Doctor of Philosophy | Counseling Psychology | Counseling & Clinical Psychology

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Counseling Psychology

In the Counseling and Clinical Psychology Department

The Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology

Dr.Melanie Brewster, Director of Training

The Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology is dedicated to the preparation of counseling psychologists who facilitate the optimal development of individuals, groups, and organizations that is culturally relevant and psychologically appropriate across the lifespan. Our students are taught to use strategies of prevention, intervention, and remediation to assist others in developing effective coping skills and responses to their environments.

The objectives of the program are to prepare counseling psychologist who: 

  • Are capable of engaging in culturally relevant and psychologically appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions.
  • Are able to effectively integrate theory, research, and practice. 
  • Possess the requisite foundations in core areas of professional psychology. 
  • Are ethical scientist-practitioners. 
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to cultural diversity in research and practice and who demonstrate an understanding of persons in their environment. 
  • Are socialized into the profession and who hold attitudes relevant to lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, and professional problem solving in the context of an evolving body of professional knowledge. 
  • Are able to work in a variety of professional practice settings. 


Strengths and highlights of our training program include:

In-depth infusion of racial-cultural and social justice emphases throughout program components. Although our curriculum features certain courses with words like "multicultural" in the titles, our multicultural-social justice instruction does not just reside in those courses. Rather, we conceptualize every course and program experience within the context of a social justice and racial-cultural framework. Not only is this orientation consonant with our belief that socially-just practice is ethical, effective practice, it also allows us to align our work with broader movement toward social equity.

Research exposure and opportunities. At Teachers College, you have the opportunity to get first-rate practitioner preparation in the context of first-rate scholarship. Our faculty includes researchers whose work has shaped the counseling profession, and every faculty member maintains ongoing research teams to which students at any level of training may apply. To find out more about our faculty's research interests, please consult their individual pages on the TC website.


A commitment to the crucial role of experiential training and self-awareness within psychotherapist preparation. As a counselor or therapist, the instrument that you use to enact your professional work is you -- so the more aware you are of your own interpersonal style, skills, and biases, the more effectively you can use your instrument. Many students find that some of the most important, challenging, and transformational aspects of their TC training results from courses like Foundations, Group Counseling, and Racial-Cultural Counseling Lab, where students learn about themselves as they learn about the practice of psychology.

TC's program of study leading to the doctorate in Counseling Psychology is guided by criteria adopted by the American Psychological Association for accredited programs in professional psychology.

The course of study includes:

  • Scientific and professional ethics and standards
  • Psychological measurement, statistics and research design and methodology
  • Knowledge and understanding of a) history and systems of psychology b) the biological basis of behavior c) the cognitive-affective bases of behavior d) the social bases of behavior (e.g., social psychology) and e) individual behavior (e.g., personality theory, human development)
  • Intervention strategies and methods of inquiry; and
  • Preparation to undertake a doctoral dissertation.

In developing the necessary mastery of these areas, students are expected to be attentive to the historical roots of counseling psychology, i.e., the study of individual differences, the vocational guidance movement and the mental health movement. Similarly, they are expected to be prepared for the probable future of counseling psychology in the areas of expertise represented by the faculty, especially the influence of social and cultural systems (home, family, workplace and environment) on human development and change.

For detailed information about the program and its requirements, please see the Doctoral Student Handbook, which can be accessed via the menu bar to the left.


Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:


Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

American Psychological Association

750 1st Street, NE

Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979 / Email:


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