Clinical Psychology, Psy.D.
The Clinical Psychology Psy.D.
Florida Tech's clinical psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. (Commission on Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; Phone: (202) 336-5979).
It is recognized by both the secretary of the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the national accrediting authority for professional education and training in psychology.
The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) is a service-oriented degree emphasizing clinical skills. The program leading to the PsyD is based on a practitioner–scientist model and is committed to the Vail model of training and the training conferences of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Florida Tech was the first university in the southeast to offer the PsyD and the model of training it represents. It is very exclusive, accepting only 20 students per year.
Unique and Comprehensive Training
In addition to classes and seminars, the training program in clinical psychology includes supervised experience in testing, diagnosis, counseling, and therapy, as well as research projects related to special fields of interest. Before completing the doctorate, students complete one year of supervised internship training. Graduates are licensed throughout the United States and hold positions of responsibility in mental health clinics, hospitals, medical centers, HMOs, PPOs, and independent practice. Students are expected to be aware of various theories of human nature and of various treatment modalities.
The curriculum emphasizes clinical training and professional development. This is based on the roles most practicing psychologists fill in their careers, and allows students to become competent in providing services to those in need of psychological intervention. In the first year, as part of the pre-practicum, students will shadow various clinicians at Florida Tech. Students can also volunteer to participate at a variety of clinical sites working with faculty.
Graduates of the program receive a PsyD in clinical psychology and possess core competencies in relational/clinical skills, comprehensive psychological assessment, clinical treatment interventions, research and evaluation, consultation and education, management and supervision, and diversity issues. Designed to provide excellent clinical training and research skills, the PsyD in clinical psychology program includes special elective emphasis areas including:
- Forensic psychology
- Child and family psychology
- Integrated behavioral health
Why pursue a terminal Clinical Psychology degree at Florida Tech?
Clinical Core Faculty
Florida Tech’s psychology professors have extensive clinical backgrounds and board certifications in their given specialties. Many faculty members have served as presidents or members of board of directors of national and international professional organizations, putting them in a position to secure millions of federal and state dollars to support their research.
Achieving national and international prominence in the field of psychology, professors offer a variety of theoretical orientations and advanced research opportunities. Because the program accepts only 20 students each year, students receive a high degree of individual attention and an opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty members. This includes collaborating with professors on new or ongoing projects for doctoral research, graduate student assistantships, and clinical psychology internships.
Students working toward a PsyD in clinical psychology and may participate in internships in medical and psychiatric hospitals; outpatient medical and mental health facilities; university counseling centers; US military care facilities; child treatment centers; and veteran’s health facilities.
Students can conduct research on a variety of topics and identify the area of concentration. Past graduate research includes such projects as:
- Child and family conflicts
- Neuropsychological sequela of aging and of sports injuries
- Trauma and stress
- Adaptation to chronic illness
- Integrated healthcare
In addition to didactic training, top clinical psychology programs like Florida Tech demand that students have numerous opportunities to obtain hands-on supervised experience. At Florida Tech, this includes testing, diagnosis, counseling, psychotherapy, and research experience related to special fields of interest. Emphasizing training through direct client contact, students also obtain experience in a variety of therapeutic settings.
Clinical training for students in the PsyD in clinical psychology program begins in the Community Psychological Services (CPS) center, located on campus at the Scott Center for Autism Treatment. This world-renowned, state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to working with children who have autism and other behavioral disorders. Clients come to CPS from the greater Brevard County area presenting with the full spectrum of mental health problems—depression, anxiety, thought disorders, marriage and family issues, developmental disabilities, health problems with emotional components, and others.
After two semesters of supervised practicums in CPS, supervised by the full-time clinical faculty, students move on to a series of advanced, external practicums in a wide variety of health facilities in the area, both inpatient and outpatient. With faculty consultation, students can select practicum sites to expand their experience with certain problems or populations of interest to them. Numerous paid and unpaid practicum opportunities exist for students to provide individual, group, couples, and family therapy and testing in diverse settings.
Potential Practicum sites
The curriculum emphasizes core scientific knowledge in fourteen behavioral topics, offering concentration in family/child psychology, forensic psychology, and neuropsychology/clinical health psychology. Students can tailor their practicum experiences to meet individual interests by working in:
- Community mental health centers
- Local hospitals
- University counseling centers
- Private practices
- Military bases
Diverse, High Quality Practicum Facilities
Graduate students in the clinical psychology program spend most of their time applying clinical knowledge and skills at various practicum sites. It is through these practicum placements that they translate academic knowledge into solutions for real-life problems. Practicum sites include:
- Community Psychological Services
- Circles of Care, Psychiatric Hospital
- East Central Florida Memory Clinic
- Family Learning Program (FLP)
- Women's Center
- Student Counseling Center
- Building Blocks (PCIT)
Specialized Clinical Psychology Trainings
In addition to research and practicum experience, students may participate in clinical psychology trainings while earning their PsyD at Florida Tech:
- Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)—Working with children and families with the PCIT model, a nationally recognized empirically validated play therapy treatment, Dr. Felipa Chavez leads clinical psychology internships that provide students with both clinical and research experiences with children and their parents.
- The Concussion Management Program—Led by Dr. Frank Webbe, the clinical psychology internship of the Concussion Management Program is a neuropsychological assessment experience with research opportunities for students in the areas of athletic head injury and memory disorders.
- The Scott Center for Autism Treatment—Students interested in clinical and research experience with children and families within the autism spectrum can work with the clinical and research faculty of the Scott Center for Autism Treatment.
Careers for the Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Graduate
Career opportunities for a clinical psychologist can vary widely. Florida Tech PsyD graduates create careers in healthcare services, advocacy, research, and private practice, treating the full spectrum of mental health problems or behavior change goals. This could include improving health, increased happiness, treating phobias, or helping clients deal with personal and family issues. Florida Tech prepares students to work in integrative co-located health settings, neuropsychology, forensic psychology, and child and family psychology. Additionally, there are many opportunities for students to prepare specifically for working with veterans of the armed forces.
Graduates with a PsyD in clinical psychology degree can provide healthcare services, continue to work in the research community, or consider a position in psychology advocacy. PsyD graduates may choose to build expertise in behavioral medicine such as clinical neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology, or in geropsychology and integrated primary care. Other common choices among Florida Tech students includes working with families and children, and forensic psychology.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides detailed information about hundreds of occupations, including, entry-level education, overall working environment, and employment prospects. According to the Bureau, careers in clinical psychology are projected to grow 12% from 2012–2022. Demand for clinical and counseling psychologist will increase as people and organizations seek the services of psychologists to treat depression, family and marriage problems, job stress and addiction. School psychologists are increasing to work more closely with those with special needs, learning disabilities and behavioral issues.
In addition, as the population ages, psychologists will be needed to work with seniors on their particular needs, as well as specialized services for veterans suffering from the traumas of war, survivors of other types of trauma, and individuals with autism.
Psychologists are scientists whose work contributes to every aspect of our lives. Psychologists can be found in countless fields, from healthcare and public service to education, business, and technology. Careers in clinical psychology deal with the vast scope of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, integrating the science of psychology with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide variety of complicated human problems:
- Clinical psychologist in private practice
- Clinical director
- Clinical therapist
- Behavioral health psychologist
- Clinical case manager
- Clinical psychologist in academic environments
- Behavioral interventionist
- Manager of clinical outpatient services