Psy.D. Program Goals and Objectives

The Wright Institute maintains rigorous academic standards consistent with the stated Goals, Objectives, and Competencies of the program. In order to graduate, students are expected to demonstrate strong writing skills and proficiency in performing sophisticated interpretation and skillful reporting of assessments and other clinical documentation (e.g., treatment plans, case conceptualizations, patient histories, etc.) Students also must attain passing scores on multiple-choice, essay, oral, and other exams. The Wright Institute expects students to comport themselves professionally, ethically, and legally. Students in our program must be able to exercise self-awareness and responsibility for making sound judgments. They must respect and strive to advance diversity. They must also demonstrate openness to receiving constructive feedback about areas for improvement.

The Wright Institute's doctoral program in clinical psychology is based on the practitioner-scholar model and the integration of science and practice. The program has six goals and nine student learning objectives.

Program Goals

1. Educate students in critical thinking, problem-solving and creative thinking as their fundamental approach to clinical work.

2. Educate students in the evolving knowledge base of clinical psychology with emphasis on the integration of theory, research and clinical experience from multiple domains - intrapsychic, interpersonal, biological, cultural, and systems - and their effective application in addressing clinical problems. Students should learn by integrating and organizing the knowledge in relation to actual cases and practice situations.

3. Provide students with systematic preparation for a career of service as professionals.

a. Teach students to consider, value, and utilize a range of theories in their thinking about addressing human problems.
b. Help students develop proficiency in key clinical activities, including: engaging clients and developing relationships; gathering clinical information - through client and collateral interviews, assessment instruments; diagnosis and problem-definition; treatment planning; effective intervention; use of supervision and consultation.
c. Prepare students to work in a variety of settings.
d. Encourage students' awareness of the social and cultural contexts of theory, research and practice, and of their own cultural embeddedness.
e. Teach students to work effectively with a diverse clinical population, particularly in terms of ethnicity.
f. Encourage students to view realistically and empathically the effects of the societal, institutional and economic circumstances in which they and their clients find themselves, and to adapt their intervention approaches to take these realities into account.
g. Assist students in developing sensitivity to and respect for standards of ethical professional conduct and legal professional conduct.
h. Assist students to evaluate the efficacy of treatment modalities and intervention.

4. Help students in the development of their self-in-professional role

a. Support students in working toward developing their own theoretical positions, and articulating these competently, while remaining open to other points of view.
b. Encourage students' awareness of their participation in their clinical relationships and develop their ability to use their own experience to inform their clinical work.
c. Encourage students in the attitudes and values of a clinical psychologist, including: commitment to providing human service, appreciation for individual and cultural diversity, belief in the capacity for change in human attitudes and behavior, intellectual curiosity and flexibility, scientific skepticism, personal integrity and honesty.
d. Encourage students' development of a self-reflective style characterized by self- and peer review that leads to questioning, experimentation and improvement of the field.
e. Encourage students to value public service and meet community needs.

5. Educate students so that they will be able to adapt themselves during their career to the evolving roles of professional psychologists and the changing environment of health care and human services.

a. Develop in student's clinical reasoning skills which they can later adapt to apply to settings such as consultation, preventive care, program evaluation, and human services management.
b. Inculcate in students a commitment to lifelong learning, to the continued elaboration of theoretical understanding and professional competence, and to their own continuing development as professionals

6. Provide an educational environment that promotes clinical skills and values through excellent teaching and mentoring. In particular this environment would be:

a. Intellectually challenging, collaborative, inclusive, respectful and supportive
b. One where faculty value students' diverse backgrounds as a base on which to build
c. Characterized by teaching that encourages the active participation of students and places a high value on effective communication
d. Rich in constructive feedback that should enable students to further their own development, both while at the Wright and throughout their careers

Program Student Learning Objectives

Upon graduation from the Wright Institute, our students should have:

1. An understanding and conception of human functioning that integrates knowledge from intrapsychic, interpersonal, biological, cultural, and systems domains, within a lifespan developmental perspective.

2. The ability to apply critical thinking and problem solving abilities to a range of professional situations.

3. The ability to make sense of situations that arise in professional practice, formulate and communicate goals and directions for action, and determine what constitutes appropriate professional conduct, including:

a. Effective understanding of relevant approaches to assessment and intervention.
b. Proficiency in relationship skills that permit joining with and working with others effectively.
c. Proficiency in making diagnoses and evaluations.
d. Proficiency in making treatment and consultation plans as well as proficiency in modifying them in light of case progress.
e. Competence in working with a range of clinical situations and levels of client functioning.

f. Ability to follow and apply ethical and legal standards in ongoing work with clients, colleagues and agencies.

4. Respect for and competence in utilizing a variety of treatment modalities and intervention strategies in addressing human problems.

5. Awareness of, and ability to use, the professional self in the context of professional roles, including the ability to be aware of and use personal experience in the clinical relationship.

6. Ability to accept and use supervision, peer review, and consultation to improve clinical skills as well as a basic understanding of functioning in the role of educator and supervisor.

7. Competence and sensitivity in working with diverse clients, particularly in terms of ethnicity.

8. Commitment to and competence in using the literature of science and practice so as to remain current with new developments and maintain a reference-based practice.

9. Proficiency in communication skills, both oral and written, particularly with regard to diagnoses and evaluations and plans for treatment and consultation.