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Psychology - Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology

Program Overview

The College of Saint Elizabeth offers a Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D.) in Counseling Psychology. The Psy.D. is a practitioner preparation program intended for qualified applicants interested in pursuing the highest level of applied learning and practice within counseling psychology. The doctoral program specializes in training mental health professionals committed to working with disadvantaged populations as an outflow of the College of Saint Elizabeth's mission to promote and effect social justice and positive community change.

As an intensive professional development program, the Psy.D. is designed to prepare students for careers in the practice of counseling psychology, and is structured to allow graduates to apply for licensure as psychologists in New Jersey. Utilizing the practitioner-scholar model, the Psy.D. trains practitioners who are skilled in psychotherapy, assessment, counseling, supervision, teaching, consultation, and program evaluation services in community, forensic, agency, and academic settings. Students acquire doctoral education and training with an emphasis on the foundational value of social justice and a focus on empowering underserved populations.

More specifically, the aims of the program are to produce graduates who are:

  • Proficient in the delivery of professional health service psychological services including individual, group, and family psychotherapeutic approaches, including the establishment of effective psychotherapeutic relationships.
  • Proficient at evaluating the efficacy of psychological treatments and programs, modifying them as necessary to enhance client outcomes.
  • Competent and skillful in recognizing and addressing individual and cultural differences, and in providing professional and ethically-sound psychological services in a culturally sensitive context.
  • Committed to achieving social justice by developing and implementing interventions to enhance client empowerment and wellness, particularly among those who are disenfranchised.
  • Knowledgeable and competent in integrating research and practice, expanding psychotherapeutic skills, and developing a professional identity as counseling psychologists.

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Accreditation and Licensure Information

As a new program, the College's Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology Program is not yet eligible to apply for accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). However, the Psy.D. is designed to meet the standards put forward by the APA in the Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology. Further, the College intends to apply for APA accreditation at the appropriate time.

Similarly, the program is designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure by the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners and will allow graduates to apply for licensure as practicing psychologists in New Jersey.


The Psy.D. is a four-year, full-time program with courses being offered in the fall, spring and summer. In order to facilitate a more supportive learning environment, the doctoral program utilizes a cohort model.

The curriculum consists of 88 credits of which 15 credits are completed by students through required courses in their master's programs and transferred into the Psy.D. program. The required courses are: Human Growth and Personality Development, Psychological Assessment, Psychopathology, Research Methods and Advanced Statistics, Counseling Theories, and Group Counseling.

Although a three-credit course in Group Counseling is a prerequisite to the program, it is not accepted as a transfer course. In addition to these 15 credits in masters-level courses, the curriculum includes 73 credits in doctoral-level coursework and supervision.

Admission Requirements

The Psy.D. program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2018 semester. Application forms are available online by clicking on Admissions on the College homepage.

Applicants to the Psy.D. program in counseling psychology will be required to:

  • Submit an Online Application Form
  • Submit Letter of Recommendation
  • Have completed a master's degree in counseling psychology, forensic psychology and counseling, or its equivalent,
  • Have completed three credits in each of the following masters-level courses: Human Growth and Personality Development, Psychological Assessment, Psychopathology, Research Methods and Advanced Statistics, Counseling Theories, and Group Counseling,
  • Have a satisfactory degree of professional or applied experience,
  • Submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination and the Psychology GRE Subject Test.
  • Submit a statement of professional goals: 3-6 pages, double-spaced, detailing the applicant's professional goals and including an autobiographical statement regarding the applicant's motivation for pursuing those goals,
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from professionals who can comment on the applicant's qualifications for doctoral study: at least one letter must be from a professor attesting to academic capability and at least one must be from a practitioner attesting to professional capacity,
  • Submit official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work,
  • Submit a curriculum vita,
  • Submit a completed application form.

Selected applicants will be invited to interview with representatives of the Psy.D. faculty.

Practicum/Internship Requirements


Students are expected to participate in a minimum of four doctoral level practica for a total of 1200 semester hours. These advanced clinical experiences, beginning in the fall of the second year, are designed to assist students in moving toward competence as future psychologists and to provide preparation for the doctoral internship. Each practicum semester requires a minimum of 300 hours, 120 of which are spent in the provision of direct client service.

Students participate in weekly individual on-site supervision, as well as receive weekly group supervision on campus through active participation in the practicum seminar. Typical practicum activities include direct client care, attending case conferences, writing reports and writing clinical notes. Students must have site approval from the Coordinator for the Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology Department prior to confirming placement, and submit all forms that are required.


During the student's final year in the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology, the student participates in a year long, full-time (or two year, part-time), supervised internship which is a total of 2000 hours, including client contact and supervision hours. This pre-doctoral internship affords students the opportunity to employ the knowledge and skills acquired during their doctoral studies under the supervision of experienced practitioners of psychology.

With approval from the student's advisor and the Coordinator for the Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology Department, students apply for internship following successful completion of 1) necessary coursework, 2) comprehensive examinations, and 3) defense of the Doctoral Project Proposal. Students are expected to participate in the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Center's (APPIC) match program and to apply to a minimum of 10 APPIC/APA internship sites.


Patricia C. Heindel, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Professional Studies

Dr. Heindel has been with the Psychology Department for 31 years. She earned her B.A. from Glassboro State College and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Her areas of expertise are Memory, Learning, Research and Statistics, Developmental Psychology and Program Evaluation. Her scholarship focus is Developmental Psychology and Outcomes Assessment. She is co-director of the School Culture and Climate Initiative in partnership with the Youth Empowerment Alliance of the United Way of Northern New Jersey and is the director of the School Culture and Climate Assessment Lab at CSE. She is currently developing an online Social Emotional Learning Credentialing Program for School Leaders in partnership with Maurice Elias, Ph.D. of Rutgers University.

Michelle M. Barrett, Ph.D.
Director, Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology, and Associate Professor

Dr. Barrett has been with the Psychology Department for eight years. She earned her B.A. from Fordham University and her Ph.D. from CSPP-San Francisco. Dr. Barrett is a Licensed Psychologist in NJ and CA. Her areas of expertise are Child and Adolescent Development and Psychodynamic Theory and Practice. Her scholarship focus is Parenting and Developmental knowledge, Health Psychology, and Sociocultural Perspectives on Women and Diagnosis.

Thomas C. Barrett, Ph.D.
Professor, Psychology

Dr. Barrett has been with the Psychology Department for 11 years. He earned his B.A. from Canisius College, his M.A. from Southern Illinois University and his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. Dr. Barrett is a Licensed Psychologist in N.J. and PA and is listed in the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. His areas of expertise are Psychospirituality, Humanistic/ Existential Theory and Practice, and Resilience. His scholarship focus is Positive Psychology, and Spirituality and Psychotherapy.

Valerie Scott-Exposé, Ed.D.
Director, M.A. Programs in Psychology and Professor, Psychology

Dr. Scott-Exposé has been with the Psychology Department for 23 years. She earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan, her M.A. from Upsala College and her Ed.D. from Rutgers University. Dr. Scott-Exposé is a Licensed Psychologist in N.J. and an Accredited Clinical Supervisor. Her areas of expertise are Multicultural Psychology, Consultation and Supervision, Trauma, and Dissociative Disorders. Her scholarship focus is Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Counseling and Behavioral Medicine.

Chloe G. Bland, Ph.D.
Chairperson and Assistant Professor, Psychology

Dr. Bland is beginning her seventh year in the Psychology Department. She completed her B.A. at Eugene Lang College and her M.A. and Ph.D. at The New School for Social Research. Her areas of expertise are Developmental Psychology, Research and Statistics. Her current scholarly focus areas are racial justice, microaggressions, and gender.

Department Resources

The Psy.D. is housed in the Psychology Department, within the Professional Studies Area, and is supported by a wide range of resources. Classrooms are well equipped with current technology. There are six student computer labs, all equipped with SPSS (statistical software), and technological assistance is readily available.

The Psy.D. Program has access to a counseling lab, enabling direct and video observation, as well as the complete spectrum of psychological tests and measures. Mahoney Library is equipped with access to a wide range of psychology databases and hundreds of online films, and student research is further facilitated by a reference librarian who serves as liaison to the Psychology Department.


For additional program information, contact:

Michelle M. Barrett, Ph.D.
Director, Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology
(973) 290-4027

For admission information, contact:

Deborah S. Cobo
Associate Director
Graduate and Continuing Studies
(973) 290-4194

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Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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