Vice President for Education and Training – February 2017

The 2017 Counseling Psychology Model Training Program

A Special Task Group (STG) was formed in April, 2016 to draft the 2017 Counseling Psychology Model Training Program. Sally Stabb (Texas Woman’s University) and Michael Scheel (University of Nebraska) are the co-chairs, and Changming Duan (University of Kansas), Tracy Cohn (Radford University), and Eric Sauer (Western Michigan University) are members of the STG. Jim Lichtenberg commissioned the STG as one of his presidential initiative for 2016. The first Model Training Program (MTP) for Counseling Psychology doctoral programs was written in 1998 (Murdock, Alcorn, Heesacker, & Stoltenberg) with a second version coming out in 2005 (Epperson, Fouad, Stoltenberg, & Murdock). Updated versions of the MTP are intended to capture the current zeitgeist of our field as well as any contextual influences of the time on doctoral education and training in Counseling Psychology.

Dr. Lichtenberg believed a new version of the MTP was needed due to the rapidly changing nature of our field and the many new developments occurring in our profession. Thinking back to events that have influenced doctoral training since 2005 can remind us of the dynamic nature of the psychological world and Counseling Psychology. The international Counseling Psychology conferences in 2008 in Chicago and 2015 in Atlanta point to the increasing globalization of our field. The Affordable Care Act had a profound effect on health care as we know it and the role of Counseling Psychologists in providing health care. We also have seen greater emphasis placed on integrated health care and the adoption of “Health Service Psychology” to denote the broad nature of psychology as a health profession. Political and social unrest and escalating military involvement across the world have caused growing need for mental health assistance to veterans and military families. The Hoffman report exploded on our scene before and during the 2015 APA conference necessitating more scrutiny of APA leadership and a sharpened focus on what constitutes sound ethical principles and practice. Identifying torture and defining the roles of psychologists when human torture occur has shaken our professional world. We also have seen the emergence and growth of competency based training spurred on by the formation of the Benchmark Competency document for professional psychology (Fouad, et al., 2009). Creation of competencies for Counseling Psychology have also come out of the professional competency movement (Covey, Fouad, Jackson, Juntunen, Sauer, Stabb, Varghese, & Voelkel, 2013). The Commission on Accreditation has moved from the Guidelines and Principles (G & P) to the new Standards of Accreditation. Since 2005, we have witnessed a greater emphasis in Counseling Psychology on diversity and social justice with more clarity and vigor than ever before. We also have seen the growth of PsyD programs in our field. The master’s training issue and the ban of counseling psychology faculty from CACREP master’s programs has created a crisis in Counseling Psychology for programs to remain viable, particularly those housed in Colleges of Education. Each of these historical events has influenced our field and reshaped the nature of training and education in Counseling Psychology. Thus, it seemed appropriate to construct an updated MTP in hopes of integrating the many influences to our field over the last 11 years that have occurred since the last MTP was written.

In response to our changing world, the MTP becomes an anchor and a guide as training programs aspire to maintain and strengthen their Counseling Psychology identity. The Counseling Psychology MTP provides a roadmap to assist them in structuring training experiences to distinguish counseling psychology from other applied psychology specialties. The MTP is meant to be descriptive, not prescriptive by providing a guide to maintain and develop Counseling Psychology training programs while allowing for flexibility in individual programs to develop their own uniqueness and specializations.

The MTP STG’s process is ongoing in hopes that a new MTP can be endorsed by August, 2017. For that to happen, both CCPTP and SCP executive boards must approve it. An initial draft was written by the STG in the summer of 2016 and presented during a two-hour symposium in August at the Denver APA conference. Feedback is continually solicited and incorporated after each iteration and its presentation. The draft MTP was also presented to the SCP executive board the first week of January, 2017 and will be presented at the CCPTP midwinter conference in Puerto Rico. A first final version will be disseminated to various Counseling Psychology listservs after all feedback has been received and considered. A comment period will ensue after the MTP has been sent out. The process closes with a final draft of the document written and presented for ratification at the 2017 APA conference in Washington, DC.

At this stage in the process, the Model Training Program consists of a Front Matter Section and a set of 20 principles grouped into six clusters. Cluster 1: Counseling Psychology Identity; Cluster 2: Multiculturalism, Diversity, and Social Justice; Cluster 3: Health Service Psychologists; Cluster 4: Developmental, Prevention, and Strength Orientations; Cluster 5: Research-Practice Integration; and Cluster 6: Relationships Within and Between Professional Organizations.


Michael J. Scheel, VP for Education and Training

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