PsyD in Clinical Psychology Los Angeles

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Degree Overview


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The California School of Professional Psychology’s APA-accredited PsyD in Clinical Psychology program in Los Angeles provides advanced education and training for practitioners of health service psychology, with a focus in clinical psychology.

The Los Angeles Clinical PsyD program addresses the societal need for multiculturally competent psychology professional practitioners who effectively integrate scientific evidence with practice to respond to human problems of developmental deprivation, dysfunction, and trauma. The overarching goal of the program is to educate new generations of clinical psychologists who are able to intervene effectively, using multiple methods of evidence-based assessment and intervention with diverse populations, across many settings, in changing and evolving contexts.

 

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Admissions

Faculty

 

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Emphasis Areas


Applicants to the CSPP-LA Clinical PhD and PsyD programs select one of three emphasis areas:

  • Clinical Health Psychology Emphasis (Health CHP)
  • Family/Child and Couple Emphasis (FACE)
  • Multicultural Community-Clinical Psychology Emphasis (MCCP)

Students can also choose to opt-out of emphasis area specializations; these students are Multi-Interest Option (MIO). All students receive a general education in clinical psychology.

Learn more about these Emphasis Areas here.

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Degree Information


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Nationally-Recognized Training in Multicultural Psychology

The Los Angeles Clinical Psychology PsyD program is proud of its national reputation for excellence in multiculturally relevant education and training. All core and elective course materials integrate multicultural perspectives, including areas of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, socioeconomic status, family composition, religious practice, medical and health conditions, international issues, and inherent psychometric-intelligence variances, among others.

The rich diversity of the Los Angeles area also offers a wealth of clinical placement opportunities where students in the PsyD degree program develop multicultural competencies to enhance their clinical skills.

The Los Angeles Clinical Psychology PsyD program was the 2010 recipient of the Suinn Minority Achievement Program Award for excellence in recruitment, retention, and graduation of ethnic minority students, and for its overall commitment to cultural diversity in all department activities.

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Immediate Hands-On Experience in the Real World

The four-year Los Angeles Clinical Psychology PsyD program is structured to provide students with significant clinical experience that is integrated with classroom learning. A required first-year practicum enables students to start applying research and theory to their clinical work from the beginning of their program. Practica continue in the second and third years. Students receive mentoring and guidance as they pursue an APA-accredited internship in the fourth year of the program, with modification options available for students who feel that they would benefit from an additional year of practicum prior to undertaking their pre-doctoral internship.

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Los Angeles Program Features

The Los Angeles Clinical PsyD degree program offers three emphasis areas that provide a specialized learning focus:

  • Family/Child and Couple Emphasis (FACE)
  • Clinical Health Psychology Emphasis (CHP)
  • Multicultural Community-Clinical Psychology Emphasis (MCCP)

Students who decide not to enter an emphasis area are considered Multi-Interest Option (MIO) students.

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Accreditation

The California School of Professional Psychology’s Los Angeles PsyD in Clinical Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association, which requires public disclosure of data on time to completion, program costs, internships, attrition and licensure. Please follow the link below for that data. We hope this information will help you to make an informed decision regarding your graduate study.

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data (.pdf)

The California School of Professional Psychology’s Clinical Psychology PhD and PsyD programs offered on the Fresno, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco campuses are individually accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA).

*Please direct program accredited status inquiries to the Commission on Accreditation.

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: https://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

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Alhambra, CA 91803
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School Performance Fact Sheet

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The Clinical Psychology PsyD program has adopted seven aims, nine competencies, and related elements designed to implement its philosophy and meet the overall program aims.

Aims

Aim 1: To provide students with a graduate-level, scientific knowledge base that serves as a foundation for continued training in and practice of health service psychology.

Aim 2: To provide students with knowledge of scientific research methods, procedures, and practices; and the ability to apply this knowledge effectively to significant human problems.

Aim 3: To provide students with knowledge of ethical and legal principles, laws, regulations, and policies; and the ability to apply this knowledge effectively to all professional activities.

Aim 4: To provide students with the knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and skills required for effective and sensitive service delivery to diverse individuals and populations.

Aim 5: To provide students with the ability to develop, maintain, and evolve professional identities and behaviors through self-reflection, self-evaluation, and effective interpersonal communication skills.

Aim 6: To provide students with knowledge of evidence-based and culturally sensitive psychological assessment and intervention methods; and the ability to apply this knowledge effectively in service delivery across multiple settings and contexts.

Aim 7: To provide students with knowledge of and respect for multiple professional roles and perspectives; and to apply this knowledge in supervision, consultation, and collaboration.

Competencies

The competencies specify knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to clinical practice, research, and professional projects and activities that students are expected to develop by the time they graduate from the program, as well as perceptions and professional/scholarly achievements that program alumni are expected to report as they pursue employment in the field. The competencies are met operationally through various academic and training activities that include coursework, comprehensive exams, supervised clinical dissertation/research work, and clinical field training placements. Multiple data sources are used to assess proximal outcomes (e.g., course grades, comprehensive exam scores, dissertation evaluations, and field training evaluations) and distal outcomes (e.g., responses to alumni surveys, licensure and employment outcomes) in competency areas. Elements are the expected specific outcomes for each respective competency.

Competency 1: Research

  • On substantially independent level, formulate research or other scholarly activities that are of sufficient quality and rigor to contribute to the scientific, psychological or professional knowledge base
  • Conduct research or other scholarly activities.
  • Critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activities via professional presentations and publications at the local, regional, and national level.

Competency 2: Ethical and Legal Standards

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and act in accordance with the current version of the APA's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and act in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, rules and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, state, regional, and federal levels.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and act in accordance with relevant professional standards and guidelines.
  • Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

Competency 3: Individual and Cultural Diversity

  • Understand how one's own personal/cultural history may affect understanding of and interaction with people different from oneself.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity, including research and service.
  • Integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles.

Competency 4: Professional Values and Attitudes

  • Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
  • Engage in self-reflection; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being and professional effectiveness.
  • Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
  • Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with an increasingly greater degree of independence as they progress along levels of training.

Competency 5: Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, and those receiving professional services.
  • Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that demonstrate a grasp of professional language and concepts.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.

Competency 6: Assessment

  • Use multiple methods of information gathering to inform diagnostic decisions, including consideration of alternative diagnoses and selection of appropriate diagnoses.
  • Support diagnostic decisions with clinical information gathered via evidence-based practices and knowledge of diagnostic taxonomies (i.e., DSM-5; ICD-10).
  • Select and apply assessment methods that draw from empirical literature; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods.
  • Interpret assessment results to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations.
  • Communicate, orally and in written documentation, the findings and implications of an assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a diverse range of clients and audiences.

Competency 7: Intervention

  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
  • Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
  • Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature.
  • Apply the relevant research literature to critical decision-making.
  • Evaluate intervention effectiveness and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.

Competency 8: Supervision

  • Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices.
  • Integrate supervisor feedback into professional practice

Competency 9: Interdisciplinary skills

  • Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of consultation models and practices.

The program also instructs students in areas of discipline-specific knowledge and evaluates their mastery of knowledge and competency in these areas. Students will acquire:

  • Substantial knowledge in History and Systems of Psychology, as well as in basic content areas of scientific psychology (i.e., Biological Aspects of Behavior; Development Aspects of Behavior; Social Aspects of Behavior; Cognitive Aspects of Behavior; and Affective Aspects of Behavior).
  • Substantial understanding of and competence in the advanced integration of Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior; Research Methods; Quantitative Methods; and Psychometrics.

Training in individual and cultural diversity competence is integrated throughout all program requirements; additionally, the program embraces the multicultural competencies supported by the University. In this way, the program and CSPP are responsive to the ethical mandates of the American Psychological Association.

The professional development of doctoral students of clinical psychology occurs within the context of both formal coursework and supervised clinical field training experiences in a variety of mental health service settings. The Clinical Psychology PsyD program requires students to complete three years of practica and a full-time pre-doctoral internship.  Every student receives guidance and support through the clinical training placement selection and application process from the Practicum and Internship Training Directors, licensed professionals who work with students to develop and implement individualized training plans that expose students to a variety of clientele and professional role models. This intensive mentorship also supports students’ abilities to obtain clinical placements that are well-suited to each student’s skill level, clinical interests, and longer-term professional goals (including the successful acquisition of a full-time APA-accredited internship placement).

Practicum

Students begin their clinical field training in their first year with Practicum I, a year-long experience (September - May) totaling approximately 250 hours, which students can count towards their pre-doctoral hours requirements for licensure. Most first-year students complete a school-based practicum (with required on-site hours and on-campus didactic/group supervision) through Gateways to Success, a program that places trainees at school sites within the Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD). Students who enter the program with a clinical Master’s degree and practicum experience during their Master’s program may be placed at another agency to see individual clients (pending availability at other practicum sites).

In their second- and third-year practica, students obtain part-time professional training placements (15-20 hours per week) at diverse agencies throughout the Los Angeles area.  In these settings, students assume more clinical responsibility for assessment and intervention while continuing to receive close supervision, appropriate to their training level and abilities.  All training sites and placement are carefully reviewed and continually monitored on an ongoing basis by the Practicum Training Director, to ensure consistency and quality of training.

For all practicum placements, students are required to participate in a minimum of one hour of weekly supervision provided by a licensed psychologist; many practicum sites also require group supervision. Practicum supervision requirements also include a minimum of two hours per week spent in didactic training.

Internship

Prior to graduation, students are required to complete a full-time internship; this culminating experience integrates academic and clinical experiences and prepares students for their professional role as a psychologist. The program is committed to helping its students obtain APA-accredited internships. While the completion of an APA-accredited internship is not required to complete the program, all students are required to apply to a minimum number of APA-accredited internship sites, and are required to participate in Phases I and II of the APPIC Match process. Students should be aware that various postdoctoral training positions and some employers (e.g. the Veterans Administration) require that successful applicants have completed APA-accredited internships. For their full-time internship experience, many students leave the Los Angeles area in order to gain specialized training at APA-accredited/APPIC internship sites. Full-time APA-accredited/APPIC internships provide a stipend to students during their internship year. Most other internships (e.g., CAPIC) and practicum sites do not offer stipends. Students should not count on training stipends as a means of financing their education.

Students become eligible to apply for internship only after achieving post-proposal status on their clinical dissertation and advancing to doctoral candidacy; students are required to pass the proposal meeting by the end of finals week in the spring semester of their second year in order to apply to internship in the fall of the third year. In special cases via faculty advisement and with Program Director approval, students may be allowed to modify their program to five years by adding an extra practicum experience in their fourth year and complete the required full-time internship in their fifth year/

For all internship placements, students are required to participate in a minimum of one hour of weekly supervision provided by a licensed psychologist who serves as primary supervisor, who is available to the intern 100% of the time that the student is at the agency, and who is employed by the agency at least 50% of the duration of the student’s internship. A minimum of two hours of weekly didactic training is also required. At least two psychologists must be involved in internship training.

Methods of Evaluation

For all field training placements, students receive mid-year and final evaluations of their clinical performance from their primary supervisor, which are submitted to and reviewed by the Office of Professional Training (as well as by the student’s faculty advisor).  To receive credit for successful completion of a field training placement, students must receive scores meeting or exceeding expected and level-appropriate minimum levels of achievement (MLA) in multiple areas of competency evaluation. If a student fails to attain an MLA for one or more competencies on a mid-year or final evaluation, he or she may be required to complete remediation in order to demonstrate achievement of competency. Required remediation varies by the severity of the student’s difficulties, and may include repeating a training year.  Occasionally, students are dismissed from the program for egregious unethical or unprofessional behavior or for not completing required remediation and attaining required MLAs.

Expected field training evaluation scores that meet MLAs are as follows:

Method Prac 1   Prac 2   Pracy 3   Internship  
  Mid-Year Final Mid-Year Final Mid-Year Final Mid-Year Final
Ethical & Legal Standards 2 2 2 3 3 4 3 4
Assessment 2 2 2 3 3 4 3 4
Intervention 2 2 2 3 3 4 3 4
Individual & Cultural Diversity 2 2 2 3 3 4 3 4
Supervision n/a n/a n/a n/a 3 4 3 4
Communication & Interpersonal Skills 2 2 2 3 3 4 3 4
Consultation & Interprofessional Interdisciplinary Skills 2 2 2 3 3 4 3 4
Professional Values & Attitudes 2 2 2 3 3 4 3 4

1 = Inadequate: Student knowledge and skills in this area are deficient; remediation and close monitoring required.

2 = Developing: Student demonstrates introductory knowledge and skills in this area, but is not yet ready to take the responsibility required to perform in this area without significant supervision.

3 = Emerging Competence: Student demonstrates effective knowledge and skills in this area in most situations, and is approaching competency.

4 = Competent: Student demonstrates competent knowledge and skills in this area that are typical of a trainee ready to proceed to pre-doctoral internship.

5 = Advanced: Student demonstrates advanced knowledge and skills in this area that are typical of a highly experienced trainee.

Office of Professional Training (Clinical Doctoral Programs, Los Angeles)

Jessie Lowell, PsyD
Internship Training Director
jessie.lowell@alliant.edu | 626-270-3341

Paula Strauss, PsyD
Practicum Training Director
pstrauss@alliant.edu | 626-270-3342

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Why Alliant

At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve the lives of people in diverse cultures and communities around the world. Our Vision is an inclusive world empowered by Alliant alumni.

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Why CSPP

The California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) is Alliant’s cornerstone school and was built on a legacy of thought leadership, multicultural competence, and quality of care. CSPP’s programs pair hands-on professional practice with academic rigor in order to prepare the next generation of psychologists and mental health care professionals.

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