Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Competencies

PsyD Faculty

Through the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program’s sequential, cumulative, and gradated curriculum, students gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to practice as highly competent, caring, patient-focused clinical psychologists.

Throughout the five-year program, students are exposed to a broad base of discipline specific knowledge and receive training in the following profession-wide competencies:


Students will demonstrate the substantially independent ability to formulate research or other scholarly activities that are of sufficient quality and rigor to have the potential to contribute to the scientific, psychological or professional knowledge base. Students will conduct research or other scholarly activities. Students will critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activity via professional publication and presentation at the local, regional or national level.

Ethical and legal standards

Students are expected to respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence across levels of training. Students will demonstrate knowledge of and act in accordance with the current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct; the relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional and federal levels; and the relevant professional standards and guidelines. Students will recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas effectively. Students will conduct themselves in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

Individual and cultural diversity

Students must demonstrate knowledge, awareness, sensitivity and skills when working with diverse individuals and communities who embody a variety of cultural and personal background characteristics. Students will demonstrate the requisite knowledge base, ability to articulate an approach to working effectively with diverse individuals and groups, and apply this approach effectively in their professional work. Students will demonstrate an understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.

Students will demonstrate knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation and service. Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (eg, research, services, other professional activities). This includes the ability to apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered over the course of their careers. Students will demonstrate the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics or worldly views conflict with their own.

Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors

Students must demonstrate behavior that reflects the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning and concern for the welfare of others. Students will demonstrate the ability to engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning as well as engages in activities to maintain and improve their own performance, wellbeing and professional effectiveness. Students will actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision. Students will respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.

Communication and interpersonal skills

Students will demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees and those receiving professional services. Students will demonstrate the ability to produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal and written communications that are informative and well-integrated as well as demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts. Students will demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.


Students will demonstrate competence in conducting evidence-based assessment consistent with the scope of health service psychology. Students will demonstrate the ability to select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient. Students will demonstrate the ability to interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification and recommendations, while guarding against decision making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective. Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.


Students will demonstrate the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services. Students will demonstrate the ability to develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals as well as the ability to implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables. Students will demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision-making and be able to modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking. Students will demonstrate the ability to evaluate intervention effectiveness and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.


Students will demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices.

Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills.

Students will demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions. Students will demonstrate knowledge of consultation models and practices.

By providing students with two years of geropsychology coursework along with supervised practicum and research experiences with an older adult population, the PsyD program at KCU trains students to be uniquely positioned to treat the fastest growing sector of the population.