The Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Arkansas follows the scientist-practitioner model of training. Our premise is that doctoral training in clinical psychology prepares individuals to be skilled mental health service providers as well as competent researchers. Because many of our graduates will seek applied, direct service positions, we take seriously the role of training competent clinicians. We also actively recruit and intensively train students whose aspire to be clinical scientists and whose research interests match that of the faculty. Academic coursework, clinical practica, and research training are designed to promote the development of competency in both areas. Our goal is to train students who are capable of applying psychological theory, research methodology, and clinical skills to complex clinical problems and diverse populations. The Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
Generalist approach to clinical training. We recognize that all students require broad clinical training that spans a range of skills, modalities, settings, and populations. Our curriculum has been carefully designed to provide that broad coverage, but with a strong emphasis on empirically based approaches to assessment and intervention. We also view students’ experiences in clinical practicum as opportunities to acquire a range of clinical skills. Clinical faculty closely supervise students in their practicum training, introducing them to diverse theoretical orientations but adhering consistently to a standard of empirical grounding.
Focused approach to research training. Research training is typically done in the context of faculty members’ overall program of research. As such, a mentor-apprentice model guides our decisions about student recruitment and selection. Once accepted into our program, each student is trained to be critical consumer of and an effective contributor to the empirical research literature in clinical psychology. Coursework related to research covers a broad set of methods and issues, but students are directly involved in conducting focused research projects with their faculty advisor.
Consistent blending of scientist-practitioner training. Experiences and skill development opportunities that prepare students to be scientist-practitioners begin early in the graduate career. Each semester presents students with a mix of coursework, practicum involvement, and research requirements that consistently blend the roles of clinician and scientist. Faculty strongly encourage this integration and actively model for students an appreciation for the interplay between clinical practice and research knowledge. As members of practicum teams and research teams, new students also reap the benefits of working closely with more advanced students as they conceptualize cases, enhance and refine their assessment skills, design theses and dissertations, and prepare papers for conference presentations and journal review.
NEW** Training in Diversity and Integrated Behavioral Health. Our doctoral clinical training program is 1 of only 9 programs to receive a federal Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) grant from United States Department of Health & Human Services (Health Resource Service Administration). This 3-year training grant is designed to increase the number of behavioral health care providers who serve low-income, rural, Hispanic or Marshallese residents in Northwest Arkansas (Click here for more information: http://cavern.uark.edu/rd_arsc/psyc/4020.php}
Program Goals & Objectives
Specific goals and objectives of the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Arkansas reflect a) our specific training model, b) the Commission on Accreditation’s Guidelines and Procedures for doctoral programs, and c) our commitment and responsibility to train competent and ethical clinical psychologists.
Goal 1. The Clinical Training Program strives to train competent Clinical Psychologists who understand and identify with the Program's articulation of the scientist/practitioner training model. Our expectation is that students in the program:
- Objective 1a: Acquire and demonstrate understanding and competence in the breadth of scientific psychology via exposure to current knowledge of the biological, social, cognitive, and affective bases of behavior, the history of psychology as a discipline, and the use of psychological measurement, research methodology, and data analytic techniques.
- Objective 1b: Acquire and demonstrate understanding and competence in the scientific base for the practice of clinical psychology via exposure to current knowledge of individual differences, human development, psychological disorders, and professional ethics.
- Objective 1c: Acquire and demonstrate understanding and competence in the use of empirically supported strategies for assessing and intervening in problems relevant to clinical psychology via exposure to current knowledge of and standards for conducting assessment, diagnosis, intervention, intervention evaluation, and consultation and supervision.
- Objective 1d: Acquire and demonstrate sensitivity to and competence in issues of cultural and individual diversity in the science and practice of clinical psychology.
- Objective 1e: Acquire and demonstrate appreciation for and enduring commitment to the role of the scientist-practitioner in clinical psychology, including critical thinking, ethical behavior, and continued professional development.
Goal 2. The Clinical Training Program strives to provide students with focused opportunities for additional study, research, and skill development in a specific, selected area of clinical psychology. Our expectation is that students in the program will acquire and demonstrate understanding and competence in a concentrated area of study within clinical psychology as indicated by the following objectives:
- Objective 2a: Completion of and minimal proficiency in didactic training experiences related to the area of concentrated study.
- Objective 2b: Completion of and minimal proficiency in clinical training experiences related to the area of concentrated study.
- Objective 2c: Completion of and minimal proficiency in efforts to conduct research projects related to the area of concentrated study.
If you are interested in applying to the University of Arkansas’s Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology, click on the “Applications” link above. For more information about the program contact the Director of the Clinical Training Program, Dr. Tim Cavell.
Faculty: Ana Bridges, Timothy A. Cavell, Matthew T. Feldner, Lindsay Ham, Ellen Leen-Feldner; Jeffrey M. Lohr, Patricia Petretic, Jennifer C. Veilleux, Nathan L. Williams
The Psychology Clinic
The University of Arkansas Psychological Clinic is an on-site clinic located in Memorial Hall that provides psychological services to both University of Arkansas students and the Northwest Arkansas Community. Doctoral students in our Clinical Psychology Training Program participate in practicum at the Clinic throughout their time at the University of Arkansas. The Clinic provides an invaluable training experience to our students who, through a combination of course work and supervision by our clinical faculty, have the opportunity to gain experience in individual psychotherapy for children and adults, marital and couples counseling, family therapy, intellectual, educational, or developmental testing, personality and psychosocial assessment. During the 2001-2002 fiscal year 163 students and community members were provided approximately 6000 hours of services by the psychological clinic.
From their first semester in our Clinical Training Program, doctoral students are engaged in psychological practicum at the Clinic. Typically, the practicum experience consists of weekly group and individual supervision with an assigned faculty supervisor. All students are required to conduct supervised psychological assessments, including intellectual assessments, learning disorder assessments, assessments of emotional and behavioral problems, and objective personality assessments. Additional training opportunities are offered in neuropsychological assessment and advanced personality assessment.
Doctoral students also gain experience in the provision of psychotherapy under the supervision of one of our licensed clinical psychologists. The primary theoretical orientation of our faculty is cognitive-behavioral, though training experiences in other theoretical orientations are offered by different supervisors (e.g., interpersonal, behavioral, systems theory, etc.).
To get started at the psychological clinic or to inquire further about the services that they provide contact a clinic secretary at (479)-575-4258.