Mission, Philosophy, Aims and Objectives


The mission of the TWU Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology is to prepare highly competent, diversity-sensitive professional psychologists.


Practitioner-Scientist Model

The Ph.D. program in counseling psychology provides systematic training within a Practitioner-Scientist model to prepare students for the practice of psychology in a wide range of professional mental health settings. The model provides clear training in both practice and science, emphasizes practice informed by science, and prepares students to be both producers and consumers of research.

Feminist Multicultural Model

The program is grounded in a feminist multicultural philosophy and pedagogy and has a focus on developing practitioners with a strong understanding of individuals within their gendered and sociocultural contexts. Social justice and advocacy are highly valued and practiced. Graduates of the program are expected to embrace strong multicultural values, and to be conversant with and competent in the diversity-sensitive applications of theory, practice, research, and other professional functions.

The program is situated within the unique context of TWU, focusing primarily on the educational advancement of women, and creates an atmosphere that is inclusive, supportive, and flexible, while maintaining strong academic rigor. The programmatic goals are to create a climate that challenges without competition, promotes professionalism while minimizing the power hierarchy, and incorporates student participation at high levels. The program faculty makes a concerted effort to attend to students’ training needs within a contextual framework and to create an environment in which collaboration, self-direction, community, and respect for individual differences are promoted. Students and faculty make every effort to maintain open communication and clear expectations.

Advanced Assessment and Psychotherapy Skills

Given the Practitioner-Scientist model, advanced training in psychotherapy and psychological assessment are central foci. Students are expected to develop sophisticated theoretical understandings through exposure to multiple perspectives and to develop substantive therapeutic skills. Training in psychological assessment builds a foundation for mastery of cognitive, vocational, objective, and projective psychological measures. Academic program coursework as well as practicum training are designed to support these strengths.

Statement on Disclosure of Personal Information

Students should be aware that, as is typical of graduate training in counseling psychology, part of their professional development as psychologists will entail personal growth in addition to academic learning. Per the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation requirements, students are informed that they will be expected to share appropriate personal material in classes and practicum situations. Examples include providing psychological assessment data, participating in process-oriented groups, and/or creating family genograms.

Aims and Objectives

The doctoral program in counseling psychology is rooted in the following aims and objectives. Most program activities and evaluations are linked to these fundamental items.

Aim #1: To prepare competent practitioners of professional psychology.

Objectives for Aim #1:

1A: To prepare professional psychologists who are reflective and self-aware about their practice, including appropriate use of supervision.
1B: To prepare professional psychologists who have effective interpersonal relationships across a range of professional constituencies.
1C: To prepare professional psychologists who practice within legal and ethical bounds.
1D: To prepare professional psychologists who can assess, conceptualize and intervene appropriately with their clients.

Aim #2: To prepare diversity-sensitive professional psychologists.

Objectives for Aim #2:

2A: To prepare professional psychologists who understand themselves and others as cultural beings.
2B: To prepare professional psychologists who can effectively apply their knowledge of diversity across a range of practice and research domains.

Aim #3: To prepare professional psychologists who are competent consumers and/or producers of research.

Objectives for Aim #3:

3A: To prepare professional psychologists who use evidence-based information as a foundation for practice.
3B: To prepare professional psychologists who participate in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge.