Western University PsychologyFaculty of Social Science

Philosophy, Mission, and Major Goals

1.Philosophy and Mission

In our clinical program there is a major emphasis on theoretical and research aspects of normal and abnormal behaviour, in conjunction with practical training involving a wide range of adult and child clinical populations.

The program is structured after the “scientist-practitioner” model of clinical training, with particular emphasis on the “scientist” aspect of the model. The program is thus very research oriented. At the same time, our goal is to provide students with a wide range of high-quality clinical training opportunities. Given its strong research focus, this program is best suited to those who find research intrinsically interesting. Those who are looking for a program with a primary focus only on clinical training would not be comfortable in our program.

We recognize that the field of clinical psychology is constantly changing and evolving. Our aim is therefore to produce graduates who are able to think clearly and critically, to integrate their knowledge and research and clinical skills, and to apply them in innovative and flexible ways to the changing needs and opportunities that they encounter in their professional lives. We attempt to encourage our students to go beyond learning the content of how to administer particular empirically-supported treatments to also thinking more broadly in terms of evidence-based practice.  Our aim is to teach our students how to think critically, respect and understand scientific knowledge and empirical methodologies and integrate this information to make scientifically-informed clinical decisions within the context of a client's needs and background. Thus, rather than providing narrowly focused training is specific, prescribed methods, techniques, or theoretical orientations, we encourage our students to develop their own interests and abilities in pursuing their personal and professional development in a integrated manner, as consistent with becoming autonomous professionals.

It is expected that students will pursue a full-time program of integrated study leading to both the Masters and Ph.D. degrees. Upon completion of the Ph.D., our graduates enter a variety of possible career choices, ranging from academic positions to research positions to various applied clinical positions. The clinical program is not designed for those wishing to terminate their studies at the Masters level.

2.Goals

Consistent with our philosophy, the program has five major goals which are listed directly below.

Goal 1: Graduates will demonstrate broad knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings and research findings of psychology, with a focus on knowledge of clinically relevant theory and research.

Goal 2: Graduates will have the ability to think critically about and conduct psychological research. The focus is on basic psychological processes and/or their application in the practice of psychology.

Goal 3: Graduates will be competent in psychological assessment, diagnosis, and intervention. Our program aims to provide opportunity for students to pursue breadth and/or depth of training in a wide variety of theoretical orientations, modalities, populations, and levels of intervention.

Goal 4: Graduates will demonstrate ethical and professional conduct.

Goal 5: Graduates will demonstrate skills in self-assessment and personal/professional development consistent with becoming autonomous professionals.