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Course Descriptions

Note that some courses are offered in other semesters than listed below to accommodate program needs and faculty availability. Program course schedules are arranged by the Doctoral Training Committee.

PSY 801: Psychological Statistics I

This is the first course in a two-course sequence on research and statistical methods. The curriculum includes basic information about research design, and about descriptive and inferential statistics.
Spring, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 802 Psychological Statistics II

This course is the continuation of the study of research and statistics that was begun in PSY 801. We cover multiple regression, logistic regression, factor analysis, meta analysis, and ANCOVA.
Summer, Year 2, 2 credits

PSY 803/803L Cognitive and Neuropsychological Assessment

This course consists of three principal areas: 1) professional standards and test theory in psychological assessment; 2) preparation for administration, scoring and interpretation of objective test instruments (emphasizing intellectual assessment); and 3) a general introduction to clinical neuropsychology. Lectures, demonstrations, and supervised practice in administration/interpretation of select testing instruments are included.
Laboratory session: 2 ½ hours weekly. Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 804/804L Personality Assessment

This course emphasizes the administration and clinical interpretation of both projective tests and self-report inventories of personality and psychopathology. Supervised practice in administration and analysis of test findings supplements lecture and in-depth examination of select case studies. Another major focus is the integration of findings from several tests and communication of results in preparing coherent reports.
Laboratory session: 2 ½ hours weekly. Spring, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 805/805L Integrating Test Findings and Report Writing

This course focuses on advances clinical interpretations of psychological tests of intelligence, cognitive functioning and personality. Attention is directed toward integrating findings from test batteries, formulating clinical interferences about adaptive functioning, and describing personality functioning in depth.
Laboratory session: 2 ½ hours weekly. Fall or Spring, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 806 Advanced Adult Psychopathology

This course introduces the student to concepts of normality and abnormality. It covers basic theoretical models in conceptualizing how and why symptoms are formed and maintained, as well as the different etiological pictures entailed in various diagnostic categories (neuroses, character disorders, mood disorders, psychoses, trauma, psychosomatic disorders and perversions). Psychopathology is considered from an historical perspective (what has changed over time) as well as a cultural perspective (ways in which different cultures define mental health and foster specific defensive structures, and how cultural factors enter into diagnosis and misdiagnosis of pathology).
Spring, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 807/807L Behavioral Assessment

This course provides both theoretical and practical knowledge of behavioral assessment. Distinctions between traditional and behavioral assessment, psychometric principles, diagnostic considerations and treatment evaluation issues are included. Major behavioral assessment methods are reviewed and practiced.
Laboratory session: 2 ½ hours weekly. Summer, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 810 Clinical Psychology in the Public Interest

Students are familiarized through readings and discussions with the program’s mission. Questions are raised and discussed about: how to define the public interest; the role of psychotherapy in clinical psychology; whether managed care is in the public interest; and how clinical psychology fits into history and the cultural context. Also, it is in the first semester that candidates being to examine how their own values and biases enter into their relationships with clients, supervisors and staff. Special attention is paid to subjective factors like gender, age, ethnicity and social/economic statues which often enter into each candidate’s treatment of others.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 811 Ethical Practice in Clinical Psychology I

This course is devoted to the development of ethical and responsible clinical practice. Students learn to be sensitive to ethical decision-making models in the normal course of professional practice, and are exposed to various ethical decision-making models. General ethical principles, such as nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity and autonomy, through processing of ethical dilemmas, are a central part of the course. Comparisons are made between ethical, regulatory, civil and criminal issues and violations. Learning how to integrate ethical guidelines with good clinical practice is the basic objectives of the course.
Fall, Year 2, 2 credits

PSY 812 Ethical Practice in Clinical Psychology II

This course promotes ethical sensitivity, ethical decision making and ethical consultation skills with the use of a case presentation seminar method. Each student presents an ethical issue or dilemma they have encountered and the other students serve as peer consultants to the presenter. This provides second year students with the opportunity to consult with others on ethical issues and the chance to apply the knowledge gained in the first ethics course to actual professional activities. Attention is given to cultural factors.
Spring, Year 2, 1 credit

PSY 820 Behavior Analysis

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theory, principles and research strategies in the study of animal and human learning as well as the application of behavioral analysis in clinical practice.
Spring, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 821 Cognition, Perception and Cognitive Therapy

The course will review basic findings, theories and methodologies in the study of perception, cognition, and emotions in normal and abnormal behavior. Students will also be introduced to cognitive therapy conceptualization and the practice of empirically supported cognitive therapies.
Fall, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 822 Individual Intervention: Psychodynamic

This course is designed to educate students in the theory and practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Basic concepts, such as transference, resistance, coutertransference, working alliance, termination and interpretation, are examined through readings, presentations and examinations. Students are introduced to object relational, interpersonal and self-psychology approaches to Freudian treatment. Modification due to patient psychopathology and time limitations are also considered.
Spring, Year 2, 3 units

PSY 824 Developmental Psychology: Lifespan

Provides students with both theoretical and practical knowledge about the human lifespan including an in-depth understanding of the bio-psycho-social contributions in the development of the self. The course will familiarize students with the many challenges and opportunities that individuals confront at various ages in the lifespan and provide sensitivity training about the contributions that an individual’s multicultural identity has on their unique personal development. Students will be prepared to conduct interviews utilizing developmental theories and research, which are appropriate to the developmental level and stage of life of the individual, through supervised case presentations.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 826 Clinical Interviewing

This course introduces the beginning doctoral student to the basic elements of the psychological interview. The course begins with topics such as the first meetings, listening, note-taking and establishing rapport. Later topics include history taking, mental status exams, special patients, recommendations and communicating findings.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 830 Professional Development Seminar: Case Supervision I

This seminar will aim to facilitate candidate confidence and skill as clinicians. It uses lecturing, reading materials, case materials from formal student presentations and informal student participation to accomplish its goals. The seminar demonstrates the use of a psychoanalytic lens in the conceptualization of patient issues, the formulation of treatment process, and the recognition of therapy as an intrapsychic/interactive process between patient and therapist.
Fall, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 837 Introduction to Clinical Research

In this course students apply the critical thinking and rigorous methodologies of science to the practice of clinical psychology. The course will focus on research design as well as research strategies relevant to practitioners, and will provide a foundation of research and evaluation competencies that will help prepare students to complete the doctoral dissertation, as well as to consume and conduct research as psychologists. The course will cover both quantitative and qualitative methods.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 838 Doctoral Dissertation I

Student must have dissertation committee chair chosen.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 839 Doctoral Dissertation II

Student must have dissertation topic and dissertation committee members (two) chosen.
Fall, Year 4, 3 credits

PSY 840 Professional Development Seminar: Case Supervision II

Continuation of PSY 830
Spring, year 2, 3 credits

PSY 841 Full-Time, Year-Long Internship

The fifth year of the program is spent at a full-year, full-time clinical internship. Various sites are available and most often students choose a site in their concentration area. Students must apply to internship sites, which vary in deadline and acceptance rate. Students must be accepted to and complete an internship program accredited by the American Psychological Association or listed as a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). PSY 841 is a requirement for completion of the program and receipt of the degree. Internships generally begin in June of the fourth year or September of the fifth year.
Special Fee, $120, 0 credits

PSY 842 Dissertation Supervision Continuation

Beginning in the fifth year or when all required program courses excluding internship have been completed, students are required to register for dissertation Supervision Continuation each fall and spring semester until they successfully defend their dissertation. If a student successfully defends their dissertation before the fall semester of their fifth year, this course will be waived. A bound copy of the dissertation must be handed into the program.

PSY 844 Biological Basis of Behavior

The purpose of this course is to study the brain through the examination of the nerve cell. Structure and function of the nervous system will be covered, along with neurotransmission and clinically relevant brain anatomy. Methods and techniques are used in the investigation of neural correlates. Contemporary disorders and issues are discussed with particular emphasis on pharmacological aspects of mental health practice.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 846 Concentration: Theory and Research in Family Violence

The purpose of this course is to highlight a segment of the larger topic of violence by focusing on violence in the home. This research and theory course provides epidemiological, descriptive and theoretical information on the significant areas of child abuse, spouse abuse and sexual abuse. In addition to the scope of the problem, characteristics of the offender, the victim and the witnesses will be described, and the dynamics of their relationships will be analyzed. Following theoretical explanations from psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and family systems perspectives, students will review the current state of clinical research in the area of family violence as well as the methodological limitations and conceptual inadequacies. Students will critique current clinical research and propose innovative and rigorous research ideas.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 847 Concentration: Theory and Research in Serious and Persistent Mental Illness

The seriously mentally ill represent a unique category of patients suffering from exceptionally long episodes of suffering and adjustment difficulties. These difficulties stem from the intensity of the illness, both psychological and biological, and are manifested in social, interpersonal, family and community problems. Many such patients are treatment refractory and await the continued integration of science and clinical care for hopes of improvement. This course examines the psychology of serious mental illness, exploring etiological, treatment, outcome, and mental health policy issues.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 848 Concentration: Theory and Research in Developmental Disabilities

The purpose of this concentration seminar is to provide solid background in theory, research and practice with people who have developmental disabilities. Topics in this first course include definitions, classifications, and epidemiology of develop-mental disabilities, models of intelligence, diagnostic procedures, strategies for research and research outcome in developmental disabilities.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 849 Consultation in Multicultural School Settings

In this course, students will study theories of mental health consultation and organizational change as they apply to instructional settings. They will learn to analyze a school's culture and organization in order to act as a positive change agent. They will also study ways of developing consultative relationships with colleagues, parents and community agents personnel in order to develop intervention plans for children in schools. Skills crucial to effective consultation and ethical guidelines for practice will be identified and used. Students will learn about issues pertaining to consultation in multicultural settings.
On Occasion, 3 credits

PSY 850 Professional Development Seminar: Benefiting from Supervision

This course is designed to provide a link between the doctoral program and the first semester for external field placement experiences (externships). Structured exercises and assignments are designed to produce productive discussions about the externship experience including adjusting to new work environments, new administrative structures and requirements, new patient populations, and new supervisory styles. Students are also guided through the process of selecting potential clients to be the focus of their Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE).
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 851/851L Assessment of Children

This course will cover theory and application in child assessment. In a combination of classroom and laboratory (applied) settings, students learn the principles of assessment with children, and become familiar with the content and administration of techniques of a range of standard child assessment tools. Students will administer, score and write a report for one child testing case.
Spring, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 852 Social and Community Psychology

An examination of small group processes and social problems in contexts that include issues of gender, disability, racism, homelessness, health psychology, adoption, terror management, environmental psychology, and media influences on aggression, race, and the psychotherapeutic profession. Theory and its application are emphasized.
Fall, Year 3 or 4, 3 credits

PSY 853 Group Psychotherapy

This course presents a psycho-historical orientation to group psychotherapy. The student will learn about large and small group dynamics – both within the clinic and in society at large. Concepts of group-as-a whole, containment, holding, cohesiveness, leadership (and co-leadership), prejudice and scapegoating, identification and individuation, etc. are covered.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 856 Concentration: Clinical Applications in Family Violence

Builds on theoretical foundations acquired in PSY 846 and emphasizes psychotherapeutic interventions for offenders, victims and witnesses of family violence. Students learn various methods of clinical assessment used in family violence treatment and learn methods of intervention from cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic and family therapies. Through the use of hypothetical and actual case presentations, students implement and evaluate available therapies.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 857 Concentration: Clinical Applications in Serious and Persistent Mental Illness

The aim of this course is to familiarize students with psychotherapeutic understanding and techniques for the treatment of serious and persistent mental illness. The first part of the course addresses key concepts – e.g., projective identification, attacks on linking, psychic retreats and autism, and regression – in the treatment of primitive or regressed states of mind, regardless of diagnostic category. Section one of the course also carefully examines the importance of appreciation and use of countertransference in these treatments. Part two of the course addresses psychotherapy techniques that are designed to treat specific diagnostic categories – including: narcissistic, schizoid, and borderline personality disorders, psychosis, trauma and addiction, severe depression, and perversions.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 858 Concentration: Clinical Applications in Developmental Disabilities

An introduction to intervention strategies with people who have developmental disabilities and their families. The relationship between applied behavioral research and treatment is emphasized. The course focuses on the role of the clinical psychologist in providing services to individuals and small groups of clients as well as the families of people with developmental disabilities.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 860 Professional Development Seminar: Preparation for the Clinical Competency Exam (CCE)

This semester is a continuation of PSY 850 culminating in a written and oral case presentation to a panel of three professional psychologists (including on full-time faculty member). Students are evaluated on such factors as treatment plans and progress, ethical issues, difficulties with the case and sensitivity to human diversity.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 861 Child & Adolescent Psychopathology

Provides a historical perspective and conceptual models of child and adolescent psychopathology and emphasizes an integration of major developmental issues. The course focuses on specific diagnostic classifications pertinent to children and adolescents and covers clinical symptomatology, epidemiology, etiologic considerations, course and prognosis, familial patterns and influences and differential diagnosis.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 862 History and Systems of Psychology

This course covers the philosophical and historical roots of contemporary psychology. Topics include: 1) the question of psychology as science, 2) examples of myths that have permeated our discipline, 3) the prominent schools and systems of psychology, 4) the history of clinical psychology, 5) the role of gender, ethnicity and social issues in the history of psychology and 6) major ethical issues that are part of the history of psychology. Primary readings and letters exchanged by prominent philosophers and psychologists are discussed.
Spring, Year 2 or 3, 3 credits

PSY 863 Family Therapy (Elective)

This course provides a survey of a wide range of issues related to families. Basic theories regarding family functioning are discussed and a review of major family therapy modalities is presented. Throughout the course, attention is paid on the impact of social class, race, gender, ethnicity, physical disability and sexual orientation on the structure and function of families. Students have the opportunity to conceptualize the use of family therapy in their own concentration, to focus on a topic of particular interest, and to being to evaluate the impact of their own family experiences on their development and their work.
Spring, Years 1 and 2, 3 credits

PSY 864 Cultural Issues in Psychology and Psychotherapy

This course is designed to help students work more effectively with clients from different racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds. The lectures and readings provide an introduction to aspects of non-European cultures especially African American, Asian American and Latino in order to help students to better understand their clients’ experiences, values and world view. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to clinical concepts that are central to the challenges of cross-cultural client work.
Spring, Year 3 or Fall, Year 4, 3 credits

PSY 865 Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Examines the psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches to dealing with various childhood disorders. Developmental psychopathology, childhood assessment and diagnosis, and consultation with school and families are included.
Fall, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 871/872 Clinical Issues in Psychology I & II (various topics)

This course covers advanced treatment of current issues in psychology chosen by the instructor. Registration by permission of the instructor and program director only. Hours arranged, 1, 2, or 3 credits Past topics have included: Self Psychology; Personality Disorders; and Neuropsychology Internship Preparation Workshop is designed to support students through the internship application process. The workshop addresses site selection, essay development, calculating hours, categorizing clinical data, writing a C.V., selecting supplementary materials, interviews, ranking sites, the matching algorithm, match day, and the Clearing House. The format of the class is an open discussion, in which students will have the opportunity to ask questions about all aspects of applying to internship.
Offered Summer/Fall, Year 4

PSY 876/877 Special Topic Electives

Consideration of a topic in clinical psychology not covered in other courses such as neuropsychological testing, psychopharmacology, relational approaches to personality development, autism, language and thought disorders, feminist psychology, psychotherapy with difficult patients, psychology and law, psychology of addictions, DBT, etc.
Topics selected each year, examples and descriptions are listed below.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Elective)

This course will introduce Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), one of the original acceptance-based treatments that spawned a movement that contributed to the revolutionary “third wave” of behavior therapy. Through didactics, experiential components, and video, this course will familiarize the student with theory, research, and treatment strategies of DBT. The first part of the course will cover theory, research, treatment structure and modes, treatment targets, dialectics, communication strategies, commitment strategies, validation, and behavior therapy. The second part of the course will cover secondary treatment targets and DBT skills modules: Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.
On Occasion, Pass/Fail 3 credits

Object Relations Theories (Elective)

This course will provide a historical perspective and conceptual models of object relations theories and focus on the role of object relations in the etiology, development, and expression of psychopathology from childhood to adulthood. The course will survey the object relations theories of everyone from Melanie Klein to Peter Fonagy and the relational theorists, paying particular attention to the conceptual differences and similarities among these various theories. Empirical justification of object relations theories and the assessment of object relations as well as controversies and critiques of these theories will be considered. Case formulation using object relations models will also be covered. Finally, the course will introduce students to new directions in object relations theories offered by contemporary object relations theorists.
On Occasion, Pass/Fail, 3 credits

Unconscious Fantasies, Dreams, Free Association, and Creativity (Elective)

This course addresses the multiple roles and manifestations of one of the giant pillars of psychoanalysis: the unconscious. Unconscious fantasies, dreams, free associations, and the creative process are studied from a theoretical, clinical, and applied perspective. Abundant case material will be presented to enhance techniques with which to recognize and work with material from the unconscious.
On Occasion, Pass/Fail, 1, 2, or 3 credits

Couples Therapy (Elective)

Relationship discord and dissolution are widely prevalent and take an enormous psychological toll on partners, their children and their extended families. This course will cover the assessment and treatment of couple discord, detailing cognitive behavioral and more recent acceptance-based, integrative approaches. Course components will include experiential elements, exercises, and role-plays as well as discussion and didactics. Other treatments covered may include emotion-focused couples therapy and insight-oriented couples therapy.
On Occasion, Graded, 1, 2, or 3 credits

Psychopharmacology (Elective)

This course will cover basic concepts associated with the major categories of psychoactive medications (antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, antipsychotic meds, stimulants and depressants). Knowledge of drug-dosing, therapeutic index, cross-tolerance, substance-dependence and withdrawal will be covered, as well as drug-seeking behavior and the potential for misuse and abuse of medications. Emphasis will be placed on general principles of pharmacokinetics, including routes of administration, contraindications and mechanism of action.
On Occasion, Pass/Fail, 1 credit

PSY 878/PSY 879 Group Intervention Supervision I & II

All clinical psychology doctoral students are required to develop and lead two time-limited psychoeducational or psychotherapeutic groups during their second year in the doctoral program. This course provides for supervision of the first group leadership experience by faculty who are licensed psychologists. Students will meet weekly with co-leader(s) and faculty supervisor for the duration of the groups.
Fall & Spring, Year 2, 3 credits each

PSY 880 Supervision and Management of Mental Health Professionals

Focuses upon supporting advanced students in developing their skills as clinical supervisors and managers of psychologists as well as of professional and administrative staff in mental health and other disciplines. The structure includes a combination of didactic and experiential learning with readings encompassing issues of specific technique, interpersonal relatedness, authority and responsibility, ethics and organizational development.
Spring, Year 4, 3 credits

PSY 891, 892, 893 Psychological Clinic Practicum I, II, III

Offers the opportunity for Graduate Student Therapists (GST) at the C.W. Post Psychological Services Center (PSC) to receive supervised experience in the delivery of a variety of psychological services including individual and group psychotherapies, marital and family therapy, psychoeducation, prevention and wellness counseling and psychological assessment. In addition to weekly individual supervision by both faculty and community licensed psychologists, the GST participate in weekly group therapy supervision, clinic administrative meetings and educational seminars.
Year 2, 1 unit each

PSY 894, 895, 896 Clinical Externship

Supervised training in clinical psychology at program-approved externship sites for two days per week. Students meet bi-weekly with department faculty from group supervision of cases and issues from the training site.
Year 3, 1 credit each

PSY 897, 898 Clinical Externship

Supervised training in clinical psychology at program-approved externship sites for two days per week. Students meet bi-weekly with department faculty from group supervision of cases and issues from the training site.
Fall & Spring, Year 4, 1 credit each

PSY 899 Clinical Externship Continuation

For students continuing externship beyond requirement and before internship: Supervised training in clinical psychology at program-approved externship sites for two days per week. Students meet bi-weekly with department faculty from group supervision of cases and issues from the training site.
As needed, Year 5, 1 credit