Clinical Psychology

Goals and Objectives

The Clinical Psychology Graduate Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). It offers students the opportunity to work with faculty drawn from many components of UT Southwestern Medical Center; thus, it is an interdepartmental group as well as an inter­disciplinary one. Core psychology faculty members are typically members of the Division of Psychology of the Department of Psychiatry. The Program includes an affiliated APA-accredited predoctoral internship program.

This Program offers the student an educational sequence that emphasizes extensive professional preparation and incorporates communitywide clinical and consulting experiences while main­taining those scientific underpinnings that make the psychologist’s approach distinctive – an interest in the spirit and techniques of inquiry and responsiveness to behavioral data informed by critically evaluated theory. In keeping with psychology’s scientific foundation, students have the opportunity for exposure to a range of clinical research activities, especially during the last two years when they apprentice with a faculty researcher and embark upon formal dissertation research.

We believe that an appreciation of the reci­procal influence of practice and research will help in a student’s professional preparation and stand him or her in good stead in the public or private practice of clinical psychology.

Since this Program requires four semesters of practicum clinical experience (20 hours a week), and a two-year, half-time predoctoral internship experience over the four-year Program, the facilities in which this professional training is acquired are of prime importance. Emphasis is placed on assessment, intervention, and con­sultative experiences in a variety of community settings. These settings include Parkland Memo­rial Hospital, Children’s Health Medical Center Dallas, Dallas County Juvenile Department, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, University mental health centers, com­munity-based mental health services, and Baylor University Medical Center.

Notable examples of comprehensive clinical research programs at UT Southwestern in which psychology graduate students have participated include an affective disorders research program with projects such as comparisons of medication and cognitive therapy in the manage­ment of depressed patients and response to treat­ment in children and adolescents with affective illness; a health psychology research program which includes projects in neurocognitive effects of chemotherapy in cancer populations, and assessment instruments to measure outcomes in chronic pain patients; and the Alzheimer’s Disease Center, which is involved in clinical research projects such as differential diag­nosis of Alzheimer’s disease, early detection of dementia, and neuro­anatomical and biochemical correlates of Alz­heimer’s.

In addition, the UT Southwestern Neuro­psy­chology Laboratory has a research com­ponent with multiple ongoing projects, including the differentiation of normal and abnormal aging; cognitive and memory function in neuro­psy­chi­atric disorders; neuroimaging correlates of neuro­psychological function (including fMRI); and cognitive profiles in epilepsy, multiple scle­rosis, cortical and subcortical dementias, and recovery from neurosurgery.

Other research pro­grams include those con­ducted at the Department of Obstetrics and Gyne­cology at Baylor University Medical Center, where they are investigating prenatal/postpartum depression and child development and attach­ment theory and the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which conducts extensive research pro­grams investigating drug addiction, schizo­phre­nia, neural systems, and basic neural pro­cesses.