Texas Tech University

Graduate Program

The Clinical Psychology doctoral program is housed within the Department of Psychological Sciences. The Department of Psychological Sciences has its own building on the Texas Tech University campus that houses offices, research labs, conference rooms, and classrooms (one devoted to statistics/computing). The Department of Psychological Sciences also houses the Psychology Clinic which includes eight therapy rooms, two group rooms, one child therapy room, and five assessment/testing rooms. Graduate students have access to computers, printers, and different types of software (e.g., SPSS).

In addition to practicum training in the Psychology Clinic, graduate students in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program also get clinical training at different practicum sites such as the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, University Medical Center, the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) of the South Plains, StarCare, and an outpatient VA clinic to name a few. Numerous faculty also conduct research at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and in the community.

If you have any questions, please contact the one of the Clinical program co-directors (Dr. Jason Van Allen or Dr. Andrew Littlefield), or the co-chair of Clinical program graduate admissions, Dr. Adam Schmidt.

Aims

Aim 1: To provide students in our doctoral program with broad and general training in the field of psychology.

Objective 1: Students will gain the requisite knowledge covering the breadth of scientific psychology including the following discipline-specific knowledge areas: 1) history and systems of psychology; 2) affective aspects, biological aspects, cognitive aspects, developmental aspects, and social aspects of behavior; 3) advanced integrative knowledge of basic discipline-specific content areas; and 4) research methods, statistical analysis, and psychometrics.

Aim 2: To produce graduates who have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to conduct and evaluate research.

Objective 2A: Students will gain the theoretical and empirical knowledge, skills, and attitudes to conduct and evaluate methodologically and ethically sound research.

Objective 2B: Students will gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to integrate science and practice into their research endeavors and their scholarship.

Aim 3: To produce graduates who have the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes to engage in evidence-
based practice of clinical psychology.

Objective 3A: Students will gain knowledge in the scientific, methodological, and theoretical bases of the competencies associated with the evidence-based, ethical, and culturally informed practice of clinical psychology.

Objective 3B: Using their knowledge, students will gain skill in evidence-based assessment and diagnosis of dysfunctional behavior, problems in living, and interpersonal difficulties across settings and will do so with professionalism, self-reflection, ethicality, and interpersonal and cultural sensitivity.

Objective 3C: Using their knowledge, students will gain skill in evidence-based interventions for dysfunctional behavior, problems in living, and interpersonal difficulties across settings and will do so with professionalism, ethicality, and interpersonal and cultural sensitivity.

Objective 3D: Using their knowledge, students will gain skill in teaching.

Aim 4: To produce graduates who participate actively in professional service related to clinical psychology.

Objective 4: Students will identify with the specialty of clinical psychology, participate in their professional communities, and remain active in community and professional services throughout their careers.

The profession-wide competencies (PWCs) for which students receive training and on which they are evaluated include the following:
• Research
• Ethical and legal standards
• Individual and cultural diversity
• Professional values and attitudes
• Communication and interpersonal skills
• Assessment
• Intervention
• Supervision
• Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills

Training

Clinical Training

Training in clinical skills involves three major components. First, the psychological assessment component includes training in a wide variety of psychological tests and assessment instruments. Courses are selected from the following areas: intellectual and cognitive assessment, personality assessment, and assessment of psychopathology using standardized self report, interview-based, and other methods, child/adolescent assessment using a multi-method approach, and neuropsychological assessment.

The second component involves seminars in psychological intervention focusing on the theoretical and scientific basis of psychotherapy. This sequence begins with an introductory course in clinical interviewing and psychotherapy, along with subsequent advanced clinical training. One goal of these courses is to examine issues relevant to the integration of psychotherapy research and clinical practice. Students are also required to take a multi-cultural course. Options include a course focusing on ethnic minority issues and community interventions. There are a number of clinically relevant elective courses available, in addition to the required curriculum.

The third major component of the clinical practice training involves a sequence of on-site clinical practica (which take place in our Psychology Clinic). The first practicum is part of the introductory clinical interviewing/psychotherapy course and includes training in basic aspects of clinical interviewing, such as establishing and maintaining a clinical relationship, as well as basic elements of empirically-supported interventions (with a particular emphasis on behavioral and cognitive approaches). The second practicum focuses on the clinical assessment and psychotherapy of adults, and a third practicum focuses on clinical assessment and treatment of children/adolescents and families. After these three practica, students continue taking advanced practica and/or participate in external practica experiences. Although these advanced practica involve further learning and consolidation of basic skills, they also involve developing more advanced skills, such as working with complex or comorbid cases, cases with organic or medical problems complicating treatment, couples therapy and group treatment approaches, and psychological, neuropsychological, and behavioral assessment. In general, the clinical practicum training seeks to develop a balance of intervention skills involving both standardized, manual-based protocols and individualized treatment planning. Weekly group and individual supervision often include reviews of videotaped assessment and therapy sessions.

Psychology Clinic
All on-site practica involve seeing clients in the Psychology Clinic, located in a wing of the Psychology Building. It is one of the largest sliding-scale fee agencies for delivery of mental/behavioral health services in West Texas. Students are exposed to clients ranging from young children to adults, including a wide range of psychopathology such as anxiety and mood disorders, personality disorders, developmental disabilities, adjustment disorders, and juvenile delinquency. In addition to providing an excellent setting for training in assessment and psychological intervention, practicum training in the Clinic helps students gain experience in other aspects of professional functioning. For example, students learn to effectively interface with other health and mental health providers, including those from community agencies, private practice, and agencies affiliated with the University (e.g., the student health and student counseling centers). All of the therapy rooms are equipped for video recording.

Externships
In addition to the formal clinical training, which is part of the doctoral program, many students take advantage of a number of additional opportunities for clinical training and further clinical experience both within the Department of Psychological Sciences and at sites affiliated with the department. Within-department opportunities include working as a co-director in the Psychology Clinic, and doing assessment interviewing, psychological or neuropsychological assessment, or psychotherapy in clinical research studies conducted by faculty or graduate students. Opportunities for further clinical training and experience at affiliated sites include paid positions in various departments at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, work within the Lubbock and surrounding area school districts, work at assessment and treatment units of a detention or correctional facilities, and work with local clinical practitioners. All of these sites are closely linked to our program to ensure proper supervision and coordination with the student's doctoral training. Some of the regular opportunities for clinical training and experience include:

Center for Superheroes: Training in trauma-focused assessment and treatment.

Clinical Experience with Private Practitioners

Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center

Lubbock-Crosby County Community Supervision and Corrections Department

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (TTU PCIT Clinic)

Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units, University Medical Center

Southwest Cancer Center, University Medical Center

StarCare-Practicum in Developmental Disabilities

Texas Tech University Athletics

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine

Research Training

Research training in the clinical program involves completing both methodology courses and original empirical research (research involving data collection).

Course work in research includes three required graduate statistics courses: Experimental Design, Advanced Correlational Methods and Factor Analysis, and one advanced course, including Multivariate Statistics or Structural Equation Modeling. In addition, all first year clinical students take a course in clinical research methods focusing on experimental and quasi-experimental design, psychometric concepts, and passive observational designs, all with particular application to clinical populations and research issues.

The second major component of research training involves completion of two original research projects: a thesis project and the dissertation. Both projects are designed and implemented with input, supervision, and monitoring from a faculty research advisor and thesis/dissertation committee. The research mentoring experience matches the student's level of training with the level of expectations for student input into the conceptualization, design, implementation, and analysis of the study. Thus, the level of independent student input to the conceptualization, design, implementation, and analysis of the study increases from the thesis to the dissertation.

Faculty within the clinical division conduct programmatic research that has attracted national attention. Areas of research presently being pursued by clinical faculty include personality assessment, assessment of child/adolescent psychopathology, cognitive development and social problem solving in children and adolescents, effects and treatment of child abuse and other trauma, neuropsychological assessment, development of clinical case formulations, anxiety and depressive disorders in children and adults, substance abuse, and child and adult health psychology. The clinical and research interests of each clinical faculty member are described on their Web pages.

Teaching

Students interested in careers in academic settings may wish to obtain formal training and experience in the teaching of psychology courses. First year graduate students often assist a faculty instructor. Second year students are frequently employed as teaching assistants for the introductory psychology course, which involves teaching a small section of the class. During their first summer, graduate students receive formal training in the teaching of psychology via a weekly seminar. Opportunities also exist for advanced clinical students to assist in graduate courses (e.g., objective or intelligence assessment, advanced clinical practicum, introductory or multivariate statistics) and to teach a section of a more advanced undergraduate course (e.g., abnormal psychology, abnormal child psychology, child and adolescent psychology, developmental psychology, elementary statistics, physiological psychology).

Financial Assistance

Applicants who are admitted to the Clinical Psychology doctoral program are guaranteed financial support. This financial support is in the way of a 20-hour assistantship each semester. The assistantship is contingent upon being in good academic standing and making adequate progress through the program. Assistantships are generally in the form of research assistantships, clinical assistantships, and teaching assistantships. Teaching assistantships can be in the form of being the instructor of record for an undergraduate course (e.g., Psy 1300: General Psychology) or serving as a graduate level TA. Other employment opportunities include working as a Co-Director in the Psychology Clinic or being an assistant in the Undergraduate Advising Office. In addition to these assistantships, advanced graduate students qualify for assistantships through different practicum sites.

The TTU Graduate School also offers competitive scholarships and fellowships. Information can be found through their website: Graduate School Scholarships

Prospective students are also encouraged to visit the following TTU Graduate School webpage: Funding your education

Curriculum

1st Year

Fall:
Psy 5338: Seminar in Psychopathology
Psy 5404: Intelligence Testing
Psy 5480: Experimental Design
Psy 5356: Seminar in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
Psy 6000: Master's Thesis

Spring:
Psy 5447: Advanced Correlational Methods and Factor Analysis
Psy 5345: Research Seminar in Clinical Psychology
Psy 5318: Introduction to Clinical Psychology and CBT
Psy 5302: Lifespan Development
Psy 6000: Thesis

Summer:
Psy 5101: Colloquium in the Teaching of Psychology
Psy 5306: Seminar in Professional Ethics
Psy 6000: Master's Thesis

 

2nd Year

Fall:
Psy 5311: Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Intervention and Management
Psy 5303: Developmental Psychopathology
Psy 5327: Social Psychology and Emotion
Psy 6000: Master's Thesis

Spring:
Psy 5312: Introduction to Child and Adolescent Psychological Treatment
Psy 5314: Beginning Child Practicum
Psy 5301: Biological Bases of Psychological Function
Psy 6000: Master's Thesis
Psy 5367: Analysis of Repeated Measures and Intensive Longitudinal Designs, Psy 5448: Advanced Multivariate Analysis for Psychologists, or 5460: Structural Equation Modeling for Psychologists (choose 1)

Summer:
Psy 5002: Advanced Practicum in Counseling and Clinical Psychology
Psy 6000: Master's Thesis

 

3rd Year

Fall:
Psy 5315: Objective Personality Assessment
Psy 5002: Advanced Practicum in Counseling and Clinical Psychology

Spring:
Psy 5398: Ethnic Minority and Community Interventions or Psy 5396: Multicultural Counseling
Psy 5409: Clinical Neuropsychology
Psy 5002: Advanced Practicum in Counseling and Clinical Psychology

Summer:
Psy 5002: Advanced Practicum in Counseling and Clinical Psychology

 

4th Year

Fall:
Psy 5377: Behavioral Medicine
Psy 8000: Dissertation

Spring:
Psy 5105: Supervision and Consultation
Psy 5350: History and Systems of Psychology
Psy 8000: Dissertation

Summer:
Psy 8000: Dissertation

 

5th Year

Fall:
Psy 5004: Internship
Psy 8000: Dissertation

Spring:
Psy 5004: Internship
Psy 8000: Dissertation

Summer:
Psy 5004: Internship
Psy 8000: Dissertation