Chatham University

Chatham University PsyD: Program Aim and Professional Competencies


Chatham University's Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology program is committed to developing entry level health service psychologists who are capable of practicing ethically and capably within the bounds of their competence.


In line with the profession-wide competencies set forth by the American Psychological Association’s Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychologists, we seek to develop the professional competencies of our students in the following areas:

  1. Competency 1: Research
    Students will demonstrate the ability to:
    • Independently formulate research and/or other scholarly activities (such as critical literature reviews, program development/evaluation, clinical case studies, efficacy studies, theoretical papers, dissertation research).
    • Conduct research and/or other scholarly activities.
    • Critically evaluate and disseminate research and/or other scholarly work.

  2. Competency 2: Ethical and Legal Standards
    Students will demonstrate the ability to:
    • Understand and act in accordance with APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, relevant laws governing health service psychologists, and relevant professional standards and guidelines.
    • Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise, and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve dilemmas.
    • Conduct oneself in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

  3. Competency 3: Individual and Cultural Diversity
    Students will demonstrate:
    • Understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.
    • Knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.
    • The ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities). This includes the ability apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered over the course of their careers. Also included is the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.
    • The requisite knowledge base, ability to articulate an approach to working effectively with diverse individuals and groups, and apply this approach effectively in their professional work.

  4. Competency 4: Professional Values, Attitudes and Behaviors
    Students will demonstrate the ability to:
    • Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
    • Engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.
    • Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
    • Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.

  5. Competency 5: Communication and Interpersonal Skills
    Students will demonstrate the ability to:
    • Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.
    • Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp professional language and concepts.
    • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.

  6. Competency 6: Assessment
    Students will demonstrate the ability to:
    • Demonstrate current knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology.
    • Apply the knowledge of client strengths and psychopathology to the assessment process with sensitivity to cultural and individual differences.
    • Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.
    • Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
    • Communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.

  7. Competency 7: Intervention
    Students will demonstrate the ability to:
    • Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
    • Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
    • Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
    • Apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.
    • Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking.
    • Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.

  8. Competency 8: Supervision
    Students will demonstrate:
    • Knowledge of supervision models and practices.

  9. Competency 9: Consultation & Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
    Students will demonstrate:
    • Knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
    • Knowledge of consultation models and practices.