The Child and Adolescent Concentration 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 life styles. The concentration 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.
Basic coursework is completed in four intervention tracks (Cognitive/Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Humanistic Existential, and Systems) before students decide on one as a specialty, completing advanced coursework and their Clinical Competency Examination within that track. In addition to working with diverse economic, social, and ethnic/racial populations, students have opportunities to explore a full range of professional experiences through practicums, 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.
Clinical psychology students in the L.A. Campus program may apply to complete their clinical training hours at one of the Chicago School Counseling Centers located at the Westwood and Irvine campuses. Through this training model, students learn marketing and operations related to running a private practice, provide individual and group psychotherapy services, and graduate prepared to launch their careers.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to pursue positions as licensed clinical psychologists provided they pass the appropriate licensure examination and complete any state-required post-doctoral residency requirements. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to this campus.
Master's degrees are awarded midway through the program (after completing 48 semester hours of required coursework, including two semesters of practicum).
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.
Clinical and Diagnostic Interviewing
Techniques of clinical and diagnostic interviewing will be presented. Students will learn several techniques for interviewing, including listening skills, aids for giving and receiving feedback, and establishing a relationship with a client. Students also will learn ways of incorporating these techniques into models of diagnostic interviewing. Consideration of cultural differences in establishing a relationship and conducting an interview is integral to this course. (2 credits)
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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