As part of its mission Chatham University “prepares its students to excel in their professions and to be engaged, environmentally responsible, globally conscious, life-long learners, and citizen leaders for democracy.” With this in mind, Chatham’s doctoral program in Counseling Psychology prepares future psychologists to be globally-conscious and environmentally-aware agents of change with individuals and systems, promoting sustainable health and well-being for individuals, families, and communities. The program focuses on both the personal and professional growth of students, informed by the science of psychology and reflected in the development of empathic, compassionate, and thoughtful practitioners and scholars. Emphasis is on training competent and ethical psychologists who engage in prevention and intervention activities with diverse populations in an ever-changing health care environment.
Chatham University’s PsyD in Counseling Psychology program has adopted the unifying philosophical themes of counseling psychology as developed by Gelso and Fretz (2001)* and the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs, with the addition of a philosophy related to the promotion of healthy and sustainable communities. Program objectives and competencies are derived from the following themes:
- A focus on working within a developmental framework across a wide range of psychological functioning.
- A focus on assets and strengths, regardless of level of functioning.
- The inclusion of relatively brief counseling approaches.
- An emphasis on person-environment interactions, rather than an exclusive focus on either person or environment.
- An emphasis on prevention, including psycho-educational interventions.
- An emphasis on the educational and vocational lives of individuals.
- A strong commitment to attending to issues of culture, race, and ethnicity, as well as other areas of individual diversity such as gender, age, ability, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation.
- Evaluation and improvement through critical thinking and a commitment to the scientific approach.
- An emphasis on promoting healthy and sustainable communities.
* Gelso, C., & Fretz, B. (2001). Counseling psychology (2nd ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt.