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Clinical Psychology

Requirements for the Clinical Program

The training model for the UW-Madison doctoral program in clinical psychology is that of a scientist-practitioner.  Based on our endorsement of a scientist-practitioner model, the educational plan focuses on two major and interrelated goals that integrate science and practice:  1) to produce graduates who have the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience to create and disseminate new knowledge about the processes and mechanisms underlying psychopathology; and 2) to produce graduates who have the requisite knowledge and skills for entry into the practice of professional clinical psychology and who understand and appreciate the importance of an empirical basis to clinical practice. 

Our program uses a mentor model for research training; applicants are admitted to the program based in part on how closely their research interests are aligned with that of the current faculty.  The close working relationship between the faculty mentor and the graduate student is one of the mechanisms that serves to integrate theory and research with the applied training.  Students’ coursework and practicum experiences comprise the other mechanisms that foster the integration of science and practice.  
The interests of and methods utilized by our faculty vary widely but all share the common goal of pursuing innovative, cutting edge analyses of major forms of psychopathology.  Our program also offers excellent clinical training and in the course of their tenure in the program, graduate students in clinical psychology develop expertise in both assessment and treatment of psychopathology.  However the student who is not deeply committed to research and scholarship will, in all likelihood not be satisfied with the Wisconsin Clinical Program.

During their stay, clinical graduate students complete courses in assessment, clinical research methods, and a sequence of clinical core courses covering the etiology and treatment of psychopathology, in addition to statistics/methodology courses and coursework in nonclinical areas both in and outside of the department (see Degree Requirements). The required curriculum may take more than five years to complete. Our clinical program is situated in a world-class Psychology Department that includes area groups in Biology of Brain and Behavior, Cognitive and Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, Perception, and Social and Personality. In addition, there is an Emotion Training Program within the Department that cuts across all other area groups and is supported by an NIMH training grant. Many clinical students and faculty are involved in various aspects of the Emotion Training Program. Many clinical students avail themselves of the extensive range of opportunities available through collaborations with other units on campus including the Waisman Center, an interdisciplinary research institute for developmental research, the Institute on Aging, the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, the Department of Psychiatry and other Departments in the Medical School, College of Letters and Science and the School of Education. Our aim is to train scholars who are well-versed in modern, interdisciplinary research in psychopathology.

A major goal of our program is to integrate students' clinical and research activities. Students begin their clinical practicum in the Psychology Department Research and Training Clinic during their third year in the program and typically continue such practicum training throughout the remainder of their graduate careers. An important component of clinical training is the "Small Group Practicum" in which various clinical professors supervise practicum activities on topics related to their own areas of interest. In the summer following the third academic year, the student is appointed to a clerkship in one of the several agencies that cooperate with the department in providing practicum training. Finally, all clinical students obtain at least one full year of full-time clinical experience in an approved internship facility. Whereas many of our students obtain internships at various of the better-known training centers around the country, other students complete their internships at one of the excellent local sites. Virtually all Clinical graduate students have received financial support while in residence in the graduate program.

Faculty: Professors Abramson, Curtin, Davidson, Goldsmith, Gooding, Li, Newman, Pollak
Affiliated Faculty:
Professors Abercrombie, Kalin, Kolden, Nitschke

All of the Clinical training is overseen by the Director of Training (John J. Curtin, Ph.D.) and the Clinical Area Group faculty to ensure compliance with APA standards.

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