Accredited by the American Psychological Association, the clinical psychology Ph.D. program follows a scientist-practitioner model. Students are trained as applied researchers and scientists, developing skills in research and practical methods used to advance knowledge of the causes, prevention, and treatment of emotional, behavioral, and physical health problems within diverse communities. We embrace a community psychology orientation that emphasizes multiple influences on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities, and values engaging communities in all aspects of the work that we do. Our training is grounded in developmental and social-ecological perspectives that attend to the intersection of multiple forms of diversity and recognize the impacts of systemic oppression on individuals and communities. We aspire to train behavioral scientists who are able to identify, implement, and evaluate strategies to promote equity and social justice and to reduce health and mental health disparities in a variety of settings. Faculty subscribe to a range of theoretical orientations, including cognitive-behavioral, family systems, social-ecological, and community frameworks. These perspectives enable students to develop a broad base of knowledge and the opportunity to specialize in particular areas of research and evidence-based application.
Supported by a National Institutes of Health grant, clinical psychology PhD candidate Sammy Dhaliwal set out to test how sleep deprivation contributes to depression in pregnant and postpartum women. The large research team she assembled included GW medical students, researchers from Children’s National Medical Center and Apple and Deloitte consultants. “Depression during pregnancy or postpartum affects not just the mom but the baby, too. It has the potential to change the trajectory of a child's life,” said Dhaliwal.