PhD Counseling Psychology

General Information

BYU’s Counseling Psychology Program prepares individuals to work in health service psychology, which is “the integration of psychological science and practice in order to facilitate human development and functioning” (APA/CoA, 2015). “Counseling Psychology is a specialty within professional psychology that maintains a focus on facilitating personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span.  The specialty pays particular attention to emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns”. Research and practice in Counseling Psychology are “guided by a philosophy that values individual differences and diversity and a focus on prevention, development, and adjustment across the life-span.”  For more information on Counseling Psychology see the Society for Counseling Psychology webpage.

Our program primarily prepares individuals for careers as licensed psychologists in counseling centers, clinics, and academic departments of colleges and universities. Some graduates also work in independent practice, educational settings, administration, research, consulting, and medical settings. 

Accreditation

The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to this commission.

Address: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association 750 1st Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 
Phone: 202-336-5979
Email: appaccred@apa.org 
Website: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Philosophy

Our program aim is to prepare counseling psychologists to function as scientist-practitioners who are multiculturally competent and able to integrate religious/spiritual issues.  The program is distinctive among counseling psychology programs because, like its parent institution, it “seeks to "develop students of faith, intellect, and character who have the skills and the desire to continue learning and to serve others throughout their lives” (see BYU Aims).

To achieve its aims, the program requires all students to achieve minimum levels of competency across all areas outlined by its accrediting body, as well as program-specific competencies. These include training in the following areas:

  1. Discipline-Specific Knowledge—which includes training in the history of psychology and the affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social bases of behavior. This area also includes integration of the bases of behavior and training in research methods, statistical analysis, and psychometrics.

  2. Profession-Wide Competencies—which includes training in the following areas:
    • Research
    • Ethical and legal standards
    • Individual and cultural diversity
    • Professional values, attitudes and behaviors
    • Communication and interpersonal skills
    • Assessment
    • Intervention
    • Supervision
    • Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills
  3. Program-Specific Competency—the program specifically requires training and evaluation in two additional competencies, (a) integrating spiritual and religious issues into the science and practice of psychology, and (b) group psychotherapy.

  4. Practicum Training—which includes training at BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and other clinical settings under the supervision of on-site supervisors and program faculty.

  5. Internship—all students must obtain and successfully complete a year-long internship in an APA-accredited internship site.

For more information see http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/policies/standards-of-accreditation.pdf.

Church Sponsorship

Brigham Young University is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The program in counseling psychology values diversity and trains its students to be multiculturally competent. While most of the program's faculty and students are members of the sponsoring church, we enthusiastically encourage students of other faiths and traditions to apply. All counseling psychology students, faculty, and staff at BYU agree to conduct their lives in harmony with ethical and moral values consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the University’s Honor Code.

Honor Code

The University expects that all students, regardless of religion, will maintain the behavioral standards of the school, including the Honor Code. These include high standards of honesty, integrity, chastity, morality, and dress and grooming, in addition to abstinence from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse. The Honor Code Statement is found here.