Master of Science (M.S.) Program in Clinical Psychology

Graduate study in the helping professions rooted in psychology and the Catholic tradition.

Academics

M.S. Clinical 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 597 – Psychology Overview Seminar I (1 credit hour)

This weekly seminar is for entering MS students who have little or no prior educational background in psychology. Planned readings will cover abnormal, developmental, experimental, physiological and social, learning and motivation, personality theory, sensory and perception, memory, assessment and treatment.

PSY 598 – Psychology Overview Seminar II (1 credit hour)

This is a continuation of a weekly seminar for entering MS students who have little or no prior educational background in psychology. Planned readings will cover abnormal, developmental, experimental, physiological and social, learning and motivation, personality theory, sensory and perception, memory, assessment and treatment.

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 690 – Professional Roles and Clinical Competencies in Counseling and Psychotherapy  (2 credit hours)

This course will examine the varied professional roles and functions of the mental health professional. This will include and orientation to professional issues, scope of practice as well as professional preparation standards and credentialing. The course will also address critical competencies necessary for a successful externship experience. Practical skills development in case conceptualization and consultation, writing progress notes and treatment plans, along with an understanding of HIPAA and other forms of confidentiality will be emphasized.

PSY 691 – M.S. Clinical Practicum/Externship I (3 credit hours)

This course is the first part of a two-part course sequence that also includes PSY 692. During these two courses students are placed in clinical practicum sites where they complete a nine-month practicum that provides for a minimum of 600 hours of supervised clinical practice. Students also attend regularly scheduled case consultation groups in which they discuss clinical practice from an integrated Catholic perspective.

PSY 692 – M.S. Clinical Practicum/Externship II (3 credit hours)

This course is the second part of a two-part course sequence that also includes PSY 691. During these two courses students are placed in clinical practicum sites where they complete a nine-month practicum that provides for a minimum of 600 hours of supervised clinical practice. Students also attend regularly scheduled case consultation groups in which they discuss clinical practice from an integrated Catholic perspective. (Prerequisite: PSY 691)

PSY 696 – Independent Study (Master’s Program) (1-3 credit hours)

Individualized plan of study designed through agreement between the instructor and student, and approved by the Department Chairman. 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 697 – Psychology Seminar (Master’s Program) (1-3 credit hours)

This seminar course 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 scheduled 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 648 – Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders (3 credit hours)

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 629 – Career Counseling and Development: Theories and Techniques (3 credit hours)

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 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 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.

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, Information Use, and 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.