings and critical assessment of the validity and usefulness of the different theories.
PSY 504 – Psychological Measurement (3 credit hours)
This course covers the application of statistical thinking to the measurement of psychological phenomena. It presents statistical concepts basic to psychometrics, as well as familiarity with computer analysis. Classical reliability theory, generalizability theory, item response theory, and Rasch modeling are all examined. Scaling, central tendency, individual differences and correlation, principles of test development and standardization, and the various forms of reliability and validity and the threats posed to them by design and respondent characteristics are addressed. Practical issues in psychometrics are presented.
PSY 507 – Psychopathology (3 credit hours)
This course provides an overview of the major theories, classification systems, and research in the area of psychopathology. It introduces students to diagnostic nomenclature, emphasizing the development of facility with the DSM-IV classification system. It also examines how spiritual and moral pathology affect the quality of life.
PSY 512 – Law, Ethics, and Psychology (3 credit hours)
This course examines the ethical codes and guidelines developed within the mental health field. Special emphasis is placed on how these ethical guidelines, along with Christian principles, can be applied to the practice of psychology in a manner which holds the well-being of the client as primary. The course also examines professional issues relevant to the practice of psychology.
PSY 516 – Basic Interviewing and Clinical Skills (3 credit hours)
This course provides an introduction to the art and science of basic clinical skills aimed at forming a comprehensive understanding of the person, with special emphasis on assessing dimensions consistent with a Catholic perspective. Specifically, this course will orient students to general philosophical issues related to clinical interviewing and present critical fundamentals of therapeutic relationship development. Instruction will also address particular challenges presented by high risk clients, the need for mandatory reporting, and interviews with children, adolescents, couples, and culturally diverse populations. The course includes a blend of lecture, skill demonstration, and student practice.
PSY 605 – Developmental Psychology (3 credit hours)
This course covers the major theoretical systems that seek to explain the development of the human person, and examines them from a variety of perspectives: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and moral. It also considers central aspects of Christian life such as the development of the conscience, the life of virtue, commitment to human relationships and the discernment of one’s vocation.
PSY 608 – Cognitive/Behavioral Assessment (3 credit hours)
Offers an overview of the major theories of intelligence and develops basic skills in the administration of commonly used standardized test instruments for assessing cognitive ability and achievement in children, adolescents, and adults. Also covers the basics of report writing and ethical issues pertaining to psychological assessment. (Prerequisites: PSY 504, PSY 516)
PSY 609 – Adult Psychotherapy (3 credit hours)
The purpose of this course is to identify, develop and practice core clinical skills and tasks in the treatment of adult psychopathology. This includes developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships with clients as well as the application of particular systems of psychotherapy in identifying and effectively working toward therapeutic goals. In addition, students will gain a greater ability to critique secular approaches to psychotherapy in light of a Catholic view of the human person and explore psychotherapeutic approaches informed by this anthropology. (Prerequisite: PSY 507)
PSY 610 – Child Psychotherapy (3 credit hours)
Develops an integrated Catholic framework for understanding family life and the role of parents in raising children. Provides training in basic skills for working with children in therapy including play therapy, behavioral techniques, parenting skills training, and family therapy. Also examines ethical and diversity issues related to the practice of child and family therapy.
PSY 611 – Marital Psychotherapy (3 credit hours)
Develops an integrated Catholic framework for understanding the nature of marriage and marital relationships. Provides training in basic skills used in the assessment and treatment of marital distress. Also examines ethical and diversity issues related to the practice of marital therapy.
PSY 613 – Personality Assessment (3 credit hours)
This course offers instruction in basic skills in the administration of commonly used personality tests, including both psychometric and projective approaches to personality assessment. It also offers instruction in report writing skills by examining the ways in which the results of cognitive/behavioral assessment and a variety of personality assessment instruments can be integrated. (Prerequisites: PSY 507, PSY 608)
PSY 629 – Career Counseling and Development: Theories and Techniques (3 credit hours) (Elective)
This course provides an analysis of the basic theories of career development including the educational, psychological, and social factors which influence educational and vocational decision making. The use of vocational and educational assessment to advise as to school, work, and college planning is included.
PSY 648 – Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders (3 credit hours) (Elective)
This course will provide an overview of the fundamental concepts in substance abuse and substance-induced disorders. A review of the historical, geographic, economic, socio-cultural and genetic factors that impact substance misuse and abuse will be covered. Treatment options, different intervention approaches and strategies applicable to substance abuse intervention, as well as barriers to treatment, will also be included.
PSY 681 – Psy.D Pre-Practicum I (1 credit)
This course is part one of a two-part, full year course designed to prepare students for their intensive clinical experience in the IPS Psychological Services Center. Students will be oriented to Center operations including clinician duties and procedures. Practical skills in developing working diagnoses and case conceptualizations as well as writing progress notes and treatment plans will be emphasized.
PSY 682 – Psy.D Pre-Practicum II (1 credit)
This course is part two of a two-part, full year course designed to prepare students for their intensive clinical experience in the IPS Psychological Services Center. Students will be oriented to Center operations including clinician duties and procedures. Practical skills in developing working diagnoses and case conceptualizations as well as writing progress notes and treatment plans will be emphasized.
PSY 701 – Foundational Clinical Practicum/Externship I (3 credit hours)
This course, part one of three, reflects time spent gaining clinical experience at the externship site. Students also attend and present at regularly scheduled case consultation groups which focus on skill development in the areas of diagnosis, treatment planning, clinical skills, and provision of services from an integrated perspective.
(Co-requisite: Placement in the IPS Center)
PSY 702 – Foundational Clinical Practicum/Externship II (3 credit hours)
This course, part two of three, reflects time spent gaining clinical experience at the externship site. Students also attend and present at regularly scheduled case consultation groups which focus on skill development in the areas of diagnosis, treatment planning, clinical skills, and provision of services from an integrated perspective.
(Prerequisite: PSY 701)
PSY 703 – Foundational Clinical Practicum/Externship III (2 credit hours)
This course, part three of three, reflects time spent gaining clinical experience at the externship site. Students also attend and present at regularly scheduled case consultation groups which focus on skill development in the areas of diagnosis, treatment planning, clinical skills, and provision of services from an integrated perspective.
(Prerequisite: PSY 702)
PSY 718 – Research Design for the Psychological Sciences (3 credit hours)
This course presents concepts related to experimental design: validity and reliability, unobtrusive, quasi-experimental and experimental research design, as well as small-n methodology. Philosophy of science as it relates to data analysis will be examined. Survey research topics are covered. Research ethics and the writing of research reports are also addressed. (Prerequisite: PSY 504)
PSY 721 – Cognition & Emotion (3 credit hours)
This is a survey course in modern cognitive psychology, including perception, attention, memory, knowledge, imagery, language, problem solving, reasoning, decision-making, and emotion and memory. Issues of emotion and memory, and the controversy over recovered/false memories is examined.
PSY 724 – Advanced Adult Psychotherapy (4 credit hours)
This is an advanced seminar on methods of individual psychotherapy, with a concentration on interpersonal psychotherapy. The instructor will draw from among the principles of interpersonal psychotherapy, object relations theory, attachment theory, cognitive therapy, family systems and others. A Catholic Anthropology will be integrated into the subject matter. Issues concerning culture, ethnicity, gender, religious values and other client characteristics will be addressed. The course will include didactic and experiential learning. Sessions from students’ clinical caseloads will be reviewed and critiqued. (Prerequisite: PSY 609)
PSY 729 – Advanced Statistical Methods (3 credit hours)
This course builds on the basic concepts presented in PSY 718 to examine more advanced statistical analyses. These include factorial and multivariate analysis of variance, multiple and logistic regression, meta-analysis, and structural equation modeling. Primary emphasis in the class will be in understanding and critiquing the statistical analyses presented in clinical psychology journals as an adjunct to lifelong learning. (Prerequisites: PSY 504, PSY 718)
PSY 734 – Advanced Child, Marital, and Family Therapy I (3 credit hours)
PSY 734 promotes mastery of basic knowledge and skills obtained in the earlier courses PSY 610 and PSY 611, as well as introducing advanced knowledge and training in the areas of child, marital, and family therapy. Methodologies and techniques covered in PSY 734 include play therapy, parenting skills training, family therapy with children, and marital therapy. The course also enhances students’ understanding and application of the ethical issues and diversity issues involved in the utilization of these therapeutic interventions. Throughout the course, connections are made to practicing these methodologies from an integrated Catholic perspective. (Prerequisites: PSY 610, PSY 611)
PSY 736 – Child Psychopathology (2 credit hours)
This course provides a broad overview of child psychopathology initially focusing on understanding basic concepts, historical context, developmental influences, theoretical perspectives, research methodology, and issues related to assessment and classification. This will be followed by a comprehensive survey of the major categories of child psychopathological disturbances with an emphasis on empirically supported interventions for treating the various disorders.
PSY 760 – Professional Roles and Issues (2 credit hours)
This seminar examines the multiple career opportunities and professional roles of professional psychologists. Topics include academic careers, clinical practice in a variety of settings, scholarly publishing and presentations, and involvement in professional associations. In addition, students construct a curriculum vitae and develop a strategic career plan.
PSY 801 – Advanced Clinical Practicum/Externship I (3 credit hours)
This course reflects time spent gaining clinical experience at the externship site. Students also attend and present at regularly scheduled case consultation groups which focus on sharing of the diversity of clinical experiences obtained through the variety of external site placements, with input from IPS faculty on how these experiences interface with the perspective of the Institute training model. (Corequisite: Placement in an IPS approved externship. Typically completed by students in their fourth year of the Psy.D. Program.
(Prerequisite: PSY 702)
PSY 802 – Advanced Clinical Practicum/Externship II (3 credit hours)
Second of two required semesters of advanced clinical experience at the externship site (see Prerequisite: PSY 801 for additional details)
PSY 815 – Psychology of Religion (3 credit hours) (Elective)
This course will provide an overview of the empirical psychology of religion as well as more general social scientific perspectives on religion. Topics will include issues of measurement, faith development, religion in adolescence, its effects on health and at-risk behavior, religious coping styles, conversion, religious experience and mysticism, as well as the treatment of religion in attachment theory, evolutionary perspectives, the cognitive science of religion, and the spirituality and/or/versus religion debate. “New” religions, totalistic movements, and the “new atheism” will also be examined.
PSY 820 – Group Psychotherapy (3 credit hours)
This course will cover evidence-based therapeutic factors that operate in most group interventions and the role of these in long term, short term and specialty groups. It will include didactic and experiential learning, case presentations, seminar discussion and analysis of group research. The course will also illustrate how Catholic Anthropological principles might apply to group life.
PSY 822 – Biological Bases of Behavior (3 credit hours)
This course serves as a general introduction for students to the field of physiological psychology, emphasizing a number of areas that are most useful in the practice of clinical psychology. These areas include the nervous system, behavioral genetics, and psychopharmacology.
PSY 825 – Social Psychology (3 credit hours)
Serves as an overview of the major theories, areas of study, and research methodologies in the field of social psychology. Includes such topics as impression formation, attribution theory, social influence, attitude development and change, prejudice and discrimination, antisocial and prosocial behaviors, affiliation and attraction, and sex role behaviors. Behaviors strongly intertwined with affect such as aggression, prejudice, and interpersonal attraction and intimate relations, as well as contemporary theories of affective influences are examined.
PSY 827 – Cultural, Religious, and Individual Diversity in Clinical Practice (3 credit hours)
This course systematically covers the cultural, religious, and individual diversity considerations central to effective functioning of a clinical psychologist. In addition to reviewing the adjustments in clinical practice expected when working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, attention is given to the need which often arises to coordinate treatment efforts with other professionals who are involved in caring for the client.
PSY 830 – The Psychologist as Consultant, Supervisor and Educator (3 credit hours)
As leaders, psychologists find themselves called to participate in many roles beyond those of clinical practice and research. This course introduces students to the leadership roles of consultation, supervision, and teaching. Students will be introduced to the literature concerning these areas, as well as being provided with opportunities for experiential learning about these roles.
PSY 832 – Integrative Dissertation Seminar (3 credit hours)
This seminar is the final integration course in the Psy.D. curriculum. Its purpose is to review, refine, and further develop the students’ understanding of psychology from an integrated perspective. The seminar also serves to assist students in adopting an integrated approach to the completion of their doctoral dissertation.
PSY 836 – Advanced Personality Assessment (4 credit hours)
This course develops skills in the administration and interpretation of more advanced projective personality techniques such as the Rorschach. Report writing skills are developed further by examining the ways in which the results of a variety of psychological assessment instruments can be integrated and used to make diagnoses and treatment recommendations. (Prerequisite: PSY 613)
PSY 896 – Independent Study (PsyD. Program) (1-3 credit hours)
Individualized plan of study designed through agreement between the instructor and student, and approved by the Department Chair. Such plans may include designated readings, viewing of videotaped learning resources, individual meetings for discussion with the instructor, research, and writing, as well as other types of assignments. The instructor determines in advance the requirements and criteria by which a grade is assigned and the number of credit hours to be awarded. Students are limited to a maximum combination of two Independent Study and Psychology Seminar courses per degree program. (Prerequisite: Consent of Faculty Advisor and Department Chair)
PSY 897 – Psychology Seminar (1-3 credit hours)
This seminar course is offered to a group of students on a topic or topics specified by the instructor and approved by the Department Chair. The seminar format typically includes regularly held class meetings in which the instructor gives lectures and/or facilitates discussion. Students are limited to a maximum combination of two Independent Study and Psychology Seminar courses per degree program. (Prerequisite: Consent of Faculty Advisor and Department Chair)
PSY 897 – Psychology Seminar: Emotion-Focused Therapy for Individuals and Couples (2 credit hrs)
This clinical seminar will cover an introduction to the theory, research, and practice of the Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) model for individuals and couples. A focus will be on understanding how emotional awareness, comfort to distress with emotion, levels of emotional expressiveness, and regulation of
emotions are shaped by early and ongoing systemic, developmental, and transactional processes. Specific techniques for treatment will be examined, viewed, and role-played. Techniques will include exploring emotions through visceral sensations and deep empathy, developing emotional tolerance, accessing primary underlying emotions, understanding emotions in the context of attachment and identity needs, identifying key interactional cycles, and having corrective emotional experiences. The underlying scientific and philosophical presuppositions and the clinical techniques of this treatment model will be examined in light of a Catholic -Christian understanding of human flourishing and languishing. (Prerequisite: Consent of Faculty Advisor and Department Chair)
PSY 897 – Psychology Seminar: Rorschach R-PAS System (3 credit hrs)
This course develops advanced skills in the administration and interpretation of the Rorschach Inkblot Technique using the Rorschach – Performance Assessment System (R-PAS). This course will cover the necessary information for those who have previous Rorschach experience with other systems in order to convert their abilities to the use of the R-PAS system. Advanced report writing skills are developed using the R-PAS interpretations regarding psychological strengths, weaknesses, and diagnostic clarity. (Prerequisites: PSY 613 Personality Assessment, PSY 836 Advanced Personality Assessment, Consent of Faculty Advisor and Department Chair)
PSY 899 – Dissertation (1-3 credit hours per semester)
Registration for dissertation hours is required for all Psy.D. students from the time the Dissertation Chair is appointed until their dissertation is defended.
PHT 502 – Philosophical and Theological Anthropology (4 credit hours)
This course examines the unity and complexity of the human person from a philosophical and theological perspective, with special attention to the Catholic tradition. It constitutes an introduction to classical philosophical psychology. The course promotes integrative competencies for adjudicating anthropological models and their treatment of: the human person and flourishing; moral agency and character; and the interaction of human nature, culture, and divine grace, while attending to relevance for psychotherapy. Together with the other integrative anthropological courses offered at the IPS, it provides an introduction to the most important philosophical and theological texts that are pertinent to the practice of clinical psychology.
PHT 535 – The Catholic Vision of Spiritual Maturity (2 credit hours)
This course examines the structure, dynamics, and mechanisms for spiritual progress as understood in the Catholic tradition. Students will become familiar with the major spiritual writers in the Catholic tradition, and also explore the similarities and differences between a Christ-centered spirituality and select schools of thought.
PHT 614 – Practical Reasoning and Moral Character (3 credit hours)
This course examines practical reasoning, moral character, and the virtues, in a philosophical and theological perspective, with special attention to the Catholic tradition and clinical psychology. Together with the other integrative anthropological courses offered at the IPS, it provides an introduction to the most important philosophical and theological texts that are pertinent to the practice of clinical psychology.
PHT 635 – Theology of Marriage and Family (3 credit hours)
This course will introduce the student to the nature, origins, and purposes of marriage and family life. It will examine the continuity and development of Catholic teaching on marriage and family. It will also put this doctrine in a historical, psychological, philosophical, and theological context. It will address several issues that are especially pertinent to the psychological sciences, including disorders and privations related to romance, marriage, and family life. Together with the other integrative anthropological courses offered at the IPS, it provides an introduction to the most important philosophical and theological texts that are pertinent to the practice of clinical psychology.
LIB 500 – Library and Information Use & Research (0 credit hours)
This course is required for all entering students and provides an in-depth review of library organization, collections, services, and online resources; presents the methodologies of information searching, strategy development, and evaluation; and reviews the evaluation of information and information sources.