Clinical Research Extension (CLEX)
NOT ACCEPTING NEW APPLICANTS FOR 2016-2017.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
The goal of the Clinical Extension is to promote scientific inquiry and to train first-rate researchers in applied areas of psychology, while providing them the necessary clinical knowledge in their area of interest. Our aim is to train researchers who practice in a clinical or applied setting so that they can also be professional providers of psychological services. These extensions exist in three areas: Applied Development, Eating and Affective Disorders, and Neuropsychology.
In recent years, the discipline of psychology has evolved such that clinically relevant issues have become a fundamental part of scientific pursuit. Theories of basic processes are being shaped by the study of abnormal processes in individuals with developmental, neurological, or psychiatric dysfunctions. The approaches of clinical and experimental psychology have merged in a way that the traditional distinctions between the two fields no longer exist to the extent that they did in the past. The CLEX is intended to enhance research skills and offer research opportunities for students wishing to study special populations, while also providing them with the clinical training in their area of interest. The goal is to train clinician scientists who can provide empirically validated psychological services in a clinical setting, with a particular emphasis on clinical research. Like the overall graduate degree program, the emphasis in CLEX is on enhancing clinical research ability.
There are three specializations within CLEX: Applied Development, Eating and Affective Disorders, and Neuropsychology. In addition to all other required courses for the PhD in Psychology, all CLEX students take a core set of 4 courses which include: Adult Assessment and Psychodiagnostics, Psychopathology, Psychological Interventions, and Ethics, Jurisprudence and Professional Issues. Additional courses specific to the area of specialization are also required: Eating and its Disorders and Personality for the Eating and Affective Disorders stream; Child Assessment and Personality for the Applied Development stream; Neuropsychology/Higher Cognition, Neuroanatomy and Neuropsychological Assessment for the Neuropsychology stream. Finally, completion of the CLEX requirements includes at least two Practica (one assessment and one intervention) and, depending on the stream and supervisor, the option of conducting a predoctoral Internship, with the placements determined by the area of specialization.
APPLICATION PROCESS :
Admission to the skills-based courses administered by CLEX (specifically Assessment and Intervention courses, Practica and Internship) is granted by permission of the CLEX Committee. There is no general entry into CLEX; rather, students must interview for entry into each of these courses. Because CLEX coursework entails a substantial commitment beyond the PhD program requirements, there are several criteria that must be met:
- your thesis supervisor must be in support of you undertaking CLEX
- thesis supervisors much attest to their understanding of supervisor responsibilities
- your thesis research should be relevant to clinical questions/issues
- you must have completed the MA year before taking CLEX courses
- you must be in good standing and meeting timelines for program requirements
Interviews are conducted with CLEX committee members to ensure the above criteria are met. Typically, interviews are scheduled in both fall and winter terms for courses offered in the subsequent term. Required documents for the interviews include:
- your own statement of goals, including your current progress toward your thesis and a specification of the clinical relevance of your current research. Clinical relevance include studies of psychopathology/neuropsychological disorders, psychological/neuropsychological treatment, or using psychiatric/neuropsychological populations.
- a letter from your supervisor attesting that your research and coursework are up to date and proceeding well.
- a letter from someone with knowledge of your clinical skills, and potential for working with psychologically vulnerable individuals, who can recommend you for clinical practice. This should not be a non-clinical academic letter although academics with clinical training are acceptable; it also must be from someone other than your adviser.
- If applying for Practicum or Internship, a fully completed Practicum Approval form [see forms page] must also be submitted.
- If you have not previously applied for a CLEX course, you must also get your supervisor to sign off on the Supervisor Responsibilities document [see forms page].
Other courses that are required for completing CLEX are open to all psychology graduate students (e.g., Personality, Psychopathology, Ethics) and do not require a formal interview process.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS :
Should I apply to CLEX if I want to be a clinical psychologist?
The goal of CLEX is to train clinical researchers, that is, researchers who practice in a clinical or applied setting. So if your primary/exclusive interest and career goal is direct service provision, or to obtain a degree in clinical psychology, CLEX is not for you. The experimental psychology degree program in which CLEX resides does not grant degrees in Clinical or Counselling Psychology. The New Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough offers an MA/PhD in clinical psychology. There are U of T degree programs in Counselling and Clinical Psychology and School and Clinical Child Psychology ; these are entirely separate from CLEX and the Department of Psychology.
Is the program CPA or APA accredited?
No. The program is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. Details can be found at: www.acadpsychclinicalscience.org/.
Can I become a registered psychologist if I complete CLEX ?
The department is doing its utmost to offer training that will allow students to be eligible for registration in Ontario. It is the responsibility of students who wish to seek registration to become aware of the requirements relevant to their intended domain of practice and how to fulfill these requirements through CLEX. Students should review the CPO registration guidelines for entry into supervised practice. The College of Psychologists of Ontario is also a member of a reciprocity agreement with other provinces and certain US states. We note that many CLEX graduates have successfully obtained licensure for clinical practice in Ontario and several other jurisdictions in North America.
If I complete CLEX, can I get a clinical academic job?
Past graduates have obtained such positions within universities in Canada. To our knowledge, none have tried in the USA. Students should be aware that APA/CPA accreditation of clinical training programs is considered to be more necessary for faculty in American universities with APA accredited Clinical Training programs than is the case for Canada.
When can I apply?
The point of entry for students is at those times when CLEX interviews for specific courses are offered. These interviews typically take place in the mid-fall and late winter terms. Note that you should pay close attention to interview announcement from the department as well as upcoming course schedules so you can plan ahead. Also, note that the Adult and Child (if appropriate) Assessment courses are the pre-requisites for all other CLEX courses. As well, Neuroanatomy and Neuropsychology (i.e. Higher Cognition survey course) are pre-requisites for the Neuropsychology Assessment course.
What if I don't complete all the required CLEX courses?
All courses you complete successfully appear on your transcript and failure to complete all CLEX courses will not have any negative impact on completion of the PhD program. However, you will not be designated as a CLEX student in our records and you cannot claim to have completed the CLEX training.
How do I arrange a practicum or internship?
Since 2010, all clinical programs in the Greater Toronto Area, together with relevant clinical practicum placements, have agreed on a common application/matching process and common notification day. This typically occurs in Feb-March. Note that there is also a practicum information day in November where you can learn about opportunities at local clinics and hospitals. Other opportunities (at clinics or sites without a formal practicum application deadline) may be arranged more informally as long as the placement is deemed appropriate by the CLEX committee.
Internships can be arranged via APPIC . Note that as we are not an APA/CPA accredited program, our students may have difficulty being competitive for matching with an accredited site. CLEX is also a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science and students are eligible for internships through this alliance. Your supervisor and CLEX Committee members will also be helpful in identifying opportunities.
Do I have to complete my PhD thesis before starting an internship?
Students must have a first draft of the PhD thesis accepted by the dissertation committee before being allowed to register in the internship course. Forward planning is crucial as internship applications are usually submitted the year before the intended internship start date (with internships most often starting in September).
Can I do a practicum or internship on a part-time basis?
Yes, if the site approves this. You should note that internships are most often structured as full-time placements.
How many hours do I need to complete for a practicum or internship?
Our practicum and internship hours are based on the CPA recommendations: 400-450 hours for each of two practica, 1600 hours for an internship. It is the student’s responsibility to check on provincial or state requirements for practicum or internship hours if registration is to be pursued in the future. Given that requirements do change, you may wish to help yourself for the future by doing more than our program’s stated minimum.
If I have any other questions, who do I contact?
Please contact the faculty member overseeing the CLEX specialization with which you wish to affiliate.
Eating and Affective Disorders: Janet Polivy
Neuropsychology: Brian Levine or Nicole Anderson
Applied Development: Tina Malti
For all other administration questions, please contact the CLEX Committee Chair, Mary Pat McAndrews