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 in the Department of Psychiatry. The Program includes an affiliated, separately APA-accredited doctoral 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.

The Program requires four semesters of practicum clinical experience (20 hours a week), and a two-year, half-time doctoral internship experience over a four-year period in an academic medical center. Emphasis is placed on assessment, intervention, and consultative experiences in a variety of medical, psychiatric, and community settings. Examples of these settings include Parkland Hospital, Children’s Health/Children’s Medical Center Dallas, UT Southwestern Neuropsychology Center, Dallas County Juvenile Department, local University mental health centers, and community-based mental health services.

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 investigating psychological factors in individuals with chronic pain and survivors of cancer; 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 com&ponent 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. Children’s Health Pediatric Neuropsychology Service also has numerous research projects focused on cognitive and psychosocial outcomes of complex medical conditions, impact of medical and therapeutic interventions, and tele-neuropsychology.