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Psy.D. Goals and Objectives

1. Professionalism and ethical behavior

We expect our students will:

  • display behavior and comportment that reflects integrity, responsibility and the values of psychology contributing to professional identity as a clinical psychologist; demonstrates empathic understanding for human suffering (Integrity and Professional Comportment)
  • demonstrate knowledge of professional ethical and legal issues; shows awareness and application of ethical decision making (Ethics)

2. Scientific foundations and scholarship

We expect our students will:

  • demonstrate knowledge of scientific foundations of psychology and clinical practice (Scientific Foundations)
  • demonstrate ability to effectively engage in and critique scholarship that contributes to psychological knowledge and clinical practice (Scholarship)

3. Clinical practice skills

We expect our students will:

  • relate effectively and meaningfully with individuals, groups, and communities with interpersonal and expressive skills (Interpersonal)
  • approach training and practice with personal and professional self-awareness and reflection of unique personal biases informed by one’s own identities and experiences (Self-awareness and Self-reflection)
  • demonstrate ability to assess and diagnose problems with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds with effective use of assessment methods, and formulation of case conceptualization (Assessment and Diagnosis)
  • have knowledge of theories of intervention and demonstrate ability to apply appropriate, culturally sensitive evidence-based interventions to alleviate suffering and promote well-being of individuals and groups (Intervention)
  • demonstrate basic knowledge and utilization of supervision models and procedures (Supervision)

4. Individual and systemic diversity

We expect our students will:    

  • demonstrate awareness of self and diverse others as shaped by culture and society, and applying this awareness towards effective work with underserved persons and communities (Cultural Awareness and Application)
  • exhibit awareness and skills in targeting the impact of social, political, economic or cultural factors necessary to advocate in order to promote change (Advocacy)
  • demonstrate awareness of the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration and the skills to respectfully and productively collaborate with professionals from diverse disciplines (Interdisciplinary Collaboration)

5. Integration of Clinical Psychology and Christian faith and practice

We expect our students will:

  • demonstrate foundational knowledge of Christian theology and current models of integration (Foundational Knowledge)
  • articulate their personal process of integration of Psychology and Christian Faith (Personal Process)
  • apply integration of Psychology and Christian faith to clinical practice in order to enhance human welfare as a means of Biblical justice (Application to Clinical Practice)

We attempt to be a Christian community of learning and growth that fosters growth in all areas of life, not just in narrowly professional domains. We will strive for a quality of caring relationships that encourages growth in all areas of the lives of students, faculty, staff, and families.

The most effective learning probably does not occur when students are in a passive mode listening to an "expert" pontificate on his or her subject matter. Learning will be maximally effective when traditional methods are complemented by active learning in a context where there is the possibility of mentorship and apprenticeship relationships with a professional the student can emulate. The doctoral program in clinical psychology attempts to foster this kind of learning environment by maintaining as small a training program as is fiscally viable. The program is budgeted on 65 full-time students (equivalent), and a student to faculty ratio of 10 to 1. Further, faculty are involved in the oversight of student clinical work, in the qualifying examination process, and in the required clinical dissertation.

As a complement to our relative religious uniformity, we desire to maintain and even celebrate diversity in terms of gender, culture, ethnicity, and age. Wheaton College is committed to an international focus and to valuing the various cultural traditions of the United States.