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About the Counselling & Clinical Psychology Program, Clinical and Counselling Psychology Field

The mission of the Clinical and Counselling Psychology field at OISE is to prepare scientist-practitioners in the areas of clinical and counseling psychology. The program of study provides students with a firm foundation in both research and clinical skills and develops an understanding and appreciation for the dialectical relationship between the scientific and the professional practice of clinical and counselling psychology. 


The PhD in Counselling and Clinical Psychology, Clinical and Counselling Psychology Field (CCP) in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at OISE/University of Toronto is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). 


Accreditation Office
Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
141 Laurier Ave. West, Suite 702
Ottawa, ON K1P 5J3
613-237-2144 x 328 or 1-888-472-0657 x 328




Our training model reflects the belief that empirically based knowledge in psychology should inform professional training and, at the same time, applied research should be informed by professional experience.

The goal is to develop professionals who are clinically competent and intellectually curious, and who are able to conduct basic and applied research relevant to the practice of psychology, use research to critically inform practice, and provide services that enhance the well being of children, youth and families. 

These components are complementary, and training occurs in each of the components in an interwoven fashion throughout a student's program. 


We interpret the components of the scientist - practitioner model as follows:



Research is a crucial element of the CCP program. Students are expected to:

  • gain general knowledge in the areas encompassed by school and clinical psychology 
  • develop a firm foundation in scientific methodology
  • become competent researchers and educated consumers of research 

The skills needed to conduct research are developed in research methods courses, colloquia, graduate assistantships, research groups, and masters' and doctoral theses. Students are supported and encouraged to present their original research at conferences and in professional and scholarly journals.



Students develop competence in the practice of clinical and counselling psychology through:

  • practicum and other courses
  • practicum field experiences
  • internships.

They are expected to apply their scholarly and scientific knowledge to practice by engaging in critical reflection about their own practice, and by using empirically supported assessment and intervention techniques. 


The competencies we expect from our graduating students are reflected in the following eight global goals:

1. Students will acquire broad and general knowledge in core content areas of psychology including history of psychology, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, individual differences, biological bases of behaviour, and social bases of behaviour.

2. Students will apply appropriate standards of ethical, legal and professional conduct in their provision of psychological services and in their research.

3. Students will develop and implement research to study both theoretical and applied questions in clinical and counselling psychology.

4. Students will conduct psychological assessments of individuals who have cognitive, academic, psychosocial and behavioural difficulties.


5. Students will develop knowledge and skills in the formulation and
communication of psychological diagnoses.

6. Students will develop, monitor and evaluate psychotherapeutic interventions aimed at improving mental health, and treating disorders of behaviour, emotion, and thought.

7. Students will develop skills necessary to provide consulting services to other health professionals, schools, mental health agencies, and families.


8. Students will provide informed psychological services to a culturally and individually diverse population.


The remaining competencies we strive to develop in our students are more generic and constitute the broad category of critical, analytical and creative thinking skills: 

  • Advocating for the clients they serve
  • Being reflective practitioners
  • Critically analyzing theory, research and practice
  • Extrapolating from theory and basic research data directions for developing innovative and effective assessment and intervention techniques
  • Developing a high level of competence in oral and in written communication

In keeping with the requirements of the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO), the CCP program evaluates students on five core competencies: 

1. Interpersonal Relations 

2. Assessment and Evaluation 

3. Intervention and Consultation 

4. Ethics and Standards 

5. Research 

In addition, students in our program receive training and are evaluated in the area of supervision.


The content covered in each degree is considered essential for training scientist-practitioners in psychology and the curriculum is hierarchically structured, with training in the PhD building on the foundations established in the MA. 


Faculty members sponsor students who share their area of research and scholarly interest and agree to function as their program advisor. Students become involved in their advisor's research through:

  • participation in research groups
  • graduate research assistantships
  • collaborative research

This involvement typically leads to the development of dissertation research. Faculty members also often continue to be mentors for our students following completion of the program and provide a professional model for students. 

Please see Guidelines concerning graduate supervision for more information.

Sequential Curriculum 

Our curriculum is designed to establish a strong foundation of core knowledge and skills in the MA program, with the opportunity to achieve more depth of knowledge in the PhD program. Following are some of the rich experiences designed to broaden and enrich research and professional skills:

  • Students are required to complete a thesis or dissertation 
  • Doctoral students also complete comprehensive exams
  • Students must attend the Departmental colloquium series to further broaden and enrich their research and professional skills
  • Students are required to complete practicum placements in the field to further their professional development
  • They have the opportunity to choose courses, research supervisors and practicum experiences, which allow them to begin to establish their own professional direction and become deeply involved in scholarship and research. 


The MA and PhD are One Coherent Program

Most of our beginning level core professional and research courses and the first practicum are delivered during the MA program. Advanced courses designed to provide scientific and scholarly breadth, advanced professional courses in psychopathology and diagnosis, as well as the advanced practicum and a 1600-hour internship are given during the PhD program. Although some terminate their program with a master's degree, currently more than 85% of our MA graduates proceed immediately to the PhD program.

If space permits, we accept into the PhD program students who completed their MA at another institution. These students are required to complete the MA courses for which they do no have equivalence as part of their previous Master’s program to ensure they have the knowledge and skills that are required as part of our CCP MA. 


The Development of a Critical Perspective and Reflexive Practitioners

The program provides a context that emphasizes a critical perspective, and sensitivity to diversity and provides a climate in which these can flourish. We believe students must:

  • have a firm understanding of diversity issues and how these apply to their work with clients who are different from themselves in terms of ethno/cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, and socio-economic status
  • Appreciate the diverse individual, social and emotional needs and behaviours of adults within social structures and institutions 
  • Understand the social contexts that undermine mental health and well being including racism, sexism, homophobia, political persecution and other types of discrimination

By enhancing our students’ awareness of these issues we hope to facilitate the development of reflexive practitioners and researchers who will make important contributions to the well being of their communities.