Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology, Child Play Therapy and Adolescent Psychotherapy Concentration in Southern California

Program Description

Play therapy is a creative psychotherapy approach that allows young children to express their feelings through art, activities, and toys. 

The Chicago School's Child Play Therapy and Adolescent Psychotherapy concentration within the Applied Clinical Psychology doctoral program at our L.A. campus provides students with a solid foundation in innovative approaches to child and adolescent therapy. Subjects addressed within this concentration include such areas as directive, non-directive, and systematic approaches to play therapy and adolescent psychotherapy; sand play therapy; foundations of play therapy; and psychotherapy with adolescents.

The Chicago School's Psy.D. program offered at our Southern California campuses in Los Angeles and Irvine prepare students to enter the work force with essential diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills as well as in-depth knowledge of psychodynamic theory and exposure to broad range of dynamically based clinical applications.

The Chicago School's applied clinical psychology doctoral program is recognized for its culturally competent training and offers students a multitude of opportunities to utilize their education in real-world settings.

Applied Clinical Psychology doctoral students may apply to complete their clinical training hours at one of The Chicago School Counseling Centers, two of Southern California's largest and most well-respected community counseling centers. Through our innovative training model, students learn marketing and business operation techniques related to running a private practice and provide individual and group psychotherapy services.

Graduates are equipped with expert knowledge in theory, research, and practice in clinical psychology, and are prepared to serve as lead practitioners and/or senior administrators in both educational and clinical settings. The program can be completed in just three years, including an internship. 


Clinical Psychology



Curriculum intergrates the eight core competencies informed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), and qualifies graduates to sit for the national licensure exam and licensure by the California Board of Psychology (BOP).

Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

800 hours of practicum, 1,500 hours of internship.

Program Time to Completion

3 years full time
  • Master's degree in a mental health field from a regionally accredited institution
  • Specific courses must be complete in a student's Master's program or completed as part of the Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology elective options
  • N/A
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Foundations of Play Therapy

Provides an overview of play therapy principles and practice. Students learn and demonstrate play therapy skills and assessment procedures utilized in individual, family, and group play therapy with children in clinical and community settings. Topics include: the history of play therapy, selection of toys and play materials, play therapy assessment, and the stages of play therapy. Particular emphasis will be placed on the rationale for using play in child and adolescent psychotherapy through experiential based learning activities.

Sandplay Therapy

Introduces Sandplay therapy as a therapeutic intervention and process in child play therapy and adolescent psychotherapy in clinical and community settings. Topics include the history of Sandplay therapy, setting up a sandplay, and the extension of sandplay to group and family play modalities.

Psychotherapy with Adolescents

Overview of theoretical and treatment approaches to psychotherapy with adolescents in individual, family, and group treatment in clinical and community settings. Topics include the history of adolescent psychotherapy; its roots in psychoanalytic psychotherapy; and contemporary psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and family systems therapeutic perspectives.

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