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Program Objectives & Curriculum

The course of study outlined in the Counseling Psychology program is intended to develop students' abilities to meet the following objectives.

Note, the descriptions below are truncated in order to present some over-arching information on the web. Please see the Program Handbook for complete information for each objective, including learning activities, assessment procedures, and expected outcomes for each of these.

1. Science:

Students should understand and apply various inquiry skills and integrate research and scholarly activities into their professional identity. Students will demonstrate substantial knowledge and competence in the breadth of scientific psychology, its history of thought and development, its research methods, its applications, in the developmental, biological, cognitive/affective, and social aspects of behavior, and the history of the discipline of psychology, and in basic quantitative methods and data analysis, research design, and psychological measurement.

2. Practice:

Students will have the requisite knowledge and skills for entry into the practice of professional psychology. To attain this goal, we expect our students to demonstrate substantial understanding of and competence in the body of knowledge in theories and methods of assessment and diagnosis, effective individual and group intervention, consultation, supervision, and the evaluation of these services. Students will also demonstrate knowledge of psychology as an applied discipline and recognize the distinguishing characteristics of the specialty of counseling psychology and its place in the broader field of psychology. Students will also become proficient as entry-level psychologists capable of conducting counseling and psychotherapy and evaluating client progress and outcomes and diagnosing problems and conceptualizing clients' issues, conducting formal assessments, and integrating those assessments into a conceptualization of client status accompanied by an appropriate treatment plan.

3. Integration of Science and Practice:

Students will be skilled in integrating scientific principles and knowledge with professional practice to more effectively address the needs of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and public policy issues. Students will be able to articulate the implications of evidence-based practice to the delivery of counseling, psychotherapy, and related professional services; will be able to access, understand, and critically evaluate relevant psychological and mental and behavioral health research literature; and apply their scientific knowledge of research on psychotherapy interventions.

4. Individual and Cultural Diversity:

Students will be aware, knowledgeable and skilled enough to address issues of human diversity and multiculturalism who are capable of advocating for the needs and issues of underrepresented populations. Students will demonstrate knowledge and integration of theory and research in human diversity and multicultural counseling in their assessments and interventions with various culturally diverse clients, will exhibit awareness of multicultural principles in their interactions with faculty and students, and competently apply multicultural theory and scholarship to their own research.

5. Optimal Human Functioning and Adaptive Developmental Processes:

Students should be committed to facilitating optimal human functioning and adaptation across the lifespan. Students will demonstrate substantial understanding of contemporary theories of optimal human functioning, normative lifespan maturational processes, and application of these concepts to research. Students will also apply their understanding of positive coping, lifespan development, and adaptation into the practice realm.

6. Professional Identity and Development:

Students' professional identity should be that of a counseling psychologist, and students will have begun to develop knowledge and skills in one or more special proficiency ares that complement their core identity as counseling psychologists and that facilitate their entry and subsequent careers as academic or professional psychologists. Graduates of the program will also develop habits of lifelong learning and personal and professional development that continue into their professional lives and develop skills to engage in continuing scholarly inquiry, knowledge building, and the dissemination of knowledge across the course of their professional careers.

7. Ethics, Professional Standards, and Legal Issues:

Students should consistently apply accepted standards of ethical and professional conduct to their work and will be committed to the continuing development of psychology as a profession and human science. Students will demonstrate professional competency in applying the ethical and professional standards for psychologists to their work in clinical and research settings.

Counseling Psychology Information Sessions

These informational sessions will provide you with important information about our Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology. What professionals in these careers do, the job outlook, program requirements, admissions requirements, and the admissions process.

Salt Lake City meetings are held on the University of Utah campus, in the Sorenson Arts & Education Complex (SAEC) 3220. Please call the Educational Psychology Office at 801-581-7148 if you have questions. Campus Map

Upcoming SLC Info-Session Dates:

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Last Updated: 12/13/17