Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Course Delivery

  • On-Campus

3 years

Average Time to Complete with MA

75 Units

Total Number of Units with MA

120 Units

Total Number of Units with BA

Fall

Enrollment Term

Program Overview

The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology degree program provides formal training in the science and practice of clinical psychology. In addition to broad and rigorous preparation in clinical psychology, the program provides training in theory and treatment inspired by positive psychology and both secular and spiritual concepts and interventions. Mindfulness as a source of both clinician self-care and treatment interventions is a core component of the curriculum.

After degree completion, graduates are prepared for a career as a licensed clinical psychologist, which may include work in substance abuse and mental health treatment settings, corrections agencies, private practice, supervisory and program development positions in healthcare settings, teaching, and/or research.

Advisors meet with each student quarterly for ongoing mentoring, advising, and review of students’ progress. Annually, advisors meet with each student for a formal review of student progress. When necessary, students will meet with appropriate faculty members, advisors, and the Program Chair for further discussion and recommendation.

Students may elect to receive the Master of Arts in Psychology (MA) degree while enrolled in the PsyD program after successful completion of a sub-set of the total PsyD requirements. Students may not apply for the MA or enter Sofia University with the intention of completing the MA alone. However, during the course of their studies they may petition for receipt of the master’s degree. 

Program Highlights

What is unique about the PsyD program at Sofia?

Spirituality

Reflects a distinctive, in some ways irreducible, human motivation–the yearning for the sacred that contributes in unique ways to health and well-being. Spirituality is increasingly being studied in psychology as a virtue in positive psychology, and as a mechanism of change in mindfulness and acceptance-based psychotherapies.

The spiritual orientation of the Sofia PsyD program is predicated on research demonstrating that the presence of spiritual and/or religious practices in a person’ life has significant and long-lasting benefits for psychological and physical health, and that sensitive and evidence-based incorporation of the client’s spiritual beliefs and practices builds the therapeutic alliance.

The spiritual orientation to clinical psychology that underlies the program is nondenominational. Spiritual and culturally-based religious beliefs and practices as well as an understanding of major world religions are integral to training to be a proficient clinical psychologist in research, assessment, and therapy.

Mindfulness

Practices enhance a training therapist’s ability to attend to and empathize with the client. They also cultivate qualities including compassion and unconditional positive regard that are among the common factors shown to strengthen the therapeutic relationship and improve outcome. Studies have demonstrated that therapists value mindfulness training and see it as helpful to their role as a clinician.

Mindfulness practices taught at Sofia University include qigong, aikido, and vipassana meditation. It may seem paradoxical to include aikido, a martial art, as a way to train psychology students in mindfulness and relationship building skills. However, aikido is a form of moving meditation that requires the mind to be focused in the here-and-now, and in harmony with the movement of the body. Also aikido emphasizes the importance of connecting, collaborating, and blending with a partner that provides experiential understanding of core psychotherapeutic relational factors that impact effectiveness such as unconditional positive regard (there is no competition in aikido practice, only collaboration), therapeutic presence, staying centered when challenged by clients, and blending empathically with clients.

Positive Psychology

The branch of psychology that uses scientific understanding and evidence-based interventions to enhance well-being rather than focusing on treating psychological symptoms and problems. While having its roots in humanistic and transpersonal psychology, which focused heavily on happiness and fulfillment, positive psychology emphasizes the use of the scientific method to develop and assess interventions that further human functioning and flourishing. Forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude are some of the topics covered in the Sofia PsyD curriculum.

Program Curriculum

Our curriculum covers the following:
  • Traditional Clinical Psychology
  • Interpersonal Neurobiology, Neuroplasticity and Neuropersonal Biology
  • Transpersonal, Depth, and Spiritual Psychology - East/West Traditions, Creative Expression, Aikido
  • Positive Psychology - Mindfulness, Compassion, Gratitude, and Forgiveness. Training in emotional regulation to improve clinical performance that includes meditation

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and explain human behavior using current theory, methods, and research in the affective, social, individual differences, and cognitive areas of psychology, and formulate appropriate interventions to serve the needs of diverse clients.
  • Summarize, assess, and apply the integration of positive psychology and spiritual diversity in clinical psychology theory, research, and practice.
  • Create ethical and legal interventions to human psychology problems by integrating sound reflective judgment, appropriate moral and ethical frameworks, and clinical psychology knowledge. 
  • Summarize and explain the importance of and sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity in their academic, clinical, and professional work and relationships.
  • Communicate effectively, ethically, and sensitively using a variety of media and genres to meet the needs and intended audience in a variety of personal and professional settings.
  • Reflect upon their own whole-person development relative to the field of psychology and identify opportunities for continuing professional development

“Studying as a Doctor of Psychology student at Sofia has been a period of intense learning and an eye-opening experience that led to growth on both a personal and professional level for me. Sofia’s strong commitment to diversity was one of the reasons I entered its psychology program. Students around the world learn from books about kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and empathy; we learn it through the role modeling of our teachers at Sofia University.”

– Imaan Farajallah / PsyD Alumna Class 18′

 

 

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