The program provides training for the professional practice of psychology as a counseling psychologist, and awards the Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology (Psy.D.). The program's philosophy and model of training are grounded in its identity both as a practitioner oriented program which offers the Psy.D. degree and as a program which trains professionals to function in the role of a counseling psychologist.
The Vail Model and the NCSPP
The Psy.D. is a professional degree which prepares individuals for careers as licensed psychologists. At the Vail Conference in 1973, the APA endorsed the Psy.D. for the training of individuals who offer direct psychological services. Consistent with the Vail Model, the program adheres to a practitioner-scholar model of training. The Psy.D. prepares graduates for the independent practice of psychology with individuals, couples, families, groups and organizations. Psychological services include assessment, evaluation and diagnosis; intervention with individuals, couples, families and groups; professional consultation and program development with individuals and organizations; supervision of individuals providing psychological services; and assessment of outcomes of counseling psychological services. As a training program in professional psychology, the curriculum is based on the training model developed by the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP).
Counseling Psychology as a Specialty
Counseling psychology is a specialty within the broad framework of the professional practice of psychology. Counseling psychologists facilitate personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns. Through the integration of theory, research, and practice, and with sensitivity to multicultural issues, this specialty encompasses a broad range of practices that help people improve their well-being, alleviate distress and maladjustment, resolve crises, and increase their ability to live more highly functioning lives. Counseling psychology is unique in its attention both to normal developmental issues and to problems associated with physical, emotional, and mental disorders.