A Graduate Specialization in Clinical Psychology made possible through the partnership of the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

There are four Program Curricula Areas:


In order to facilitate professional registration, all students must complete several foundational courses. After a review of the student's Undergraduate and Graduate academic record, certain foundational courses will be recommended by the Curriculum Committee.
Foundational requirements include successful completion of at least one half-year graduate course, or an advanced undergraduate course (beyond a first-year introductory level) in each of the five areas:

I. Biological bases of behaviour;
II. Cognitive affective bases of behaviour;
III. Social bases of behaviour;
IV. Individual behaviour;
V. Historical and Scientific foundations of psychology

It is the responsibility of individual students and to ensure that they follow the Curriculum committee recommendations and complete adequate foundational coursework for registration. Students and their supervisory committee will communicate yearly with the curriculum committee to update the student's progress. Those students failing to make adequate progress in meeting program requirements in this regard will have their standing in the program reviewed.

Students in need of additional foundational courses may enrol a Special Topics Course and identify a course supervisor with the assistance the Psychology Graduate Studies Committee. The Special Topics course may require the student to audit a 3rd or 4th year undergraduate course and engage in additional readings and evaluation, as negotiated with their Special Topics Supervisor.

Foundation Courses offered at the advanced Undergraduate level
I. Biological bases of behaviour;
3B03 Special Populations
3BN3 Cognitive Neuroscience
3FA3 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

II. Cognitive affective bases of behaviour;
3JJ3 Social-Emotional Development
3M03 Motivation and Emotion

III. Social bases of behaviour;
3JJ3 Social-Emotional Development
3CD3 Intergroup Relations
3CB3 Attitudes and Persuasion

IV. Individual behaviour;
2B03 Personality
2AP3 Abnormal Psychology

V. Historical and Scientific foundations of psychology
3HP3 History of Psychology

Required Graduate-level courses;

(I) 710 Contemporary Problems in Psychology
(II) 720 Research Design/Methodology/Statistics

(III) 751 Scientific and Professional Ethics in Clinical Psychology
This course will examine ethical and legal responsibilities associated with the practice of clinical psychology. Course content will be framed within the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists and the College of Psychologists of Ontario Standards and Guidelines of Professional Conduct. Issues of diversity will also be explored.

(Iv) 750 Understanding Personality and Personality Disorders
This course examines the history of personality theory, review major theoretical perspectives on personality and provides an in depth exploration of DSM 5 personality disorders.

(v) 755 Psychopathology
This course is offered as an introductory foundation course for students in the clinician researcher graduate program in PNB. This course integrates knowledge of various instruments of assessment with diagnostics and report writing. Training will include the use of MMPI, SCID structured interview and additional instruments used in structured and semi structured interviews.

(vi) 752 Psychological Assessment
This course is offered for students registered in the clinician researcher graduate program in PNB. The primary focus of the course will be on evidence-based approaches to risk, personality and psychodiagnostic testing and behavioural assessment. Students will gain competency in clinical interviewing, core psychodiagnostic measures and behavioural assessment techniques

(vii) 753 Psychological Intervention
This course is offered for students registered in the clinician researcher graduate program in PNB. The primary focus of the course will be to provide students with an introduction to evidence-based psychological intervention techniques. Relevant theoretical literature will be reviewed and an overview provided of current treatment approaches for a range of psychological disorders.

(viii) 754 Research Design And Test Construction
This course examines principles of research design in a clinical setting and fundamental issues in psychometrics, such as test validity, reliability, and item construction. It also covers applications of psychological testing in areas such as education, employment, and health care settings.

(ix) 760 History of Psychology

(x) 756 / 757 Two Modules of Clinical Practica

(xi) 758 / 759 Two Longitudinal Practica.

In addition to the above courses, students must satisfy the regular Psychology PhD thesis and comprehensive requirements.
As in the regular PhD stream, students are expected to carry out their thesis research, report the progress of this research annually, and show that satisfactory progress is being made.
Students ideally complete the doctoral thesis and all other requirements for the Ph.D. degree by the end of six years of graduate training.


758 Longitudinal Practica are eight month clinical placements.

756 / 757 Clinical Practica are 4 month intense Clinical placements that expose the student to a number of clinical disorders across a variety of settings. The focus here is the development of clinical interview, assessment and therapeutic skill sets.

Clinical Practicum

Timeline of training:
• Clinical Practica Modules will consist of two 500 hour summer practica - 4 months full-time,
post- PhD year 1 and Post-PhD year 2
• Longitudinal Practica is a fall and winter placement (1 1/2 days /week for 8 months)

Training Program Objectives
• Client Population: Exposure to different developmental groups with core group adult (rotate through exposure experiences – child, adolescent, transitional youth, older adults; e.g., conduct one assessment and complete report under close supervision).
• Client Acuity: Exposure to different acuity level with competence in treating outpatient and inpatient (exposure experiences- COAST/EPT, inpatient, outpatient)
• Assessment Skill: Achieve competency in risk, personality, intelligence, and behavioural/ cognitive assessment and exposure to neuropsychology/forensic assessment.
• Treatment Skill: Competency in evidence-based psychological approaches (e.g., CBT, MBCT, DBT). Experience in individual and group modality. Exposure to crisis intervention.
• Consultation: Exposure to consultation and feedback provision.
• Clinical Research: Exposure (participate in ongoing research)-Competency (developing and executing a project idea) in conducting clinical research depending on student’s interests.

Each practicum student will have an individualized program developed to achieve the training program objectives and based on clinical and research interests, which can be achieved through a variety of placement combinations. Supervisors will ensure training goals are met through a variety of experiences.

Each student will receive minimum of one hour supervision per week from each supervisor (so 2 hours per week total direct supervision) and one hour group supervision with all practicum students.

Module 1
ATRC – 3 days --- objectives met will include psychodiagnostic and cognitive/behavioural assessment, exposure to all age ranges (e.g., child and older adult), evidence-based psychological treatment in both individual and group format, outpatient population; experience working with people who have a range of Axis I conditions and significant comorbidity.
MDP – inpatient –2 days – objectives met will include cognitive and personality assessment, experience working with inpatient more acute population (e.g., psychotic, suicidal, mania); consultation experience; experience working with people who have a range of Axis I and Axis 2 conditions, high complexity/severity.

Module 2
DBT – 4 days with brief rotation in EPT --- objectives met – more complex patient presentations, advanced assessment skills for risk and psychodiagnostics, development of psychotherapy skills for more challenging cases/suicide risk/personality disturbance. Experience working with people with significant Axis I/Axis 2 conditions and high risk.
C/L --1 day – objectives met – consultation to a variety of teams, inpatient/outpatient, medical patients, psychodiagnostics, comprehensive assessment, brief and time-limited intervention. Experience working with medical patients who may display a full range of severity and complexity from adjustment issues to delirium to multiple comorbidities.

Students will be encouraged to apply to other residency programs in order to diversify their training experiences. This will be done through the regular APPIC system

Internships will begin only after a full progress review – and confirmation that all research / data collection for the thesis has been finalized and permission to write has been granted.