Current Students in the Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology

Counseling Psychology doctoral students and faculty (2018-2019)


Mission Statement

The mission of the doctoral program 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 program 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).



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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

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. For more details, follow this link to Institutional Diversity at UCA.

Courses, Practica, Internships, and Dissertation

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.

Research requirement

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

  • Femina Varghese (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas Tech University). Offender employment and ethnicity, Director of Training.
  • Elson M. Bihm (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas Tech University). Counseling psychology, developmental disorders, philosophical psychology.
  • Christina Jeffrey (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Texas A & M University). Counseling supervision, multiculturalsim.
  • 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.
  • Dong Xie (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Ohio State University). Culture and Personality.



APA Accreditation

The doctoral program in Counseling Psychology began in 2008 and is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

 Program Handbooks

Doctoral Practicum Information, Sites, and Forms

Doctoral Internship Forms

Other Forms for Students

Forms for Faculty

Professional Information and Organizations


Core Counseling Psychology Program Faculty

Other Psychology Faculty


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