Catalog 2012-2013 
    Apr 24, 2018  
Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Psychology: PhD, Los Angeles

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The Los Angeles PhD Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002; Phone: 202-336-5979; Email:; Web:

Program Goals

Our three training goals are to educate students in the conduct of applied clinical research, to train students to be effective in evaluating psychological functioning and providing efficacious interventions, and to prepare ethical and responsible professional psychologists for varied, changing roles and settings.

Training Model: A Scholar-Practitioner Program

The scholar-practitioner model guides our competency-based program philosophy. In training our students to be professional psychologists, we support trainees in creating an interdependent relationship between their scholarship and practice. We prepare all trainees for key professional activities as emerging psychologists, including research, assessment, and clinical intervention within a multicultural context. Diversity, internationalism, and the relationship between individual and various community systems are appreciated and central to our training program. As such, marginalized populations, underrepresented groups, and psychologists’ work in community and applied settings as researchers and practitioners are given particular attention in this training model. In addition, we encourage students to explore and gain experience with multiple roles that they may have as professional psychologists, including roles in teaching, advocacy, supervision, and consultation.

The scholar-practitioner model builds upon the conviction that scholarship and practice enhance one another and should lead to reflective practice – in which the practitioner draws on clinical experience to enhance scholarly understanding and draws on multiple forms of scholarship in order to understand clinical case material.

Students receive advanced training in theoretical issues, techniques of psychological interventions, professional issues, consultation, and ethics and supervision. In addition, they receive advanced training in research applications and complete a dissertation. The Clinical PhD program at Los Angeles has developed multicultural training to embrace consideration of diversity regarding issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, social class, and religion. This is reflected in the required course for all clinical students (Intercultural Processes and Human Diversity), as well as through the integration of multicultural perspectives throughout our curriculum.

Field Training

At the predoctoral stage, students’ professional development occurs within the context of both formal coursework and clinical training experiences supervised by faculty and professionals in the field. Students develop and acquire clinical skills through professional training experiences in a variety of mental health service settings in the community. Such supervised professional training experiences include practica and internships, as well as an optional clerkship in the second year.

Each student is assigned a professional field training advisor who meets regularly with the student to develop and implement an individualized training plan designed to assure (1) that the student receives a broad base of clinical experiences with a variety of clientele and professional role models and (2) that professional training experiences are chosen with due consideration of the student’s level of skill and longer-term professional goals.

In the second year of the PhD program, students may take an optional clerkship, subject to site availability. The emphasis is on assessment. Clerkships include experience at a field site.

PhD students in the third year are required to have a minimum 15-hour per week practicum experience in a mental health setting. Students begin to assume clinical responsibility for assessment and intervention while closely supervised at a level appropriate to the student’s training and abilities. This clinical professional training experience varies with respect to the nature of clients served and the mental health setting in which the student serves, as well as with individual students’ skill levels, professional interests, and training needs. The total number of minimum required practicum hours is 800.

PhD students choose either to complete a second practicum in the fourth year and a full-time internship in the fifth year after coursework has been completed or to complete a CAPIC half-time internship in the fourth and fifth years. .

At the practicum level, students receive training in agencies that are formally affiliated with the school. At the internship level, students apply competitively for internships participating either in the APA/APPIC or CAPIC match process. All clerkship and practicum training programs are carefully reviewed and monitored on an ongoing basis to assure consistent and high quality training.

The majority of affiliated clerkship and practicum training sites exist within a 40-mile radius of the campus. Students who wish to pursue full-time internships are encouraged to make applications throughout the country. Currently, all APA internships and some CAPIC internships offer a stipend .

Research Training

During the course of their graduate training, students gain proficiency in applied research methods. The PhD program emphasizes training psychologists to be competent as producers of scientific research, and PhD students begin their research training right from the start of the program.

In addition to formal coursework, which provides a basic understanding of research methodology and statistics, within the first two and a half years, PhD students complete three semesters of research practicum which emphasizes the planning and conduct of research and culminates in a poster presentation of an original piece of empirical research. In the third year, students enroll in Research in Applied Settings and focus on the development of research and consultation skills investigating problems in practical situations.

By their fourth year, students enter into formal dissertation work with a faculty mentor to produce a scholarly and methodologically sound dissertation proposal that is to be completed by the end of the fifth year. The mentor becomes the student’s dissertation committee chair when preliminary orals have been successfully completed.

Students must pass preliminary orals by the end of their fourth year or before they apply for an APA or APPIC internship, whichever comes first.

Specialized Admissions Requirements: Credit for Previous Graduate Work

Subject to being over-ridden by other applicable University policies, students may petition for transfer credit for any of the following courses: human development across the lifespan, cognitive and affective bases of behavior, history and systems, advanced psychopathology, assessment coursework, research practicum sequence courses (transferrable with a bound Master’s thesis which required student to go through research training), and social bases of behavior. No transfer credit will be granted unless (a) the student files the transfer credit request in a timely fashion, (b) a faculty member assigned to review the transfer credit request deems the course in question of sufficient breadth and taught at a high enough level to substitute for a course in the CSPP-PhD curriculum. Course syllabi and a transcript from the institution offering the course must be submitted with the transfer credit petition. You must consult the University Catalog to determine whether additional rules apply.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

All students must complete 150 units. The following curriculum for the clinical PhD program at the Los Angeles campus reflects two choices for students. The first curriculum incorporates a fifth-year, full-time internship. The second involves two part-time internships in the fourth and fifth years. Students interested in APA accredited internships, or any other internship secured through the APPIC match, should follow Curriculum Plan I. Emphasis area abbreviations used below are as follows: Clinical Health Psychology Emphasis (CH), Family and Couple Clinical Psychology Emphasis (FACE), Multicultural Community Clinical Psychology Emphasis (MCCP), and the Multi-interest option (MIO). These are described more fully following the curriculum itself.

Students must pass written and oral comprehensive examinations as partial fulfillment of the requirements for admission to doctoral candidacy. They are also evaluated at other regular points in their matriculation, including an assessment of professional competencies prior to graduation. Forty-five hours of documented individual psychotherapy with a psychologist licensed in the state of California are required. For students with prior psychotherapy, this requirement may be satisfied by 45 hours of documented therapy conducted by a licensed psychologist within three years of matriculation.

Curriculum Plan

Plan I.


*Students choose two of these three approaches to interventions.

Fourth Year

Plan II.


*Students choose two of these three approaches to interventions.

Emphasis Areas

Clinical Health Psychology Emphasis

The area of clinical health psychology combines the fields of behavioral medicine, public health, social psychology, disease prevention, and health promotion into an applied discipline that investigates underlying mechanisms that connect the mind and body and explain the dynamic interaction between physical and mental health. Clinical health psychologists integrate biomedical, psychological, and spiritual modalities to detect and treat illness, foster behavior change, increase adjustment to acute and chronic illnesses, reduce health care disparities, and promote psychological growth and well-being. Students in the clinical health psychology (CHP) emphasis receive the same thorough preparation for clinical and community practice as students in the other emphasis areas, while in addition gaining theoretical knowledge and skills that provide a foundation for service as psychologists in a variety of medical and behavioral health care settings.

In addition to developing the assessment and treatment skills required of all clinical psychologists, Clinical Health Psychology students at CSPP-LA learn practical techniques in the areas of cognitive-behavioral and community-based interventions. Electives offered in the CHP emphasis area have included topics such as neuropsychological theory and assessment, psychopharmacology, women’s health, substance abuse treatment, and disease prevention and health promotion. All emphasis area students learn about the sociocultural, demographic, political, and economic forces that influence the organization, financing, and delivery of health services. Additionally, students are exposed to the variety of new and expanding opportunities for health psychologists across clinical research and patient care.

Family and Couple Clinical Psychology Emphasis

Our goal in the Family and Couple Clinical Psychology Emphasis (FACE) is to introduce graduate students to the theory, research, and clinical practice of family, child, and couple psychology. This is accomplished through coursework in which students learn about families, couples, adults, and children from diverse backgrounds. Students are taught to work with families, couples, children, and adults from a systemic perspective. Skills are developed in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of relationship systems.

During the first two or three years in the FACE emphasis, students learn how to conceptualize, assess, and intervene with families and couples. The family systems theory and assessment course prepares students for an advanced FACE family systems intervention course taken exclusively by FACE students.

During their final years, students meet with their FACE academic advisor to determine which FACE clinical electives for advanced training fit their interests and career goals. The emphasis area provides many exciting electives in the areas of family therapy, couple therapy, and/or systemic group therapy.

Family Therapy: Students interested in family therapy may select from courses such as the following: Clinical Interventions with Children and Families, Interventions with Adolescents and Families, Child Assessment, Family Violence and Sexual Abuse, Family of Origin Therapy, Advanced Family Therapy, and Therapy with Alternative Families.

Couple Therapy: Students interested in examining relationship dynamics may choose electives such as: Integrated Approach to Sex, Intimacy, and Relationship Problems, Couple Therapy, Sex Therapy, Divorce Therapy, and Training in Differentiation Based Therapy.

Systemic Group Therapy: Students interested in group therapy may choose such electives as: Group Therapy, and Group Psychotherapy and Supervision.

The FACE faculty believe that it is very important that all students create a niche for themselves. It is highly recommended that they do practicum or internship training in the area of Family, Child, and Couple Psychology. We have created the Ronald McDonald House/ FACE internship in order to provide more intensive training in the area of family, child, and couple therapy. Students’ PhD dissertation, clinical electives, as well as networking, should be in their area of interest.

Multicultural Community-Clinical Psychology Emphasis

The Multicultural Community-Clinical Psychology (MCCP) reflects the state-of-the-art in training philosophy, curriculum, and applied experiences relevant to training clinical psychologists with special competence in multicultural and community psychology. The year-long course required of clinical psychology students in all emphasis areas, Intercultural Processes and Human Diversity, provides basic competence in multicultural issues. The MCPP emphasis area provides the additional opportunity for students to develop: (1) more advanced conceptual and intervention skills relevant to psychotherapy with culturally-diverse populations; (2) competence beyond individual psychopathology that includes conceptualization and intervention with community-level distress and social problems; (3) an understanding of sociopolitical and sociocultural influences on psychological functioning and well-being; (4) skills to develop programs and activities focused on the prevention of psychopathology and social problems; and (5) knowledge of community psychology theory and practice.

The mission of the training is to nurture the development of clinical psychologists who will work to understand, prevent, and reduce psychological and community distress, as well as to enhance the psychological well-being of historically underserved, stigmatized, and oppressed groups. In doing this, special attention is paid to the cultural and sociopolitical context of the individuals, families, and communities we serve. Faculty members in the emphasis area are committed to fostering a climate of inclusion, respect for differences, and a sense of community both within and outside of CSPP. The faculty strives to empower individuals and communities and to facilitate personal and social healing.

Through coursework, field experiences, and mentorship by our faculty, students learn theory, research, and intervention strategies applicable to working with adults, adolescents, children, families, groups, and communities. Students share the core curriculum in clinical psychology with students from all emphasis areas. MCCP students build upon this basic curriculum by learning alternative theories and strategies for intervention with communities, institutional systems, and specific multicultural groups. Faculty focus on training clinical psychologists who are critical thinkers about the etiology of psychological distress and who can conceptualize multiple pathways to healing individuals, families, and communities. All MCCP students take a seminar in Community-Clinical Psychology to provide an overview of the content of the emphasis area.

MCCP Advanced Clinical Electives have included:

• Advanced Psychodynamic Interventions with Multicultural Populations
• Alternative Intervention Strategies
• Belief Systems and Psychotherapy
• Clinical Interventions with Lesbians and Gay Men
• Community Consultation
• Interventions with Victims of Violence
• Multicultural Couple Therapy
• Multicultural Family Therapy
• Pediatric Neuropsychology and Culture
• School and Community-Based Interventions for Children and Adolescents
• Spirituality and Spiritual Development in Psychotherapy

MCCP students also choose several advanced clinical electives available to all students.

MCCP students participate in professional field training experiences that emphasize clinical services to multicultural and under- or inadequately-served populations. Settings can range from hospitals and mental health clinics to community-based agencies or university counseling centers. Students’ PhD dissertations must reflect an aspect of multicultural and/or community psychology.

Multi-Interest Option

The Multi-Interest Option is designed for students who do not choose to enter one of the emphasis areas. The Multi-Interest Option offers students flexibility in their choice of elective courses and topics for their doctoral project, dissertation, and other scholarly and field training interests.

The faculty and students affiliated with the Multi-Interest Option offer colloquia and social gatherings that, like those sponsored by the emphasis areas, are open to all members of the Los Angeles campus community. We have sponsored presentations that promote awareness of diverse roles in professional psychology; for example, we have enlisted alumni to discuss their career trajectory, offered an introduction to grant writing, and hosted a panel discussion on consultation as a professional activity. We seek to encourage students’ scholarly and professional growth in a wide range of interest areas. Students in the Multi-Interest Option are encouraged to attend colloquia and presentations sponsored by the emphasis areas, as well.

Clinical PhD Program Faculty: Los Angeles

Core faculty for the Los Angeles PhD program are listed below:

Linda Beckman, PhD, Distinguished Professor

Terece S. Bell, PhD, Associate Professor

Ellin L. Bloch, PhD, Professor

Theodore Burnes, PhD, Associate Professor

Ron Duran, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Administration

Michi Fu, PhD, Associate Professor

James Garbanati, PhD, Professor

Robert Gore, PhD, Associate Professor and Program Director

Tina Houston Armstrong, PhD, Assistant Professor

Richard Mendoza, PhD, Professor

Nicholas Noviello, PhD, Associate Professor

Susan Regas, PhD, Professor

Peter Theodore, PhD, Assistant Professor

For a detailed description of program faculty background and research interests, please see the alphabetical listing of faculty for the California School of Professional Psychology.

APA Education and Training Outcomes

The CSPP Los Angeles Clinical Psychology PhD program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA) and publishes the following outcome data as required by APA:

  • Time to Completion
  • Program Costs
  • Internship Placement Rates
  • Attrition
  • Licensure

Please visit the “About CSPP Programs” section of our website ( to view these data.

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202)336-5979

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