Accreditation & History


Accreditation and History

The Ph.D. program was founded in 1968 and was first accredited by the American Psychological Association in 1974, and continues to be fully accredited. Founded and Directed by John E. Exner, Jr. (from 1968 until 1978), author of the Rorschach Comprehensive System, the LIU-Brooklyn Ph.D. Program has been an institutional home of the Rorschach Comprehensive System for many years. Lawrence O. Brown, Ph.D. served as Director of the Program from 1978 until 1984 when leadership was assumed by Nicholas Papouchis, Ph.D., ABPP.  Professor Papouchis directed the program until 2014, when Philip S. Wong, Ph.D. became Director. This continuity of leadership has allowed the program to engage in a process of evolution, integrating new developments in the field without changing its core mission to train students whose doctoral training gives rise to theoretical and clinically oriented questions that can become the basis for scholarly work and enables them to become excellent clinicians.

APA and New York State Reviews of the Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association with its most recent re-accreditation in 2014. During the last several decades the Program has received glowing reports from both the APA and the New York State Department of Education. Excerpts from the APA and NYS Site Visit reports follow.

 “The clinical training provided by this program continues to be regarded as excellent. Early exposure to practicum experiences is highly valued by students and faculty alike. The variety and high quality of clinical settings available to students are important factors in the high quality of training afforded by the program....Students from this program are recognized for their clinical preparation by routinely receiving acceptances to the finest APA-approved internship sites in the New York area in spite of intense competition... As for the faculty, we were very impressed with their exceptional quality, cohesiveness, professionalism, high morale, respect for each other, and their unusually high commitment to the Program and students.” (May, 1987)

 “...The 1987 report indicated a considerable strengthening of the research component and that trend appears to have accelerated since the last site visit...In fact, the research training program is as strong as many programs who describe themselves as within the ‘Scientist-Practitioner’ model...” (May, 1992)

“Faculty members serve as excellent models of the scholar-practitioner the program intends to produce....The program has developed not only a strong research training base but a student attitude that science and practice represent an interactive approach to being a clinical is clear that the atmosphere of the department is such that the integration of research and clinical activities has been successfully melded... (Overall) the program can be considered as having the type of esprit one hopes to see in graduate education.” (March, 1994, NYS Department of Education)

“The clinical training is excellent in both coursework and in practical training experiences provided to the students....Students were quite satisfied with their education, this was particularly true with respect to their clinical training and increasingly true with respect to their research training....Students receive rich clinical supervision and diversity in modeled case conceptualizations....(Internship and externship supervisors) described the LIU students as being clinically the best trained in the city, as being broadly-based clinicians clearly ahead of their peers in clinical skills and testing capabilities, and as having the highest ethical standards. Overall, the faculty members and students both report a high level of mutual respect and courtesy. The Program is genuinely committed to excellence in training.” (May, 1997)

 “The program labels itself as a “scholar-practitioner model, which is a modest self description considering the degree of focus on research that occurs within the program. Externship supervisors were very positive about their experiences with LIU clinical students. . . . supervisors indicated that they had worked with students from several doctoral programs and rated LIU students as the top students. They stated that the LIU students had the most preparation in clinical theory and were best prepared to work with difficult clients. They also commented on how well versed the students were on issues of diversity and cultural differences….Students are amply trained for their internship experience. They have had no difficulties in receiving internships at excellent sites.” (November, 2000)

 “...Understanding and competence in psychodynamic theory and practice is achieved through required courses, practicum experience at the Psychological Services Clinic, externships, and research opportunities.....The New York Metropolitan Area offers an array of practicum opportunities for LIU students…The program’s long history, location in metropolitan New York City, and well managed practicum arrangements have led to rich set of potential practicum placements for students in all phases of their training....The site visit team met with representatives from Beth Israel Hospital, Jewish Family Services, Maimonides Hospital, Kings County Hospital and Bellevue Hospital who described LIU students as “well trained” with a solid foundation in assessment, ‘conversant with cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic theories’, culturally sensitive, well versed in empirical literature and open to learning various treatment modalities. The LIU Psychological Services Clinic has on ongoing program of psychotherapy process and outcome research . . . which is a clear program strength and closely ties intervention efficacy to students’ practicum experiences… Cultural and individual diversity is highly respected at LIU, as it forms part of a core value of the training and mission of the program. The cultural and individual diversity of the students is sought after, appreciated, and encouraged as students find their own way as psychologists-in-training... A significant strength of the Program is its continued and increased engagement in research with diverse populations...The focus on informed practice, scientific inquiry, and direct service to under-served communities is an exemplary quality of the Clinical Program and highlights the Program’s commitment to train scientifically informed practitioners.” ....(Finally),the site visit team found abundant evidence supporting the notion that faculty are highly accessible to doctoral students for guidance and supervision…In meetings with the site visit team, students reported that core clinical faculty (as well as practicum/externship supervisors) are excellent role models.” (December, 2007)

“The faculty all described to us that a hallmark strength was the level of collegiality and genuine care that they have for the students. We saw overwhelming evidence that this is in fact quite accurate. Students unanimously spoke of this attribute as a hallmark part of the program, and often why they decided to enroll . . . The level of respect and genuine affection among students, faculty, and staff were evident in every interaction that we observed during our visit.” (May, 2014).

As the APA and New York State Education Department site visits have consistently indicated, the program is noted as one of the finest in the New York area. The following highlights summarize the major comments made during past APA visits:

  • Clinical training is excellent, well thought out, graded in complexity and available in a rich array of practicum sites throughout the New York City metropolitan area including the LIU-Brooklyn Psychological Services Center.
  • Ph.D. clinical students are exceptionally well thought of throughout the area and considered among the best in the city by externship and internship supervisors.
  • Research training continues to demonstrate the quality of the Program’s research emphasis, especially in the areas of psychotherapy research and research with multicultural populations.
  • Cultural diversity and individual diversity are core values of the Program and are evident throughout the curriculum and in both clinical practice and research.
  • Doctoral faculty are a cohesive and high functioning group and are highly accessible to students for guidance and clinical and research supervision. There is a great deal of mutual respect between faculty and students. The core clinical faculty serve as excellent role models of the “scholar-practitioner” training model of the Ph.D. Program.

Questions related to the Program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

American Psychological Association

750 1st Street, NE

Washington, D.C. 20002

Phone: 202-336-5979