Counseling Psychology Doctoral Emphasis (PhD)

Prospective Students

Do you want to work as a Doctoral-level Counseling Psychologist?

If yes, please consider our training program in Counseling Psychology (your doctoral degree will be granted in “School-Psychology with a Counseling Psychology emphasis”).

For more information about the specifics of our program, please see the Counseling Psychology Emphasis Handbook.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

coun students1Mission Statement

The mission of the Doctoral Emphasis in Counseling Psychology (leading to a Ph.D. in School Psychology, Emphasis in Counseling Psychology) is to prepare counseling psychologists who are trained in evidence-based psychological services and research methods, are sensitive to individual, social, and cultural differences, are advocates for mental-health and personal growth throughout the lifespan, and are competent to practice in healthcare systems and in academia.

Scientist-Practitioner Model of Training

The Doctoral Emphasis in Counseling Psychology at the University of Central Arkansas provides graduate education in the scientific practice of psychology and in counseling psychology as a professional specialization. The program of study is grounded in the scientist‑practitioner model for training psychologists that stresses training in both research methods and professional practice. This model affirms the idea that practice and research should reciprocally influence and strengthen one another and are thus complementary components of graduate psychology education. The role of scientist-practitioner is to be (1) a consumer and practitioner of evidence-based clinical practices, (2) an evaluator of professional actions and, (3) a researcher who produces new data and who reports these findings to the professional community. The scientist-practitioner model was developed at the Boulder Conference on clinical psychology in 1949 and subsequently accepted in 1954 by the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17) of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Need for Psychologists

The need for quality counseling psychological services has been strongly felt throughout the state of Arkansas, the United States, and beyond. The doctoral emphasis in counseling psychology responds to this need in a pragmatic manner by preparing graduates to competently perform a variety of counseling psychology functions.

Values

The philosophy of the Counseling Psychology Emphasis is operationalized through the following specific values.  In turn, it is hoped that graduates will adopt and incorporate these values.  The Counseling Psychology Emphasis values:

  1. Respect for each person.
  2. A community of individuals.
  3. Strength in diversity.
  4. Service to others.
  5. A science-practitioner foundation.
  6. Giving back to the profession.
  7. Giving back to the community.

For more information about the specific of our program, please see the Counseling Psychology Emphasis Handbook.

 

STUDENT OUTCOME, ADMISSIONS, AND OTHER DATA

Time to completion: Please see attached PDF file for current Time-to-completion data. The program is designed so that you can finish in five years (the fifth year would consist of a year-long external internship at some other location). Students must spend at least three years in full-time residency at UCA, even those entering the program with a previous master’s degree or those with transfer graduate credit.

Program costs: Please see attached PDF file for current estimated program costs in terms of in-state and out-of-state tuition. University research associate and graduate assistantships are usually available for students needing additional financial assistance. Please contact the program director (elsonb@uca.edu) for current mechanisms for financial assistance.

Internships: Please see attached PDF file for current internship information. Students have completed one-year internships at APA-accredited as well as non-APA accredited and APPIC sites. Internship sites have included the South Arkansas Regional Health Center, State University of New York at Oswego Counseling Center, Counseling Associates, Inc., and Northeastern Oklahoma Psychology Internship Program.

Attrition: Please see attached PDF file for current attrition information. To date, approximately 5% of all students admitted to the program have left the program before graduation

Licensure: Please see attached PDF file for current licensure information. Students should be eligible for licensure as a psychologist in the State of Arkansas, as well as in other states with similar licensure requirements, following the completion of post-doctoral and relevant state-board requirements.

 

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAM

1.  Graduates will develop a professional identity as counseling psychologists.

       Objectives:

  • Students will exhibit a professional identity as counseling psychologists.
  • Students will appreciate the value of active involvement in professional organizations of counseling psychology.

2.  Graduates will function as scientist-practitioners in the field of counseling psychology.

       Objectives:

  • Students will demonstrate and utilize a wide range of professional and research knowledge in the discipline of counseling psychology, as scientist-practitioners.
  • Students will be proficient in basic and advanced skills in the practice of counseling (especially counseling/psychotherapy and assessment).

3. Graduates will practice as counseling psychologists in a professional, ethical, and socially responsible manner.

      Objectives:

  • Students will demonstrate awareness, knowledge, and skills related to the ethical and legal practice of counseling psychology.
  • Students will apply knowledge, and skills to diversity issues, and the larger socio-cultural contexts that inform the practice of counseling psychology.
  • Students will engage in self-monitoring and self-regulation in order to act in a socially-responsible and ethical manner.

4. Graduates will skillfully practice as counseling psychologists in traditional and emerging areas of practice.

       Objectives:

  • Students will integrate skills and knowledge in working with an interdisciplinary team in providing services in traditional and emerging areas of practice.
  • Students will conceptualize client issues in the person-environment context and design strength-based interventions appropriate to the setting.

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Highlights of the program include:

  • Scientist-practitioner training in evidence-based treatments and conducting applied mental health research
  • Close working relationships with active Counseling Psychology faculty
  • Research Associate positions for competitive applicants
  • Learning environment that encourages scholarship and innovation
  • Funding for conference travel to present research
  • 3-4 new students admitted each year

Diversity and Multiculturalism: Its Importance

The program values cultural and individual diversity, which includes personal and demographic characteristics, as well as including (but not limited to) age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, national origin, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, and social economic status. The program considers these aspects as valuable in recruitment and hiring, in teaching and training, and in providing practicum and internship experiences. At the core of these values lies respect for the person, and we are dedicated to insuring that the program supports this approach.

Curriculum

The program of study is typically five years (120 credit hours). Four years are spent in full-time coursework at UCA, and the fifth year is a full-time professional psychology internship. Graduates will be prepared to provide evidence-based assessment and treatment services and to conduct research in clinical and university settings.

For more information about the curriculum and sequence of our program, please see the Counseling Psychology Emphasis Handbook.

Research requirement

Students are expected to join on-going core faculty research programs and labs:

  • Elson M. Bihm (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas Tech University). Counseling psychology,  philosophical psychology. Director of Training.
  • J. Arthur Gillaspy, Jr. (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas A & M University). Addictions.
  • R. Kevin Rowell (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas A & M University). Mental health of elderly.
  • Femina Varghese (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas Tech University). Offender employment and ethnicity.
  • Dong Xie (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Ohio State University). Culture and Personality.

APA Accreditation

The Counseling Psychology Emphasis began in 2008 and is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Accreditation by APA will be sought within the next 12 months.

 

TO APPLY TO THE PROGRAM

Admissions Requirements

All applicants for the doctoral-degree emphasis in Counseling Psychology must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School and specific requirements of the doctoral program.

January 15th is the deadline for all completed application materials – for summer or fall admission

Before the application for Counseling Psychology can be approved by the department, an applicant must complete an Online Graduate School Admission application, submit official transcripts of all completed college course work and submit official Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores on the General Section (see Admissions Information link below).

In addition, the following items are required by the department:

  1. Completed, typed  Counseling Psychology Emphasis Application for Admission (see Application Form link below).
  2. Twelve semester hours of undergraduate preparation in psychology (see program application for specifics)*
  3. Three letters of recommendation from former college professors or individuals otherwise qualified to comment on the applicant’s professional and academic potential.
  4. Two 500 word essays - one essay on your "Career Path and Aspirations" (500 words) and one essay on your "Research Interests and Goals" (500 words) - see Application Form link below.
  5. Current resume or vita.
    * any outstanding prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the first year in the program.
    It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all materials are received by the admissions deadline.

Application Links

Other Links

 

Current Students

 Handbooks and Forms

Professional Information

Research

Core Program Faculty

To provide feedback about this web site, or for information about the program not addressed in this web site, please email Dr. Elson Bihm, Director of Training.