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Field Experience: School of Psychology: Ph.D. in Psychology

Ph.D. in Psychology

In Walden’s Ph.D. in Psychology program, you can explore current theories and best practices and carry out research that will help you build the skills and knowledge you need to work with a diverse clientele in a variety of settings.     

Ph.D. in Psychology students in the Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology specializations participate in an intense, focused practice experience (practicum) and in an intensive, broad-responsibilities experience (internship) where classroom education, skill building, and research skills are brought to the field of practice.

Students identify field sites that can offer them growth that enhances their professional skills, knowledge, and attributes. Students establish relationships with supervisors and, based on a clear understanding of the students’ current competencies and attributes, establish an agreement for vertical growth and development. Developmental progress is achieved by ongoing evaluation, feedback, and interaction as students develop levels of competencies and capacities not previously attained.

The expected outcome of these experiences is the integration of knowledge, skills, research, and professional attitudes and beliefs into a comprehensive, ethical model of professional practice. In this manner, students are trained to be practitioners with the confidence and experience to continue to work in and make contributions to the field of psychology.

 

Psychology Practicum

The practicum is an intense supervised field experience with clear boundaries and less breadth and responsibility than those associated with an internship. Students, under the supervision of qualified professionals, learn to integrate learning and research in the practice of developing specific skills sets and/or working with new client populations.

Adequate preparation is essential to the success of the practicum experience. Students must ensure their field experiences meet their specific state board standards and requirements. Students must register for a minimum of two terms of practicum, registering for additional terms until the required 750 hours is attained.

Clinical Psychology. Students must register for a minimum of two terms of practicum, registering for additional terms until the required 750 hours is attained.

Counseling Psychology. Students must register for four terms of practicum, registering for additional terms until the required 1,000 hours is attained.

 

Prerequisites

To enroll in Practicum, students must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Completion of AYR
  • Completion of the Program Milestone: Readiness for Practicum

Note: Students must complete the following courses with a grade of B or better: PSYC 8704, PSYC 8344, PSYC 8345, PSYC 8340, PSYC 8350, PSYC 8421, and PSYC 8208 (Counseling only)/PSYC 8741 (Clinical only).

 

Arranging for the Practicum

Students completing a practicum must arrange for supervised practice in an appropriate setting. Each student is responsible for finding a practicum site and a site supervisor. The field training coordinator must approve the site and the site supervisor before the student can begin the practicum.

 

Review the Student Handbook and Training Manual

All information pertaining to the practicum is detailed in the Counseling Psychology Student Handbook and Training Manual or the Clinical Psychology Student Handbook and Training Manual. The manual provides specific information regarding the field experience philosophy, the application processes, field experience completion requirements, and remediation procedures. The manual also contains the current forms related to field experiences. Students should thoroughly review the manual before starting the field experience process, paying particular attention to the application process and deadlines.

 

Review State-Specific Requirements

Students should visit the website for their state and review all of the state’s specific requirements for completing a practicum. A list of state licensure websites can be found at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards’ Contact Page. Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of their state and should consult the rules and regulations regarding the licensing of psychologists from the appropriate state licensing board. It is recommended that students complete (or update) their Personal State Licensure Plan (PSLP) created during the Foundation course (PSYC 8000).

Note: For international or non-U.S.-based students: Identify and consult the licensure, certification or other regulatory requirements for your specific country, providence or territory.

 

Psychology Internship

An internship is required for students enrolled in the Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology specializations and is a critical part of doctoral study for these students. A psychology internship is an organized training experience that, in contrast to supervised experience or on-the-job training, is designed to provide students with a planned, programmed sequence of training experiences.

The professionally supervised training experiences of internship are characterized by greater depth, breadth, duration, frequency, and intensity than practicum training. The primary focus and purpose is assuring breadth and quality of training. The students’ experiences working in the field and actively participating in the Walden School of Psychology classrooms help them develop the attitudes that will enable their effective personal interaction and participation in an interdisciplinary approach to problems of research and practice.

The internship is an intense, broad-reaching experience that provides students the experience of a fully practicing psychologist, while under professional supervision. The internship agency has a clearly designated doctoral-level staff psychologist who is responsible for the integrity and quality of the training program. This person is actively licensed, certified, or registered by the State Board of Examiners in the jurisdiction where the program exists and is present at the training facility for a minimum of 20 hours a week.

Adequate preparation is essential to the success of the internship experience. Students must ensure that their field experiences meet their specific state board standards and requirements. The internship is completed in a minimum of four quarters (full time), but additional quarters may be taken to attain the required 2,000 hours.

 

Prerequisites

Students must complete all program requirements except the dissertation before beginning an internship. Completion and approval of the dissertation proposal is also required.

 

Arranging for the Internship

Students completing an internship must arrange for supervised practice in an appropriate setting. Students are responsible for selecting an internship field experience site and site supervisor. The field training coordinator must approve the internship site as well as the site supervisor before the student can begin the internship.

All information pertaining to the internship is detailed in the Counseling Psychology Student Handbook and Training Manual or the Clinical Psychology Student Handbook and Training Manual. The manual provides specific information regarding the field experience philosophy, the application processes, field experience completion requirements, and remediation procedures. The manual also contains the current forms related to field experiences. Students should thoroughly review the manual before starting the field experience process, paying particular attention to the application process and deadlines.

 

Review State-Specific Requirements

Students should visit the website for their state and review all of the state’s specific requirements for completing an internship. A list of state licensure websites can be found at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards’ Contact Page. Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of their state and should consult the rules and regulations regarding the licensing of psychologists from the appropriate state licensing board. It is recommended that students complete (or update) their Personal State Licensure Plan (PSLP) created during the Foundation course (PSYC 8000).