PSY 244CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY-I BAHAR BAŞTUĞ Assist. Prof. Dr.
Reasons for becoming clinical psychology • being helpful to others. • fascinated by human behavior. • interface between psychology and biology as manifested in health issues. • sensitive to human suffering and the nuances of human relationships. • contributing to improvements in society. • to help resolve personal or family conflicts or problems.
The APA “recognizes the doctorate as the minimum educational requirement for entry into professional practice as a psychologist”.
A career as a clinical psychologist is full of both negative and positive aspects. The road to becoming aclinical psychologist is a long waydivided bystages that include college,graduate school, clinical internship, postdoctoralfellowship, licensure, and finally employmentand advanced certification.
College To become clinical psychologist, most college students will decide to majorin psychology. However, the other student from english, biology, math, or sociology might be acceptedinto graduate school in psychology. For them, prerequisitecourses are General Psy,Statistics, Research Methods, Personality,Biopsy, Learning/Cognition, and AbnormalPsy. Studentsinterested in clinical psychologymust taketheir college experience very seriously.
Important Goalsduring the College Experience • High grade point average (GPA) • High graduate record examination scores (GRE) ??? • Quality research experience • Quality clinical experience • Excellent verbal skills • Excellent interpersonal skills • Reliability and dependability • Excellent productivity • Excellent letters of recommendation • High motivation
Grade Point Average There are no certain cutoffs,a 3.0 GPA should be generally viewed asa minimum. The mean GPA score for all clinical psychology graduate programs is about 3.5. It serves as an index of motivation and discipline. A high degree ofmotivation and determination are qualitiesfound in successful graduate students. In the other hand, expected GPA score varies from program to program.
Graduate Record Exam Students interested in applying to graduate school in psychology take the GRE during the fall term of their senior year. About 90% of all doctoral graduate programsrequire thatGRE. The GRE gives four scores: • Verbal, • Quantitative, • Analytic, and • Psychology. GRE is required by most doctoral programs.
Research Experience Most high-quality graduate programs expect applicants to have some research experience prior to admission to graduate school. A survey has indicatedthat quality research experiencewasthe top-rated factor listed by professors. Often, college students working as research assistants may score questionnaires, run subjects through laboratory procedures, and review literature.
Closely associated with research experience, computer, data analysis, and statistical skills are also important to obtain during the college years. Although many candidate of clinical psychology may be uninterested in computer, mathematic,and statistic,these skills are importantamong all clinical psychologists.
Clinical Experience Most undergraduate psychology departments offer externships or field placements in clinical settings where students can gain exposure to the signs, symptoms, and language of clinical problems.
Clinical Experience Typical examples of volunteer placements include local hospitals, drug and alcohol rehabilitation half-way houses, schools for disabled children, homeless or battered women’s shelters, and crisis or suicide hotlines. These experiences help students obtain experience with clinical populations and provide some important beginning skills and knowledge about clinical problems and interventions.
What is a quality clinical experience? Answering this question is difficult. Generally, aclinical experience that allows the student toobserve a wide range of activities with anumber of patients and allows the student totalk about his or her experiences with a professionalin the clinical setting is more likelyto be a quality experience.
Verbal Skills Verbal skills include writing ability and public speaking ability. Writing and speaking skills are important elements of the college experience.
Interpersonal Skills Good interpersonal and social skills, empathy, and effective communication are critical to becoming an effective clinical psychologist. The ability to deal directly, sensitively, and in a reassuring manner is critical to success with both colleagues and clients.
Interpersonal Skills A well-kept secret Good interpersonal skills contribute to therapeutic alliance therapeutic effectiveness and appreciated among coworkers and supervisors.
Reliability and Dependability Clinical psychology requires consistency and reliability. Unreliable people are manifested in lateness, tardy reports, inefficiency, and sloppiness. Clinical, teaching, and research duties requirean unselfish focus and conscientiouslevels of effort and dedication.Clinical psychologists and traniees must be able to finish what they say they will finish. A psychologist must earn the trust of others as someone capable of fulfilling a responsible, professional role.
Productivity Research productivity is the most apparent in one’s list of publications and presentations. Alot of quality work is even more impressive!
Letters of Recommendation A strong support from a professor cango a long and indefinable way.Not only this involves qualitywork and positive relationships, but involvesestablishing a mentor relationship with professors.The better a professor knowsand likes the student whom writing about, the better able professor will be to strike professional and personal tone in a letter of recommendation.
Motivation is the key ingredient to a successful undergraduate record. Motivation helps to overcome the many obstacles such as exams, papers, applications. Many highly motivated students have become successful psychologists despite significant weaknesses in academic or interpersonal realms.
Applying to Graduate Programs in Clinical Psychology Qualitygraduate programs can behighly competitive, it is helpful to hold over a wide range by applying to large numberof programs. Generally, universitybasedprograms are more competitive and tend to be less expensive than free-standing professional schools.
Firstly, each applicantmust decide to which programs he or shewill apply. Then, the application forms must be completedcorrectly, withouttypographicalor grammatical errors. Most programs request applicants to write a personalstatement and submit a curriculumvita (CV). Disclosing family secrets andpersonal problems is not advised. Thefocus of the statement should be more professionalthan personal. In thestatement, the applicant should discuss why s/he is interested in graduateschool in clinical psy.
The CV is an academic resume. The CVoutlines the applicant’s addresses and phonenumbers, educational experiences,work experiences, and professional presentationsand publications (if any). Asking a professor and friends to review thecompleted personal statement and CV is beneficial. TranscriptsandGRE scores are needed in the application deadlines.
Once applications have been mailed,the applicant must wait for responses. If you are fortunate, you are invitedfor an interview. During the interview, applicantsshould dress in a professional styleand maintain a high level of interest,energy, and enthusiasm for the program.
Graduate School in Clinical Psychology Graduate training involves coursework, clinical training, research experience, and often teaching experience. Graduate school is designed to take five years to complete including the required one year clinical internship. However, the average is closer to about six to eight years. This additional length of time is due to complete doctoral dissertations.
The doctoral dissertation is a comprehensive and high-quality original research study. It is supervised by a faculty committee of three to five professors with one professor acting as chairperson.
PhD or PsyD A student interested can choose between twotypes of doctorates: the traditional PhD (orDoctor of Philosophy) or the newer PsyD(Doctor of Psychology). The PhD was awarded to graduate students training in psychology at the doctoral level. It is the scientist-practitioner model, namely Boulder Model. It encourages equal and integrated training emphases on both research and clinical practice.
The PsyD degree was proposed as a alternative to the traditional PhD. The new PsyD model sought to train students in the scholar-practitioner model, namely Vail model, with much more emphasis on clinical practice and minimal emphasis on research skills. PhDprogram acceptance rates average about 10%,while PsyD programs accept about 40% oftheir applicants.
University versus Free-Standing Professional Schools Free-standing professional schools are not university based. Approximately 50% of all doctorates in clinical psychology are awarded by these schools. The free-standingschools have extremely large classes,older students, and tend to be less competitiveregarding admissionrelative to university-based programs. Many of these schools admit older students who may look at psychology as being a second career.
University versus Free-Standing Professional Schools Students attending these schools generally do not have the opportunity to be exposed to the entire field of psychology. Because nonclinical areas such as cognitive, developmental, social, learning, physiological, and others are not represented at these schools.
Accreditation Since 1948, the APA has accredited graduate training programs. The APA lists specific criteria for accreditation. Any program accredited by APA would offer a high-quality graduate training experience. However, not all graduate programs are accredited by the APA. Obtaining training from an APA accreditedprogram is a requirement for employment.
Training Curriculum Someprograms emphasize researchskills, others may emphasize clinical training. Other programs balancebetween research and clinical training. Someprograms focus on certain theoretical orientations such as CBT, psychodynamic, humanistic orfamily systemsmodels, while many programs emphasizeeclectic training. Graduate training programs offerthe same core curriculum suggested by theAPA.
Training Curriculum In addition to course work, graduate trainingincludes practicum or field placements. These placements allow graduate students towork with clinical populations providing individual,couple, family, and group psychotherapywith a variety of patient populations(e.g., adults, children, inpatient, outpatient). They provide opportunitiesto acquireexperience with psychological testing.
Training Curriculum The master’s thesis is completed by the end of thesecond year of graduate study while the dissertationis completed by the end of the fourth or fifth year. The student defendsthe project in an oral examination among agroup of faculty members. Finally, most graduatetraining programs require comprehensive examinationsto determine thecompetence of their students in academicpsychology, research, and clinical work priorto being allowed to complete their internshipsand doctoral degree.
Clinical Internship Almost all graduate training programs require that students complete a one year full-time clinical internshipprior to being awarded the doctorate. This training occurs outside of the graduate training program in hospitals, clinics, and various clinical settings. Activities during the clinical internship focus on clinical training such as psychotherapy, psychological testing, and consultation with a variety of patient populations. Afterthe successfulcompletion of the clinical internshipand all of the requirements of the graduatetraining program (including the doctoral dissertation),the doctorate is awarded.
Postdoctoral Fellowship Being awarded the doctorate is not the end. Anyonewishing to practice mustobtain a license to practice from their statelicensing board.Almost allstates require one to two years of postdoctoraltraining before takingthe license. Postdoctoral training occurs in hospitals, clinics,counseling centers, universities, and evenprivate practices. Postdoctoral training caninclude psychotherapy,psychological testing, and consultation andresearch, teaching, and many otherprofessional activities.
Four years of college + at least four years of graduate school+ a year of clinical internship + one or more years of postdoctoral training have been completed before licensing is possible.
Certification and/or Licensure Certification and licensureprocedures are defined and regulated at the state level by state boards of psychology. The role of the psychology board is to set minimum standards for admission to the profession, conduct licensing examinations, and regulate the practice of psychology in order to protect the public from professional misconduct.
Certification and/or Licensure Certification laws control the use word «psychologist» and protect the title «psychologist»from being misused.Certificationlaws do not impact the practiceof psychological services. Licensinglaws provideguidelines and restrictions the practice of psychological services. Since the certification and licensing processes are conducted at the state level, each state develops its own laws and procedures.
Certification and/or Licensure The Written Examination : All states administer the same biannual national written examination for licensing Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology [EPPP]. This exam consists of 200 multiple choice items. Questions are about test construction, statistics, social psychology, experimental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, developmental psychology.
Certification and/or Licensure The Oral Examination: After successful completion of the written examination, many states then require an oral examination (or essay) before obtaining the license. Typically, questions about ethical issues such as limits on confidentiality,treatment of minors, child abuse reportinglaws, involuntary commitment and clinical questions regarding diagnosis and treatment of hypothetical patients are discussed.