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APA Disclosure

Handbook for Doctoral Students in Clinical Psychology (2011-2013)

Information Handbook for Prospective Students

Frequently Asked Questions


    • About Us
    • The Ph.D. Program
    • Psychological Services Center
    • Center for Studies of Ethnicity & Human Development

    Nicholas Papouchis, Ph.D., ABPP, Director, nicholas.papouchis@liu.edu


    Welcome to the website of the Long Island University Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology.

    "Doctoral students and faculty at LIU Brooklyn campus are hard at work in their research, clinical experiences, and academic coursework, but you won’t hear frantic footsteps and harried voices when you approach the Psychology Department on the 8th floor. Walking through the light wooden doors of the LIU Clinical Psychology program, you are greeted by modern glass-walled rooms, soft lights, and students gathered cozily on couches in thoughtful and engaged conversation. It’s the things that you may overlook on first glance - a faculty’s hand on a student’s shoulder offering advice on the research design of a study; a second-year student peering over the stats book of a first-year student explaining a data set; a friendly joke and nudge passed between professor and graduate assistant as they exchange morning greetings. As a graduate student in the LIU community, these supportive relationships distinguish the program in poignant ways. The pressures of competition amongst peers are nonexistent; instead an atmosphere is born of common goals, collaborative work, and nurturance, as students and faculty alike push themselves towards excellence as scholars and clinicians." –a current student

    The Ph.D. Program and the Department of Psychology are located on the 8th floor of the Humanities Building on the Brooklyn Campus in a newly renovated suite of offices, conference rooms and graduate student lounge. The department also has a dedicated suite of research labs and seminar on the 6th floor. Visitors to the campus and the Ph.D. Program often comment on its attractive appearance. The first floor of the Humanities Building also houses a new Art gallery and the new Kumble Performing Arts Theatre its first floor. The Humanities Building occupies one corner of the newly landscaped main courtyard of the Brooklyn Campus and offers graduate students a place for contemplation within the busy metropolitan area of downtown Brooklyn. The campus is a short subway ride from Manhattan and is easily reached by ten different subway lines.

    The Psychological Services Center of the Ph.D. Program Directed by Linda S. Penn is located on the third floor of the nearby Pharmacy Building. The Center offers psychological services to the Brooklyn campus student body and is staffed by second year graduate students working under the supervision of the clinical faculty.

    This website contains important information about the Ph.D. Program including copies of the Information Handbook for Prospective Students and the Graduate Handbook for Doctoral Students in Clinical Psychology and also provides details about the application process and financial aid for prospective students. Further inquiries about the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary of the Program Ms. Connie Clayton who can be reached at 718-488-1164 or by email at cclayton@liu.edu. Other inquiries about the Program and faculty theoretical and research interests can be made to the Director of the Program and program faculty via email. Questions about students’ life can be directed to current students in the program.

    To apply for the Ph.D. Program click on the “Download Ph.D. Application” button.


    Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology

    The Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus offers a full-time course of professional and scholarly study, which leads to the degree Doctor of Philosophy. The program emphasizes the integration of sophisticated skills in psychological assessment, intervention techniques, and scholarly research. These skills prepare the future clinical psychologist to diagnose, treat and study a broad range of psychological phenomena. Graduates of the program have the scholarly credentials for academic, research and clinical positions. The training model follows a “scholar-practitioner” model in which dual emphasis is placed on both clinical training and scholarly research and the training offered is in full accordance with APA guidelines. The clinical faculty believes that the science of psychology provides the foundation from which the clinical psychologist’s skills develop. Consistent with this belief, the program provides students with a firm grounding in both the basic theories and empirical findings in psychology and the fundamentals of psychological research design and methodology.

    In clinical work, the theoretical orientation of the program is strongly influenced by psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy but with an emphasis on integrating this orientation with other theoretical points of view such as cognitive-behavioral and family systems theory. Consistent with the Program’s tradition of training highly competent clinical practitioners, students begin clinical training in the first year of the program for eight to twelve hours a week at one of a few carefully selected externship sites. At the same time academic coursework introduces them to short-term psychodynamic approaches as well as short-term cognitive-behavioral therapies. In the second year students train in the Brooklyn Campus Psychological Services Center where they provide treatment to students on the Brooklyn Campus. They are supervised in this facility by doctoral clinical faculty, all of whom have completed postdoctoral training. The diversity of the LIU student community provides doctoral students with expertise in working therapeutically with a broadly multicultural clinical population. In the third year doctoral students complete closely supervised externships at a number of the best training sites in the New York Metropolitan area. Fourth year students often elect to add to their clinical training by completing a fourth year externship placement prior to their fifth year clinical internship. Our doctoral students are regarded by these training sites as among the best in the New York area.

    The Ph.D. Program in clinical Psychology is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association and has received glowing reports from both the American Psychological Association and New York State. The most recent site visit from APA in 2007 resulted in full accreditation until 2014, the longest possible period of accreditation. Each year 15 to 17 students are accepted from among the finest universities and colleges across the United States and it is not unusual for each class to contain at least one international student who has completed their academic training at a foreign university. In addition to their undergraduate degrees, many of these students have completed some work at the graduate level and all have some research and clinical work experience.

    Program Requirements: The Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology requires three years of academic work in residence. The fourth year is typically spent in additional clinical experience and independent work on the doctoral dissertation, while the fifth year regularly involves completion of the 12 month clinical internship at an APA approved facility. Program requirements include:

    1. The completion of 90 credits of graduate courses

    2. Successful completion of three years of practicum training.

    3. The development, completion and presentation of an independent research project (Second Year Research Project), which is initiated in the first year of training and completed no later than the middle of the third year

    4. Completion of the Clinical Qualifying Examinations which assesses the student's mastery of the theoretical and empirical literature related to a patient they have treated. This requirement is typically completed towards the end of the third year of training.

    5. A full-time, twelve-month clinical internship at an APA-accredited institution such as a hospital or community mental health center, usually during the fifth year

    6. Completion of an empirically based doctoral dissertation under the supervision of a committee of three doctoral faculty.

    Admission Requirements:

    Admission requirements include:

    • A minimum combined score of 1100 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination.
    • A minimum score of 550 on the GRE subject test in Psychology.
    • A grade point average of 3.2 with no less than 15 credits in psychology. Included among these undergraduate courses should be statistics and experimental psychology/ research methods.
    • Applicants should note that the average student admitted to the program over the past ten years has achieved a grade point average of 3.49, combined scores over 1250 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination, and over 550 on the Psychology Subject test, and has acquired some research and clinical experience past their bachelor’s degree. These applicants have also demonstrated their interpersonal and intellectual competencies in an interview with the doctoral faculty. Applications typically number 250 each year with 90 of these applicants interviewed. Final offers are made until an entering class of 16 or 17 is reached.  

    Important Dates:

    Completed Applications Reviewed Beginning December 1, 2011.

    Deadline for applications is January 5, 2012.

    Final Decision deadline is April 15, 2012

    Fall Classes September, 2012.

    Admissions interviews take place at the end of January and beginning of February.

    Applications must be completed online and information about the application process and supporting materials can be found at the Brooklyn Campus Website at www.liu.edu. Or www.liu.edu/Brooklyn/admissions/Graduate.aspx.

    Inquiries related to the Ph.D. program should be addressed to:

    Nicholas Papouchis, Ph.D., ABPP
    Director, Ph.D. Program (718) 488-1164, nicholas.papouchis@liu.edu

    The L.I.U. Psychological Services Center

    Director: Dr. Linda S. Penn 718-488-1266

    The Long Island University Psychological Services Center, under the direction of Dr. Linda Penn, serves as a training practicum experience for clinical psychology doctoral students and as a setting where members of the L.I.U. community receive free psychological services. Second year Ph.D. students are assigned to the Center for approximately 12 hours a week as their practicum placements. In addition, the PhD student therapists, if their schedules allow, have the option to continue with some of their clients during their third year and beyond in addition to their subsequent outside practicum placements, thus allowing for long term therapy experience.

    The Psychological Services Center has multiple goals. Our clinical goal for the Ph.D. students is for them to see a wide variety of clients for initial intake interviews from which initial formulations and recommendations would be made, to administer and interpret psychological tests, and to see up to seven clients in ongoing psychotherapy, all in the context of intensive supervision, and leading to professional growth. All members of the full time clinical faculty, three part time faculty members, and approximately 30 carefully selected clinical adjuncts serve as supervisors. Each second year Ph.D. student sees two supervisors from whom they receive individual supervision. The students also attend a weekly therapy case conference as part of their practicum class, a weekly intake conference attended by all full time clinical faculty members, and a weekly testing supervision group. Continuing advanced students have one hour of weekly individual supervision from a Center supervisor in addition to supervision received at outside placements.

    Our goal for the L.I.U. community is to offer our clients high quality psychological services free of cost to students and staff. The Center also supports ongoing psychotherapy research by students and faculty by systematically collecting data both on therapy outcome and the ongoing therapeutic process. This research serves to help improve our services to our clients, enhance the research training of our Ph.D. students, and contribute to knowledge in the field of Psychology.

    Each year, we see approximately 150 clients for over 2,000 sessions, some for just a few sessions and others twice a week for a few years time. Presenting problems of all types are seen, ranging from adjustment problems to acute psychotic disorders. There is also rich diversity in the ethnicity of our client population; the clients we see are 39% Black, 27% Caucasian, 18% Hispanic, and 12% Asian and East Indian, with 38% of our clients having been born outside the United States, coming from about 35 different countries.

    We offer our clients a safe environment in which to explore the issues that interfere with their ability to live as full a life as they would like and we help them make the changes that make further growth possible for them. Similarly, the Center offers our PhD student therapists a supportive and extremely helpful environment in which to meet challenging experiences through which their clinical skills continue to grow and flourish.

    Psychotherapy Research Program
    Lisa Wallner Samstag, PhD

    The Psychotherapy Research Program at LIU, which began in 2000, offers a comprehensive range of clinical assessment and research tools for PhD students. It is designed for two purposes: First, to provide therapists in their second and third years of training with psychometrically sound measures of psychological symptoms, interpersonal functioning, and session process to integrate into the clinical case formulations and ongoing treatment with their clinic patients. Self-reported patient and therapist instruments are completed at regular intervals, starting when the patient first applies for treatment at the Psychological Services Center. These measures are repeated across longer-term treatments, allowing for the evaluation of changes in functioning and session quality over time. Full psychological test batteries that are complete by some patients may augment self-report questionnaire results.

    Second, the Psychotherapy Research Program affords students an opportunity to conduct independent research on topics related to the development of the therapeutic relationship and treatment outcome with patients and therapists from multicultural backgrounds. Working in collaboration with their mentors, students in the Clinical PhD program are eligible to make use of certain archival data for second year projects and dissertations. Those students with a particular interest in psychotherapy research may take Research in Psychotherapy (PSY 710) in the fall semester of their second year, to hone ideas for dissertation projects and develop expertise in additional observer-based measures of therapy process.

    Interested students are also encouraged to participate in any number of ongoing faculty psychotherapy research projects in the department, focusing, for example, on alliance development and alliance ruptures, attachment, annihilation anxiety, acculturation, and quality of object relations in psychotherapy populations. Listed below is a sample of recent psychotherapy research dissertation topics:

    Lucy Bischel (in progress) Countertransference, the alliance and therapist-patient complementarity: An interpersonal investigation of the relationship between therapist mental activity and the working alliance.

    Cory Head (in progress) Psychology doctoral training: An investigation of the changes in clinical development occurring during graduate school.

    Asaph Rom (5/10) The relationship among patients maturity of defense mechanisms, the working alliance, and self-disclosure in outpatient psychotherapy.

    Stephanie Nichols (5/09) The process of internalization in psychotherapy and its relationship to the working alliance in psychotherapeutic change.

    The Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Human Development was founded in December 1996.  Its overarching mission is to facilitate research on the role of culture and ethnicity in human development and aging.  Under the auspices of its director, Professor Carol Magai, Dean of Research, the center promises to be a resource for doctoral trainees and other graduate students interested in community-based research in culture, ethnicity and human development.





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