Program Philosophy

The Counseling Psychology PhD program at UNC adheres to the scientist-practitioner model of training in which science and practice are integrated. We place great emphasis on both research training and practitioner training. Inherent in this model are the assumptions that psychologists can best contribute to the betterment of society and serve clients’ well-being through the understanding and practical applications of research knowledge and science. Research is a core part of our students’ training. Our program believes that it is important for our students to become contributors to and informed consumers of psychological research. While the program is weighted on the practitioner side of the scientist-practitioner continuum, (approximately 60 percent practice), the faculty is also strongly committed to training psychologists who know how to conduct, understand, and utilize psychological research. Training in research and evidence-based practice in psychology is integrated throughout coursework and practica experiences. Another assumption in our program is that psychologists must act as scientist practitioners and be adequately prepared to function independently, with a high level of expertise in the areas of psychotherapy, assessment, diagnosis, professional ethics, supervision and evaluation of services. Finally, psychologists work with individuals and systems from many different backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles. Therefore, our doctoral training emphasizes the needs of diverse populations in order to produce graduates who are sensitive to cultural, ethnic, gender and lifestyle concerns in both language and action.