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Research Areas

A rather broad range of interests is reflected in the professional and scholarly activities of the Clinical Psychology Faculty members (see section on faculty interests). Research expertise of faculty fall both within the quantitative as well as qualitative domain.

Goals/Objectives

Research Goals: The program strives to prepare students to have an understanding and respect for both basic and applied research. The faculty of the clinical program subscribe to the views that: (a) the clinical scientist, who is competently-trained in practice makes the most significant contributions to clinical research; and (b) the practitioner who is familiar with the body of basic and applied research, and who can critically evaluate research findings makes the soundest contributions to society and the profession.

Research Objectives: To meet the above goals, students take courses in research methods and statistics. They also obtain experience in program evaluation (e.g., though participation in the Canadian Evaluation Society Annual Case Competition or completion of a program evaluation proposal as part of comprehensive exams). Research is incorporated into clinical courses and is a component of reading required for clinical training. Furthermore, students complete both an M.A. and Ph.D. thesis and have the opportunity to participate in faculty research projects.

Clinical Practice Goals: Students will be competent in: (a) assessment, (b) diagnosis, (c) evaluation; (d) consultation; and (e) intervention. In each area, students will gain competency in the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships, including competency in working with diverse groups. It is recognized, however, that the field of clinical psychology is diverse and no single practitioner can master all areas. Students will be taught to recognize their skills and when appropriate refer to colleagues who have the requisite skills.

Clinical Practice Objectives: Students complete course work in ethics, psychopathology, assessment and interventions exposing students to more than one theoretical orientation and skills needed to work with both adults and children and diverse populations. Students carry out at least 2,700 hours of clinical training under supervision (at least 300 direct client hours; at least 150 hours of supervision prior to the predoctoral residency), including a four month internship, two PhD clinical placements and a predoctoral residency. Students also complete an oral case presentation, an oral ethics exam and an exam covering broad topics in clinical psychology.

Knowledge Goals: Students will gain a working understanding of biological, social, cognitive and affective bases of behaviour as well as individual differences, statistics and research methods. A more thorough knowledge of personality, psychopathology, assessment, diagnostics, intervention, ethics and professional behaviours will be obtained. Several theoretical orientations are covered.

Knowledge Objectives: To gain the above knowledge students complete course work at the graduate level in the above areas. Further knowledge is gained through clinical experiences and comprehensive exams.

Ethics and Professional Conduct Goals: The program strives to prepare students to be ethical and professional in their research, clinical, and teaching activities. Moreover, the program strives to prepare students to be sensitive to issues of racial and cultural diversity and individual differences.

Ethical Objectives: To meet the above goals of our program, students take a course in professional ethics that not only thoroughly covers the CPA code of ethics and ethical decision making process, but also legislation, standards of practice, and cultural issues. They are also trained in becoming competent and effective in their interpersonal relationships. Students are exposed to diverse clients (over 2700 hours of clinical training), and diverse faculty mentors. Students also complete an oral ethics exam as part of the comprehensive examination process.

Leadership Goals: We encourage our graduates to: (a) disseminate their work through conference presentations and publishing papers; (b) expand their knowledge by attending conferences or workshops and reading journals; (c) train others in psychology and other mental health fields; (d) educate the public; and (e) contribute to psychology as a discipline by holding leadership roles.

Leadership Objectives: To meet the leadership goals, students are encouraged to present and publish their work, to obtain experience as teaching assistants, to be involved in training junior students and to play an active role in the development of the discipline of psychology by being an active member of the Psychology Graduate Students Association and the Canadian Psychological Association. To encourage professional development, students complete a seminar series devoted to professional issues at the PhD level. A major component of this seminar series is focused on development of skills in supervision and inter-professional relationships.