Military Clinical Psychology Overview
The Adler School offers a Military Clinical Psychology track within the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program.
Today’s veterans have long been a marginalized population within society. Collectively they suffer above-average rates of psychological problems, substance abuse, suicide, and chronic homelessness. One of the most recognized veteran populations is from the Vietnam War, a population of people who were often marginalized the minute they stepped off the plane following their combat tours of duty. Veterans of that war, as well as the veterans of the current conflicts, often experience challenges with reintegration into society, preparing for additional deployment, recovering from a traumatic injury, trying to further their education, and trying to manage all of the above while attempting to seek treatment for mental health or substance abuse problems. Our military, retirees, veterans, and their families can be greatly assisted by trained clinical psychologists.
The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, Military Clinical Psychology Track prepares students to work as clinical psychologists as either members of the uniform services or as civilians in the Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, or public and private sector programs serving military, retirees, veterans, and their families. The track examines the psychological impact of combat, war, low level conflicts, terrorism, nuclear-biological-chemical incidents, natural disasters, peacekeeping missions, and humanitarian operations. Students are trained in psychological consequence management and prepared to provide clinical psychology services in a range of settings.
The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association and meets the requirements of the National Register of Health Care Providers in Psychology and state licensure guidelines.
The Need for Military Clinical Psychologists: Some Statistics
- The current occurrence rate of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) is double the rate of prior conflicts. The PTSD rate among women in the military has been recently stated at close to 40%.
- Due to advances in military medicine and the nature of conflict, there have been significant increases in the number of survivors with severe injuries that require long-term clinical psychological services including medical and rehabilitative psychology.
- The military has been reporting a 25% rate increase in alcohol abuse and alcoholism problems with returning veterans.
- There is an increasing emphasis on care for the families of service members. Military retirees and their families are entitled to receive behavioral health care from Department of Defense hospitals and clinics. According to the US Navy Psychology Program, the patient population treated is 60% uniform service members and 40% family members and military retirees.
- The United States military and military reserves have increased the number of billets for Licensed Clinical Psychologists. The current US Army incentive program includes a sign-on bonus, and up to $250,000 in school loan forgiveness.
- The Veterans Administration system has expanded the number of behavioral health programs, outreach sites, and Clinical Psychologist positions. In 2010, fifty new Vet Centers were established.
The Adler School’s Recent Track Record in Military Psychology
- In 2010, Adler School students were awarded more than 30% of the US Army’s F. Edward Herbert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarships available nationwide.
- During the 2010 internship match process, an Adler School student was selected for the US Air Force Psychology Internship Program and was commissioned as a Captain (0-3) in the United States Air Force Medical Corp.
- In 2009, Adler School students formed a student organization for military psychology. The faculty advisor is Joseph E. Troiani, Ph.D., CADC, a recently retired Navy Commander.
- By invitation of the US Army Medical Command, Adler School faculty participated in the All Corps Educator Tour of Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where they observed training and did a walkthrough of the Intrepid Center for the Wounded Warrior and the burn unit at Brooks Medical Center.
- By invitation of the US Navy Clinical Psychology Program, Adler School faculty participated in the Educators Medical VIP Visit to the Naval Medical Center San Diego.
- The Adler School is an active participant in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, which is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution or a comparable degree from an international institution.
- Present an academic record that demonstrates ability to fulfill the academic demands of the program. Successful applicants typically have a grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework.
- Practicum or work experience in psychology or a related field is highly desirable and is considered in the evaluation of applicants.
- Complete the equivalent of 18 semester credit hours in psychology with grades of “C” or better, including the following prerequisite courses: general or introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, theories of personality, and research methods or statistics. Equivalent coursework in other social sciences may also be considered. Students may be admitted prior to completing these prerequisites, but all students must complete these courses by the end of their first semester of enrollment at Adler School.
- Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview as the final step in the application process.
- Submit all application materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the February 15th application deadline.
- Satisfactory completion of:
- 121 credit hours, including all required courses
- 1,500 minimum hours of Clinical Practicum
- 200 minimum clock hours of Community Service Practicum and capstone paper
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and no more than two “C” or “C+” grades (or 6 credit hours)
- Successful completion of:
- All qualifying examinations
- Doctoral Dissertation and Oral Defense
- An approved internship
- Completion of application for graduation and full payment of any outstanding tuition or fees
- Faculty approval for graduation and recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the conferral of the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, Military Clinical Psychology Track
M.A. Degree Options
Doctoral students may elect to complete the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree while enrolled in the Psy.D. program. Students can earn this additional credential by satisfying the admission and graduation requirements for the M.A. degree as specified in the Adler School catalog. Many graduates report that these additional credentials enhanced their value to internship directors and employers. The attainment of the M.A. degree has assumed increased importance in recent years for students seeking internships in settings that require a graduate degree for reimbursement of services. Pursuing an M.A. degree in addition to the doctorate may result in longer completion times for the doctoral degree.
Doctoral students interested in earning the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree must complete the following requirements:
- Take course 337 Group Therapy to satisfy one of their Basic Intervention electives
- Take either course 662 Overview of Marriage and Family Therapy Models or course 663 Effective Marriage and Family Counseling to satisfy one of their Basic Intervention electives
- Take the following additional courses: 569 Career and Lifestyle Development and 510 Preparation for Counseling Practice