Area of Study Description
The Child, Adolescent, and Family Area of Study within the Clinical Psy.D. program prepares students to address the mental health needs of children and adolescents. Throughout the coursework and related practicum experiences, emphasis is placed on developing a conceptual and experiential background in working with individuals in a wide range of family and cultural lifestyles.
The curriculum provides students with opportunities to study child and adolescent psychopathology, diagnostic evaluation, and therapeutic interventions. Students are trained in various theories, tools, and intervention techniques, and often work with clients who have experienced severe trauma or serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or phobias. They conduct clinical interviews and psychological testing, create treatment plans, consult, and collaborate with physicians and other professionals, and provide multiple forms of therapy to alleviate mental illness, behavioral problems, and emotional distress.
In addition to working with diverse economic, social, and ethnic/racial populations, students have opportunities to explore a full range of professional experiences through practicum, including hospital inpatient and outpatient clinics, community and/or school-based centers, forensic settings, and private practice settings.
Students are also able to work with children representing the full-age spectrum, from early childhood through adolescence.
Expressive Therapies with Children
Orients students to the use of art therapy, drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, and music therapy as therapeutic approaches for children. An essential aspect of this approach is the integration of creative processes to meet client needs. The basic theories and research supporting the creative arts therapies are introduced as well as practical applications. The use of creative art therapies and creative processes are examined in the following areas: as an intervention in therapeutic and educational settings, as an intervention in healthcare and medical settings, as a form of psycho-education and as an approach for group process. The course includes both didactic and experiential components to help students make use of the expressive modalities in their clinical and educational practices.
Divorce and Child Custody
Divorce and Child Custody is an advanced fourth year course introducing students to the reliable and valid methods of assessment, the forensic issues, and the ethical requirements for psychologists conducting child custody evaluations. The course includes the conceptualization of intervention in such cases.
Examines the psychological and physiological impact of trauma on children, adolescents, and their families. Particular consideration will be paid to issues of acute reaction, adaptations to trauma, memory mechanisms and processes, and practical applications in therapy. Developmental, social, cultural, and multicultural issues in assessment and treatment of trauma and traumatic stress will be considered. Multiple types of trauma and a variety of treatment models will be explored.
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