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Clinical Psychology
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Clinical Psychology
In the Counseling and Clinical Psychology Department

PhD Information > Ph.D. Program Description

Ph.D. Program Description

Director of Clinical Training: Professor Barry Farber

The doctoral program in clinical psychology at Teachers College prepares students to become knowledgeable researchers and effective practitioners. Our graduates tend to seek positions in academia, research institutes, hospitals, and community agencies. Many perform multiple professional roles upon graduating, e.g., working in hospitals, teaching or consulting part-time, continuing their research and writing, and/or beginning a private practice.  Completing a 95-point doctoral degree, including a full-year internship, typically takes five to seven years (M = 6.1 years over the past seven years). The Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degrees are earned en passant.

Our current training model is that of scientist-practitioner. Our adoption of this model means that we are dedicated to training students to generate new empirically-based knowledge in clinical psychology and to perform clinical work that is constantly informed by traditional and emerging scholarship in the field. We fully expect our students to learn to expertly produce, analyze, and discuss scientific material. We also expect our students to become proficient at providing clinical services to a diverse population. Furthermore, we expect our students to learn to integrate these tasks. Finally, we are committed to the belief that training as a clinical psychologist must be rooted in psychology itself, its body of knowledge, methods, and ethical principles that form the basis and context of clinical research and practice.

Thus, the driving goal of the Clinical Psychology Program is to provide rigorous training in both contemporary clinical science and clinical assessment and intervention. The research programs of our faculty span a wide range, including studies of childhood risk and resilience; adjustment across diverse sociodemographic contexts; religious and spiritual development; altruism and caregiving; emotion and coping with trauma; and psychotherapy process and outcome (see individual faculty web pages). Practicum work is done in our on-site clinic, the for Educational and Psychological Services.

Our clinical training has an ongoing psychodynamic tradition with increasing opportunities for supervision and didactic work in Cognitive-Behavioral, Interpersonal, and other modalities. This training emphasizes assessment and intervention across the life span within the context of schools, families, and communities. We are committed to an enhanced focus on ethnic, cultural, and theoretical diversity not only in our curriculum and clinical training but also among our students, faculty, and clinical supervisors. Numerous practica and externship opportunities area available throughout the area and our students typically secure placement at one of their preferred internship sites.

The Program shares an in-house clinic (The Dean-Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services) with several other College programs. All clinical psychology doctoral students are staff members in the Center after their first semester in the Program, and carry a regular caseload of clients. The Center sponsors a weekly case conference, at which students present and discuss cases. Clinical work is supervised by core faculty members or by adjunct faculty who are psychologists in private practice in New York. Students usually carry four clients as part of their psychotherapy practicum and receive two hours of supervision each week with two different supervisors. Increasingly, the program is emphasizing work in the child-clinical area. In fact, students may elect a specialty track in child-clinical psychology.

It should be noted, however, that those students whose career goal is full-time private practice will find our program - with its significant focus on research training - inappropriate for their needs. In fact, most successful applicants to our program have had research experience that matches the interests and expertise of one of our core faculty members.