Degree Requirements: Master's degree
Completion Time: 5 years (full-time status)
Earned Credits: 105-108
Through hands-on training at residential conferences and close mentoring from faculty with years of field experience, graduates of the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program will be prepared to bring about positive change through service and leadership.
Going beyond the mechanics of the body and brain, graduates learn to focus on a holistic view of their clients in a broader social and system context—directing their efforts toward the person-centered and interpersonal dimensions of psychotherapy that are at the heart of therapeutic effectiveness. Saybrook University’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology aligns with program requirements for professional licensure in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Hawaii, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, where students may seek licensure after fulfilling all other state requirements.
The clinical psychology program is specifically focused on the knowledge, experience, and practical skills you will need to enter professional practice. Like the M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology degree programs, the Clinical Psychology degree program is grounded in existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychology, seeking to apply such principles in all areas for clinical practice and research. More specifically, rooted in humanistic psychology, Saybrook’s clinical program studies human experience in deeply subjective, historical, contextual, cross-cultural, and spiritual contexts. Each program is designed to promote health and wholeness as practitioners who are positioned to effect positive change through service and leadership in their chosen clinical field.
Saybrook University’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) but does not have programmatic accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA). The hybrid online Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program may not meet year-in-residence requirements of some state professional licensing boards or agencies. To be eligible, graduates should consult their individual state licensing boards for any additional state-specific requirements.
More program information can be found in our academic catalog.
Residential Orientation (RO)
All new students in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program begin their studies with our one-time, two-day Residential Orientation (RO). ROs are held two days ahead of the Residential Conference (RC) at the start of the fall and spring semesters in California.
Residential Conference (RC)
Clinical Psychology students participate in two five-day-long required Saybrook Residential Conferences (RCs) per year (one at the beginning of the fall semester and one at the beginning of the spring semester) for the duration of the program. Students are required to attend the RC throughout their degree matriculation in order to ensure that they acquire ample residential hours required by states for eligibility for licensure.
If a student must miss an RC due to a documented medical emergency or other approved reason, the student needs to notify the department chair prior to the missed conference. Students will be expected to make up the missed RC, which is to be preapproved by the department chair. Failure to meet the residential requirement may delay graduation.
In order to become a licensed psychologist, candidates must complete the degree, program, and coursework required by their chosen state. States also have licensing requirements beyond a program’s graduation requirements that may, depending on the state, include: postdoctoral supervised experience, continuing education credits, examination(s), background check, and application for license.
At the time of publication, the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology hybrid online program meets degree and coursework requirements in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology hybrid online program is aligned with the degree and predoctoral supervised professional experience requirements of the California Board of Psychology for registration and examination eligibility as a Licensed Psychologist (sections 1386 and 1387 of the California Code of Regulations). The program also offers students the opportunity to complete California Board of Psychology licensure-required coursework as specified in sections 1382, 1382.3, 1382.4, 1382.5, and 1382.6 of the California Code of Regulations.
Candidates for licensure in California must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) examination and the California Psychology Law and Ethics examination (CPLEE), and complete any remaining licensure-required coursework specified in sections 1382, 1382.3, 1382.4, 1382.5, and 1382.6 of the California Code of Regulations. Additional postdoctoral supervised experience is required in adherence with section 1387 of the California Code of Regulations. All candidates are also required to complete the application process, which includes fees and a background check. For further information about licensure in California, please visit the Board of Psychology.
*Saybrook University’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) but does not have programmatic accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA). The hybrid online Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program may not meet year-in-residence requirements of some state professional licensing boards or agencies. To be eligible, graduates should consult their individual state licensing boards for any additional state specific requirements.
Supervision in Clinical Psychology
Clinical supervision is a necessary aspect of training for clinicians. Through supervision, a clinician-in-training gains necessary clinical competencies in order to ensure that trainees’ clients receive effective and ethical service. This course critically examines methods, relationships, ethics, multiculturalism, and evaluative processes of clinical supervision. Special focus is given to establishing a meaningful supervisor-supervisee relationship. While students will learn about different theoretical orientations that may inform their supervisory experience, they will be encouraged to consider their role in these relationships from a humanistic standpoint that will foster growth in the supervisor, supervisee, and their clients. They will be asked to explore ways of navigating and growing from supervisory relationships that may be challenging or uncomfortable. In addition, students will be encouraged to reflect on their current progress, as well as goals in their own development as clinicians. Though open to all students, this course satisfies the Clinical Interventions III/IV requirement in the Clinical Psychology degree program, with Clinical Interventions I & II as prerequisites. Note: This course is open to CP students only. (3 credits)
Introduction to Family Therapy
This clinical course provides an introductory overview to the traditional and contemporary school of family therapy. Participants will critically review and consider various conceptualizations and approaches in the practice of family therapy, with particular attention to diverse family structures and settings. The course emphasizes case description, historical and developmental perspectives, theoretical models in systems formulations, and integration of cultural and social structures in contextual dynamics. Though open to all students, this course also satisfies the Clinical Interventions III and IV requirement in the Clinical Psychology degree program, with Clinical Interventions I & II as prerequisites. (3 credits)
Mindfulness and Spirituality in Clinical Practice
Mindfulness-based therapies are now accepted as “empirically supported” treatments and are often treatments of choice in mainstream clinical and medical settings. In addition, the prior mainstream taboo regarding spiritual and religious dimensions of life in psychotherapy has been supplanted by the publication of a plethora of texts published by the APA and others regarding the integration of these dimensions in clinical practice. This clinical course explores these recent trends that mirror aspects of the long-standing traditions of humanistic, transpersonal, and existential psychology in the integration of mindfulness-based meditation practices, spirituality, and religion and prayer in clinical practice. Through reflective inquiry, students will gain understanding regarding their own experience and views regarding these factors in therapy and how they might locate themselves in relationship to them professionally. Though open to all students, this course also satisfies the Clinical Interventions III and IV requirement in the Clinical Psychology degree program, with Clinical Interventions I & II as prerequisites. (3 credits)