The Taxonomy for Health Service Specialties defines four areas of education and training opportunities within APA-accredited doctoral programs. A major area of study involves 2-3 years of didactics, supervised practicums, and the completion of the dissertation or research project in the area of specialty. An area of emphasis is defined as involving at least 4 courses and 2 practicum experiences in the specialty. An area of experience involves at least 1-2 courses and practicums in the area of specialty. An area of exposure involves at least 1-2 courses in the specialty.
Our program's major area of study is that of clinical psychology. Although there are no formal areas of pre-doctoral specialization in our clinical psychology graduate training program, students may elect one of the following education and training opportunities: Clinical Child Psychology, Health Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Trauma. Students interested in pursing one of these areas of concentration should work with their advisor to establish an individualized curriculum and training plan.
Area of Emphasis, Experience, or Exposure
Elective graduate courses for students interested in the field of clinical neuropsychology include Fundamentals of Neuropsychology, Neuropsychological Assessment, Memory and Cognition, Physiological Psychology and Psychopharmacology. Supervised clinical experience in neuropsychological assessment, consultation and treatment is offered through various external placements. Faculty research in clinical neuropsychology includes age-related changes in cognition and cognitive sequelae of mild head injury, response bias and effort in neuropsychological assessment, and professional issues in education and training in clinical neuropsychology.
Clinical Child Psychology
Elective graduate courses for students interested in clinical child psychology include Child Assessment and Psychopathology, Child Interventions, Couples and Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Psychopharmacology. External placements involving pediatric, child and adolescent assessment, consultation and intervention are also available. Faculty research in clinical child psychology includes community psychology and primary prevention, religion and mental health, family conflict and adjustment, family violence, children of battered women, treatment of physical and/or sexual abuse, parent training, parent attitudes, and graduate training in clinical child psychology.
Elective graduate courses for students interested in health psychology should consider taking courses in the following areas as they are available: Health Psychology, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Psychopharmacology, Addictions Interventions, and Sport Psychology. Additional courses related to health psychology are offered in SLU's School of Public Health. External placements in the application of psychological services to enhance physical well-being and health are available. Faculty research in health psychology include pain and rehabilitation, sports psychology (including performance enhancement, player assessment, coping with athletic injuries), exercise adherence, eating disorders, obesity, health behavior change, depression, anxiety disorders, addictions (including gambling, college student hazardous drinking, cocaine and opiate dependence), and interventions for addictions (including motivational interviewing, contingency management, and cognitive behavior therapy).
Students interested in working in the field of trauma are offered elective graduate coursework in the Psychology of Trauma, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Addictions Interventions. Additional supervised clinical training experiences with persons who have experienced trauma are offered. Faculty research in trauma studies include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological and physical sequelae of traumatic events (especially family violence and sexual assault), psychological impact of violence-related injury, and mental health treatment with war-exposed refugee populations.