The University of Illinois Counseling Psychology Program (CPP) has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1985. The program aims to prepare students to become competent, socially responsible professional counseling psychologists. Our training program is steeped in the values of counseling psychology including training on normal developmental issues in addition to problematic issues, a multicultural perspective, and introduction to a wide variety of clinical interventions including outreach and prevention.
Our program is based upon a scientist-practitioner orientation to counseling psychology, viewing research and practice as interdependent and complementary. Within this model, students receive training with an empirical, scientific foundation that they can then apply to their scholarship, research, and practice. Research is considered a fundamental and integral dimension of our program and students with a strong interest in psychological research, pursuing academic careers, and combining research and practice are given priority in admissions decisions.
Our core faculty and students engage in research relevant to assessing and understanding behavior and strive to apply systematic, culturally sensitive, research-based approaches to issues related to vocational psychology, racial attitudes and beliefs, and cultural competence. The potential exists for students to train with affiliated faculty and other faculty within the University of Illinois. Our program provides extensive training and experiences in quantitative research methodology, and opportunities are available for additional training in qualitative and mixed methods research. Students are trained and encouraged to promote their scholarship through presentations and publications. Finally, coursework promotes integration of research, practice, and assessment.
Practice is also an important aspect of the CPP, but is viewed more broadly than just individual and group psychotherapy. Our model is based on the premise that the multiculturally competent scientist-practitioner is a professional who adopts an overarching scientific approach to the understanding of and intervention in the human condition across a range of populations. Students learn to provide culturally sensitive counseling and assessment to individuals and groups through sequential coursework and supervised practica, but practice may also include interventions that assist individuals, groups, and community organizations to more effectively and responsibly facilitate development. Training in broader interventions comes from related courses, potential for involvement in related research, and opportunities for involvement in a range of teaching and outreach opportunities throughout campus. The Counseling Psychology Program is not designed to provide professional preparation at the terminal master's level.
We also put a high priority on the development of multicultural competence in both research and practice. We adopt a multicultural perspective as outlined by the APA Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists. Many of our faculty and students pursue research and scholarship on multicultural and social justice issues. Much of our coursework integrates multicultural issues. Students are expected to integrate multicultural perspectives and considerations into their research, practice, and scholarly work.
Training in provided from a developmental perspective providing students first with foundational knowledge that will support their later learning. The first two years of the CPP include a series of articulated, closely supervised courses in research, practice, and core areas of psychology. Over the next two years, students follow a more self-determined path by choosing classes and researching experiences and practica that fulfill individual goals and program requirements. a broad education in core areas related to counseling psychology, general psychology, and professional psychology. These courses provide for a broad education in psychology as well as an opportunity to gain more specialized knowledge related to counseling psychology and individual interests. During their last year students typically complete an applied predoctoral internship.
Graduates of our program are trained to become multicultural scientist-practitioner who can engage in meaningful research, provide excellent psychological clinical services, and participate in a variety of academic activities. The training model is designed (1) to provide students with a broad education in core areas related to counseling psychology, general psychology, and professional psychology; (2) to educate students about a range of research approaches and sophisticated analytic tools necessary for contribution to professional psychology literature; (3) to train students to be skilled in provision of a wide range of psychological services in a variety of contexts; (4) to encourage the adoption of values associated with being a competent, socially responsible professional psychologist.
A more detailed explanation of how these goals are attained is provided at Counseling Psychology Program Training Program.