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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Psychology

Programs

Clinical

Our mission is to help advance the field of clinical psychology—both by the research we do and through the students we train. This mission is reflected in five emphases that make our program unique.

1. Clinical Science—We believe that the practice of clinical psychology requires a stronger scientific/research foundation. We ascribe to a clinical science model, and belong to the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, a coalition of doctoral training programs that share a common goal of producing and applying scientific knowledge to the assessment, understanding and amelioration of human problems.

2. Clinical Child Psychology—Children and families are underserved populations. As clinical scientists, we believe the field needs a stronger knowledge base regarding developmental psychopathology. It also needs to develop and implement more effective assessment and intervention techniques for children and families from diverse backgrounds.

Accredited by the APA in clinical psychology, our program is one of the few programs that emphasizes training in clinical child psychology and one of the very few that approaches clinical child psychology from a clinical science model. All of our clinical faculty, rather than just one or two, have special interests in children and families.

While we maintain an emphasis on children and families, students also receive training in adult psychopathology, assessment, and psychotherapy, and have opportunities to do clinical work with adult clients individually and as couples. Students are additionally trained to work with parents, family members, teachers, and community members in their roles that are relevant to children.

3. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience—Our program is one of the few programs in the world that offers graduate training in clinical child neuropsychology. All students in our program receive at least a year of such training. Many clinical students are also part of the developmental cognitive neuroscience program in which they receive more extensive training in clinical child neuropsychology and can pursue careers in this specialty.

4. An Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. All students are trained to be sensitive to individual differences and the many dimensions of diversity in approaching research and clinical issues; they also learn the importance of continued personal and professional growth relevant to inclusive excellence. Both research and clinical opportunities exist for working with diverse populations. Further detail is provided in the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence statement below.

5. An Emphasis on the Public Good. The University's vision is to be a great private university dedicated to the public good. Consistent with the University's vision, our research, our training of students, and clinical service contribute to the public good—locally, nationally, and internationally. This value is manifested in various opportunities for doing community-based research which is a distinctive feature of our program.

Degree flexibility

We aspire to have all our faculty, students and graduates help advance the field of clinical child psychology.

Our program, however, is characterized by a high degree of flexibility and a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities, providing students opportunities to develop specializations of their choice.

Our graduates work in a diverse array of professional careers, including clinical science research careers in universities, institutes, and medical schools, but also as teaching positions, scientifically-based clinical practice, public service and public policy.

We want our graduates to be leaders in whatever career choice they make. 

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

The University of Denver's statement on diversity is presented in the following paragraphs. Our program makes a concerted effort to carry out those ideas in our research, in our clinical work, in the classroom and in our relationships with clients and our colleagues.

We believe that one mark of a leading university is its commitment to diversity and the concomitant practice of recognizing and valuing the rich experiences and world views of individuals and groups.

Diversity yields many benefits to institutions that successfully cultivate diversity within their educational, research and community service activities. By achieving and maintaining a multicultural constituency of administrators, faculty, students and staff, an institution successfully connects with the demographic reality of society. The institution gains an edge in educational and research opportunities and in preparing students for living and working in an increasingly diverse and global society.

The University of Denver community is strongly committed to the pursuit of excellence by including and integrating individuals who represent different groups as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, age, disability, national origin and religion.

The University's commitment to diversity in particular requires that we attract members of historically under-represented racial and ethnic groups. To create a rich academic, intellectual and cultural environment for everyone, our concern must extend beyond representation to genuine participation.

Our commitment must entail the creation of initiatives and programs designed to capitalize on the benefits of diversity in education, research and service. In sum, our actions must speak louder than our words. We also believe that in order to achieve our goals, we must create a campus climate with an ethos of respect, understanding and appreciation of individual and group differences. We must encourage the pursuit of social justice within and outside the institution.

A positive campus climate requires the University's sincere willingness to include all its diverse stakeholders in the decision-making process. No individual or group can be marginalized or systematically excluded. We aim for change within the University and ultimately, beyond the University. We seek to be leaders in the creation of a more inclusive and just world.

Training standards

Earning a degree from the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program requires mastery of a coherent body of knowledge and skills. Doctoral students must acquire substantial competence in the discipline of clinical psychology as specified in the American Psychological Association (APA) Standards of Accreditation and must be able to relate appropriately to clients/patients, fellow students, faculty and staff members, and other health care professionals.

Combinations of cognitive, behavioral, emotional, intellectual, and communication abilities are required to perform these functions satisfactorily. These skills and functions are not only essential to the successful completion of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, but they are also necessary to ensure the health and safety of clients/patients, fellow students, faculty and staff members, and other health care providers.

In our APA-accredited program, we are committed to a training process that ensures that graduate students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work effectively with members of the public who embody intersecting demographics, attitudes, beliefs, and values. When graduate students' attitudes, beliefs, or values create tensions that negatively impact the training process or their ability to effectively treat members of the public, the program faculty and supervisors are committed to providing opportunities for professional development to ] acquire the necessary professional competencies. We support graduate students in finding a belief- or value-congruent path that allows them to work in a professionally competent manner with all clients/patients.

For some trainees, integrating personal beliefs or values with professional competence in working with all clients/patients may require additional time and faculty support. Ultimately though, to complete our program successfully, all graduate students must be able to work with any client placed in their care in a beneficial manner. Professional competencies are determined by the profession for the benefit and protection of the public; consequently, students do not have the option to avoid working with particular client populations or refuse to develop professional competencies because of conflicts with their attitudes, beliefs, or values. More information about our training standards can be found in the Clinical Student Handbook

 

Accreditation