2013-2014 Graduate Catalog

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Mission Statement

The Psy.D. program in Clinical Psychology is grounded in the scholar/practitioner model with training that underscores the integration of theory and research. The program teaches a variety of theoretical perspectives, emphasizing a developmental understanding of human behavior. The program seeks to establish strong foundations for critical thinking. A commitment to ethical principles, with an appreciation of issues of diversity, service and social justice is a core component of the program.

Educational Objectives

1.        To develop clinical skills that are founded on the integration of practice and research

                a. Students will understand the scientific research behind psychological assessment and

                    develop skills in assessment

                b. Students will develop skills in diagnosis and clinical conceptualization

                c. Students will understand and apply evidence-based practices for a wide range of

                    psychological problems

                d. Students will exemplify professional values, attitudes, and behavior including

                    reflective practice

                e. Students will gain knowledge of and skills in applying ethical and legal issues in

                    the practice of psychology

                f.  Students will learn proficiency in relationships        


2.       To develop competence in research and scholarship

                a. Students will understand the scientific foundations of the broad and general areas

                    of psychology

                b. Students will appreciate and develop skills in science and research


3.       To instill an appreciation of human diversity by serving the underserved

                a. Students will gain competency in cross-cultural psychology, including personal awareness,

                    knowledge of cultural factors, and skills in culturally-sensative psychological services

                b. Students will build skills in client advocacy


Program Philosophy

The educational model of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at CLU is based on the Vail Model, which was developed for professional schools who were focused on training clinicians and awarded the PsyD degree (Nelson & Messenger, 2003).  This training model places particular emphasis on the clinical aspects of professional work while retaining the rigorous and prudent standards for knowing and utilizing the extant research.  In addition to maintaining the standards of the Vail Model, our program is unique in that we place further emphasis on and training in research.

The foundation of CLU’s PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology is built upon the deliberate integration of research and clinical practice. As an institution, CLU has adopted three Core Commitments that guide its mission and are manifest in the vision for advanced training in clinical psychology. Liberal Learning encompasses the critical thinking that is essential for psychologists to be effective in all domains of their work while preparing for life-long learning.  Professional Preparation is exemplified by integrating the theoretical, research, and practical frameworks for students to excel as skillful clinicians. Finally, students who will become exceptional citizens and leaders of their communities for psychological good through their work with the underserved will understand the university’s focus on Character and Leadership Development. The PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology will prepare students to become licensed clinical psychologists and will have a distinctive emphasis in understanding how research contributes to and informs clinical practice. 

To these ends, the PsyD program has three goals:

1.       To develop clinical skills that are founded on the integration of practice and research

2.       To develop competence in research and scholarship

3.       To instill an appreciation of human diversity by serving the underserved


This approach to clinical training demonstrates the program’s emphasis beyond the broad and general foundations of psychology to embrace the fundamental characteristic of evidence-based clinical practice: integration.  We aim to ensure that our students are sufficiently knowledgeable about different approaches and change principles so that they can make informed judgments regarding which approach is effective for particular sets of problems with certain clinical populations having specific cultural characteristics.  That is, clinicians must be flexible, knowing what works for whom through an integration of the best available research, the client’s contextual background and preferences, and clinical judgment.  The PsyD Program at California Lutheran University is proud to offer a contemporary, integrated model of professional psychology designed to further the science of behavior and uplift the human condition.

Admission Requirements

Students with a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related major and students with a master’s degree in psychology or a related major may apply. Students will need to demonstrate their abilities to succeed in a doctoral level program through GPA, GRE scores, research experience and experience in the field. Students will also need to have well developed writing skills. In addition, students need to demonstrate potential as clinicians by their abilities to engage with and develop interpersonal relationships. The need to target and enroll students from diverse backgrounds will be a priority in recruiting. Ventura County has a strong need for clinical psychologists who are bilingual in English and Spanish and efforts will be made to target potential students who are fluent in both languages. Addressing diversity has been a priority at CLU and will be a priority in the Psy.D. program as well.

The Psy.D. program will admit students when the following requirements have been met:

  1. Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0
  3. GRE General Exam and Psychology Exam 
    • All applicants must take the GRE General Exam. Applicants with an Undergraduate or Masters degree other than Psychology must take subject GREs.
  4. Official transcripts
  5. Curriculum vitae
  6. Personal Statement: Essay stating how the PsyD Program's philosophy fits with the applicant's goals for pursuing a doctoral degree. 
  7. Copy of Thesis if applicable
  8. Completed Application and Application Fee
  9. Two Letters of Recommendation
  10. Interview (for those invited)
  11. Writing Sample

International students must provide the following:

  1. TOEFL score of at least 600
  2. Proof of financial sponsorship
  3. Financial statements

Requirements for the Doctoral Degree in Psychology

The Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology curriculum includes sequential research courses, practicum experience and an internship in the field:

  • Five-year program with a traditional semester format
  • 114 course credits required
  • Three areas of focus:
    • o Six core courses
    • o Research
    • o Practical skill development courses
  • Includes three years of practical training (one year at CLU)
  • One year of internship
  • Qualifying Exam
  • Dissertation

Note: When students who are enrolled in the Psy.D. program successfully complete the requirements for the first two years of the program, they will be awarded a Master’s Degree in Advanced Clinical Psychology.

Course Requirements

First YearHours
PSYD 7011
PSYD 7021
PSYD 7053
PSYD 7063
PSYD 7111
PSYD 7121
PSYD 7163
PSYD 7402
PSYD 7412
PSYD 7612
PSYD 7623
PSYD 7633
PSYD 780 (A History of Psychology)3
Second YearHours
PSYD 7031
PSYD 7041
PSYD 7131
PSYD 7141
PSYD 7173
PSYD 7183
PSYD 7212
PSYD 7222
PSYD 7281
PSYD 7291
PSYD 7432
PSYD 7443
PSYD 7503
PSYD 7513
PSYD 7703
PSYD 7713
Third YearHours
PSYD 7193
PSYD 7232
PSYD 7242
PSYD 731 (Research)1
PSYD 7321
PSYD 7453
PSYD 7462
PSYD 7523
PSYD 7532
PSYD 7813
PSYD 7823
PSYD 7923
Fourth YearHours
PSYD 7252
PSYD 7262
PSYD 7331
PSYD 7341
PSYD 7472
PSYD 7542
PSYD 7552
PSYD 790 (Elective)3
PSYD 7912
PSYC 792 (2)3
PSYC 792 (3)3
Fifth YearHours
PSYD 7951
PSYD 7961
Total credit hours: 114


PSYD 701. Research Seminar 1. (1).

Throughout the first two years of the program, five to seven students work with a faculty member who mentors student research. The class will introduce various research methodologies used in clinical psychology and assist students in exploring their research interests.

PSYD 702. Research Seminar 2. (1).

A continuation of PSYD-701, this course will focus on introducing students to various research tools and strategies as students develop their research projects. Specific attention will be given to developing the literature review. It is expected that students will complete their literature reviews over the summer.

PSYD 703. Research Seminar 3. (1).

A continuation of PSYD-702, this course assists students in becoming familiar with completing IRB forms, developing the methodology sections of their research projects, and examining the ethics of research and data collection. By the completion of this course, students are expected to have a completed proposal and be ready for data collection.

PSYD 704. Research Seminar 4. (1).

A continuation of PSYD-703, this course examines data analysis and writing results. By the completion of this course, students are expected to have completed their second year projects, which may function as pilot studies for the dissertation project.

PSYD 705. Research Methods 1. (3).

This course examines qualitative and correlational research designs including case studies, survey research, focus groups, conducting interviews and collecting data to support hypotheses regarding possible relationships and associations. In addition, students will learn the appropriate statistical analyses to use with qualitative and correlational research. Issues involving validity, bias and cultural diversity in research will be addressed.

PSYD 706. Research Methods 2. (3).

This course examines quantitative research designs including experimental, quasi-experimental, multivariate, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. In addition, students will gain experience using SPSS for analysis of variance and covariance, simple effects analysis, factorial designs and multivariate analysis of variance.

PSYD 711. Colloquia 1. (1).

Professionals in the mental health field will conduct presentations on a wide range of issues that are relevant to careers in psychology. By drawing on local resources, the colloquia series addresses issues that are particularly applicable to our neighboring communities. The colloquia also include formal clinical case presentations from students, faculty and invited guests.

PSYD 712. Colloquia 2. (1).

Continuation of PSYD 711.

PSYD 713. Colloquia 3. (1).

Continuation of PSYD 712.

PSYD 714. Colloquia 4. (1).

Continuation of PSYD 713.

PSYD 716. Biological Aspects of Behavior. (3).

This course examines brain-behavior relationships. An emphasis is placed on understanding neuropsychological functions, physiological mechanisms and biochemical processes.

PSYD 717. Human Development. (3).

This course examines theory and research related to lifespan development. Clinical application of course material will be emphasized.

PSYD 718. Cognitive-Affective Aspects of Behavior. (3).

This course examines current theory and research in human cognitive and affective. The impact of cognitive and affective processes on the individual are studied and applied to clinical material.

PSYD 719. Social Psychology. (3).

This course examines the social and cultural bases of human behavior by examining relevant theory and research. Consideration is given to the ethnic/cultural issues that impact clinical practice.

PSYD 721. Practicum 1. (2).

The Practicum is structured to provide clinical experience in conducting psychotherapy. Students provide psychotherapy services to clients at the Community Counseling and Parent Child Study Center under the close supervision of licensed clinicians who are part of the Psy.D. program's clinical faculty. In addition to direct face-to-face contact and supervision, the practicum also provides supervised training in assessment, using standard test batteries that include intelligence tests, projective tests and self-report inventories. In practicum, students acquire the skills to present test findings to their clients and integrate assessment into their clinical practice.

PSYD 722. Practicum 2. (2).

Continuation of PSYD 721.

PSYD 723. Practicum 3. (2).

Continuation of PSYD 722.

PSYD 724. Practicum 4. (2).

Continuation of PSYD 723.

PSYD 725. Practicum 5. (2).

Continuation of PSYD 724.

PSYD 726. Practicum 6. (2).

Continuation of PSYD 725.

PSYD 728. Case Conference 1. (1).

As part of this yearlong seminar, students present information from clinical intakes that they are conducting as part of their practicum, as well as information on ongoing treatments, to a small group of peers and supervisors. The case conference gives each student the opportunity to develop skills in discussing presenting problems, diagnostic impressions, psychodynamic case formulation and treatment planning.

PSYD 729. Case Conference 2. (1).

Continuation of PSYD 728.

PSYD 731. Dissertation Reserach Seminar 1. (1).

This course is designed for five to seven students led by a faculty member who will mentor students through the dissertation project process. Students will support one another by acting as peer mentors in the course as dissertation proposals are explored.

PSYD 732. Dissertation Research Seminar 2. (1).

A continuation of PSYD-731, this course continues to provide support for students as they actively develop their dissertation projects. At the conclusion of this course, students are expected to have completed their proposals, chosen a dissertation committee, and successfully defended their proposals. They should be ready for data collection and analysis over the summer.

PSYD 733. Dissertation Research Seminar 3. (1).

A continuation of PSYD-732, this course supports students as they analyze data and begin to write the results chapter of their dissertation projects.

PSYD 734. Dissertation Research Seminar 4. (1).

A continuation of PSYD-733, this course provides support for students as they complete their dissertation projects. In addition, students explore various methods of presenting their research including journal articles, conferences and community forums. Students are expected to complete their final defense by the conclusion of this course and are encouraged to present and publish their work.

PSYD 735. Dissertation Supervision. (2).

This course is intended for students who have not completed their dissertations within the first four years of coursework and who require additional supervision.

PSYD 740. Diagnostic Interviewing. (3).

Diagnostic and therapeutic interviewing skills are essential for a clinician. In this course, students will develop techniques for conducting diagnostic interviews of clients with a range of symptoms and psychological disorders. The course involves hands-on interviewing exercises and a review of etiological and treatment issues specific to psychological disorders, such as anxiety, depression and eating disorder. Includes interviewing strategies that focus on symptoms, behaviors and dynamics that are specific to each disorder.

PSYD 741. Basic Attending Skills. (2).

This course examines one of the basic skills necessary for effective psychotherapy - the development of listening skills. The course explores concepts such as empathy, sympathy, reassurance, the importance of process versus content, and the importance of examining obstacles that interfere with a therapist's basic listening skills, including countertransference.

PSYD 742. Frame. (2).

Frame refers to the establishing and maintaining of a therapeutic structure of protocols, guidelines, boundaries and any other technical parameters. The handling of frame constitutes a critically important skill for the treatment of character pathology, serious mental disorders and other complex treatments. Students will learn and have the opportunity to practice these skills in role-play and simulated therapy sessions. They will also be presented with videos of therapy sessions where they can critique other clinician's attempts to manage frames.

PSYD 743. Child and Adolescent Interventions. (2).

This course will examine specific treatment strategies for psychotherapy from the approaches of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and family systems theories. Students will learn how to organize their clinical interventions according to these psychotherapeutic models and how to direct their treatment goals accordingly.

PSYD 744. Principles of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. (2).

The course surveys some of the basic treatment modalities that fall under the rubric of psychodynamic psychotherapies, including perspectives from object relations, self psychology, ego psychology and interpersonal psychology. Students develop the capacity for distinguishing and finding points of convergence between the different theoretical perspectives and their application in clinical practice. Traditional concepts such as transference, countertransference, resistance, neutrality and compromise formation are discussed. This course also addresses the role of enactments, self-disclosure and insight in effecting therapeutic change.

PSYD 745. ABA and CBT Interventions. (3).

This course examines the conceptual foundations underlying behavioral and cognitive approaches to assessment and treatment. The principles and techniques of applied behavioral analysis and cognitive behavioral therapy will be reviewed. In addition, relevant outcome research will be presented to support the use of these therapies with specific populations.

PSYD 746. Couples and Family Therapy. (2).

This is an advanced course on the study of conjoint therapy with couples and families. A number of theoretical perspectives and related clinical techniques will be studied including cognitive-behavioral, system theory and psychodynamic approaches. The intervention techniques can be applied with pre-marital couples for couple enrichment and as part of psychotherapy with distressed couples. Interventions will be taught for dealing with a variety of marital and divorce issues, e.g., dual-career, multicultural/multinational, domestic violence, alcoholism and remarriage. Instruction is through lecture, discussions, role-playing and video. Students will complete a course project either through a practicum experience or some other applied experience developed with the instructor.

PSYD 747. Group Psychotherapy. (2).

This course is designed to help students learn about group theory and the practice of group psychotherapy. Students acquire information and skills on different types of psychotherapy groups, including inpatient and outpatient groups, as well as psycho-educational groups, symptom-focused groups (e.g., eating disorder group), and others. The course examines the value, as well as the potential for iatrogenic effects, of group work as it is impacted by diagnostic categories, age populations and other relevant factors.

PSYD 750. Child and Adolescent Disorders. (3).

This course will integrate psychological and neuroscientific research on child and adolescent development with issues of learning disabilities, behavioral and impulse disorders, addictions and other psychopathologies. The student will understand how psychological, social, cultural and biological factors influence the problems and disorders experienced by children and adolescents.

PSYD 751. Personality and Dissociative Disorders. (3).

This course is designed to review the major theories of personality and dissociative disorders, addressing psychoanalytic, behavioral and humanistic schools of thought, as well as biological approaches that include the study of genetics and heritability. The course takes a developmental approach to the study of these disorders and examines points of convergence and divergence between the different theories.

PSYD 752. Mood and Anxiety Disorders. (3).

This course provides an in-depth examination of mood disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia) and anxiety disorders (e.g., obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobia, panic disorders). The course examines the etiology and course of the disorders from multiple perspectives. In addition, the course requires a critical review of psychotherapeutic interventions that have been proven effective from a variety of theoretical and treatment modalities. The most current approaches to assessment are reviewed.

PSYD 753. Gender and Sexual Disorders. (2).

This course will explore gender and sexual disorders from multiple perspectives including historical, object relational, attachment, cognitive, behavioral, systems, biological and social. Diagnostic criteria and etiology will be examined while considering the influence of culture and societal values. Multiple treatment approaches and interventions will be examined as found in relevant research. Students will explore their own sexual attitudes and develop an awareness of and comfort with the complexities of human sexuality.

PSYD 754. Eating Disorders/Substance Abuse/ Somatoform Disorders. (2).

The course examines the major theories addressing somatoform disorders (body dysmorphia, conversion, hypochondriasis, pain disorder and somatization), as well as substance abuse and eating disorders. Students will explore possible overlap between these disorders as understood from a variety of theoretical frameworks (including psychoanalytic, behavioral, humanistic and social learning theory), as well as findings from neuroscience. The course emphasizes a developmental perspective in the understanding of these issues.

PSYD 755. Schizophrenia and Other Cognitive Disorders. (2).

This course examines major theories on the etiology of schizophrenia and other cognitive disorders and their symptomatic manifestations. The course includes a historical overview of the disorders as well as recent findings from the fields of biology and neuroscience. The course also includes a review of medications and the neural pathways by which pychotropic medications are thought to affect thought disorders.

PSYD 761. Professional Seminar. (2).

The purpose of this course is to assist students in the development of a professional identity. Students will investigate the various roles of clinical psychologists. They will examine practice issues in light of relevant ethical and legal issues. Each student will develop a plan for transitioning from student to professional.

PSYD 762. Test and Measurement. (2).

This course introduces students to test theory and the psychometric properties of tests. Controversies and ethical issues in assessment are explored from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Particular attention is given to potential test biases and the potential misuse of testing in clinical psychology.

PSYD 763. Ethics. (2).

This course is designed to explore the advanced legal and ethical issues for professional psychology. Students will examine and discuss complex and controversial legal and ethical issues as they pertain to clinical practice and research. Students will be expected to demonstrate a good working knowledge of many legal and ethical concepts and to demonstrate their ability to offer a critical analysis of the professional literature. Classroom discussion is an essential part of this course and students are expected to come to each meeting prepared to ask questions and debate topics. Several take-home assignments and a final exam will also be used to assess grades.

PSYD 770. Assessment: Cognitive. (3).

This course is designed to provide graduate level students with training in the administration, scoring and interpretation of the current editions of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV), the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV), and the Woodcock-Johnson Achievement Test (WJ-III). In addition, other measures of cognitive assessment will be reviewed. Issues relating to the appropriate use of intelligence tests, theories of intelligence, ethical test use, testing culturally diverse populations, integration of data and effective report writing will be addressed.

PSYD 771. Assessment: Personality. (3).

This course is designed to provide graduate level students with training in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of personality measures including projective drawings, sentence completion, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT, CAT, RAT), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2, MMPI-A), Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III), California Personality Inventory-R (CPI-R), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). In addition, other measures of personality assessment will be reviewed. Issues relating to the appropriate use of personality measures, theories of personality, ethical test use, testing culturally diverse populations, integration of data and effective report writing will be addressed.

PSYD 780. History and Systems. (3).

The intention in this course is to guide you to understand psychological science through its history, and through the histories of the societies in Europe and North America within which that science has been embedded. Much of psychology's past has found its roots within the social histories of the countries where Western psychology has developed - Germany, France, Great Britain and the United States. This course will take you on a journey into some of the fascinating theories developed by our intellectual forefathers who proved to have a profound influence on later psychological thought, combining those with investigations into the cultural-historical contexts within which these works were written. Often we erroneously assume that what has been written decades or even centuries ago is too old and must be outdated. Yet, as we will see, the great dinosaurs from the old schools of psychology are still able to teach us modern psychologists a great deal.

PSYD 781. Consultation/Supervision. (3).

This course examines the role of psychologists as consultants and as supervisors. Theories of consulting and supervising will be presented, as well as experiential exercises. Students will consider the roles of consultant and supervisor from developmental perspectives.

PSYD 782. Cultural Theory and Research. (3).

This is a course for interested students who want to learn about cultural perspectives in psychology at large, and particularly in the cases of human development within varied cultural contexts. Crucial philosophical, theoretical and methodological research issues that are central for developmentally focused cultural psychology will be covered in this course. This course is tailored toward students with philosophical and interdisciplinary interests, whose goals are to learn more about our basic scientific understanding of human psychology. The course is primarily based on an active learning approach founded on the principles of Accountable Talk, which dictates that all students must be held accountable to their learning community, to accurate and appropriate knowledge, and to rigorous thinking. In other words, this will not be a standard lecture course in which students passively absorb knowledge, rather the course format will take a partnership approach in which students help one another build knowledge (based on the course textbook and instructor guidance), in order to make sense of who we are and the culture in which we live.

PSYD 783. Intimate Partner Violence: Advanced Research, Theory and Technique. (3).

This course will examine the history of intimate partner violence from multiple perspectives including psychological and psychosocial understandings. Current research will be presented and multiple theoretical frameworks will be explored. In addition, the course will review current approaches to treating clients who have been exposed to intimate partner violence including evidence-based practices. Cultural understanding and influences will also be studied.

PSYD 784. Intimate Partner Violence: Advanced Clinical Applications. (3).

This course will provide an in-depth examination, analysis and evaluation of current practices utilized in working with clients who have been exposed to intimate partner violence. Students will examine research, view video of therapy sessions and present their own work with clients.

PSYD 790. Neuropsychoanalysis. (3).

This course will provide an interface between modern neuroscientific research and psychoanalytic theory and practice. Students will explore the relationships between brain structure and function as they relate to the phenomenological expression of the human condition. They will examine how brain development may underlie both psychosexual and psychosocial maturity and the implications of these changes for psychotherapy. By building from the neuroscience of understanding brain injuries and anomalies, we will consider how psychogenic processes may involve similar biological and anatomical systems. The student will also become versed in the modern scientific epistemologies of complex dynamic systems. These epistemologies will also be integrated with psychoanalytic concepts in consideration of expanding our conventional understanding of depth psychology.

PSYD 791. Psychopharmacology. (2).

This course will examine the principles of psychopharmacology and will review individual classes of drugs as well as their mechanisms. Special attention will be given to drug-to-drug interactions, particularly with the elderly. Students will become familiar with the FDA drug review process and will consider relevant legal and ethical issues.

PSYD 792. Advanced Topics. (3).

PSYD 794. Independent Study. (1-4).

PSYD 795. Internship 1. (1).

PSYD 796. Internship 2. (1).


Leanne NeilsonPsy.D.

Director of Psychology Graduate Programs

Mindy PuopoloPsy.D.

Director of Counseling Psychology

Jamie BankerPh.D., MFT

Director of Clinical Psychology

Jamie BedicsPh.D

Assistant Professor

Micheal GersonPh.D

Distinguished Educator in Residence

Morris EaglePh.D


Bob BeilinPh.D