DOCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY

Psy.D. Curriculum

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program requires four years of full-time residence. The total number of credits required to graduate is 114. Of these credits 88 are for academic courses and 26 credits are for practica/externships/supervision courses. There are five basic competency areas, each of which includes a sequence of comprehensive courses. These include (1) the General Psychology Core, (2) the Research Core, (3) the Clinical Practice Core, (4) the Assessment Core, and (5) the Concentration Core.

Area one deepens the students' knowledge of basic psychological concepts and principles. There are six required courses in this first area.

Area two is the clinical core, which consists of courses in assessment, psychopathology, psychotherapy and ethics. This area, the largest, includes twelve required courses designed to train students in the basic understanding of psychopathology, methods of assessment with different groups, and the approaches for intervening with people who have problems in living. The courses address different populations, modalities and theoretical models.

Area three is the research core. Three courses in statistics and research methodology prepare students for understanding the role of research in clinical practice and two independent courses are designed to help the student complete a doctoral dissertation.

Area four is a series of six seminars which focus on issues of professional development, including learning about clinical psychology in the public interest, professional socialization, clinical supervision and the "psychological life of mental health organizations".

The fifth area is a series of two courses where the student receives beginning level training in the application of his or her clinical knowledge and skills to specific client populations and their problems. Students choose two of the following courses to make up their concentration combination: Serious Mental Illnesses, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Interventions with High-Risk Families, and Substance Use Disorders.

Clinical Training

The clinical externships in the second, third and fourth years are critical to the training of every candidate. Sixteen hours per week are required in the second, third and fourth years of training. Students receive a total of fourteen credits for externship work.

The second year placement is fulfilled on campus at the Psychological Services Center. Students receive supervision from program faculty, community supervisors, and PSC directors during their year in our on-campus community clinic. Third and fourth year students apply for external externships in the tri-state area. Fifth year students complete full-time, full-year internship.

Information on our current and past clinical placements can be found on our "Student Admissions & Outcomes Data" webpage. More information on our 2nd year practicum can be found under "PSC Overview" under the "Curriculum" tab on our webpage.


Typical Sequence of Courses



Please note that this sequence is a constantly evolving process, so the exact experiences an entering student would have are likely to vary from this roadmap.

Year One

Fall & Spring:
PSY 803/803L Cognitive and Neuropsychological Assessment
PSY 806 Advanced Adult Psychopathology
PSY 807 Behavioral Assessment
PSY 820 Behavior Analysis
PSY 861 Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
PSY 824 Developmental Psychology: Lifespan
PSY 804/804L Personality Assessment
PSY 826 Clinical Interviewing
PSY 851/851L Assessment of Children
PSY 811 Ethics

Summer:

PSY 864 Cultural Issues in Psychology and Psychotherapy
PSY 810 Public Interest

Year Two

Fall & Spring:
PSY 865 Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy
PSY 821 Cognition, Perception & Cognitive Therapy
PSY 830 / 840 Professional Development Seminar (Psychodynamic & CBT)
PSY 801 Statistics I
PSY 805/805L Integrating Test Findings and Report Writing
PSY 822 Individual Intervention: Psychodynamic
PSY 837 Clinical Research
PSY 891 / 892 Psychological Services Practicum
PSY 879/878 Groups

Summer:
PSY 802 Statistics II
PSY 852 Social & Community
PSY 893 Psychological Services Practicum

Year Three**

Fall & Spring:
PSY 850 Professional Development Seminar
PSY 844 Biological Basis of Behavior
PSY 853 Group Therapy
PSY 860 Clinical Competency Evaluation Prep (CCE)
PSY 838 Dissertation I
PSY 862 History and Systems of Psychology
PSY 894, 895  3rd Year Externship

Summer:
PSY 896 Externship
Year Four**
Fall & Spring:
PSY 880 Professional Development Seminar: Benefitting from Supervision*
PSY 839 Dissertation II
PSY 842 Dissertation Supervision Continuation
PSY 897, 898 4th Year Externship

*PSY 880 may also be taken in year 3 if year 4 will be a concentration course year in the program. 
*Concentration Courses are scheduled every other year as to be taken in students’ 3rd or 4th year. Students choose 2 courses from the following 4 choices.

Courses are scheduled to enable students to take any 2 of these 4:
PSY 846 Interventions with High-Risk Families
PSY 847 Serious Mental Illness
PSY 854 Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders
PSY 855 Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy


Concentrations


All students must complete a general core of 18 credits, a research core of 7 credits, an assessment core of 15 credits, a clinical core of 21 credits and a professional development core of 18 credits. After completing most of the core courses, students choose two of four concentrations courses (6 credits) to make up their concentration combination: Serious Mental Illness, Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Interventions with High-Risk Families, and Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders. A substation of a 3rd or 4th year elective may be considered by approval of the faculty.

The concentration courses in the PsyD program are currently under revision. The complete proposed change to concentrations and new layout is listed below.

LIU Post Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Concentrations: Revised

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at LIU Post offers 4 different concentration courses, which when combined allow students six different options for their concentration. The concentration courses include: Serious Mental Illness, Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Interventions with High-Risk Families, and Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders. The possible combinations that students may use to make up their concentration include:

Possible Course Combinations
Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders (SUD)
Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Interventions with High-Risk Families
Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Interventions with High-Risk Families
Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders (SUD)
Interventions with High-Risk Families Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders (SUD)

Program Mission & Concentration Courses:  

All of our concentration courses focus on populations that are underserved. This includes serious mentally ill individuals, at-risk families, low-socioeconomic status individuals and families, and minorities. Throughout students’ concentration courses they will learn about the various contexts in which these populations experience mental illness: both their own and family members’ mental illnesses. Students’ final project (paper or project) at the end of their second concentration course will require them to synthesis their experience. Students are also required to submit a final synthesis of learning wherein they are asked to reflect on their concentration, how it applies to their career goals as well as the program’s mission to train our graduates to work with underserved populations.

Concentration Lecture Series:

In addition to coursework, students attend our Concentration Lecture Series, which are monthly concentration lectures. The concentration coordinators will each arrange a lecture or presentation on a topic within their concentration course topic. Over the course of a semester, students will attend four of these lectures. These are held on Thursdays from 12:30-1:50 and mandatory for all students in years 1, 2, and 3.

Additional Research:

Students may also elect to work within their concentration in other ways. This includes research projects on their own with a supervising faculty member, work within a faculty lab, or their own dissertation project. This work may begin after the student has taken their 2 concentration courses in their 3rd or 4th year, or may begin earlier in their 1st or 2nd year. Concentration coordinators are always willing to discuss options for early engagement in these concentrations.

Concentration Courses and Lecture Series

2015-2016
2016-2017
2017-2018
2018-2019
2019-2020

Fall 2015
Spring 2016 Fall 2016 Spring 2017 Fall 2017 Spring 2018 Fall 2018 Spring 2019 Fall 2019 Spring 2020
Courses
Offered
DBT
SMI


Interven-
tions with High-Risk Families
DBT


SMI
Interven-
tions with High Risk Families
SUD
Interven-
tions with High Risk Families


SMI
SUD


SUD
DBT
Lectures
(Combined
Lecture Topics)
Interven-
tions with High Risk Families Serious Mental Illness
DBT & SUD
DBT
DBT
DBT & Interven-
tions with High-Risk Families
SMI & DBT
DBT
DBT
SMI & DBT
DBT & SMI
SUD & DBT
Serious Mental Illness & SUD
SUD
SUD
SMI & SUD
Interven-
tions with High Risk Families & SUD
SUD
SUD
SMI & Interven-
tions with High-Risk Families
Interven-
tions with High Risk Families & SUD
Serious Mental Illness & DBT
Interven-
tions with High Risk Families & SUD
Interven-
tions with High-Risk Families
Interven-
tions with High-Risk Families
Interven-
tions with High-Risk Families
DBT & SUD
Interven-
tions with High Risk Families
Interven-
tions with High Risk Families
SMI & SUD
DBT & Interven-
tions with High Risk Families



SMI
SMI
SMI

SMI
SMI


Clinical Experiences:

Lastly, students will bring their competency in their concentration into their externship and internship experiences. Some students may seek clinical experiences that are directly related to their concentration, while others will not. In either case these concentration courses and the Concentration Lecture Series provides students with a solid foundation in these concentrations. 

Below is a sample of what a course schedule would look like. Concentration courses will be offered on Thursdays at either 9:20-12:00 or 2:00-4:40, though this is subject to change. Every effort will be made to schedule the concentration courses at times which work best for the most students.

Concentration Combination Descriptions
Serious Mental Illness + Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Serious Mental Illness: Psychodynamic and Dialectical Behavior Therapy Approaches

Students choosing this concentration combination will become familiar with psychotherapeutic understanding and techniques for the treatment of serious mental illness using psychodynamic and DBT approaches. The courses will focus on delivery of these approaches to underserved populations in hospital and other community settings.

Serious Mental Illness + Interventions with High-Risk Families
Treating Serious Mental Illness & Traumatic Family Interactions

Students choosing this concentration combination will become familiar with psychotherapeutic understanding and techniques for the treatment of serious mental illness using psychodynamic approaches. Students will become familiar with theory, research, and prevention of at-risk family situations. Students will engage in the cross-over between family issues and serious mental illness, both as an antecedent of serious mental illness, as well as the experiences of family members of someone who is seriously mentally ill. The courses will focus on delivery of these approaches to underserved populations in hospital and other community settings, including issues working with families therein.

Serious Mental Illness + Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders
Challenging Populations: Treating Those with Serious Mental Illness and Those with Substance Use Disorders

Students choosing this concentration combination will become familiar with psychotherapeutic understanding and techniques for the treatment of serious mental illness and substance use disorders using psychodynamic and integrated approaches. Students will become familiar with substance use disorders theory and research. Students will engage in the cross-over between substance use disorders and serious mental illness, both as an antecedent and consequent of serious mental illness, as well as the experiences of family members of someone who is seriously mentally ill. The courses will focus on delivery of these approaches to underserved populations in hospital and other community settings, including issues of services infrastructures therein.

Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders + Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Targeting Maladaptive Behaviors: Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Psychotherapy for Substance Use Disorders

Students choosing this concentration combination will become familiar with psychotherapeutic understanding and techniques in DBT.  Students will become familiar with Substance Use Disorders theory and research, and the psychodynamic and integrated treatment approaches for substance use disorders. Students will engage in the cross-over between substance use disorders and suicidal populations. The courses will focus on delivery of these approaches to underserved populations in hospital and other community settings, including issues of services infrastructures therein.

Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy + Interventions with High-Risk Families
Working with High-Risk Populations: DBT and Interventions with High-Risk Families

Students choosing this concentration combination will become familiar with psychotherapeutic understanding and techniques of DBT. Students will become familiar with theory, research, and prevention of at-risk family situations. Students will engage in the cross-over between family issues and DBT, as well as the experiences of family members of someone who suicidal. The courses will focus on delivery of these approaches to underserved populations in hospital and other community settings, including issues working with families therein.

Interventions with High-Risk Families + Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders
Hurting the Self, Hurting the Other: Treatment of Substance Use Disorders and Interventions with High-Risk Families

Students will become familiar with theory, research, and prevention of at-risk family situations. Students will engage in the cross-over between family violence and substance use disorders, both as an antecedent of substance use disorders, as well as the experiences of family members of someone who is an addict. Students will become familiar with substance use disorders theory and research. The courses will focus on delivery of these approaches to underserved populations in hospital and other community settings, including issues of services infrastructures therein.

Course Descriptions

Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders (SUD)

  • Course Number: PSY 855
  • Course Description: This course outlines approaches to diagnosis, assessment, and treatment for substance use disorders.  Several theoretical views of the etiology and maintenance of substance use disorders will be covered.  Students will be familiarized with the evolution of diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders along with a variety of methods for assessing these disorders.  A number of treatment approaches will be covered, including motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and the transtheoretical approach to therapy.

Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

  • Instructor: Jill Rathus, Ph.D.
  • Course Number: PSY 854

Course Description: Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence based cognitive behavioral mental health intervention initially designed to treat highly suicidal, complex, difficult to treat individuals with co-morbid disorders and now expanding to also treat Axis I disorders (such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, oppositional disorder). The treatment’s flexibility and ease of use lead to it also being used across a variety of populations: children, adolescents, adults the elderly, families, correctional populations. DBT is intended to increase clients’ behavioral capabilities, motivation to behave skillfully, generalization of skillful behaviors, environmental support of new behavior, and therapists’ capability and motivation to work with such challenging clients. The first part of the course will cover theory, research, treatment structure and modes, treatment targets, dialectics, communication strategies, commitment strategies, validation, and behavior therapy. The focus will be on Individual therapy, consultation team, and telephone consultation. The second part of the course will cover the teaching strategies and content of DBT skills modules of Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Walking the Middle Path.

Interventions with High-Risk Families  

  • Instructor: Eva Feindler, Ph.D.
  • Course Number: PSY 846
  • Course Description: This course will cover theory, research, prevention, and treatment approaches for families “high risk”. The course will begin with an overview and introduce assessment issues and methods, and then will examine victims and perpetrators and a range of “at risk” conditions including physical abuse, sexual abuse, child neglect, child psychological maltreatment, child witness to domestic violence, dating violence, and sibling violence. We will also cover special topics such as intergenerational transmission of aggression, issues of diversity in family violence (e.g., age, gender, race), exposure to trauma and loss and bereavement issues for families.

Serious Mental Illness (SMI)

  • Instructor: Danielle Knafo, Ph.D.
  • Course Number: PSY 847
  • Course Description: This course will familiarize students with psychotherapeutic understanding and clinical techniques in the treatment of primitive process, regressive states and serious mental illness. Key concepts like projective identification, attacks on linking, psychic retreats and autism, and regression are explained within the framework of treating extreme or regressed states of mind, regardless of diagnostic category. We also carefully examine the importance and use of countertransference in the treatment. Although specific diagnostic categories – including: severe personality disorders, psychosis, trauma and addiction—are covered in the course, attention will be placed on problems that can occur in any treatment when a person regresses or employs primitive defenses. We place special focus on obstacles and impasses and how to overcome them while fostering a therapeutic alliance, and making human and meaningful contact with another person.  The course involves a hands-on approach to working with extreme psychic states and much of the class time will be taken with case presentations and discussion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do students need to choose 1 of the concentration combinations, or is it possible to take more courses?

It is possible to take more than 2 concentration courses. However, faculty reserve the right to not allow a student who has already taken 2 concentration courses into the third course. This policy enables the program to keep class sizes low across the entire program.

Students wishing to take more than the required 2 concentration courses should receive approval from their academic advisor and the program director before approaching the faculty member who teaches the concentration course to ask permission to enroll.

Note that due to university restrictions, we may require students taking an additional concentration course to pay for the course even if the course is taken in an academic year when they are otherwise paying a flat tuition rate.

Could you speak to the process of choosing a concentration and if/how it is possible to bridge certain concentrations when your interests span both?

The revised concentrations were created with flexibility for this very reason. Students wanted in-depth courses that spanned across our former concentration issues, addressed changes in the field, and could be immediately applied to their clinical work. Students are encouraged to reflect on how the possible concentration combinations may add to their work at various clinical experiences and work with their future career goals. Students should speak to their academic advisor, as well as clinical supervisors about the options if they are not certain.

What are the main differences between the different concentrations offered? What age ranges will we work with in these populations?

The populations of which the concentration courses focus on are listed above. Typically SMI and Substance Use Disorders will focus on adolescents and adults. Interventions with High-Risk Families will focus on adults and children. DBT will focus largely on adolescents, but touch on adults as well. Importantly, all of our concentration courses will emphasize work with underserved populations.

Do any of the concentrations cover child populations?

None of our concentration courses focus solely on child populations. However, children are discussed as part of the family unit in all of the concentration courses. Students may choose to focus research papers or other course projects on children when applicable. Additionally, all students in the PsyD Program take child courses as part of their required curriculum. These required courses include Child Assessment (PSY 851/851L), Child Psychopathology (PSY 861), and Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy (PSY 865). Students may also elect to take a Play Therapy courses in the summer with MA/ABA students. Lastly, students will see at least one child and/or family case in their 2nd year PSC experience and may choose to attend a child site for externship in their 3rd or 4th year, as well as on internship in their 5th year to gain further experience with child populations.

What kinds of internships will we get based on the concentrations? Will picking one concentration determine the exact path for my future career in Clinical Psychology?

The clinical experiences that our students have sought are listed above for each concentration course. Additionally, students’ dissertations related to these subfields is included above. Picking a concentration may determine the pathway for your career, but not necessarily. Due to the nature of the rest of our program, the concentrations give an added value to your degree – a special niche that will set you apart from your peers from other institutions, as well as an area of beginning expertise that will help you work with clients in different ways than a general training would.

Lastly, our concentration combinations allow students the option of taking concentration courses across our orientations. This flexibility was added as a result of student and alumni feedback.

How many credits are the concentration courses?

Each concentration course is 3 credits. Students are required to take 6 credits of concentration courses (2 courses) in order to fulfill this course requirement.

Can I substitute another course for a concentration course?

In general, no. However, on a case-by-case basis electives may be substituted for these 4 concentration courses, but only with advisor support and with DTC approval. The substituted course must be taken in the 3rd or 4th year of the program. Courses taken as 1st or 2nd year students will not be considered for substitution as students are expected to bring their completed practicum training and beginning externship training to their foundational base for these advanced classes. Substitutions will only be considered if the course is an advanced level course at the doctoral-level of training.

What is the cost of the concentration courses?

Currently, students taking a concentration course as a 3rd year student will have the cost of their required concentration courses covered under the 3rd year flat tuition rate. Students taking concentration courses in their 4th year will pay the per credit rate.

Note that if a student takes concentration courses as a 3rd year, as a 4th year they do have other courses they will take (PSY 880, for instance). Students taking concentration courses as 4th years will have taken those classes as 3rd years.

How will my concentration appear on my transcript?

The notations on students’ transcripts will include the courses taken as well as one of the following:

  • Concentration: Serious Mental Illness & Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders
  • Concentration: Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders & Interventions with High-Risk Families
  • Concentration: Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy & Serious Mental Illness
  • Concentration: Interventions with High-Risk Families & Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Concentration: Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders & Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Concentration: Serious Mental Illness & Interventions with High-Risk Families

PSC Overview


The LIU-Post Psychological Services Center (PSC) provides a year long (September – July) practicum training experience for all students in their second year of the LIU-Post Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (terminal degree Psy.D.). The PSC practicum distinguishes itself, from those at other institutions and doctoral programs in clinical psychology, in a number of ways. These distinguishing factors – indeed advantages – fall under several domains:

  • A high degree of integration with the LIU-Post doctoral program – facilitating the translation of theory and coursework to application and intervention;
  • Physical proximity to the academic seat of the LIU-Post doctoral program – facilitating the continuation of coursework and the transition to field work;
  • A wealth of diversity in clinical, research and consultation training experiences;
  • An abundance of supervision of all forms of practicum work; and,
  • Numerous opportunities for collaboration with and service to the LIU-Post community (including undergraduates, staff and administration) and communities locally and worldwide.

The following details many of the specific activities, and advantages these activities provide for PSC practicum students (who are also known as Graduate Student Therapists or GSTs – the terms will be used interchangeably in this report).

Integration with the LIU-Post Doctoral Program
The PSC offers doctoral students training that complements and adds to the academic instruction they receive within the doctoral program. While all courses prepare the doctoral students for functioning as a psychologist, there are some intersections of academic coursework and PSC practicum work that warrant particular mention.

Assessment – part of the requirements for successful completion of the PSC practicum include the administration of at least two complete assessment batteries. These batteries must entail multiple domains of functioning (i.e., cognitive, personality, etc…) to ensure that the practicum student can consolidate the often complex and extensive information a psychological assessment can produce.

During the first year of graduate training doctoral students take a number of assessment courses. These include: Psy 803 (Cognitive and Neuropsychological Assessment), Psy 826 (Clinical Interviewing), Psy 804 (Personality Assessment) and Psy 851 (Assessment of Children).

During their practicum at the PSC students apply what they have learned during their first year in the application of numerous assessment tools that include, but are not limited to those that measure:

  • Cognitive functioning (e.g., the WISC);
  • Academic achievement (e.g., the WIAT);
  • Personality dynamics (e.g., the Rorschach); and/or,
  • Neuropsychological functioning.

Faculty and supervisors at the PSC supplement the first year course work with training in the use of additional assessment materials including:

  • The Multi-Modal Life History Survey (Lazarus) to supplement data obtained during clinical interviewing;
  • The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III to provide further information for diagnostic and personality assessment;
  • Evidence-based, nationally used, computer assisted surveys such as Lambert’s Outcomes Quotient (OQ) to assess symptom level and progress in therapy; and,
  • Measures assessing therapeutic process and outcomes such as the Assessment for Signal Clients (ASC).

In their second year, graduate students take Psy 805 (Integrating Test Findings and Report Writing) during their PSC practicum. Their experiences conducting assessments at the PSC brings this area of their training “to life.” The strategic scheduling of this course allows the students to apply academic knowledge immediately to interventions they are providing.

Theoretical Orientation – the LIU-Post Doctoral Psychology program emphasizes the mastery of two major theoretical orientations: Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) and Psychodynamic theories and techniques of clinical intervention. Of course clients coming in for service do not present with specifically “CBT” or “psychodynamic” concerns. Intervention may require a combination or integration of theoretical concepts and techniques. The PSC practicum experience helps the second year graduate student apply concepts learned in coursework and how what they have learned is applied in the actual clinical setting. This application requires a certain level of mastery of distinct theoretical orientations as well as thoughtful, ethical and strategic ways the concepts and techniques of different orientations could be integrated in actual intervention. There are unique aspects of the PSC that complements this focus on mastery and integration:

  • While both the PSC Director and the Assistant Director are fluent in their mastery of theory and technique in CBT, psychodynamic and other theories and techniques, each of these leaders particular interests and strengths are more grounded by one or the other schools. Specifically, the PSC Director, a Hofstra graduate, specializes in CBT interventions. The Assistant Director, a graduate of the University of Michigan, specializes in psychodynamic approaches. The professional, and sometimes humorous, interactions between these two leaders brings to the training a healthy conversation of the comparison and combination of CBT and psychodynamic approaches.
  • Client assignment at the PSC includes careful consideration of the appropriate theoretical orientation(s) that will guide treatment interventions. While this does not preclude a practicum student from exploring and utilizing techniques from other schools of thought, the focus on mastering CBT and psychodynamic theory within intervention is highlighted.
  • During PSC team meetings practicum students are required to present 2 clients (one each academic semester) they are working with to the PSC faculty and their peers. This case conference challenges all trainees to conceptualize and integrate their clinical work from multiple theoretical orientations and multi-modal intervention strategies. Trainees also evaluate and respond to consultation questions their peers raise (during the latter’s case presentations).

Practice-Specific Education – in addition to academic courses on such larger domains as Developmental Psychology and/or Psychopathology, GSTs receive training at the PSC in more specialized topics that include:

  • Taking a sexual history;
  • Psychiatric Mental Status Examination;
  • Formulating treatment goals and objectives;
  • Determining level of care with clients with substance abuse; and
  • Case conceptualization from different theoretical orientations.

These trainings are offered during weekly inservices as well as specially scheduled trainings (when needed).

As a part of their second year curriculum in the Doctoral Program, the GSTs also take a Professional Development Seminar. Instructors of this course include core and community faculty and assist the GSTs in their understanding of larger professional issues as well as issues that arise during their practicum placement. It is a course ideally scheduled for trainees who are often facing new professional issues for the first time.

Multi-Disciplinary Consultation – finally, GSTs benefit from training from interactions with experts from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. These have included:

  • Trauma Art Narrative Therapy - Lyndra Bills, M.D. via Skype at Trauma Therapy Supervision meetings;
  • Psychiatric consultation from staff psychiatrists at Nassau University Medical Center  NUMC; and,
  • Local school psychologists and counselors.

The Family Check-In Program – Select GSTs may opt to work with specific faculty on specialized research or intervention projects. One of these is the Family Check-In Program. In this program, families with any concerns about their infant or toddler aged children can come in for an assessment and feedback about their child’s mental health status and for guidance in the best possible ways to enable health promoting functioning within the family.

Experiences for Advanced Doctoral Work – GSTs at the PSC, with administrative and supervisory approvals, may sometimes provide longer term interventions for clients they have begun work with in their PSC practicum.

  • Training, guidance and experiences at the PSC are also informed and guided by the fact that GSTs are required to complete and pass their Clinical Competency Exam (CCE) during their 3rd year in the doctoral program. Therefore, GSTs are encouraged to videotape sessions and review these during supervision for this purpose as well.
  • More recently, the Doctoral program and PSC administration determined that GSTs would benefit from more formal evaluation of their administrative and clinical performance during the PSC practicum. As such, a grading system was developed and implemented.
  • Advanced doctoral students (typically in their 4th year of the graduate program) provide peer mentoring for 2nd year students during their PSC practicum placement. This added support from more senior students has been well received and enriches both the mentor and mentee.

Proximity is a Plus
The building that houses the PSC is located directly next to the one that houses the academic seat of the LIU-Post doctoral psychology program. This advantageous location presents a number of benefits for a practicum student. Specifically, it:

  • Decreases the burden of travel and commute – leaving more time for the actually work and experience of their graduate program and practicum;
  • Facilitates the continuation of coursework while the GST begins their first clinical experience as a ‘psychologist’ in training – GSTs can see a client, take a class and see another client afterwards;
  • Helps maintain access to professors and advisors for academic and clinical work. Many of these faculty also serve as PSC supervisors;  and,
  • All of the above helps to smooth the transition from student to clinician – an often daunting change for a trainee.

Diverse Clinical Training Experiences
PSC practicum students benefit from a variety of clinical training experiences that is comprised of a diversity of clientele and interventions.

Clientele - Located on the campus of LIU-Post, the PSC serves clientele from both LIU and the surrounding geographic area. In short it is a community clinic on a university campus. This presents some unique benefits for both populations.

Clients from LIU benefit from:

  • Quality psychological services that are free of charge;
  • The availability of low-cost, high-quality psychological services if students wish to continue treatment after graduation;
  • Multiple locations and depth of service provision. Students can seek assistance from the Student Health & Counseling Center; however, should their struggles be of a more chronic or severe nature, transfer to the PSC can be made quickly and efficiently. Sometimes a student can be seen in one location and walk (or be escorted) to the PSC for enhanced services. It should be noted that, as a free-standing community clinic, privacy and HIPAA regulations, enable LIU students to receive services at the PSC without fear of those services negatively impacting their academic experience and progress.
  • The close collaboration of these two service providers also offers opportunities for joint larger scale interventions (e.g., workshops, presentations and the like).

Clients from outside of LIU benefit from:

  • Location on a major thoroughfare, with accessibility to public transportation, the PSC offers individuals from the surrounding geographic area another resource for psychological services.
  • The LIU-Post campus is located in the affluent town of Brookville, Long Island an area in close proximity to communities comprised of individuals of more modest means. For example, many of the inhabitants of Westbury, Long Island can be categorized as the ‘working poor’ (individuals with income sufficient to cover basic needs and little else). In fact, GSTs at the PSC see from all areas of Nassau County and some from western Queens and eastern Suffolk counties. This variety of clientele provides GSTs the opportunity to provide service to individuals from a range of economic situations.
  • As GSTs are the direct service providers, and licensed faculty provide supervision, PSC clientele receive high-quality, low-cost service provision that is often less expensive than most insurance co-pays. Given the recent economic crises in our country, individuals from all economic strata have reported their relief at learning of the sliding scale, need basis fee determination in which no client is turned away for lack of resources. 
  • A number of clients from the larger community report less anxiety –regarding continued stigma regarding mental health needs and services - when coming to the PSC. The PSC’s location, on an academic campus, provides an extra level of privacy as the client’s destination can be for a variety of reasons.

Client Diversity - PSC practicum trainees provide services to individuals varying in:

  • Age – clients include those ages 3 years and older;
  • Ethnicity/Race – the LIU student and larger geographic area is comprised of individuals representing all possible ethnicities.
  • Educational background and status;
  • Economic status (see section above);
  • Religious affiliation and level of observance; and,
  • Sexual and gender identity and expression.

These characteristics represent a few examples, not a comprehensive list, of a larger range of diversity in clientele that the practicum students serve.

Intervention Modality – PSC practicum students benefit from a wide range of diverse experiences in which they can intervene and serve their clientele and the public. These include:

  • Screenings – GSTs have provided voluntary screenings for LIU undergraduate students such as LIU-Post Student Wellness Days and LIU-Post V-Day (Against Violence towards Women).
  • Intake Assessments – with structured and unstructured tools;
  • Treatment Planning – required for all ongoing therapy interventions;
  • Individual Psychotherapy for children, adolescents, adults and geriatric clients – in emergency, short and long term basis;
  • Marital & Couples therapy for heterosexual or same sex couples;
  • Family therapy with a specialized supervision group which focuses on this particular mode of intervention;
  • Group therapy (support, psycho-educational and psychotherapy) for individuals of all ages, specific types of issues (e.g., anger management) and range of disorders (e.g., affective, spectrum, etc.) and specialized supervision is available for group interventions.
  • Assessment and Psychological Testing – for individuals of a variety of ages and differing assessment needs. Specialized testing experiences (e.g., for gifted students) is also available.
  • Case Management – while not the focus of training, practicum students are given guidance, education and participate in projects (e.g., collaborative development of referral resources) that enhance their abilities as clinicians to assist their clients meeting a variety of needs.
  • Training/Psycho-education Workshops – practicum students can develop and lead or co-lead workshops for clients on a variety of topics such as interpersonal effectiveness, anger management and sexual assault prevention (RAVE - Rape & Violence Education).

Integration with Faculty/Student Research
PSC practicum trainees are encouraged and supported in their endeavors to develop as researchers as well as clinicians. They have a variety of opportunities to conduct, assist with and present (locally and nationally) research on numerous topics such as:

  • Psychotherapy Process Research;
  • Supervisory Processes involved in Doctoral Training;
  • Impact of Theoretical Orientation on Treatment Outcomes;
  • Identification of factors (e.g. trauma history, attachment style) influencing treatment; and
  • Impact of theoretical orientation on therapy process and outcome.

Supervision Opportunities
GSTs in the PSC practicum are provided with a wealth of guidance and support in the form of supervision. The PSC is fortunate to be able to provide a significant amount of supervision time with professionals who have a variety of experience and training.

Each week all GSTs participate in the following required supervision:

  • 1.5 hours of faculty and peer supervision during the PSC Team meeting;
  • 2 hours total (1 hour each) of individual supervision from a CBT and a psychodynamic framework;
  • 1 – 3 hours (depending on need) of supervision for psychological assessment/testing; and,
  • Either Family Therapy (1 hour) or Group Therapy (1 hour) supervision

In addition, GSTs may opt to supplement the above supervision with:

  • Trauma Therapy supervision (1.25 hours); and/or,
  • Supervision in topic or area specific domains as available.

PSC Supervisors include PSC administrators, doctoral program faculty and professionals within the community (often LIU-Post alumni). Each GST is assigned a core or faculty supervisor and one supervisor from the larger professional community.

The combination of a supervisor grounded in the department and one working in the field/community provides the GST with at least two views of the life of a psychologist.

Leadership of Supervisors
Oversight of all supervision provided to PSC Practicum students falls to the PSC Director, Dr. Thomas Demaria. He brings a particular set of experiences and skills to this work including:

  • Years of direct clinical work in multiple settings and modalities;
  • Extensive administrative oversight experience (e.g., Director of Psychological Services for South Nassau Communities Hospital); and,
  • Specialization in Trauma Care and supervision.

For his work at the PSC, Dr. Demaria:

  • Provides the specialized trauma supervision;
  • Founded and runs the LIU-Post Trauma Response Team (a nationally recognized and award winning service program);
  • Conducts and supervises research on trauma interventions;
  • Is an active member, and attends meetings held by, the Association of Directors of Training Clinics (ADPTC); and,
  • Attends and presents at the annual International Supervision Conference at Adelphi University.

PSC Supervisors collaboration - PSC practicum supervisors work together to monitor, check the quality of and further develop the PSC practicum training process and supervision. To ensure the best practicum experience possible for the GSTs:

  • Faculty supervisors participate in a monthly meeting  -  to review the status and address outstanding training and supervision issues;
  • Community supervisors meet on - a minimum of - an annual basis with the PSC Director for any particular issues needing resolution;
  • All supervisors conduct their work of training, monitoring and guiding students based on the PSC Supervisor manual. This manual – developed by a subcommittee of PSC supervisors provides guidance and consistency between supervisors.
  • Meetings and events can be scheduled at any time should the need arise.

Integration, Collaboration and Service to the LIU- Post Community
In addition to the aforementioned integration with the LIU-Post Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, the PSC also enjoys a healthy and active working relationship with many offices and services in the LIU-Post community. These collaborations ensure a fuller integration into the LIU-Post community which enhances both the PSC and LIU-Post as a whole. Current collaborations include PSC work with:

  • The LIU Student Health & Counseling Center A respectful and effective working relationship between the PSC and the Student Health & Counseling Center enables each entity to direct their resources in the most effective manner possible. The Student Health & Counseling Center is able to serve a higher volume of students and address broader public health issues. The GSTs at the PSC are able to work with individuals with more chronic or debilitating issues and disorders. Together the PSC and the Student Health & Counseling Center ensure appropriate referral, triage and follow-up care for LIU students at no cost.
  • The office for Academic Success In conjunction with the LIU-Post Doctoral Program, the PSC Assistant Director, Dr. Josette Banks, coordinates the Freshmen Success Program – a collaboration between Doctoral Psychology students and the office of the Associate Provost for Academic Success. This collaboration focuses the strengths and resources of both partners on the retention and success of undergraduate students identified as academically “at risk.” Research, consultation, teaching and other interventions provided by Doctoral students and GSTs enable the Associate Provost understand the composition and needs of this select group of students more thoroughly so that effective interventions can be developed and implemented.
  • The LIU Global College Program The PSC Director and select GSTs provide consultation to members of the LIU Global College to assist students who have been victimized in other parts of the world including China and Australia.

Collaboration and Service to the Larger Community
The LIU-Post PSC provides a wealth of experiences for practicum students through service opportunities beyond the borders of the LIU-Post community and campus. Giving back while getting specialized training and experiences create a unique experience that can impact a professional long after their graduate training is complete. Current projects and collaborations include:

  • Outreach and collaboration with community school districts (e.g., Levittown schools) for provision of assessment and clinical services;
  • Community resource identification and evaluation of services offered through direct contact with the community agencies. Psychological services are provided at community-based locations such as Salvation Army (Manhattan), Girls-Hope a program of McCauley Girls Residence (Brooklyn), Elementary @ Middle School showcases of PSC services and Skype-supported consultation with refugee counselors (Cairo, Egypt)

Typical Weekly Schedule of Students


The following represents a typical fall and spring schedule for the week that includes courses, program requirements (lectures and externship/practicum). The program follows the Fall and Spring semester schedules listed on LIU’s academic calendar.  In addition to what is listed here, students also schedule academic advisement, dissertation supervision, and other meetings as necessary throughout the program.

 


*Students see clients in the PSC as scheduled with clients
** 3rd year externships require 16 hours at an externship, hours vary but cannot exceed 16 hours
** 4th year externships require 16-20 hours at an externship, hours vary but cannot exceed 20 hours
Summers: The summer session typically begins in mid-May until the end of June or first week in July. 2nd year students must maintain clients in the clinic until the end of July.

  • In years 1 and 2, summer courses are typically scheduled Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:20am-12:00pm and 2:00am-4:40pm.
  • In year 3, students take the Internship Seminar Prep course. Dates and times vary, but typically begin in late May, meet every other week in June, and then periodically throughout the rest of the summer and early fall.

Course Descriptions


Note that some courses are offered in other semesters than listed below to accommodate program needs and faculty availability. Program course schedules are arranged by the Doctoral Training Committee.

PSY 801: Psychological Statistics I

This is the first course in a two-course sequence on research and statistical methods. The curriculum includes basic information about research design, and about descriptive and inferential statistics.
Spring, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 802 Psychological Statistics II

This course is the continuation of the study of research and statistics that was begun in PSY 801. We cover multiple regression, logistic regression, factor analysis, meta analysis, and ANCOVA.
Summer, Year 2, 2 credits

PSY 803/803L Cognitive and Neuropsychological Assessment

This course consists of three principal areas: 1) professional standards and test theory in psychological assessment; 2) preparation for administration, scoring and interpretation of objective test instruments (emphasizing intellectual assessment); and 3) a general introduction to clinical neuropsychology. Lectures, demonstrations, and supervised practice in administration/interpretation of select testing instruments are included.
Laboratory session: 2 ½ hours weekly. Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 804/804L Personality Assessment

This course emphasizes the administration and clinical interpretation of both projective tests and self-report inventories of personality and psychopathology. Supervised practice in administration and analysis of test findings supplements lecture and in-depth examination of select case studies. Another major focus is the integration of findings from several tests and communication of results in preparing coherent reports.
Laboratory session: 2 ½ hours weekly. Spring, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 805/805L Integrating Test Findings and Report Writing

This course focuses on advances clinical interpretations of psychological tests of intelligence, cognitive functioning and personality. Attention is directed toward integrating findings from test batteries, formulating clinical interferences about adaptive functioning, and describing personality functioning in depth.
Laboratory session: 2 ½ hours weekly. Fall or Spring, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 806 Advanced Adult Psychopathology

This course introduces the student to concepts of normality and abnormality. It covers basic theoretical models in conceptualizing how and why symptoms are formed and maintained, as well as the different etiological pictures entailed in various diagnostic categories (neuroses, character disorders, mood disorders, psychoses, trauma, psychosomatic disorders and perversions). Psychopathology is considered from an historical perspective (what has changed over time) as well as a cultural perspective (ways in which different cultures define mental health and foster specific defensive structures, and how cultural factors enter into diagnosis and misdiagnosis of pathology).
Spring, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 807 Behavioral Assessment

This course provides both theoretical and practical knowledge of behavioral assessment. Distinctions between traditional and behavioral assessment, psychometric principles, diagnostic considerations and treatment evaluation issues are included. Major behavioral assessment methods are reviewed and practiced.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 810 Clinical Psychology in the Public Interest

Students are familiarized through readings and discussions with the program’s mission. Questions are raised and discussed about: how to define the public interest; the role of psychotherapy in clinical psychology; whether managed care is in the public interest; and how clinical psychology fits into history and the cultural context. Also, it is in the first semester that candidates being to examine how their own values and biases enter into their relationships with clients, supervisors and staff. Special attention is paid to subjective factors like gender, age, ethnicity and social/economic statues which often enter into each candidate’s treatment of others.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 811 Ethical Practice in Clinical Psychology

This course is devoted to the development of ethical and responsible clinical practice. Students learn to be sensitive to ethical decision-making models in the normal course of professional practice, and are exposed to various ethical decision-making models. General ethical principles, such as nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity and autonomy, through processing of ethical dilemmas, are a central part of the course. Comparisons are made between ethical, regulatory, civil and criminal issues and violations. Learning how to integrate ethical guidelines with good clinical practice is the basic objectives of the course.
Spring Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 820 Behavior Analysis

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theory, principles and research strategies in the study of animal and human learning as well as the application of behavioral analysis in clinical practice.
Spring, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 821 Cognition, Perception and Cognitive Therapy

The course will review basic findings, theories and methodologies in the study of perception, cognition, and emotions in normal and abnormal behavior. Students will also be introduced to cognitive therapy conceptualization and the practice of empirically supported cognitive therapies.
Fall, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 822 Individual Intervention: Psychodynamic

This course is designed to educate students in the theory and practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Basic concepts, such as transference, resistance, coutertransference, working alliance, termination and interpretation, are examined through readings, presentations and examinations. Students are introduced to object relational, interpersonal and self-psychology approaches to Freudian treatment. Modification due to patient psychopathology and time limitations are also considered.
Spring, Year 2, 3 units

PSY 824 Developmental Psychology: Lifespan

Provides students with both theoretical and practical knowledge about the human lifespan including an in-depth understanding of the bio-psycho-social contributions in the development of the self. The course will familiarize students with the many challenges and opportunities that individuals confront at various ages in the lifespan and provide sensitivity training about the contributions that an individual’s multicultural identity has on their unique personal development. Students will be prepared to conduct interviews utilizing developmental theories and research, which are appropriate to the developmental level and stage of life of the individual, through supervised case presentations.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 826 Clinical Interviewing

This course introduces the beginning doctoral student to the basic elements of the psychological interview. The course begins with topics such as the first meetings, listening, note-taking and establishing rapport. Later topics include history taking, mental status exams, special patients, recommendations and communicating findings.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 830 Professional Development Seminar: Case Supervision I

This seminar will aim to facilitate candidate confidence and skill as clinicians. It uses lecturing, reading materials, case materials from formal student presentations and informal student participation to accomplish its goals. The seminar demonstrates the use of a psychoanalytic lens or a cognitive behavorial lens in the conceptualization of clinical issues, the formulation of treatment process, and the recognition of therapy as an intrapsychic/interactive process between patient and therapist. In the spring semester students take PSY 840 through the other lens (CBT or psychodynamic) that they did not receive in PSY 830.
Fall, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 837 Introduction to Clinical Research

In this course students apply the critical thinking and rigorous methodologies of science to the practice of clinical psychology. The course will focus on research design as well as research strategies relevant to practitioners, and will provide a foundation of research and evaluation competencies that will help prepare students to complete the doctoral dissertation, as well as to consume and conduct research as psychologists. The course will cover both quantitative and qualitative methods.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 838 Doctoral Dissertation I

Student must have dissertation committee chair chosen.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 839 Doctoral Dissertation II

Student must have dissertation topic and dissertation committee members (two) chosen.
Fall, Year 4, 3 credits

PSY 840 Professional Development Seminar: Case Supervision II

Same course description as PSY 830. Student switches to the other theoretical lens (CBT or psychodynamic) that they did not receive in PSY 830.
Spring, year 2, 3 credits

PSY 841 Full-Time, Year-Long Internship

The fifth year of the program is spent at a full-year, full-time clinical internship. Various sites are available and most often students choose a site in their concentration area. Students must apply to internship sites, which vary in deadline and acceptance rate. Students must be accepted to and complete an internship program accredited by the American Psychological Association or listed as a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). PSY 841 is a requirement for completion of the program and receipt of the degree. Internships generally begin in June of the fourth year or September of the fifth year.
Special Fee, $200, 0 credits

PSY 842 Dissertation Supervision Continuation

During the fall and spring of the fifth year, students are required to register for dissertation supervision continuation. If a student successfully defends their dissertation before the fall semester of their fifth year, this course will be waived. A bound copy of the dissertation must be submitted to the program.
Year 4 Spring & Year 5 Fall course. This course has a special fee.

PSY 843 Dissertation Supervision Maintenance

If a student has not successfully defended his/her dissertation by the end of the fifth year and all other program requirements are completed, he/she must register for dissertation completion maintenance in each subsequent fall and spring semester. 
Spring Year 5 and Fall Year 6 course.
Can be repeated into Spring Year 6 and Year 7 if needed. This course has a special fee.

PSY 844 Biological Basis of Behavior

The purpose of this course is to study the brain through the examination of the nerve cell. Structure and function of the nervous system will be covered, along with neurotransmission and clinically relevant brain anatomy. Methods and techniques are used in the investigation of neural correlates. Contemporary disorders and issues are discussed with particular emphasis on pharmacological aspects of mental health practice.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 846 Concentration: Interventions with High-Risk Families

This course will cover theory, research, prevention, and treatment approaches for families “high risk”. The course will begin with an overview and introduce assessment issues and methods, and then will examine victims and perpetrators and a range of “at risk” conditions including physical abuse, sexual abuse, child neglect, child psychological maltreatment, child witness to domestic violence, dating violence, and sibling violence. We will also cover special topics such as intergenerational transmission of aggression, issues of diversity in family violence (e.g., age, gender, race), exposure to trauma and loss and bereavement issues for families.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 847 Concentration: Serious and Persistent Mental Illness

The seriously mentally ill represent a unique category of patients suffering from exceptionally long episodes of suffering and adjustment difficulties. These difficulties stem from the intensity of the illness, both psychological and biological, and are manifested in social, interpersonal, family and community problems. Many such patients are treatment refractory and await the continued integration of science and clinical care for hopes of improvement. This course examines the psychology of serious mental illness, exploring etiological, treatment, outcome, and mental health policy issues.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 850 Professional Development Seminar: Benefiting from Supervision

This course is designed to provide a link between the doctoral program and the first semester for external field placement experiences (externships). Structured exercises and assignments are designed to produce productive discussions about the externship experience including adjusting to new work environments, new administrative structures and requirements, new patient populations, and new supervisory styles. Students are also guided through the process of selecting potential clients to be the focus of their Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE).
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 851/851L Assessment of Children

This course will cover theory and application in child assessment. In a combination of classroom and laboratory (applied) settings, students learn the principles of assessment with children, and become familiar with the content and administration of techniques of a range of standard child assessment tools. Students will administer, score and write a report for one child testing case.
Spring, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 852 Social and Community Psychology

An examination of small group processes and social problems in contexts that include issues of gender, disability, racism, homelessness, health psychology, adoption, terror management, environmental psychology, and media influences on aggression, race, and the psychotherapeutic profession. Theory and its application are emphasized.
Fall, Year 3 or 4, 3 credits

PSY 853 Group Psychotherapy

This course presents a psycho-historical orientation to group psychotherapy. The student will learn about large and small group dynamics – both within the clinic and in society at large. Concepts of group-as-a whole, containment, holding, cohesiveness, leadership (and co-leadership), prejudice and scapegoating, identification and individuation, etc. are covered.
Fall, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 854 Assessment and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

This course outlines approaches to diagnosis, assessment, and treatment for substance use disorders. Several theoretical views of the etiology and maintenance of substance use disorders will be covered. Students will be familiarized with the evolution of diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders along with a variety of methods for assessing these disorders. A number of treatment approaches will be covered, including motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and the transtheoretical approach to therapy.

PSY 855 Concentration: Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence based cognitive behavioral mental health intervention initially designed to treat highly suicidal, complex, difficult to treat individuals with co-morbid disorders and now expanding to also treat Axis I disorders (such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, oppositional disorder). The treatment’s flexibility and ease of use lead to it also being used across a variety of populations: children, adolescents, adults the elderly, families, correctional populations. DBT is intended to increase clients’ behavioral capabilities, motivation to behave skillfully, generalization of skillful behaviors, environmental support of new behavior, and therapists’ capability and motivation to work with such challenging clients. The first part of the course will cover theory, research, treatment structure and modes, treatment targets, dialectics, communication strategies, commitment strategies, validation, and behavior therapy. The focus will be on Individual therapy, consultation team, and telephone consultation. The second part of the course will cover the teaching strategies and content of DBT skills modules of Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Walking the Middle Path.

PSY 860 Professional Development Seminar: Preparation for the Clinical Competency Exam (CCE)

This semester is a continuation of PSY 850 culminating in a written and oral case presentation to a panel of three professional psychologists (including on full-time faculty member). Students are evaluated on such factors as treatment plans and progress, ethical issues, difficulties with the case and sensitivity to human diversity.
Spring, Year 3, 3 credits

PSY 861 Child & Adolescent Psychopathology

Provides a historical perspective and conceptual models of child and adolescent psychopathology and emphasizes an integration of major developmental issues. The course focuses on specific diagnostic classifications pertinent to children and adolescents and covers clinical symptomatology, epidemiology, etiologic considerations, course and prognosis, familial patterns and influences and differential diagnosis.
Fall, Year 1, 3 credits

PSY 862 History and Systems of Psychology

This course covers the philosophical and historical roots of contemporary psychology. Topics include: 1) the question of psychology as science, 2) examples of myths that have permeated our discipline, 3) the prominent schools and systems of psychology, 4) the history of clinical psychology, 5) the role of gender, ethnicity and social issues in the history of psychology and 6) major ethical issues that are part of the history of psychology. Primary readings and letters exchanged by prominent philosophers and psychologists are discussed.
Spring, Year 2 or 3, 3 credits

PSY 863 Family Therapy (Elective)

This course provides a survey of a wide range of issues related to families. Basic theories regarding family functioning are discussed and a review of major family therapy modalities is presented. Throughout the course, attention is paid on the impact of social class, race, gender, ethnicity, physical disability and sexual orientation on the structure and function of families. Students have the opportunity to conceptualize the use of family therapy in their own concentration, to focus on a topic of particular interest, and to being to evaluate the impact of their own family experiences on their development and their work.
Spring, Years 1 and 2, 3 credits

PSY 864 Cultural Issues in Psychology and Psychotherapy

This course is designed to help students work more effectively with clients from different racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds. The lectures and readings provide an introduction to aspects of non-European cultures especially African American, Asian American and Latino in order to help students to better understand their clients’ experiences, values and world view. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to clinical concepts that are central to the challenges of cross-cultural client work.
Spring, Year 3 or Fall, Year 4, 3 credits

PSY 865 Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Examines the psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches to dealing with various childhood disorders. Developmental psychopathology, childhood assessment and diagnosis, and consultation with school and families are included.
Fall, Year 2, 3 credits

PSY 870 Internship Preparation

The Professional Development Seminar is one of the series of courses designed to help students achieve a more advanced level of competence in professional psychology. This Seminar is designed to support students through the internship application process, as well as to strengthen competency in self-assessment, consultation, and self-care. The Seminar addresses the practical aspects of the internship process, including enrollment in the National Matching Services and online APPI portal, completion of the APPI application (essay development, calculating hours, categorizing clinical data, writing a C.V., writing cover letters, selecting supplementary materials), interviewing, ranking sites, the matching algorithm, Match Day, and Match II. The seminar also supports students to clarify their advanced training needs and goals to support a match that furthers professional development.

PSY 871/872 Clinical Issues in Psychology I & II (various topics)

This course covers advanced treatment of current issues in psychology chosen by the instructor. Registration by permission of the instructor and program director only. Hours arranged, 1, 2, or 3 credits Past topics have included: Self Psychology; and Personality Disorders. The workshop addresses site selection, essay development, calculating hours, categorizing clinical data, writing a C.V., selecting supplementary materials, interviews, ranking sites, the matching algorithm, match day, and the Clearing House. The format of the class is an open discussion, in which students will have the opportunity to ask questions about all aspects of applying to internship.
Offered Summer/Fall, Year 4

PSY 876/877 Special Topic Electives

Consideration of a topic in clinical psychology not covered in other courses such as neuropsychological testing, psychopharmacology, relational approaches to personality development, autism, language and thought disorders, feminist psychology, psychotherapy with difficult patients, psychology and law, psychology of addictions, DBT, etc.
Topics selected each year, examples and descriptions are listed below.

Object Relations Theories (Elective)

This course will provide a historical perspective and conceptual models of object relations theories and focus on the role of object relations in the etiology, development, and expression of psychopathology from childhood to adulthood. The course will survey the object relations theories of everyone from Melanie Klein to Peter Fonagy and the relational theorists, paying particular attention to the conceptual differences and similarities among these various theories. Empirical justification of object relations theories and the assessment of object relations as well as controversies and critiques of these theories will be considered. Case formulation using object relations models will also be covered. Finally, the course will introduce students to new directions in object relations theories offered by contemporary object relations theorists.
On Occasion, Pass/Fail, 3 credits

Unconscious Fantasies, Dreams, Free Association, and Creativity (Elective)

This course addresses the multiple roles and manifestations of one of the giant pillars of psychoanalysis: the unconscious. Unconscious fantasies, dreams, free associations, and the creative process are studied from a theoretical, clinical, and applied perspective. Abundant case material will be presented to enhance techniques with which to recognize and work with material from the unconscious.
On Occasion, Pass/Fail, 1, 2, or 3 credits

Couples Therapy (Elective)

Relationship discord and dissolution are widely prevalent and take an enormous psychological toll on partners, their children and their extended families. This course will cover the assessment and treatment of couple discord, detailing cognitive behavioral and more recent acceptance-based, integrative approaches. Course components will include experiential elements, exercises, and role-plays as well as discussion and didactics. Other treatments covered may include emotion-focused couples therapy and insight-oriented couples therapy.
On Occasion, Graded, 1, 2, or 3 credits

Psychopharmacology (Elective)

This course will cover basic concepts associated with the major categories of psychoactive medications (antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, antipsychotic meds, stimulants and depressants). Knowledge of drug-dosing, therapeutic index, cross-tolerance, substance-dependence and withdrawal will be covered, as well as drug-seeking behavior and the potential for misuse and abuse of medications. Emphasis will be placed on general principles of pharmacokinetics, including routes of administration, contraindications and mechanism of action.
On Occasion, Pass/Fail, 1 credit

PSY 878/PSY 879 Group Intervention Supervision I & II

All clinical psychology doctoral students are required to develop and lead two time-limited psychoeducational or psychotherapeutic groups during their second year in the doctoral program. This course provides for supervision of the first group leadership experience by faculty who are licensed psychologists. Students will meet weekly with co-leader(s) and faculty supervisor for the duration of the groups.
Fall & Spring, Year 2, 3 credits each

PSY 880 Supervision and Management of Mental Health Professionals

Focuses upon supporting advanced students in developing their skills as clinical supervisors and managers of psychologists as well as of professional and administrative staff in mental health and other disciplines. The structure includes a combination of didactic and experiential learning with readings encompassing issues of specific technique, interpersonal relatedness, authority and responsibility, ethics and organizational development.
Spring, Year 4, 3 credits

PSY 891, 892, 893 Psychological Clinic Practicum I, II, III

Offers the opportunity for Graduate Student Therapists (GST) at the C.W. Post Psychological Services Center (PSC) to receive supervised experience in the delivery of a variety of psychological services including individual and group psychotherapies, marital and family therapy, psychoeducation, prevention and wellness counseling and psychological assessment. In addition to weekly individual supervision by both faculty and community licensed psychologists, the GST participate in weekly group therapy supervision, clinic administrative meetings and educational seminars.
Year 2, 1 unit each

PSY 894, 895, 896 Clinical Externship

Supervised training in clinical psychology at program-approved externship sites for two days per week. Students meet bi-weekly with department faculty from group supervision of cases and issues from the training site.
Year 3, 1 credit each

PSY 897, 898 Clinical Externship

Supervised training in clinical psychology at program-approved externship sites for two days per week. Students meet bi-weekly with department faculty from group supervision of cases and issues from the training site.
Fall & Spring, Year 4, 1 credit each

PSY 899 Clinical Externship Continuation

For students continuing externship beyond requirement and before internship: Supervised training in clinical psychology at program-approved externship sites for two days per week. Students meet bi-weekly with department faculty from group supervision of cases and issues from the training site.
As needed, Year 5, 1 credit


Dissertation Requirement


Objective of the Dissertation Component of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program:

The Research Core (adapted from the NCSPP Competency-Based Training & APA Benchmark Training Guidelines)
In the research core a student develops sufficient knowledge and skills to create and conduct research related to the evaluation and improvement of clinical practice. This core consists of the successful completion of two semesters of Statistics, one Clinical Research Seminar, two independent courses developing and conducting the Doctoral Dissertation, and orally presenting the completed Doctoral Dissertation.

Completion of the doctoral training program is the culmination of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be a clinician developed throughout coursework, extern field experiences, assistantships, and research experiences.  Students who successfully defend their dissertations will have developed the following competencies, including the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to act as competent practitioner-scholars in the field of clinical psychology:

Knowledge Base:

Research Evaluation

  • Understanding of different epistemologies, including an understanding of western science in its cultural context.
  • Maintenance and expansion of breadth and depth of knowledge statistics and research design

Conducting and Using Research in Applied Settings

  • Understanding of how to build new practice methods and adjust interventions based on evidence

Ethics and Professional Competence

  • Inclusion of diversity issues in the development, implementation, and interpretation of research

Skills:

Research Evaluation

  • Ability to critically evaluate research literature in terms of applicability to specific clinical questions
  • Ability to smoothly explain relevant professional research literature to a client
  • Ability to critically evaluate different epistemologies

Conducting and Using Research in Applied Settings

  • Ability to design and conduct outcome research (individual client and/or larger participant group) in an applied setting
  • Ability to functions as a peer consultant in research design and evaluation
  • Completion of a major scholarly research project
  • Dissemination of scholarly findings to the professional community.
  • Ability to identify and attempt to control for personal biases that impact the design and implementation of research and the application of research findings in clinical settings
  • Application of research in local clinical settings

Ethics and Professional Competence

  • Ability to conduct research according to accepted ethical principles and standards
  • Ability to function as a “local clinical scientist” in an applied setting

Attitude:

Research Evaluation

  • Incorporation of scientific attitudes and values in work as a psychologist

Conducting and Using Research in Applied Settings

  • Assumption of a leadership role as an evaluator and/or researcher in applied settings
  • Investment in the application of research findings in local clinical settings

Ethics and Professional Competence

  • Commitment to the importance of research and evaluation in ongoing inquiry and lifelong learning

The dissertation process includes the following steps:

  • Research or advisement from a faculty member.  Students should proactively seek out discussions about possible research ideas and/or working with a faculty member on their research projects within the first two years of the program.
  • Attendance at professional conferences and/or affiliation with professional organizations which will provide you with ideas about presentations, writing for publications, and research
  • Your 2nd year research course may provide you with useful assignments for preparing the beginnings of your dissertation project
  • Your 3rd year spring semester pre-proposal dissertation presentation.  Each student presents a less than 10-minute presentation of their dissertation topic thus far.  The presentation should be advised by the chair (which students choose in their 3rd year).  The presentation should include at least the following:

-General topic knowledge
-background
-proposed methods (qualitative or quantitative)
-theoretical framework
-Orientation information
-Research hypotheses

In the summer before your 4th year, you must have two additional committee members selected.  The extent to which these members are involved in your study will depend largely on the project, your relationship with them, and your chair. 

Method for Assessing Student Progress & Attainment of Objectives

Dissertation Evaluation:  There are several distinct written evaluations that are provided to students from start to finish of their dissertation projects. Please consult the dissertation roadmap and the Individual Timeline to Dissertation Completion templates.

  • Individualized Dissertation Timeline to Completion:  (IDTCP): All students will begin making a dissertation plan at the start of their time in the program.  At first this will include informal discussions with faculty they have an interest in working with and/or discussing topics with.  By the spring of their second year, students will work on a topic in their research course (which typically becomes their dissertation topic).  All students should review the timeline plan and discuss the process with their advisors and (later) chairs.   
  • Pre-dissertation Proposal Presentation Form: Prior to the formal dissertation proposal meeting, third year students are scheduled to present their dissertation ideas to the entire doctoral community. Each attendee completes an anonymous review form and the presenters receive all of this informal written feedback.
  • Dissertation Continuation Evaluation: Every semester from a student’s fourth year and on, the dissertation advisor will complete a dissertation continuation form.  These evaluations help to show continual progress on a students’ dissertation and/or help remediation a student’s progress when necessary. 
  • Dissertation Proposal Evaluation and Self-Evaluation: After the formal dissertation proposal to the student’s three committee members, this form is completed and the student receives these along with a feedback discussion from their chair.  The self-evaluation portion of the form should be completed by the student prior to the proposal meeting.  Committee members will give the student feedback and required revisions.  After the proposal meeting, the student should meet with their chair to discuss the feedback and complete the revisions roadmap section of the form. 
  • Dissertation Defense Evaluation: Once the formal oral dissertation defense is held, each of the three committee members completes this written evaluation form and when the doctoral candidate returns to the presentation room, this written feedback is reviewed.  Note that the Dissertation Proposal Revisions form will be reviewed at the defense by your committee.  It would be best to send your committee copies of these forms when you submit your final draft to your committee before the defense. 

Dissertation Course Sequence / Pre-Requisites:

  • Pre-requisites:
    -PSY 801, Statistics I
    -PSY 802, Statistics II
    -PSY 837, Clinical Research
  • PSY 838: Spring 3rd Year (must have committee chair)
  • PSY 839: Fall 4th Year (must have 2 additional committee members)
  • PSY 842: (Registered for twice, Spring 4th year & fall 5th Year
  • PSY 843: Ever semester after Fall of 5th Year (If student has not defended by the start of the spring semester of their 5th year, must register for 843 every semester until successful defense

The Dissertation Defense
Each student is required to submit in writing and orally present the results of a Doctoral
Dissertation. This will demonstrate the student's ability to apply psychological principles to clinical problems. The dissertation is a culminating activity that requires students to demonstrate mastery of an area of professional interest and to make a meaningful contribution to the definition or solution of a problem or question or elucidation of an area of clinical interest.

The doctoral dissertation in the Psy.D. Program is usually practice related research. Students will master the literature in the area of the chosen topic as well as design and carry out a research project. Students will work closely with the Dissertation Committee Chair in designing the study and in deciding on procedures for analysis of the results. Committee members will serve as consultants when appropriate and work with the student and chairperson toward approval of the final proposal. The final product must demonstrate that the student can critically examine a problem, integrate information, operationalize concepts, implement a research project and communicate the essential aspects of the study. The project aids the Psy.D. student in developing the critical thinking skills and the writing skills essential for professional practice in a manner consistent with the traditions of psychology.

There are some students who decide, in consultation with their faculty advisor or another member of the full time faculty, to pursue a theoretical or non-empirical dissertation. In such situations the student will also be required to have a formal proposal meeting and formal approval by a dissertation committee.

For course descriptions, see the “Course Descriptions” tab to the left. For related forms for the dissertation process, see the “For Current Students” tab to the left.

Recent Dissertation Defenses:
2014-2015

  • Jennifer Andersen, Psy.D.: The Effectiveness of DIRFloortime® for School-Aged Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders
    Chair: Geoffrey Goodman, Ph.D.
  • Ilana Barry, Psy.D.: The Utility of the DSM Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Criterion A2 among Chronically Traumatized Adolescents
    Chair: Eva Feindler, Ph.D.
  • Neal A. Bauer, Psy.D.: Meaning Making: The Influence of Religion, Trauma History, and Social Support on Depression and Posttraumatic Stress
    Chair: Thomas Demaria, Ph.D.
  • Cassady Casey, Psy.D.: Do Maternal Mood and Cognitions Match?:  A Study Examining Reportedly Stressful Parent-Child Interactions
    Chair: Hilary Vidair, PhD
  • Shante B. Colston, Psy.D.: Counselors’ Experience Working with Inmates Who Report the Use of Religious Coping”
    Chair: Josette Banks, Ph.D.
  • Sonja Decou, Psy.D.: What Low-Income, Depressed Mothers Need From Mental Health Care: Overcoming Treatment Barriers From Their Perspective
    Chair: Hilary Vidair, Ph.D.
  • Benjamin Gottesman, Psy.D.: Train Up a Child In the Way He Should Go:” An Examination of Parental Attitudes Toward Attending Behavioral Parent-Training Interventions in Houses of Worship
    Chair: Camilo Ortiz, Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Heckel, Psy.D.: Clinical Addiction Professionals’ Attitudes toward Harm Reduction Psychotherapy
    Chair: Robert Keisner, Ph.D.
  • Shoshana Kaish, Psy.D.: Up the Rabbit Hole: The Effect of Mindfulness Training on Learning in the Presence of Digital Distractors
    Chair: Jill Rathus, Ph.D.
  • Matthew Liebman, Psy.D.: The Immediate Impact of Fast-Paced Television on Delay of Gratification in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
    Chair: Eva Feindler, Ph.D.
  • Melissa Melkumov, Psy.D.: Ten Years and Counting: Examining the Experience of 9/11 First Responder Spouses
    Chair: Eva Feindler, Ph.D.
  • Maria Narimanidze, Psy.D.: Who’s Talking to Whom? A Qualitative Study of Voice Hearers
    Chair: Danielle Knafo, Ph.D.
  • Sara Pascal, Psy.D.: Fleeing from Self and Other: A Constructivist Self-Development Theory Examination of Dual-Identity Refugees and International Aid Workers
    Chair: Thomas Demaria, Ph.D.
  • Esther   Pearl, Psy.D.: Parent Acceptability and Preference of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approaches to Treating Anxiety in Young Children (Ages 2-7)
    Chair: Hilary Vidair, Ph.D.
  • Jessica Renz, Psy.D.: Psychological and Demographic Predictors of Excessive Exercise Among Adolescents with Eating Disorders
    Chair: Hilary Vidair, Ph.D.
  • Bethany Pecora-Sanefski, M.S.: The Experience of Ambiguous Loss, Grief, and Burden for Caregivers of Dementia Patients
    Chair: Eva Feindler, Ph.D.
  • Meredith Pierson, Psy.D.: “Is the Patient in Control”: Is it a Moderator in Predicting Burden for Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia?
    Chair: Marc Diener, Ph.D.
  • Susannah Smedresman, Psy.D.: The Relation Between Scheduled vs. On Demand Feeding Style and Maternal Attachment in Infants
    Chair: Camilo Ortiz, Ph.D.
  • Konata Stallings, Psy.D.: Defense Mechanisms in the Art of Children Who Have Experienced a 9/11 Related Traumatic Loss
    Chair: Danielle Knafo, Ph.D.
  • Jason Styka, Psy.D.: Gay Men’s Experiences with Location-Based Smartphone Applications for Men seeking Men: A Qualitative Study
    Chair: Robert Keisner, Ph.D.
  • Caroline Wright, Psy.D.: Influence of prior trauma and gender on perceptions of sexual encounters on sexual education efforts in emerging adults.
    Chair: Thomas Demaria, Ph.D.
  • Melody Wysocki, Psy.D.: Trauma Art Narrative Therapy with Children in Residential Treatment:  A Pilot Study
    Chair: Thomas Demaria, Ph.D.
  • Eric Yellin, Psy.D.: An Exploration of Caregiver Grief, Depression, and Outcomes Associated with Child Mortality in Rural Uganda
    Chair: Geoffrey Goodman, Ph.D.
  • Carey Zimmermann, Psy.D.: Through Their Eyes: Perceptions of Psychotherapy and the Mental Health Field Held by Members of the Working Poor
    Chair: Eva Feindler, Ph.D.

Other Program Requirements


The program has additional requirements beyond that of coursework and clinical experiences. These are listed by year below and described in further detail below. Some requirements are offered by the program and included in our schedule of events. Others (SAVE and Child Abuse Reporting) are offered by the continuing education office at LIU Post.

Year One: Other Requirements

Attendance at Program Lectures (Wednesday and Thursdays lunchtime)
SafeZone (monthly)
Child Abuse Reporting Workshop
Project SAVE

Year Two: Other Requirements

Attendance at Program Lectures (Wednesday and Thursdays lunchtime)
Psychological Services Center Practicum and related requirements

Year Three: Other Requirements

Attendance at Program Lectures (Wednesday and Thursdays lunchtime)
Completion of 16-20 Hour per Week External Externship
Completion of Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE)
Completion of successful dissertation proposal

Year Four: Other Requirements

Completion of 16-20 Hour per Week External Externship
Continued Work (or completion) of Dissertation
Year Five: Other Requirements
Completion of Full-time Internship
Completion of Successful Dissertation Defense

OTHER PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING

Colloquium and Concentration Meetings
In the first, second and third years, students are required to attend events scheduled on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the fall and summer semesters, typically 12:30 pm to 1:50 pm.  These lectures are sponsored by the programs’ student groups, concentration coordinators, and/or the program colloquium series.  A schedule of events is posted at the beginning of every academic semester. Attendance at all concentration meetings, colloquium, and S.M.A.R.T. events is mandatory for all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students.(Information on S.M.A.R.T. can be found in the “Student Groups” section of the website).

4th year students must attend their concentration lectures every semester.

Requirements Offered by the Program:

SafeZone Training
All first year students attend monthly trainings with student-staffed SafeZone leaders in the fall and spring semesters.  These are typically schedule for the first Thursday of every month from 12:30 pm to 1:50 pm.

H.I.V. Workshop for Psychologists
Offered every 2-3 years by the LIU Post Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program OR taken in another setting by the student (often offered online by providers approved by New York State).

Requirements Offered by LIU Post’s Continuing Education Office:

Project S.A.V.E.
Students must complete before beginning PSC Practicum Placement. Available through LIU Post’s School of Continuing Education.

Child Abuse Identification & Reporting
Available through LIU Post’s School of Continuing Education.

Other Program Requirements (tied to coursework)

Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE)
In PSY 860, taken during the spring of the third year, students begin preparing for their Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE).  Work on this case presentation  continues in the summer of third year when the student is assigned a chair and two additional panel members.  Students present their case to the panel, along with a paper.

The date for the CCE must be scheduled by the student by June 15 of his/her third year. The CCE scheduled date can occur after the June 15 date. Students must pass their CCE before applying in their fourth year for internship for the following academic year (fifth year).

Dissertation Proposal
Completed, generally, in the fall of student’s fourth year. Students must propose by October 15 of their fourth year in order to be approved to apply for internship. A final draft of their proposal must be to their dissertation committee chair by August 1. Once the proposal has been passed, students must complete their Institutional Review Board (IRB) application before moving forward with data collection.

Dissertation Defense (associated courses: PSY 838, 839, 842, 843) 
Students must defend their dissertations and hand in a bound copy, with the signatures of their dissertation committee members, to the program in order have this requirement considered complete.

CONTACT

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Nathaniel Bowditch, Dean

Joan Ruckel
Executive Assistant to the Dean