Degree Requirements: Master's degree
Completion Time: 5 years
Earned Credits: 76
The Ph.D. in Applied Psychophysiology: Clinical Psychophysiology Specialization degree program is designed to be offered mainly via distance education supported by two required in-person training sessions per year and required attendance at the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) annual meeting. The psychophysiology Ph.D. degree program explores a variety of integrative medicine strategies and clinical skills, including:
Clinical psychophysiology has a long history of assisting patients in recognizing and managing problems rooted in their biological makeup and structure. Graduates of this specialization can use what they have learned to augment their existing methods of care in clinics, hospitals, nonprofits, or private practice.
Clinical psychophysiology represents a new level of scientific breadth and personal depth in health care. It requires training that emphasizes treating the patient as a whole person, rather than as a set of symptoms, and working with the mind and spirit as well as the body. The Clinical Psychophysiology Specialization (within the doctoral degree in Applied Psychophysiology) gives currently licensed health professionals expert knowledge and skills applicable in their current field of practice and opens new medical and mental health practice areas as well.
Designed for licensed health care professionals (and those with licensable degrees), this curriculum involves extensive evidence-based research to support a comprehensive range of applied psychophysiological assessments and interventions used in the treatment of medical and mental health disorders, pain management, physical rehabilitation, and a number of other medical specialty areas.
*Our Ph.D. Psychophysiology is intended for professionals who wish to pursue nonclinical careers or expand on their existing licenses. This program is not designed to prepare graduates to qualify for clinical licensure or certification.
More program information can be found in our academic catalog.
Students selecting the Clinical Psychophysiology doctoral specialization will complete 18 credits in specialized coursework, including in mind-body science (anatomy and physiology, psychophysiology), the application of integrative medicine strategies, and additional clinical skills, such as biofeedback, hypnosis, stimulation technologies, and consulting skills. As part of their required coursework, students may complete Saybrook University certificates in biofeedback and neurofeedback, hypnosis, stress management, or psychophysiological studies.
Psychophysiological-oriented electives include courses in pelvic floor disorders, behavioral assessment and intervention for pain, QEEG, advanced topics in EEG, neuromuscular rehabilitation, neuropsychophysiology, advanced hypnosis, impact of hormones on behavior, and impact of genetics upon behavior.
Behaviorally Oriented Techniques
This course covers five main areas: (a) wellness and community and group psychophysiology, (b) operant and classical conditioning, (c) imagery, (d) cognitive restructuring, and (e) meditation techniques. Wellness programs for maintaining and increasing the health of individuals and of specific communities such as students in a class, older people in an assisted living community, workers in an office or factory are becoming increasingly popular. The evidence supporting the efficacy of these programs is reviewed and ways to optimize such programs, in light of this evidence, for different groups is discussed. Classical operant and instrumental conditioning are powerful tools that can be used to shape the behavior of individuals and groups in work and school clinical settings. The history of, supporting evidence for, and basic techniques for each type of conditioning are presented. The standard techniques of self-hypnosis and imagery training are described, and students are taught the elements of their application. Uses of these techniques with specific types of patients and integration of these techniques into other behavioral medicine interventions is discussed. The history, supporting efficacy studies, and basis for the major meditation techniques are described in relation to self-regulation. 3 credits
Basic Training and Education in Hypnosis
This course provides students with a basic skill set to conduct simple hypnotic interventions, along with knowledge about hypnotic concepts and approaches, and a familiarity with research-based applications of hypnosis to common medical and behavioral disorders. This course provides students with an introductory level of understanding helpful for engaging in hypnosis-based clinical practice and hypnosis-oriented research in integrative health. This course introduces simple trance induction protocols, trance deepening techniques, the use of post-hypnotic suggestion, and techniques to re-alert the subject and close the trance phase. In addition, the course overviews current scientific approaches to explaining hypnotic phenomena, introduces the measurement and significance of hypnotic susceptibility, and presents several of the widely used and effective approaches for utilizing hypnosis in psychotherapy and personal transformation. Students completing this basic training sequence are equipped to begin the intermediate level training. The course is designed to follow the Standards of Training in Clinical Hypnosis as presented by D. Corydon Hammond and Gary R. Elkins for the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis—Education and Research Foundation (2005). 3 credits
Students develop a foundational understanding in psychopharmacology important to client-oriented clinical practice in counseling. Students develop skills in forming a collaborative team with the client and the prescribing health professional. The course surveys fundamental diagnoses that may be accompanied by psychotropic medications and methods to help clients monitor medication effectiveness. The course emphasizes psychoactive medications within a biopsychosocial understanding of the client. 3 credits