Philosophy, Goals & Objectives
PhD in Counseling Psychology
The philosophical model of the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at Loyola University Chicago reflects a commitment to the Scientist-Practitioner tradition, the latest articulation of which emerged from the National Conference on Scientist-Practitioner Education and Training for the Professional Practice of Psychology (Gainesville, 1990). Hence, the program is committed to teaching our students how to (a) think scientifically about human development, (b) make contributions to the field through research and scholarship, and (c) provide psychological services that adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards and that are empirically-grounded.
Within this scientist-practitioner tradition, we emphasize the development of a professional identity in our students that is grounded in counseling psychology’s core tenets. Our program attempts to produce students who focus on client assets and strengths, and who are committed to fostering optimal development in clients across the lifespan. While we recognize that the identification and treatment of abnormality is a necessary skill set, students are exposed to theory and intervention approaches that are both preventative and remedial.
We are also committed to providing training for our students that is of the highest quality and that follows a sequential, comprehensive plan. Coursework, practicum opportunities, and research experiences are designed to promote a graduated series of learning tasks. While our students are trained in a generalist model that prepares them to function as counseling psychologists in a variety of employment settings, we expect students to be knowledgeable in the basic psychological sciences and to develop expertise in three specific foundational areas of counseling psychology that represent our program’s areas of scholarly emphases—vocational psychology, prevention and psycho-educational interventions, and multicultural psychology.
Finally, as is consistent with the mission of our University and the School of Education, in which our program is housed, our program embodies a commitment to social justice and that emphasis runs throughout our training program. Our commitment to social justice emphasizes both the importance of understanding a person’s development within a larger cultural context and an acknowledgement that the interaction between people and their larger contexts is essential to the conceptualization of normal and abnormal development. Because each individual’s relationship to the socio-cultural context is unique, our program is grounded in a commitment to diversity that is found throughout our coursework, practicum, and research opportunities.
Our programmatic goals and objectives, which are a direct reflection of this philosophy, are listed below.
Goal 1: To prepare professional psychologists who are knowledgeable consumers of psychological science and who can conduct independent research in the field that is both ethical and methodologically sound.
Objective 1A: We aim to graduate professional psychologists who are knowledgeable about methods of psychological inquiry and research ethics.
Objective 1B: We aim to graduate professional psychologists who can conduct independent research and engage in independent scholarly inquiry in the field.
Goal 2: To prepare professional psychologists who are skilled practitioners who behave in a professional manner in their workplaces, and apply the knowledge base of their discipline in a scientifically-based, theoretically-driven, ethical, and culturally responsive manner.
Objective 2A: We aim to graduate professional psychologists who behave in an appropriate manner in their work places and who are open to supervision and use it effectively.
Objective 2B: We aim to graduate professional psychologists who use science and relevant theories to develop treatment plans and implement appropriate interventions.
Objective 2C: We aim to graduate professional psychologists who engage in ethical practice.
Objective 2D: We aim to graduate culturally responsive practitioners.
Goal 3: To prepare professional psychologists who are knowledgeable of the basic psychological sciences, and research and theory in the following core areas of counseling psychology: vocational psychology, prevention and psych-educational interventions, and multicultural psychology.
Objective 3A: We aim to graduate professional psychologists who are knowledgeable of the basic psychological sciences.
Objective 3B: We aim to graduate professional counseling psychologists who are knowledgeable of research and theory in our counseling psychology core.
Goal 4: To prepare professional counseling psychologists who are committed to social justice in science and practice.
Objective 4A: We aim to graduate professional counseling psychologists who engage in social justice-driven practice.
Objective 4B: We aim to graduate professional counseling psychologists who engage in research with a social justice agenda.