Program Philosophy and Goals


Clinical Psychology studentEstablished in 1982, the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology’s philosophy and educational model embodies the program’s place in the forefront of professional education in clinical psychology. Antioch University New England has created its version of the professional psychology educational model systematically developed by the NCSPP. Many current and former Antioch University New England Clinical Psychology faculty have made significant contributions to this model.

We prepare graduates for multiple roles in clinical psychology.

Since the program’s inception, education for multiple role functioning has been central. Developed from our roots in training practitioners for rural, semi-rural, and urban practice, and from our view of clinicians as engaged in the complexities of interpersonal life, it is increasingly clear that future psychologists will embody this vision. Psychologists who graduate from our program are likely to practice in organized groups or hold positions with a mental health/human service organization. In their professional lives, clinical psychologists will see a substantial number of clients, often the most difficult cases or in areas of particular specialty; supervise line clinicians who are likely to have been trained at the master’s level to do much of the direct service; consult, train, and teach; perform complex assessments; develop and administer programs; be involved in public policy; and conduct applied research, such as evaluating treatment effectiveness, needs assessment, or outcome and program evaluation. In addition, the activities of future psychologists are likely to include health psychology, including primary behavioral health care, wellness promotion and primary prevention, neuropsychology, forensic work, work with children and families in the context of schools, brief therapies, and work with the problems of women, with ethnically diverse groups, with the aging, and with social service agencies.

We have a social vision of clinical psychology which is responsive to the needs of the larger society.

This vision is reflected in the range of social- and community- oriented required courses, beyond those required by the APA or for licensure. These include attention to family and group therapy in the basic Intervention courses; Human Diversity and the Clinical Enterprise; action research in Research Methods and Statistics; Social Psychology and Social Responsibility; Psychology in the Community; Health Service Delivery Systems; and Public Policy and Advocacy. We believe the materials in these courses are central elements of education and not secondary to traditionally basic courses. The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology Psychologists should be involved in their local communities, relationships, families, groups, and networks across town, across the country, and around the world.

In addition to clinical work, this social vision is reflected in the projects which many of our faculty and students have developed. Some of these projects have responded to expressed need, others have raised awareness of important social issues at local, national, and international levels. Recent projects involved interventions within an alternative high school, violence prevention and community enhancement research and consultation, evaluation of environmental awareness and wellness promotion programs for children, interventions and community planning with underserved diverse populations, and diversity mentoring in New England communities.

Most Antioch University New England faculty members have social or interpersonal orientations, which makes for a level of communality amidst the diversity of our theoretical orientations. Theoretical positions strongly represented include object relations theory, family systems theory, social constructionist theory, community psychology, feminist theory, social learning, social cognitive, and cognitive/interpersonal views. We value evidence-based practice, are not exclusive or doctrinaire, and we welcome and value divergent views.

Our program prepares self-reflective local clinical scientists for practice marked by disciplined inquiry.

This vision of a clinical psychologist as practitioner-scholar requires broad and diverse training in a wide range of topics and methodologies, with a sound psychological knowledge base, and a high level of theoretical sophistication.

The curriculum integrates the seven core professional competency areas identified by the NCSPP: relationship, assessment, intervention, research and evaluation, consultation and education, management and supervision, and diversity, as well as basic scientific courses consistent with APA, state certification, and licensure requirements. The core scientific courses are taught in an integrated fashion that develops the intellectual bridges necessary for use in professional practice.

Research for clinical psychology is rooted in solving professional and social problems, with a broad range of psychological topics and methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative. Dissertation research may focus on problems at the local, regional, national, or international level, both practical and abstract, both theoretical and applied. This scholarship is not tied to a particular methodology and is relevant for all professional psychologists. These types of scholarly products and the associated creative, disciplined writing are an integral part of the clinical enterprise and central to training the local clinical scientist. An increasing number of dissertations have been developed in conjunction with our Center for Behavioral Health Innovation (BHI); Antioch Multicultural Center (MC Center); and the Psychological Services Center (PSC). The program is designed to help students develop their own individual professional voice.

We train reflective practitioners.

Based on our attention to self-in-role, education and training in reflective practice are at the center of the Antioch University New England culture. Reflective practice is developed in an interpersonal context and involves systematically bringing forward one’s professional and personal roles; knowledge, skills, and attitudes from the science and practice of clinical psychology; and professional experiences to respond to current professional issues.

The clinical psychologist is an engaged person, involved in real relationships that require real commitment and that bring up bonafide emotions in the midst of professional work. Clinical work is not something done with a closed style and technical distance. Valuing knowledge and disciplined inquiry, we also ask that people bring their whole selves to the program, not just their intellectual or technical selves. Clinical psychology demands real and authentic relationships between supervisor and supervisee, between students and faculty, between colleagues, and between professional psychologists and clients, family, friends, and the community. The small group experiences that PsyD students experience in Professional Seminars and Case Conferences allow them to develop the habits of reflective practice and life-long learning that will serve them, their clients, and society into the future.

Clinical Psychology studentsWe have strong New England roots and a commitment to developing a broad sense of community.

Along with an expanding national and international constituency, the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is committed to networking professional psychology in New England and weaving together rural, semi-rural, and urban issues. Though many students now move from other locations across the country, through our program structure, regional students find it possible to remain in their home areas. Except during their internship year, a substantial number of our students remain in and connected with their communities rather than being obliged to move. In the tradition of community psychology, we are developing increased training, teaching, research, supervision, consultation, and civic participation opportunities for PsyD students, faculty, graduates, and supervisors all with the goal of improving the quality of life within the region.

We believe that it is possible to increase the sense of colleagueship and meet the continuing education needs of rural and semi-rural professional psychologists, who often have a strong sense of professional isolation. We are active in spreading the seeds of the Antioch University New England vision throughout the country.