Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychology Area of Study in D.C.

Area of Study Description

The Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychology Area of Study within The Chicago School's Washington, D.C. Psy.D. Clinical Psychology program enhances the preparation of students interested in serving the mental health needs of children and adolescents. Both course work and related practicum experiences develop a conceptual and experiential framework from which to work effectively with children and adolescents representing a wide range of family and cultural life styles.

The Chicago School's Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychology Area of Study provides Clinical Psychology doctoral students with opportunities to study child and adolescent psychopathology, diagnostic evaluation, and therapeutic interventions. In addition to working with diverse economic, social, and ethnic/racial populations, students have opportunities to explore a range of settings including: 

  • hospital inpatient and outpatient clinics, 
  • community centers, 
  • 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.

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • 18 semester hours of psychology credit with grades earned of C or better including three specific courses;
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Statistics
    • Child/Human Development or Lifespan
  • N/A
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

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)

Child Trauma

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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