Clinical Psychology

Master of Arts

Graduate study in psychology is based on a commitment to intellectual freedom and personal integrity and the important role they play to all people. The Clinical Psychology Master of Arts program offers a unique, integrated curriculum of study in one of the field’s most popular career paths and offers the widest opportunities to mental health professionals.

AIC’s clinical psychology program has been developed in accordance with the highest national standards of excellent in its respective field. It is designed to develop educational depth, as well as the skills and creative independence that prepare graduates to practice and contribute to their profession.

Candidates to our clinical psychology program have the option of two concentrations:

  • Mental Health Concentration (60 credits): This concentration is designed to meet the educational requirements for a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and similar professional designations in other states. The 60-credit mental health concentration includes coursework in research, assessment, counseling, psychopathology, human development, and ethics. A pre-internship clinical practicum is required and is followed by a 600- hour clinical internship. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet all state licensing requirements.
  • Forensic Psychology Concentration (66 credits): This concentration is also designed to meet the educational requirements for an LMHC. The program requires the completion of 66 credits and incorporates courses from the mental health concentration. Additionally, it includes six credits of forensic psychology coursework, along with a pre-internship practicum and a 600-hour forensic internship. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet all state licensing requirements.
Learning Outcomes for Clinical Psychology
  • Students will develop competencies in their knowledge of psychological assessment, diagnosis, case conceptualization and treatment planning.
  • Students will develop knowledge of individual/cultural differences as well as ethical and legal standards so they gain the skills and develop the ethical commitment to provide quality services to culturally diverse clients and organizations.
  • Students will develop competencies in their knowledge of psychotherapeutic intervention and effective clinical and counseling skills.
  • Students will develop competencies in their knowledge of scientific methodology and its application to relevant practice as well as the skills necessary for effective application of that knowledge.
  • Students will develop personal and interpersonal competency and skills which are essential for mental health counselors to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You'll Learn

This program will provide theory, research, and clinical training for the student who is truly concerned with the well-being of people and their quality of life, and the two concentrations ensure you’ll gain valuable, specialized skills.

Future Studies

Often, our graduates elect to continue their education by pursuing a doctorate (PhD, EdD, or PsyD). Our students have been very successful in pursuing doctoral education and we are proud of our exceptionally high acceptance rate.

 

Career Opportunities

Many of our graduates obtain licensure and go on to become successful clinicians in mental health and social service agencies, hospitals, clinics, and schools. They are engaged in counseling, testing, research, administration, and other healthcare careers.

  • PSY5205: Applied Research Methodology
  • PSY5215: Counseling Theory and Practice
  • PSY5305: Occupational Information
  • PSY5338: Diagnostic Assessment I: WISC and WAIS
  • PSY5418: Diagnostic Assessment II: Diagnostics and Projectives
  • PSY5315: Group Counseling
  • PSY5355: Systems and Theories in Psychology
  • PSY5325: Psychology of Learning
  • PSY5345: Advanced Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY6505: Issues and Ethics in Psychology
  • PSY5225: Family Counseling
  • PSY5408: Pre-clinical Practicum (3 credits)
  • PSY5409: Pre-clinical Practicum (3 credits)
  • PSY6515: Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse
  • PSY6808: Clinical Internship (6 credits)
  • PSY6809: Clinical Internship (3 credits)
  • PSY6605: Therapeutic Techniques and Consultation
  • PSY5415: Psychology of Development
  • PSY6615: Social Bases of Behavior and Cultural Diversity
  • PSY5316: Principles in Forensic Psychology *
  • PSY5430: Assessment Techniques in Forensic Psychology *

* Forensic Concentration only.

All Courses

This course examines social science research including evaluative methodologies and strategies, types of research, program evaluation, needs assessments, and ethical and legal considerations. This course links statistical analysis and research methodology so that the student may become a sophisticated research consumer as well as research producer. Understanding research strategy and the logic behind the statistical tests for applied purposes is the underlying theme of the course. This course will allow students to understand the nature of empirical research in developing surveys, educational interventions, program evaluations, and therapeutic strategies. PREREQUISITE: None

This course examines the major theories, principles and techniques of mental health counseling and the application of such theories to counseling settings. This includes the examination of the influence of psychoanalytic, interpersonal/social, cognitive and behavioristic theories on present therapeutic techniques. A number of treatment modalities and styles of counseling are evaluated and the relationship between the nature of the disturbance and the effectiveness of each approach is discussed. Coursework, classroom discussion and role play is used to translate theoretical understanding into effective counseling behavior for a clear understanding of applying theoretical perspectives to work with clients. PREREQUISITE: None

This course is designed to acquaint the student with vocational counseling practices. Students will explore professional orientation for a career in counseling. Sources of career information, lifestyle development, advantages and disadvantages of each source and methods of storing and disseminating information will be explored. An understanding of career development assessment and career counseling techniques will be explored. Current issues in college planning and school-to-work transition programming will be addressed. PREREQUISITE: None

Provides a thorough understanding of the administration, scoring and interpretation of both the WISC and WAIS. Subject analysis stresses an understanding of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Scoring analysis covers comprehensive personality descriptions Differential diagnosis is also integrated in the course from a treatment-planning perspective for mental health counselors or psychologists. A major emphasis will be placed on the proper administration, scoring, interpretation and preparation of a written report based on the Wechsler Scales. In addition, direct and indirect assessment techniques will be covered. PREREQUISITE: None

A continuation of PSY5338. In this course, the student will be encouraged to develop a personal frame of reference around personality assessment. Specifics include an examination of several traditional and non-traditional diagnostic instruments such as the TAT and Rorschach. Problems involved in assessing dysfunction will be included, as well as the application of assessment and diagnoses to the selection of treatment modalities used by mental health counselors or psychologists. PREREQUISITE: None

This course will examine the theoretical and experiential understandings of group development, purpose, dynamics, group counseling methods and skills, as well as leadership styles for group facilitation. Coursework covers the dynamics and processes of mental health groups (therapeutic, psychosocial, psycho‑educational). An emphasis of this course is on personal growth and the counseling process within the group setting. Among the concepts included are curative factors, interpersonal learning, group composition, and tasks and techniques for change. Topics such as addiction, poverty, and education, will be explored in understanding the individual response to group counseling. PREREQUISITE: None

This course traces the history of the major theoretical positions in psychology (structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, gestalt and psychoanalysis) from their epistemological, both rationalistic and empirical and philosophical roots, dating from ancient Greece to the present time. Coverage will include discussions of the scientific method and the philosophy of science. Finally, contemporary positions, especially those involved in the cognitive revolution, will be covered from both the psychological and physiological points of view. Throughout these latter discussions, emphasis will be placed on the developmental aspects of human growth. PREREQUISITE: None

Intensive coverage of the major learning theories in psychology and their epistemological roots in philosophy, both from the point of view of rationalism and empiricism. The emphasis, however, will be on the twentieth century and will include Pavlov, Thorndike, Watson, Guthrie, Hull and Skinner as behaviorist-associationists and Wertheimer, Kohler, Lewin and Bruner on the cognitive gestalt side. Bandura’s social modeling theory will be stressed, including discussions of racial prejudice and attitude change. Piaget’s cognitive model will be stressed, including discussion of qualitative differences in learning according to developmental stage. Coverage will also include processing models, cognitive acquisition theories and the basic models concerning the physiology of learning and memory. PREREQUISITE: None

This course includes the identification and diagnosis and mental health treatment planning for abnormal, deviant, or psychopathological behavior and includes assessments and treatment procedures. This course examines disorders in adulthood, adolescence, and childhood with consideration of the relationship between biological, social, psychological and environmental factors, as well as problems in classification and potential behavior systems. The concepts of normal and abnormal will be explored especially when attempting to understand the behaviors of culturally diverse groups. The symptomatological disorders, including borderline personalities and various phobic and obsessive-compulsive syndromes will be studied. The standards for differential diagnosis will be clarified. Conditions relating to dis-compensation, stress, anxiety, and defense mechanisms will be covered. PREREQUISITE: PSY 5415

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the major ethical issues in the practice of mental health counseling or school psychology. This course includes the understanding of professional roles and functions of counselors or psychologists, with particular emphasis on legal and ethical standard through ethical case conceptualization, analysis and decision making as it relates to clinical practice. The course involves an intense analysis of the philosophical, technical and consultative issues contributing to the professional identity and function of the counselor or psychologist in a clinical or school setting. Emphasis will be placed on the practical application of theory and the demands of particular setting. This course stresses professional ethics and general standards of conduct. The course examines the standards set by the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counselors Association for the understanding of licensure and regulatory practices. In addition, a guide for this section of the course is also the American Psychological Associations Code of Ethics. PREREQUISITE: None

This course will provide students with a solid basis in General Systems Theory in relation to mental health counseling. Coverage will include theories and techniques that could be used by the counselor or psychologist in dealing with family issues. Topics will include initial interview skills, therapeutic intervention techniques and the application of systems theory to the family setting. Included will be usefulness and application of theory to culturally diverse groups, single parent and blended families. PREREQUISITE: None

This course provides students with a yearlong opportunity (100 hours) to put their acquired academic knowledge of psychology and counseling into clinical practice prior to their final year’s internship, when they actually work with clients. This course is normally undertaken in the second year of the program and after PSY5215. The practicum is utilized, in part, to meet the requirements for certification as a mental health counselor. In addition to developing counseling skills through the readings and exercises in the textbook, students also role-play counseling in the classroom and on audio and videotapes. Students explore their specific career interests and search for sites for the following year’s internship experiences. PREREQUISITE: PSY5215, Second year status

This course covers the fundamental principles of pharmacology, drug actions, tolerance, clinical use of psychotic medications, substance abuse and addiction treatment. A component of this course includes a focus on addiction and the treatment of individuals within this special population relevant to mental health counseling. Research that explores the efficacy of medications taken during treatment, specific treatment programs and the degree of recidivism is presented. PREREQUISITE: None

This course is typically the second semester of a primarily off-campus, supervised work experience, extending two semesters and involving 16-20 hours per week for a total of 600 hours. Internships are undertaken in the final year of the program with approval of the clinical faculty. On-campus weekly meetings are required and are an integral part of the necessary supervision. All aspects of clinical experience from intake to discharge are acceptable with primary emphasis on face-to-face counseling interaction. PREREQUISITE: Permission of professor or program director

This course examines the theoretical bases of the counseling processes, mental health counseling techniques, and their therapeutic applications in relation to the understanding and practice of counseling skills necessary for the mental health counselor. This course will provide students with a number of treatment modalities and techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychoanalysis to integrate the theories of treatment into specific situations that the counselor or psychologist will confront in actual practice. Topics will range from working with clients in individually and multiple system membership to consultation around behavioral/emotional issues in settings such as schools and clinics. The consultation model will be considered as it relates to counselors and psychologists within a multicultural model. PREREQUISITE: PSY5345

This course addresses the physical, cognitive and social-emotional development of children, adolescents, adults and the elderly, including a description of behaviors that are present at the various stages and explanations for those behaviors regarding relative contributions of heredity and environment. The major theories of physical, cognitive, affective and social development across the life span are applied to mental health counseling practice. The sociocultural and social economic factors that may contribute to a development outcome are also considered. PREREQUISITE: None

This course examines the theories of multicultural counseling, issues and trends of a multicultural and diverse society and includes the foundational knowledge and skills needed to provide mental health counseling services to diverse populations in a culturally competent manner. This course covers a number of advanced topics in the general area of social psychology, including cultural, ethnic and group processes, sex roles, organizational behavior, group dynamics, status and role, attribution theory and leadership. Special emphasis will also be placed on cultural diversity, including those issues related to cultural, racial and ethnic bases of behavior. PREREQUISITE: None

This course will provide students with information about the various forensic activities in which psychologists and other related professionals currently participate. Activities may include competency evaluations, assessment of violent behavior and dangerousness, child abuse/neglect, treatment issues, court testimony, police psychology and consultation to judges, attorneys and other law enforcement personnel. Students will obtain information about the numerous roles of professionals in the field of forensic psychology and will develop the skills and knowledge base that will prepare them to continue with specialized training in this area. PREREQUISITE: None

This course will familiarize students with the particulars of forensic assessment and test administration and will deal with techniques of synthesizing and integrating psychological and practical information into an effective forensic report. Emphasis will be placed on formal and informal assessment techniques, presenting problems, presentation of reports and collaboration with other professionals. Students will develop skills in the assessment and diagnosis of disorders commonly found in forensic settings. PREREQUISITE: PSY5316

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