FOr Entering Students
A Message from the Doctoral Clinical (PsyD) Program
Welcome Letter | Faculty Introductions | Academic Advisors | Field Education
Welcome from the Chair's Office <back to top>
Congratulations on your acceptance to the Doctoral Clinical Program at MSPP. You were carefully selected from a large group applicants because of our belief in your academic ability and your demonstrated commitment to bettering the lives of others. Together you form a remarkable group of talented and diverse individuals who are about to embark on a most fulfilling professional journey. We are excited that you have chosen to pursue your clinical training with us and look forward to getting to know you better. We expect that you will learn as much from us as you do from each other along the way. It will be our privilege to help you grow as professionals to achieve your career aspirations. We could not ask for a finer group to join us in meeting the need and making a difference. The following list conveys key information that will help get you started:
- You will be contacted by the Field Training Department to begin planning your first practicum experience. Dr. Mari Carmen Bennasar, Associate Director of Training, will assist you in reviewing your background, your interests and those field opportunities that might best suit your training needs.
- Dr. Michael LaFarr, Director of Enrollment Management, will review your academic program planning as well as practicum schedules and prepare your first term registration and second term program planning which you will receive directly from him.
- Your advisor will be contacting you over the summer to welcome you to MSPP.
- You will be receiving a Fundamentals Week Schedule (save the dates: August 19-21; all students entering the Clinical Doctoral Program are required to attend.)
- You will receive a list of suggested summer readings that will provide a foundation that will help you assimilate the information presented in our coursework more quickly.
I have enjoyed meeting many of you at Open Houses or on Admissions Interview Days. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and please do stop by my office and introduce yourselves when you arrive at MSPP. I am looking forward to seeing you in August.
Stacey Lambert, PsyD
Interim Chair, Clinical Psychology Department
Faculty Introductions <back to top>
A Message from Dr. Erlene Rosowsky
Hello, and welcome to MSPP!
I will come to know some of you quite well if you are assigned to my Clinical Seminar I class. I value teaching this class especially. It is a small class and we meet over the course of the first year, both semesters, so we come to know each other well and learn a great deal from one another. I am always delighted (but no longer surprised) at how much I learn from my students.
I also teach two courses in geropsychology and would certainly encourage you to let me know if you have an interest (or possible interest) in this area, With the shift in demographics to later in the life course, and the Boomers on the cusp of being "older adults," clinical geropsychology is a specialty whose time is here!
The spring semester course is meant as an introduction to geropsychology, encompassing models and theories of aging as well as how these relate to psychotherapy. The summer course is meant for students who have had coursework or experience in working with older adults. This course, Clinical Topics in Geropsychology, addresses the more frequent psychopathologies of older age. Guest presenters provide a special treat for students enrolled in this course. On the subject of treats, I have been known to bake cookies for my classes. There are many ways to nurture professional development.
Erlene Rosowsky, PsyD
Core Faculty, MSPP Director, MSPP Center for Mental Health and Aging
A Message from Dr. Gary Rose
Welcome to PS600, History and Systems of Psychology. We will be studying the origins of contemporary theories and principles of psychology, going back to the time of Aristotle and Plato and moving forward through the great mathematicians and physicists and on into the dawning of modern psychology. The goal of this course is to help frame the principles of personality, psychopathology, and human relations within the largest context of Western physical and social sciences.
Gary Rose, PhD
A Message from Dr. Ed De Vos
Congratulations on being admitted to MSPP, a learning community with both head and heart. My name is Ed De Vos and while I generally try to avoid being pigeon-holed, I’ve been the numbers guy at MSPP for quite a while. Not only do I teach stats, but I actually like stats. In other words, I don’t have to scratch very hard to be in touch with my inner geek (I may even have an app on my iPhone to do it).
I’m guessing some of you aren’t quite as enthusiastic about statistics as I am—and that’s certainly OK. I will provide you with an overview of the concepts and techniques that are at the heart of this enterprise. I hope you will come to see statistics as an extension of common sense. I want you to appreciate some of statistics’ strengths and some of its limitations.
It may be Spring on the calendar, but opening day in Chicago may be canceled because of snow. Winter may be loathe to relinquish its hold, but I did see a crocus and the Fall semester (and October at Fenway Park…?) are just around the corner. Good luck as you take the next steps on your journey, and I look forward to seeing you and working with you soon.
With kind regard,
Ed De Vos, EdD
A Message from Dr. Elana Weiner
Welcome to MSPP! I am very excited to have you become a part of our community here at MSPP and hope to get to know you over the coming years. I teach one of a number of sections of the first year Clinical Seminar. We meet once a week for two hours, as a group of approximately 8 first year students in order to provide you with a supportive and informative context in which to discuss your clinical work. We’ll explore issues related to your developing professional identity, expanding your clinical intervention skills, enhancing your competency to develop safe and therapeutic alliances with your clients, and increasing your understanding of your ethical and legal obligations as applied to the work you’re doing in your clinical field placements. Assessment is based upon participation in informal class discussion, formal presentation of clinical case material as well as tape recorded sessions of clinical work, and written papers.
Elana Weiner, PsyD
A Message from Dr. Anne Waters
Dear Incoming Students,
I heartily welcome you to MSPP and to the two-semester Clinical Seminar 1 class. I teach one of the many sections of this course. Each seminar is small (approximately 8 students) and attempts to integrate your field work with your academic work. It also provides a forum for you to share openly your experience of being a first-year student at MSPP. Once again welcome, and I look forward to meeting you.
Anne Waters, PsyD
A Message from Dr. Hal Cohen
I am Hal Cohen, teacher of a unique course for first year students: Clinical Interviewing and to no one's surprise, it is about interviewing! It is designed to help students with limited prior experience learn the fundamentals of beginning clinical engagement. The unique element is developing your skills in a small class where mistakes and gaffs are the at the core of the learning experience; even the teacher is mistake-friendly. But make no mistake, we want you to become a first rate interviewers and clinicians. A class goes well when we learn from each other and we have a chance to see what theory adds to the mix. As your schedule is planned, the Dean of students and/or your advisor will recommend Clinical Interviewing if it is suitable to your background and learning needs. Welcome to MSPP!
Hal Cohen, PhD
A Message from Dr. Linda Daniels
Welcome to MSPP I am excited about getting to know some of you in the year-long Clinical Seminar course.
The seminar, which promotes an intimate and respectful environment where the student can begin to explore who they are in the context of their professional training and development and to gain clinical skills in the areas of assessment, diagnosis and treatment, is structured around personal and professional growth grounded in the clinical experiences each student is gaining at their respective placement sites. As the seminar has a class size of six to eight students, students often form strong interpersonal bonds. As many of my student have stated, “I look forward to the class. It’s like coming home to my ‘nest.’" This statement speaks to the students willingness to challenge themselves in a nurturing and supportive environment and begin to live more comfortably in their roles as future psychologists.
I take a fully-engaged and hands-on approach to the course. As a result, I believe that students have felt very comfortable and often sought me out for additional consultation and advice relevant to their professional and personal development. I also have found it helpful to students when I supplement course material with presentations germane to specific issues and challenges facing them at their placement sites.
I look forward to supporting you, the entering student, as you take this giant step on your journey.
Linda Daniels, PsyD
Co-Director, Forensic Psychology Concentration Program
A Message from Dr. Jill Betz Bloom
Welcome to MSPP. I look forward to working with all of you this fall in History and Systems of Psychology.
The approach to the history of psychology will not be the traditional history-of-great-thinkers-in-psychology; rather, we will locate psychology in American social history, acknowledging first, that psychology as a discipline and a practice has distinctive American roots , and is, in this respect, distinctly American. We will trace the emergence of a psychological self in the late 19th century as an historical byproduct of sweeping historical and cultural transitions in America, and follow the debates between the “Somaticists” and “Mind Curists” out of which modern psychology was forged. Our readings will be diverse, ranging from social and cultural historians who examine the history of emotion, to Freud’s Dora, read as both case history and historical case, concluding with Foucault’s Madness and Civilization as we examine the history of mental illness and the history of diagnostic nomenclature from “lunatic” to “disordered.”
Also, integral to the conceptualization and content of the course is critical thinking. In a final paper a few years ago, a student summed this up nicely: “This class is archeology: we dig up the foundations of modern psychology and examine all the different types of rock and sediment, shaped by the elements of historical context, that have settled beneath us over the years. This class is philosophy and the history of ideas: we examine why we think the way we do, why we care about what we care about, and how we know what we know. Each article or book we read was an exercise in putting things in context.”
See you all in the fall!
Jill Betz Bloom, PhD
A Message from Dr. Shyamala Venkataraman
My name is Shyamala Venkataraman and I would like to welcome you to MSPP! As a core faculty member, I teach Life Span Development to the entering class: 2 sections in the Fall and one section in the Spring. My teaching philosophy is integrative and my course syllabus reflects this approach. I start out with a broad overview of theories, followed by an in-depth exploration of topics blending theory, research and clinical applications. Small discussion groups will follow the lectures in each class. I have found that this model of instruction is much appreciated by the entering students as it allows for a combination of didactics and small group discussion of ideas in greater depth Click here for a course description for your review. I look forward to meeting you in the Fall.
Shyamala Venkataraman, PhD
Advisor Assignments in the Doctoral Program PsyD in Clinical Psychology <back to top>
Advisors are assigned to incoming students by Dr. Alan Beck, Dean of the Doctoral Program. Once assigned, the advisor contacts each entering student by telephone or MSPP email.
If you have requested a specific faculty member as advisor we will try to honor that request, depending on the faculty member’s advising space availability. Should a student need to change advisor, he or she may request such change for their second year at MSPP.
We consider the advisor’s role to be an important one at MSPP. An advisor functions in key roles: guidance, evaluation, advocacy and mentorship. Each advisor has 10 hours assigned for advising each student each year and of these, 3 are utilized in planning and attending the annual Assessment and Planning Conference (A&P) in which the advisor, a student of your choice, a faculty member of your choice and the supervisors in the current and forthcoming field placement, review the experience of the current year, and plan for next year. This meeting is a vital part of personal and professional growth for our students.
Students call upon advisors when they need advice with regard to academic progress, school performance, expectations, aspirations for the future, relationships with other students, faculty and/or administration, or any other issues which affect student advancement in the program. We want the advisor-advisee relationship to serve the goals of the student.
A comprehensive set of guidelines describing the process to select and apply for your first field placement site as an MSPP student will be made available by the Director of Training Dr. Shellee Robbins. Whether you are a first year student, an advanced standing student, a respecialization student, or are requesting your current work site be considered a field site Dr. Robbins will work with you very closely. She will meet with you and review the best options for a well rounded field experience within your professional goals. If you need to contact Dr. Robbins, her email is Shellee_Robbins@mspp.edu.