The Narrowing of Theoretical Orientations in Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training

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The focus of this article is the increasingly narrow range of therapeutic orientations represented in clinical psychology graduate training programs, particularly within the most research-oriented programs. Data on the self-reported therapeutic orientations of faculty at "clinical science" Ph.D. programs, Ph.D. programs at comprehensive universities in clinical and in counseling psychology, Psy.D. programs at comprehensive universities, and Ph.D. or Psy.D. programs at freestanding specialized institutions reveal a strong predominance of faculty with cognitive-behavioral orientations at the more science-focused programs, and a narrower range of orientations than in the more practice-focused programs. We discuss the implications of this trend for the future development of clinical psychology and provide suggestions for addressing the attendant concerns. © 2013 American Psychological Association. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the American Psychological Association.






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Heatherington, L, SB Messer, L Angus, TJ Strauman, ML Friedlander and GG Kolden (2012). The Narrowing of Theoretical Orientations in Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 19(4). pp. 364–374. 10.1111/cpsp.12012 Retrieved from

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Timothy J. Strauman

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

FOR POTENTIAL STUDENTS (fall 2024 class): 

Dr. Timothy Strauman and Dr. Ann Brewster will be seeking to admit a student for Fall 2024 who will be an important member of their collaborative projects. Dr. Brewster is an intervention scientist and a faculty member in Duke’s Social Science Research Institute. The collaborative projects focus on creating, testing, and implementing school-based therapeutic and preventive interventions for adolescents at risk for negative academic and mental health outcomes. We are partnering with the Durham Public Schools as well as with other local school districts, and Dr. Brewster has extensive experience and expertise in developing the partnerships, working with community members, and the intervention process itself. We are especially interested in applicants with experience in community-based interventions, with interests in adolescence, and with knowledge and experience working with both behavioral and neuroimaging data.

Professor Strauman's research focuses on the psychological and neurobiological processes that enable self-regulation, conceptualized in terms of a cognitive/motivational perspective, as well as the relation between self-regulation and affect. Particular areas of emphasis include: (1) conceptualizing self-regulation in terms of brain/behavior motivational systems; (2) the role of self-regulatory cognitive processes in vulnerability to depression and other disorders; (3) the impact of treatments for depression, such as psychotherapy and medication, on self-regulatory function and dysfunction in depression; (4) how normative and non-normative socialization patterns influence the development of self-regulatory systems; (5) the contributory roles of self-regulation, affect, and psychopathology in determining immunologically-mediated susceptibility to illness; (6) development of novel multi-component treatments for depression targeting self-regulatory dysfunction; (7) utilization of brain imaging techniques to test hypotheses concerning self-regulation, including the nature and function of hypothetical regulatory systems and characterizing the breakdowns in self-regulation that lead to and accompany depression.

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