Child and Adolescent Psychology Overview
The Child and Adolescent Psychology track within the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program provides specialized coursework, training, and mentorship that prepares students as clinical psychologists who work specifically with children and adolescents, and the issues that impact their mental health and well-being. Students gain research- and practice-based understanding and skills related to assessment and intervention methods that are most appropriate to younger clients, and understanding of the broader structural and socio-cultural factors that affect children and adolescents.
Child and adolescent psychologists work in a range of settings with young people who are struggling with mental health issues and challenges such as peer pressure, body image, drugs or alcohol, relationships, sexuality, or coping with life changes such as parental divorce or death. They conduct formal diagnostic tests, provide counseling and other therapeutic services, develop community-based youth programs, lead prevention initiatives, and more.
Our students are trained as practitioners with expertise in assessment, theory, research, and practice by faculty who are practicing clinicians as well as leading scholars, researchers and educators—specializing in areas such as autism, ADHD and other learning disorders, sexual identity, eating disorders, trauma, and school violence.
Curriculum, Practicum and Internship
Through our diverse faculty and curriculum, our students examine the important foundational schools of psychotherapy including cognitive-behavioral, contemporary psychodynamic, systemic, and humanistic/existential models. As part of our heritage, Adlerian psychology provides a guiding set of principles that underpin learning—training practitioners who truly understand social justice, and the contextual and social determinants of mental health.
Structured for completion in five years, students spend four years in coursework, practicum experiences, and dissertation, followed by a one-year full-time internship. Through an immersive learning experience and small, intimate classes, our students enjoy a collaborative professional environment and robust mentorships that contribute to their success—as evident in our students’ most recent 91% combined match rate for APA-accredited internships and APPIC (Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers) member internships.
Our students gain practical training and valuable experience in practicums and internships with the School’s hundreds of community partners including clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, community organizations, and government agencies at all levels. Our graduates often go on to work in similar settings, as well as in private practice and academia.
Our Pre-Doctoral Internship Program through Adler Community Health Services (ACHS) offers APA-accredited internships exclusively for Adler School students. At agency sites throughout the region, interns provide clinical psychological services to children, adolescents, adults, and families in underserved communities, in areas such as depression, anxiety, school adjustments, family conflict, grief and loss, partner distress, neuropsychology, and substance abuse.
- A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution or a comparable degree from an international institution.
- An academic record that demonstrates ability to fulfill the academic demands of the program. Successful applicants typically have a grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework.
- A GRE general test score is required as part of the application for our Psy.D. program. However, GPA and GRE scores are only one component of our application criteria. Each applicant is reviewed holistically, taking factors such as personal and professional experience into consideration. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions to discuss their unique qualifications. The GRE must have been taken within 5 years of your intended start term.
- Practicum or work experience in psychology or a related field is highly desirable and is considered in the evaluation of applicants.
- The equivalent of 18 semester credit hours in psychology with grades of “C” or better, including the following prerequisite courses: general or introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, theories of personality, and research methods or statistics. Equivalent coursework in other social sciences may also be considered. Students may be admitted prior to completing these prerequisites, but all students must complete these courses by the end of their first semester of enrollment at Adler School.
- Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview as the final step in the application process. Please submit all application materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.
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