School of Psychology & Counseling

Practitioner-Scholar Training Model -
Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Our program is designed to train students to practice in a highly professional manner that is informed by the science of clinical psychology. Students are trained to apply analytic, problem-solving skills of scientific thinking to their clinical practice. Although the faculty represents a variety of clinical orientations, an emerging emphasis in empirically supported treatments is present throughout the curriculum. This means that students are trained to utilize intervention techniques, which have empirical support for their effectiveness.

Consistent with the rich and influential account of the Psy.D. training model advanced by the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), the goal of the program is to produce 'local clinical scientists.' In their influential text, The Scientific Practice of Professional Psychology , Trierweiler and Stricker (1998) explain that professional psychologists are:

"critical investigators of local (as opposed to universal) realities who are knowledgeable of research, scholarship, personal experience and scientific methodology. They also are able to develop plausible, communicable formulations for understanding essentially local phenomena using theory, general world knowledge including scientific research, and, most importantly, their own abilities as skeptical scientific observers." (pg. 6).

It is important for students to recognize that the adoption of a Psy.D. rather than a Ph.D. training model at Regent does not mean a devaluing of the scientific identity characteristic of professional psychology. Instead, the goal is to develop those research, critical thinking, conceptualization, problem-solving and other scientific skills that are particularly pertinent to clinical practice. Psy.D. graduates are to be 'field scientists' whose practice is grounded in scientific psychology and whose approaches to practice reflect scientific attitudes.

In contrast to pure practitioner programs, the Regent program is committed to training local clinical scientists who are "practitioner-scholars." As an institution, Regent University is committed to training professionals who are prepared to develop as leaders in their professional contexts. Consequently, our program is designed to produce students who are well equipped to emerge as leaders in health, mental health and other practice settings. This is accomplished through a carefully planned sequence of course work, clinical practica, and adjunctive training experiences. Students are also afforded other opportunities, such as participation on faculty research teams and exposure to a range of preeminent scholars through the program's colloquium series. All of these program components are designed to cultivate a life-long commitment to ongoing learning and professional scholarship, which is particularly relevant to practice and professional service.

Regent University