Emphasis Areas Overview
Spalding’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology program offers general training with the ability to specialize in one of four emphasis areas: forensic psychology, health psychology, neuropsychology or advanced clinical psychology. As a doctoral candidate in our program, you can select five electives or choose to take one elective and four content-specific classes.
Forensic Psychology Emphasis Area
The field of psychology has evolved to meet the needs of the times, and psychology is making significant contributions in understanding the intersection between the legal system and professional psychology in terms of assessment, treatment and research. The philosophy of the Emphasis Area in Forensic Psychology at Spalding University is devoted to the principles of human welfare as demonstrated in respect for the dignity of persons involved in the legal system, compassionate and responsible caring, integrity in relationships, and responsibility to society. The program is based on the local clinical-scientist model which trains doctoral-level clinical psychologists to serve as leaders in professional practice and clinical science. The program supports the pursuit of innovative research and the development, evaluation and use of evidence-based assessment and treatment strategies in both civil/family and criminal justice settings, and encourages the integration of practice and science throughout training.
Learn more about forensic psychology
The mission of the Forensic Emphasis Area of the Psy.D. Program at Spalding University is to offer, within the curriculum of a doctoral program in general clinical psychology, training in the competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) essential to working with individuals involved within the legal system. The School of Professional Psychology is committed to identifying state-of-the-art concepts, models and practices in the forensic field, selecting high-quality and well-matched graduate students, and training them in these concepts, models and techniques to meet the needs of today’s society and to advance the field of Forensic Psychology.
- 730 Forensic EA 1 Introduction to Forensic/Correctional Psychology
- 740 Forensic EA 2: Theories of Criminal Behavior and Correctional Subculture
- 830 Forensic EA 3: Forensic Risk Assessment and Treatment Across the Lifespan
- 850 Forensic EA 4: Forensic Psychological Assessment
Practica and Internships
The School of Professional Psychology has had a long-standing practicum training relationship with the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Many of the psychologists employed by the KY DOC are Spalding MA and PsyD graduates. In addition, some of our graduates and adjunct faculty are in private practice in the Louisville community, specializing in forensic and court work. Many of our Graduates also work for the Federal Bureau of Prison locations across the country. All FEA students will have placement in forensic and/or correctional sites in their second or third practicum.
Annually, our forensically trained students match to accredited internships in the Bureau of Prisons, at forensic hospitals, and at consortiums with forensic rotations. Our intern applicants and graduates are highly competitive and highly sought after.
Health Psychology Emphasis Area
The Health Psychology Emphasis Area aims to further advance students’ knowledge of the mind-body relationship, as well as culturally and developmentally appropriate intervention strategies for assisting clients across the lifespan in gaining or restoring well-being. Students will achieve the core competencies needed to function and thrive in medical settings and/or with clients/patients who have physical disease processes to manage concurrently with mental health concerns.
Learn more about health psychology
Building on our strong generalist training across the lifespan, the mission of the Health Psychology Emphasis Area of the PsyD Program at Spalding is to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to work in medical settings on interdisciplinary teams, and/or to be able to address the psychological aspects of many physical illnesses that either perpetuate or exacerbate symptomatology. Students receive advanced training emphasizing integrated primary care, pediatric interventions, and behavioral medicine (covering such topics as pain, smoking, diabetes, sleep). Students also contribute to the advancement of health psychology with dissertations that are designed by and unique to them, about the aspects of mind-body medicine they find most meaningful to study.
- 840 Health EA 1: Health Psychology and Behavior Medicine
- 845 Health EA 2: Advanced Clinical Health Psychology
- 607 Health EA 3: Integrated Primary Care
- 846 Health EA 4: Pediatric Psychology
Practica and Internships
Practicum placements include, but are not limited to, community mental health centers, private practices, Veteran’s Administration and other hospitals, including pediatric hospitals, and specialty outpatient clinics. This emphasis area also aims to develop students’ professional identity through strong supervision, mentoring, and modeling of scholar-practitioner values and interdisciplinary practices.
Students will be well prepared for a diverse array of possibilities for internship, including the very competitive adult and pediatric hospital-based sites. Many sites have health psychology rotations, however, so students’ options are not narrowed to medical settings. Students in Health Psychology will have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful as interns, postdoctoral fellows, and private practitioners.
Neuropsychology Emphasis Area
The philosophy of the Emphasis Area in Clinical Neuropsychology at Spalding University is to further advance understanding of brain-behavior relationships as they relate to neurological and neurocognitive underpinnings. To understand cognitive functioning, this emphasis area focuses on culturally minded assessment, diagnoses, and conceptualization of individuals across the lifespan. Additional foci on disease processes, behavioral neurology, and neuroscience promotes a well-rounded and foundational perspective of Neuropsychology. The philosophy of this emphasis area follows the principles set forth in the Houston Conference Guidelines (Houston Conference Guidelines).
Learn more about neuropsychology
The mission of the Clinical Neuropsychology Emphasis Area of the PsyD Program at Spalding is to extend the program’s strong generalist training to include competencies essential to working with individuals with neurodevelopmental diagnoses, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative disease processes. Students in the Clinical Neuropsychology Emphasis Area, will receive a foundational knowledge base in brain-behavior relationships, functional neuroanatomy, neurological disorders, neuroimaging, neurochemistry, and best practices/evidence-based approaches. Through literature reviews and research, didactic trainings, and journal clubs, the emphasis aims to continue the advancement of the field of clinical neuropsychology.
- 750 Neuro EA 1: Introduction to Neuropsychology
- 751 Neuro EA 2: Neuropsychological Assessment
- 752 Neuro EA 3: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroanatomy
- 753 Neuro EA 4: Advanced Clinical Neuropsychology – Disease and Disorder
Practica and Internships
Students will be trained per the Houston Conference Guidelines, which promotes a sound foundation in neuropsychological assessment and then sub-specialty specific training. Practicum placements include, but are not limited to, local neuropsychology outpatient clinics, including the neuropsychology specialty clinic in our own Center for Behavioral Health, large hospital systems, rehabilitation facilities, private practices, and Veteran’s Affairs medical centers. This emphasis area also aims to develop students’ professional identity through case conferences, community didactic trainings, supervision, mentoring, and modeling of scholar-practitioner values and practices.
The Association of Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) website currently lists 90 internships throughout the U.S. that include a specialty track or major rotation in Clinical Neuropsychology. With a competitive curriculum, advanced clinical neuropsychology skills, and focused practicum experiences, students at Spalding will be well prepared to continue their training at the internship level, capable of delivering neuropsychological services to individuals across the lifespan (pediatric to geriatric). Furthermore, we aim to prepare students for post-doctoral fellowships, independent practice, and board certification as well.
For more information regarding Clinical Neuropsychology, please visit these resources:
American Psychological Association – Division 40 – The Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (SCN)
Association of Neuropsychology Students & Trainees (ANST)
Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN)
American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN)
Asian Neuropsychological Association (ANA)
Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (HNS)
Society for Black Neuropsychology (SBN)
National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN)
International Neuropsychological Society (INS)
Queer Neuropsychological Society (QNS)
Advanced Clinical Emphasis Area
The Advanced Clinical Emphasis Area aims to provide students maximum flexibility and choice in deepening their exposure to diverse populations, theories, interventions and specialty areas to best fit their interests and/or career trajectories.
Learn more about advanced clinical
Building on our strong generalist training across the lifespan, the mission of the Advanced Clinical Emphasis Area of the PsyD Program at Spalding is to allow students the opportunity to create their own area of emphasis (such as Pediatric Neuropsychology, Couples and Families, Underrepresented Populations, etc.) or to sample broadly across other areas of emphasis to expand their foundational knowledge. Imagine being able to take introductory or independent courses in Forensic Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Health Psychology. So many options are available to you in the Advanced Clinical Emphasis Area, including developing your dissertation on the topic or population that most interests you.
Practica and Internships
Practicum placements include, but are not limited to, college counseling centers, community mental health centers, private practices, Veteran’s Administration and other hospitals, including psychiatric hospitals, school and residential systems, and specialty clinics. This emphasis area also aims to develop students’ professional identity through strong supervision, mentoring, and modeling of scholar-practitioner values and practices.
Students will be well prepared for a diverse array of possibilities for internship, depending on courses selected. Trained in a collaborative, integrative, multiculturally humble manner, students will have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful as interns, postdoctoral fellows, and private practitioners.
Select the five courses you most want to take:
- PSY 888 Couples
- PSY 811 Psychopharmacology
- PSY 770 Teaching of Psychology
- PSY 806 Adult Psychopathology: Personality disorders
- PSY 702 Family therapy
- PSY 805 Gerontology
*Note: All other EA1 class can be selected; Other EA2-4 classes with instructor permission **Additional electives TBD