Doctor of Psychology - Courses

The Doctor of Psychology program has been designed for full-time enrollment.

Year One (click on course for description)

DPSY 560 | Adult Psychopathology

This course contributes to the core knowledge necessary for the science and practice of clinical psychology. The goal of this course is to present a conceptual framework for understanding the science of psychopathology in order to inform clinical practice. Toward this end, the course will focus on central concepts important in the description, classification, and treatment of psychopathology, including relevant aspects of the historical and cultural context of these concepts. We will explore etiological issues, the application of a biopsychosocial conceptual framework to case conceptualization, and skill development in the diagnosis of psychopathology. Issues related to socioeconomic status, gender, age, culture and comorbidity will be addressed across the course.

DPSY 530 | Advanced Developmental Psychology

This course provides a broad understanding of individual development. Study will focus on the major themes and issues of physical, cognitive, social, and moral development, with particular emphasis placed on foundational research and theory in these areas, and the interaction of self and social contexts in developmental processes.

DPSY 503 | Clinical Foundations of Intervention I

This interactive course focuses on the training and practice of interpersonal skills which are vital to functioning as a professional psychologist or counselor.  The course will be centered on a three stage helping model which assists individuals in exploring their problems, gaining insights, and taking action.  In developing this helping model, three counseling theories will be explored:  person-centered therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and behavior therapy.  The course will largely focus on the skill development necessary to initiate helping relationships with diverse populations.

DPSY 520 | Assessment I: Psychological Measurement

This course is designed as an introduction to testing and measurement.  Primary emphasis will be placed on building a general understanding of elementary statistics and analysis of test scores in relation to the normal curve.  An understanding of reliability, validity, and normative samples, and non-biased test construction will be explored.  Students will gain a general understanding of both the purpose and practice of assessment and various methods of diagnostic problem solving related to a variety of human characteristics.  It is important to note that this course only serves as an introduction to testing and assessment and that further courses/skills training are needed for students interested in specializing in assessment.

DPSY 522 | Assessment II & III: Individual Differences

This course will include (a) review of historical and current theories and relevant research related to the measurement of intelligence, (b) review of psychometric constructs relevant to the measurement of intelligence and achievement, (c) exploration of multicultural issues related to the assessment of intelligence and learning constructs, (d) exploration of various human characteristic differences such as gender, age, SES, personality and the relationship and role they play within psychological assessment, and (e) exploration of intervention outcomes related to a variety of profiles and human characteristic differences. A philosophical and theoretical basis for measuring intelligence will be discussed with special attention given to historical issues around cultural bias and issues of diversity. Use and abuse issues will be discussed along with their level of sensitivity and validity with special populations (i.e., developmentally disabled & gifted, as well as those diagnosed with mental disorders).

DPSY 540 | Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior

This course will focus on two primary areas: Learning theory and behavioral analysis, and the psychology of emotion. Students will spend half the course focused on the psychology of learning, as well as the practical applications of behavioral/learning theory in clinical settings. The second half of the course will focus on the psychology of emotion, including such topics as the development of emotion in children, emotional regulation, and emotional intelligence. A portion of the course will also focus on integrating emotional theories with learning/behavioral principles. Special considerations will be given in applying these theories to work with children and adolescents.

DPSY 504 | Clinical Foundations of Intervention II

This course is designed to build upon the basic interpersonal and counseling skills developed in Clinical Foundations of Intervention I (PSY 503).  Emphasis will be placed on the development and further enhancement of counseling skills requisite for therapeutic intervention in established counseling relationships.  In addition, several psychotherapy approaches and their intervention techniques will be presented and analyzed, with a focus on the development of case conceptualization skills.  Theoretical applications will be considered for both adults and children.  The course includes a practicum component that requires students to demonstrate clinical and case conceptualization skills with a client

DPSY 621 | Integrative Assessment IV: Social-Emotional Assessment

This course provides information and training in the assessment of mental status and emotional well being in children, adolescents and adults. The course will cover more traditional projective measures as well as more recent norm-referenced thematic tools and techniques, which assess a broad range of social functioning areas. Students will be required to use these techniques both for administration and scoring, and begin interpreting results as a continuation of refining report writing skills.  A major component of the course is learning to integrate assessment results from different instruments into clear and concise written reports.

DPSY 664 | Group Dynamics and Group Counseling

This is an introductory graduate level course in group dynamics and group counseling.  The content includes an overview of group process, leader roles, member roles, and types of groups in school and clinical settings.  A variety of therapeutic approaches are presented and specific group counseling techniques for working with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings.  Issues in working in an ethical manner with diverse student/client populations are presented.

DPSY 542 | Biological Bases of Behavior/Pharmacology

This course will cover neuroanatomy, neural communication, and neural systems. In addition students will learn about commonly administered psychotropic drugs, their effects on the nervous system and the changes they produce in mood, consciousness, perception and behavior. Students will gain an understanding of the relationship between nervous system function and perception, cognition, emotion and behavior. They will emerge from this course with an understanding of the neurobiology of everyday functioning including such tasks as multitasking, paying attention, learning and remembering, seeing, hearing, speaking and socializing with others.

DPSY 716 | Exceptionality and Diversity

Inclusion of exceptional children and youth in unrestricted learning environments, and their academic success and social adjustment, requires school personnel to develop expertise in the recognition of special needs and a broad knowledge of appropriate school-based strategies for ensuring academic success and social development.  This course is designed as a graduate-level introduction to the history, major issues, and contemporary practices defining exceptionalities, their categorization, and demographic characteristics.

DPSY 565 | Child & Adolescent Psychopathology

This course is designed to explore the complexities of child and adolescent psychopathology, with a specific emphasis on the school setting. The content will focus on the epidemiology, symptomatology, etiology, comorbidity, and treatment of different psychopathologies experienced by children and adolescents. Common assessment strategies and classification systems, such as the DSM 5, will be examined, along with their strengths and weaknesses. Intervention and prevention approaches for specific disorders will be discussed, including school and clinic-based intervention programs.

Year Two (click on course for description)

DPSY 605 | History and Systems of Psychology

This course provides a survey of the major philosophical, historical, and socio-cultural factors that led to the development of the field of clinical psychology and the major theories within the field.  Emphasis is on presenting the key ideological controversies within the field, and exploring how these controversies have developed.  By examining how the major theories have been constructed, students will be better able to understand and meaningfully compare different theoretical viewpoints, and to gain awareness of how the theories fit with their own worldview.

DPSY 516/616 | Practicum I & II: Clinical/School

This practicum experience is designed as a transition from formal coursework to learning experiences within a school or clinical setting, under the direct supervision by a licensed or certified psychologist.  Through this practicum, students are provided with the opportunity to apply their knowledge of child development, learning theory, assessment, direct and indirect interventions, and to experientially apply the theories and techniques learned in Clinical Foundations of Intervention I & II (PSY 503 & 504) while working with children and families in a variety of settings.  Under the supervision of the professor, each student will be placed in an approved site for two full days each week to practice skills, develop observation skills, continue to develop counseling skills and to become oriented to working as a practicing psychologist.

Each student will be required to complete a project of intervention that measures the progress of a client population (single or group that they are managing throughout the semester.  Students are required to attend weekly meetings with other practicum students for case review, further supervision, topic presentations and sharing of intervention cases to be examined in light of theoretical and professional issues, ethics and strategies.

DPSY 603 | Multicultural Diversity and Professional Practice

This course is designed to develop multicultural competency in professional mental health practice. The focus will be on increasing students’ awareness of their cultural values and biases, while also developing knowledge about how race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and social class have an impact on self and the counseling relationship. Additional emphasis will be placed on surveying culturally responsive skills that are necessary to evaluate and intervene with diverse client systems.

DPSY 810 | Professional Ethics and Standards of Practice

This course provides guidelines for ethical conduct in the science and practice of psychology. It will offer an in-depth look at the necessary knowledge, awareness, and skills that are important to practice safely and responsibly in the field of psychology. Students will learn how to apply ethical standards in a positive and competent manner, and be appropriately sensitive when working with individuals from diverse backgrounds. The course will also assist students in exploring their personal values and how they relate to the American Psychological Association ethics code. A significant component of the course will also be utilized to discuss specific ethical dilemmas, and the appropriate decision making process to use when faced with such dilemmas. Primary attention will be given to understanding NYS Law and the practice of professional psychology.  Specifically, students will be expected to have a full understanding of N.Y. EDN. LAW Section 6509 (Definitions of Professional Misconduct), and Section 6511 (Penalties for professional misconduct) and Article 153 (use of the term psychologist).  In addition, Part 29 of NYS Educational law will be discussed which relates to misconduct within the professions as prescribed by the NYS Board of Regents, as well as laws of other agencies or the State, such as the “Safe Act.” The course will also assist students in preparing for future licensure by ensuring that they are familiar with the NY State regulations and process for obtaining licensure.

DPSY 622 | Integrative Assessment V: Neuropsychological

This course provides information and training in fundamental concepts of school neuropsychology with relevance for applied school psychological practice. A special focus will be placed on the assessment of neuropsychological factors that impact cognitive and social-emotional assessment in a school setting. Specific training will be provided in the use of several instruments: Das-Naglieri Cognitive Assessment System, WISC-IV Integrated, NEPSY-II, Test of Memory and Learning, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Skills, Neuropsychological Checklist and Inventory, and rating scales such as the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions. A major focus will be the enhancement of report writing skills that integrate formal and informal testing, observations, rating scales, and interviews.

DPSY 604 | Evidence-Based Treatments and Intervention

This course is designed to foster the integration of clinical science and practice by examining the history, nature, and process of evidence-based practice.  The course will emphasize evidence-based intervention strategies and programs designed to improve the emotional, behavioral, and social functioning of children, adolescents, and adults. Service delivery at the individual, group, and systems level will be addressed. Implementation issues specific to school and clinical settings will be examined.

DPSY 734 | Play Therapy

The purpose of this didactic-experiential course is to provide students with exposure to and an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in using play therapy with individuals, families and groups in diverse settings.  Students will become firmly grounded in child-directed play therapy and then become familiar with various theoretical practice models of play therapy, the rationale behind the use of play therapy, and the techniques used for effective play therapy in schools and mental health settings.  This course will expose the student to basic knowledge about play therapy as a component of professional practice in schools, and school-related programs in a variety of settings.

DPSY 700 | Advanced Integration of Psychology and Theology

The integration of psychology and theology involves respect for the value of each discipline and the conviction that, in important ways, each discipline has something to offer the other.  This course will consider some of the ways in which psychology and theology seem to have something to offer each other.  The course will begin with a consideration of some of the historical and philosophical issues that impact efforts to integrate the two disciplines.  The course will then consider specific areas where psychology and theology have been in dialogue.  Finally, there will be time for students to present their own overviews of selected integration topics.

DPSY 601 | Research Methods & Statistics I

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of research and statistical analysis.  Students will be exposed to the critical evaluation of research and will survey the process of research from the development of hypotheses to the interpretation of data.  They will gain a broader understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics and various research design strategies.

DPSY 830 | Advanced Social-Cognitive Psychology

Psychology is the study of how people influence each other.  Topics of interest to social psychologists span a number of areas, including interpersonal relationships, the self in social context, social influence, attitude change, prejudice, prosocial behavior, and the social environment.  Students will read and discuss seminal publications in each of these areas, as well as in the area of social cognition. This field combines classic social psychology with the methods and theories of cognitive psychology to study how people perceive, interpret, and remember information about themselves, other people, and social groups. Finally, there will be time for students to present their own overviews of selected social-cognitive psychology topics.

DPSY 802 | Marriage and Family Therapy

This course will survey major family therapy theoretical models with particular attention paid to the different conceptions of healthy and dysfunctional dynamics, goals in family therapy treatment, and associated therapeutic approaches and techniques. The focus will be on increasing students’ ability to conceptualizing family and couple dynamics and understanding how these dynamics are related to presenting problems in client systems. Additional emphasis will be placed on the development of practical skills and techniques necessary to evaluate and intervene with family systems.

Year Three (click on course for description)

DPSY 655 | Consultation for Prevention and Intervention

This course is designed to teach the skills and methods of psychological and educational consultation as practiced in a wide array of human services settings including schools, mental health centers, hospitals and agencies.  Students will be introduced to basic concepts in consultation with a major emphasis placed on behavioral, instructional, mental health, organizational and crisis consultation models.  The usefulness of these indirect service approaches will be based on the assumption that the mental health practitioner will be able to provide prevention and intervention services to a greater number of at risk clients.  Subsequently, this course will address relevant strategies for promoting change in individuals, small groups, and larger organizational systems.  The primary stages of consultation will be explored along with applied in-class and school-based experiential components that will assist students in learning about the process of consultation.  Prevention practices in these settings will be discussed within the context of these consultation models and professional ethics and legal issues surrounding consultation will be reviewed as well.

DPSY 801 | Research Methods and Statistics II

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of research and statistical analysis in the context of preparing those students for a research project as part of their doctoral parcticum.  Students will be exposed to hypothesis development, the critical evaluation of relevant research, and operationalizing their research ideas so that their research questions can adequately be answered.  They will gain a broader understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics and various research design strategies.

DPSY 850/851 | School Psychology Internship

This course is designed to support and provide campus supervision for Psy.D. candidates that are completing semester I and semester II of their doctoral internship in School Psychology.  This seminar supervision course will be supported by individual faculty members which are assigned supervision roles for student capstone projects.  As part of this course, candidates will be asked to complete an Applied Project Information Form once the student, faculty, and field placement supervisor agree on the topic and scope

DPSY 860/861 | Dissertation I & II

The Dissertation is a culminating experience in which students investigate a topic of significance to the professional practice of psychology.  The project provides a unique opportunity for students to conduct research in an applied setting, and to develop the research competencies established earlier in the program.  The project will be conducted independently, but will be supervised by Department faculty and an advisor in a practice setting. Students will develop a specific research question relating to the practice of psychology, conduct a thorough review of the scholarly literature pertaining to this question, develop a research design to adequately address the question, conduct the project, analyze the results, and discuss implications for the practice of psychology.  The project will culminate in a scholarly paper, and students will be required to orally present their findings in both academic and applied settings.

DPSY 715 | Clinical Supervision

This course includes the study of the process of supervision and various models of supervision within schools and clinical settings.  Students will gain experience with supervision by supervising students enrolled in the 1st year practicum experience.

DPSY 804 | Advanced Clinical Skills Seminar

This seminar will help students integrate and refine various clinical skills required for professional psychological practice, including clinical interviewing, assessment, case conceptualization, treatment planning, and treatment intervention. A case conference format will be primarily used to ensure students engage in self-reflective practice as well as to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills applied to clinical situations.

Year Four (click on course for description)

DPSY 870/871 | Internship in Clinical/School Psychology

The internship represents the culminating experience for the Psy.D. program in Clinical/School at Roberts Wesleyan College.  Its purpose is to provide intensive, supervised experience in the roles and functions of the practicing psychologist, as well as to provide a broad exposure to the educational and community environment of the internship site.  The internship may occur on a full-time basis over a period of one academic year or on a half-time basis over a period of two consecutive academic years.

The intern will learn to apply skills, knowledge and attitudes learned in classes, field and practicum experiences in daily professional practice.  The internship will provide the necessary opportunities for students to integrate their knowledge and applied skills in working with children, families, adult/adolescent populations, and/or school personnel under the supervision of a professional Licensed or school psychologist.  The “ideal” internship provides a balance between breadth and depth of experience.  This growth experience requires regular and consistent contact with supervisors, which in turn allows for the natural evolution of the intern from student to professional.

Total Credits: 96

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