Educational Philosophy and Training Model

We believe clinical psychologists are best educated as scientist-practitioners.
Scientific knowledge and methods form the foundation for effective clinical practice which, in turn, informs future research. Thus, it is essential to develop skills to design and conduct research as well as implement empirically-based techniques in practice. Our faculty believes that extensive exposure to theory, research, and practice is key in training clinical psychologists.
More

Regardless of whether a student decides to pursue an academic career, a clinical career, or some combination of both, the practice of clinical psychology involves articulating current problems and issues, formulating creative solutions to those problems, and testing hypotheses by systematically gathering empirical evidence.

The clinical psychologist encounters diverse client populations and human problems. Implementation of effective services and programs requires an understanding of the complex array of biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors affecting human behavior. Accordingly, the Virginia Consortium curriculum contains instruction in fundamental content areas of psychology.

The Virginia Consortium emphasizes the following areas in its training model:

  • Ethics
  • Multiculturalism
  • Research
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Consultation, Supervision, and Leadership
In the Virginia Consortium, education and training in the delivery of psychological services progresses in a developmentally-graded sequence.

During the first two years of the curriculum, the coordinated sequence of clinical courses and practica are generic in content and variable in theoretical orientation. Students learn the major theoretical models, though no single theoretical model, intervention modality, or client population is pre-eminent in the basic education of students. Research training is accomplished by working closely with a research mentor and through coursework, completion of a second year project or master’s thesis, and the dissertation. Required research methods courses include analysis of variance, regression/correlational design, research fundamentals, and empirically-supported therapies. The dissertation, an empirical study, completes research training.

In the third and fourth years of the curriculum, students pursue more focused interests through elective courses, practica, and an empirical dissertation.

Clinical training is completed in a full-time internship during the fifth year of the Program. Those substantive areas include biological, social, cognitive and affective aspects of behavior, human development, psychological measurement, and individual differences and multiculturalism/diversity. Both ethics and the history and systems of psychology are taught in required courses.

PHD Goals & Objectives

Goals Objectives
Competency in ethical, legal, and quality assurance principles Acquire knowledge and learn effective application of APA and research ethics; acquire intervention evaluation skills
Competency in individual and cultural diversity Acquire knowledge of cultural and individual diversity and demonstrate application of this in clinical work and interactions with diverse peers, faculty and supervisors
Competency in the basic foundational subjects of psychological science Acquire broad, general knowledge of psychological theories and research and their applications to research and clinical work
Ability to generate and critically assimilate new knowledge Preparation and execution of original research
Proficiency in delivery and evaluation of psychological services Acquire knowledge and competence in assessment, intervention, and other clinical skills in a variety of settings
Ability to assume leadership positions in academic or health service delivery systems Acquire and demonstrate supervision, consultation and leadership skills

PsyD. Program (Inactive)

THE VIRGINIA CONSORTIUM PSYD PROGRAM IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING STUDENTS. At our request, the American Psychological Association placed the Psy.D. program on "accredited, inactive" status for 2015-2016 to enable students in the Psy.D. program to complete their studies.
Mission:
The mission of the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology is to graduate practicing clinical psychologists who are prepared to pursue clinical and research careers. The Program aims to provide balanced training in both science and practice. We strive to graduate ethical clinical psychologists who are competent in individual and cultural diversity, educated in the basic subjects and methods of psychological science, capable of generating and critically assimilating new knowledge, proficient in the delivery and evaluation of psychological services, and able to assume leadership positions in health service or academic delivery systems.
Training Model

The Virginia Consortium follows a practitioner-scientist model of training in our Psy.D. program. Our faculty believes that extensive exposure to theory, research, and practice is essential in training clinical psychologists. Regardless of whether a student decides to pursue an academic career, a clinical career, or some combination of both, the practice of clinical psychology involves articulating current problems and issues, formulating creative solutions to those problems, and validating hypotheses by systematically gathering empirical evidence.

One of our primary goals is for students to become proficient at integrating theory, research, and practice. Toward this end, we employ a variety of educational tools including classroom instruction, supervised clinical experiences, feedback, and early involvement in producing empirical research. Furthermore, we expect students to engage in self-monitoring and to model the behavior of experts.

The Virginia Consortium emphasizes the following areas in its training model:

  • Ethics
  • Multiculturalism
  • Research
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Consultation, Supervision, and Leadership