Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (Psy.D.) at LIU Post trains students who want to practice as clinical psychologists with a strong interest in traditionally underserved populations. In addition to mastering a rigorous core curriculum, Psy.D. students gain choose two courses from our four concentration areas: Serious Mental Illnesses, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Interventions with High-Risk Families, and Substance Use Disorders. Our highly experienced faculty provides clinical and theoretical training in the two major orientations in the field today: cognitive-behavioral and psychoanalytic. As a result, our graduates are prepared to practice with one or both models, affording considerable flexibility in a professional world of constantly changing demands and opportunities.

After the first year, students balance course work with clinical training as externs in approved patient-care institutions. Second-year students train at the LIU Post Psychological Services Center (PSC), which offers low-cost preventative and clinical mental health services to community members. Third- and fourth-year students complete closely supervised externships at one of more than 50 training sites in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, including inpatient, outpatient and community mental health facilities.

At the end of their third year, students present a case presentation to a panel of clinical psychologists called a Clinical Competency Evaluation. The fifth year is spent in a full-time clinical internship. As a culminating experience, students design and conduct a significant research project, and write a doctoral dissertation under the direction of the Program faculty. The dissertation process begins in students’ second year of the program. The program is 115 credits, including the clinical practicum.

Approximately 20 students from across the United States and abroad are admitted each year; most have an undergraduate degree in psychology and some clinical experience. The program requires a full-time, year-round commitment in each of the four years of residency. The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. In 2009, the APA awarded the Program with accreditation until 2016, the longest possible period of accreditation.

Program Highlights

  • The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at LIU Post is the only program in the nation that allows students to specialize in Serious Mental Illnesses, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Interventions with High-Risk Families, and Substance Use Disorders.
  • We offer nationally recognized training in the treatment of trauma, with many students joining our “trauma team,” which offers rapid response to traumatic events around the world.
  • The program is also one of the few that trains its students in both Cognitive-Behavioral psychotherapy (including Dialectical Behavior therapy) and Psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  • The program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association, receiving the longest possible accreditation of seven years during the last site visit in 2009.
  • Our community-based Psychological Services Center provides clinical services to the public and serves as a training facility for doctoral candidates.
  • LIU Post was selected as one of eight universities (the only Psy.D. program in the nation) to implement and  evaluate a clinician-scientist training curriculum to increase clinical, research, and training competence in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This program is called “DBT in a Box” and is a novel curriculum that involves an enhancement of existing graduate and professional training, with a focus on preparing clinician-scientists to (1) treat high-risk multi-problem clients; (2) inspire the development of clinical research programs for untested applications of DBT; (3) translate empirical clinical findings to clinical practice and (4) disseminate DBT to treatment centers. The curriculum involves the following domains: (1) didactic instruction in research and theory related to treatment and target populations; (2) focused instruction by recognized experts in topic areas of particular relevance to the target populations (e.g., behavior assessment and therapy, suicide and crisis management; DBT); and (3) supervised clinical practice in each modality of DBT. While the active evaluation component of the DBT clinical-scientist program is complete, students can still get involved in the remaining active program elements, including didactics, practicum and research. LIU-Post Program's coordinator, Dr. Jill Rathus, is very active in the local and national DBT communities, trains professionals in DBT internationally and publishes widely on DBT. Most recently, Dr. Rathus served on the Benefits Committee for the annual Spring Luncheon at the Linehan Institute. The mission of the Linehan Institute is to make compassionate and effective behavioral treatments available to all persons with complex and severe mental disorders.

Linehan Institute Luncheon April 2014 Back row (l. to r.): Ruth DeRosa, Ph.D.; Gus Cutz, M.S. (5th Year student, Cognitive Behavior Associates (CBA) Extern); Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. (Linehan Institute Founder); Steven Schalger, Psy.D. (LIU-Post Alum, CBA Post-Doctoral Fellow); Lisa Gettings, M.S. (4th Year student & CBA Extern); Kristin Wyatt (CBA Extern)
Front row (l. to r.): Nira Nafisi, Ph.D.; Michelle Chung, Psy.D. (LIU-Post Alum); Jill Rathus, Ph.D.; Esther Pearl, M.S. (5th Year student & CBA Extern)

PsyD OutPut Newsletter>


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Jeffrey Belnap, Dean
Location, Room 126

Joan Ruckel
Executive Assistant to the Dean