PsyD in Clinical Psychology Sacramento

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Degree Overview


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The APA-Accredited Clinical PsyD Program in Sacramento offers doctoral education and training in clinical psychology consistent with a practitioner-scholar model. The program, designed primarily for students interested in the professional practice of clinical psychology, emphasizes clinical skills and the application of research knowledge with diverse populations in a wide range of settings.

The Clinical PsyD Program in Sacramento has two aims:

Aim 1: To train students to become clinical psychologists who will bring critical thinking and active problem solving skills to bear on human problems and who will be able to intervene effectively, using multiple methods of evidence-based assessment and intervention with diverse populations, across many settings, in changing and evolving contexts.

Aim 2: To educate professionals who will evaluate and conduct applied research and be able to effectively communicate their knowledge to others.

Although students receive a thorough grounding in traditional clinical assessment and intervention, they are also trained to consider the role of diverse systems in creating and/or remedying individual and social problems. The Sacramento PsyD faculty is committed to offering a broad array of elective courses reflecting theory, assessment, and intervention across a variety of systems, especially across cultural systems.

 

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Faculty and Admissions

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Admissions

Faculty

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Emphasis Areas


Correctional Psychology

PsyD students of the Clinical Psychology program in Sacramento may specialize their degrees with an emphasis in correctional psychology. This emphasis prepares students with the specialized knowledge, skills and experience to effectively work as members of treatment teams in often difficult environments and provides a curriculum that incorporates this knowledge, skill set and experiences. In order to complete the emphasis, students are required to take their eight units of elective coursework in this emphasis area, complete at least one year-long practicum in a setting providing treatment to offenders, and focus their dissertation on a topic related to correctional psychology. These elective courses are also available individually for students who wish to include an exposure to this specialty area in their curriculum but do not want to dedicate all of their elective units and/or dissertation topic to this area of clinical practice. 

Learn more about these Emphasis Areas here

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Degree Information


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Program Competencies and Elements

The Clinical PsyD Program in Sacramento has nine competencies with related elements that form the basis for the practitioner-scholar model. The competencies are met operationally through various academic and training activities that include courses, practicum and internship placements, supervised research experiences, and comprehensive examinations. Multiple data sources are used to assess outcomes relative to these competencies. These competencies specify attitudes, knowledge, and skills that students are expected to achieve by the time they graduate from the program and perceptions, feelings, and professional achievements alumni are expected to report as they pursue their profession. The elements are the expected specific outcomes for each of the respective competencies.

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Duration and Requirements

During the PsyD in Clinical Psychology program students are evaluated on progressive developmental stages of their training. The evaluation begins prior to admission and includes evaluation of a student’s readiness for practicum training, readiness for internship, and readiness for practice. The PsyD degree program requires a minimum of 90 academic units (3 years, full time), 30 internship units (1 year, full time), and 30 hours of personal therapy completed with a licensed clinical psychologist. Students typically advance to candidacy following their 2nd year and may not apply for internship until they have met all the following requirements for advancement to candidacy.

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Accreditation

The California School of Professional Psychology’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology program in Sacramento is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA), which requires that we provide data on time to completion, program costs, internships, attrition and licensure. Please follow the link below for that information. 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, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, 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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Our Campus Address

Alliant International University
2030 W El Camino Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95833
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School Performance Fact Sheets

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Research Opportunities

The Clinical PsyD program in Sacramento is designed for students interested in the professional practice of clinical psychology. Recognizing that this practice must be grounded in the most current literature and research knowledge, we strive to teach students to be competent consumers of research and confident in their ability to apply this knowledge to diverse populations in diverse settings.

One of the unique aspects of the Sacramento Clinical PsyD program is the design of its dissertation sequence. The 4-semester course sequence begins in the 2nd year and is completed in the 3rd year, before students leave for internship. Utilizing a cohort model, students in the class serve as committee members, supporting each other under the supervision of the instructor, a core faculty member who serves as dissertation chair. The seminar format draws on the expertise of other students to stimulate new ideas and to offer and receive critical feedback as students progress through the dissertation process. This intensive structure has proven extremely successful in facilitating students completing the program on time.

In addition to course offerings, several faculty members lead voluntary research groups, providing opportunity for students to engage in hands on research endeavors, to present at state and national conferences, and to publish their finding. Below, please find a description of some of the current research initiatives involving students.

Assessment, Psychotherapy, and Personality Research Team
Matt Baity, PhD

Although I have a wide range of more specific research interests, the common theme of my work is a focus on improving clinical care. The two main branches of my research are focused on advancing psychological assessment (e.g., improving diagnostic accuracy, incremental validity, multimethod assessment) and factors that impact treatment outcome.

We have a number of projects looking at the reliability and validity of certain psychological assessment instruments, the diagnostic effectiveness of those instruments, and how they might be used to predict treatment response. I have recently been involved in developing program evaluation projects (both locally and nationally) in which patients are tracked over the course of their treatment on a range of variables. Many of my students have used data from these studies for their dissertations, and several have received Dissertation Grant Awards and travel money from the Society for Personality Assessment, with whom we are very active. Over the past three years, my students have a combined 13 presentations and posters at professional conferences. We are currently in the process of preparing four of these studies for journal review with active plans to develop four more; and students are first authors on all these papers.

In addition to providing students with research opportunities, I aspire to adopt a mentor role, providing professional development experiences that include discussing articles and/or methodological issues, connecting students with professionals around the country that have similar interests, bringing relevant clinical issues impacting the practice of psychology to our group discussions, and teaching new tests/scoring systems. For example, I have become heavily involved in training on the new scoring system for the Rorschach (R-PAS). In coordination with the R-PAS developers, my lab is in the planning stages of several projects that will not only provide an opportunity for students to become fully trained in the new system ahead of many others, but will allow them to be part of the normative data collection process, making professional connections outside of Alliant.

Every student has an opportunity to make a contribution in this vibrant research group, graded o their ability and desires. For a list of recent presentations, please see the tab labeled “Our Students.”

Education and Training Research Lab
Emil Rodolfa, Ph.D

Throughout my career, I have been committed to enhancing the education and training of the next generation of psychologists. From the time I was a student in my doctoral program at Texas A&M where I was beginning to learn to supervise, to the time I became the founding editor of the APA/APPIC journal, Training and Education in Professional Psychology, until today, I am fascinated by the process of professional development. It gives me great pleasure and a sense of personal and professional fulfillment to contribute to student learning and competency development.

This lab has been developed to give students a chance to examine variables that contribute to the process of doctoral education in psychology. Each year I take a small group of first year students and over their three years in the program we investigate a topic of interest to them in the broad area of psychology education and training. My first year on faculty, we investigated factors that influenced whether a student submitted their dissertation research for publication in a professional journal. The following year, a group of students worked on a study examining training and factors involved in telesupervision for doctoral interns. Last year, we examined characteristics and variables that influence the impostor syndrome in students. And this year we have just develop a questionnaire to examine the suicide training that occurs at psychology doctoral programs and internship. This current study is based on a recent law in California requiring psychologists and only psychologists to prove to the Board of Psychology that they have at least six hours of training in suicide assessment and intervention.

These research opportunities give students a chance to connect with each other, to work together with a common goal, to collaborate in developing the research protocol, to apply to the University Institution Review Board, to conduct the study, analyze the data collected, develop presentations, and write and submit papers describing the research. In addition, these projects give me a chance to get to know students, to work closely with them, to mentor, and support them. As a result, it gives me a chance to learn more about our students, to learn about their interests, to watch how they work as a member of our research team and how they commit to an additional project in the face of all the other requirements of our program.

I look forward each year to welcoming new students into my lab and helping them develop a project that they will feel excited about working on to its completion.

Field Training

Sacramento’s Clinical PsyD program emphasizes the integration of academic coursework with clinical practice. Students receive supervised clinical training through five semesters of practicum and one year of full-time pre-doctoral internship. Practicum students are placed through a network of more than 35 agencies throughout Central and Northern California. Potential sites include hospitals and other medical settings, schools, correctional facilities, group homes, clinics, universities, and state and county programs. Placements are available in agencies utilizing a variety of theoretical approaches and serving demographically and culturally diverse populations.

Skills learned in the classroom are quickly put to practice as students participate in their professional training experiences (or practica). Students begin practicum during the 2nd semester of their first year. This first year practicum requires 12 hours per week for 17 weeks (approximately 200 hours) and draws on the skills learned during the first term in courses designed to prepare students for practice (such as Basic Foundations of Clinical Practice, Introduction to Ethical Practice & Law, and Intellectual Assessment). In the second and third years, practica are 16-20 hours per week for 50 weeks (approximately 800 hours each year) and utilize psychotherapy and assessment skills in a variety of settings. Liaisons with the Office of Professional Training assign students to agencies based how the available training experiences match individual practicum learning plans, developed for each student to provide a breadth of experiences in keeping with the student’s level of experience and career goals.

In their final year of study, students are responsible for obtaining an appropriate  one year, full-time internship (approximately 2080 hours) and are strongly encouraged to seek an APA-accredited internship, although APPIC or CAPIC member internships are permissible. The Office of Professional Training assists students as they negotiate the internship application process.

Emphasis in Correctional Psychology

Correctional psychology is the application of foundational knowledge in clinical psychology to clinical work with offender populations. Designed for students whose educational goals include pursuing a professional career in correctional or forensic psychology, this coursework builds on strong training in foundational and core coursework in clinical psychology with eight elective units described below. In order to complete the emphasis, students must complete all four courses, complete at least one year-long practicum assignment in a setting providing treatment to offender populations, and focus their dissertation on a topic related to correctional psychology. These courses may also be taken individually as electives by students who simply wish to include an exposure to this specialty area as part of their general clinical curriculum.

Introduction to Correctional Psychology (2 units): An overview of the correctional context including purposes of mental health services in these settings, needs of offenders and systems, and roles of psychologists on interdisciplinary treatment teams. Application of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct as well as the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists to professional practice in correctional settings. Exploration of prison culture and its effects on individuals living and working in such systems. Topics include coping with stress and burn-out, vicarious traumatization, and problem resolution strategies for conflicts within interdisciplinary treatment teams.

Psychological Assessment in Corrections (2 units): Requires completion of Introduction to Correctional Psychology, Intellectual Assessment and Personality Assessment. Purposes of psychological assessment in these settings including identification of offenders with mental illness, assessment of suicide risk and intellectual disabilities for the purpose of placement and treatment planning; consultation services to custody for offender management such as violence risk assessment and recommendations for adjudication of rules violations.

Evidence-based Interventions for Offenders (2 units): Requires completion of Introduction to Correctional Psychology and Introduction to Psychotherapy. Review of evidence-based intervention models specific to offender treatment including individual and group psychotherapies, and overview of outcome studies to support effective development of treatment plans and treatment implementation.

Development and Criminal Behavior (2 units): Requires completion of, or current enrollment in, Social Bases of Behavior, Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior, Biological Foundations, and Developmental Psychology/Lifespan Development. Examines development of criminal thinking and behavior patterns including violent and antisocial behavior throughout the lifespan.

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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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