The Clinical Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology at Appalachian State University supports the University's core values encouraging diversity and equal educational and employment opportunities throughout our community.
ASU offers a Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology with a focus on improving the health and well-being of the people of rural Appalachia and other underserved communities. Our program includes additional emphases on cultural diversity and social justice broadly defined to include (but not limited to): age, sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, family background, national origin, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, body size and physical appearance, visible or invisible disabilities, socioeconomic status, language, culture, rurality, and intersectionality.
Embracing respect for diversity is central to the values of our faculty and is consistent with the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct and is encouraged in the APA Multicultural Guidelines (2017). Our faculty support efforts to advocate for social justice and to prevent further injustice, marginalization, and devaluation of individuals from all walks of life, particularly in respect to quality of healthcare.
Faculty wish for prospective students and trainees to understand the importance of becoming clinicians and researchers who adamantly respect aspects of diversity described above in all of their work. We recognize that no individual is free from all forms of interpersonal bias and prejudice, and we strive to actively pursue self-examination and maintain a critical commitment to overcoming such biases with respect for diversity and inclusion.
We work to create a training program that emphasizes openness to learning about others who are different from our personal identities. We strive to create learning environments in classrooms, clinical practica, and research labs that are based on respect, safety, trust, and inclusion for all individuals. We encourage all members of our training community to commit to a lifelong, iterative pursuit of multicultural competence.
The Clinical Psychology PsyD Program at Appalachian State University recognizes the complex historical forces that have led to the development and maintenance of systemic racism in our institutions, divisive speech and racial prejudice in our communities, and widespread implicit bias against people of color in our day-to-day lives. Moreover, we acknowledge that these forces continue to operate to the present day. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Brianna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castille, and the many other Black and African-American individuals who have lost their lives at the hands of racially motivated violence and police brutality. As a faculty, we affirm that Black Lives Matter. In response, we commit to recognizing, calling out, and dismantling longstanding patterns of racism and promoting racial equity within higher education, healthcare, our communities, and society more broadly. To accomplish this, we will: denounce racist practices wherever we see them and whomever they target; examine and reflect on the ramifications of programmatic decisions on the access, success and well-being of all people of color; integrate social justice as a core value in courses across our curriculum; and strive for racial equity in both applicant selection and training experiences. We invite all faculty, staff, and students to engage in this transformative process as we move towards a more just future.
Statement on Working with Diverse Clients/Patients
Our program is dedicated to preparing professional psychologists to serve a diverse public; thus, skills in working with diverse clients is a key competency in our program. In doing so, we have adopted the following statements prepared by the APA Board of Educational Affairs to be consistent with the APA Ethics Code (see statement below and at http://www.ccptp.org/assets/docs/ccptp%20sample%20policy%20final_12_19_14%20final.pdf ) and the Guidelines and Principles for the Accreditation of Professional Psychology Programs of the APA's Commission on Accreditation:
We are committed to a training process that ensures that graduate students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work effectively with members of the public who embody intersecting demographics, attitudes, beliefs, and values. When graduate students' attitudes, beliefs, or values create tensions that negatively impact the training process or their ability to effectively treat members of the public, the program faculty and supervisors are committed to a developmental training approach that is designed to support the acquisition of professional competence. We support graduate students in finding a belief- or value-congruent path that allows them to work in a professionally competent manner with all clients/patients.
For some trainees, integrating personal beliefs or values with professional competence in working with all clients/patients may require additional time and faculty support. Ultimately though, to complete our program successfully, all graduate students must be able to work with any client placed in their care in a beneficial and noninjurious manner. Professional competencies are determined by the profession for the benefit and protection of the public; consequently, students do not have the option to avoid working with particular client populations or refuse to develop professional competencies because of conflicts with their attitudes, beliefs, or values.
Land Acknowledgement Statement
Appalachian State University acknowledges the Indigenous peoples who are the original inhabitants of the lands on which our campus is located. The Cherokee, Catawba and other Indigenous peoples left their mark as hunters, healers, traders, travelers, farmers and villagers long before the university was established. Today, descendants of these communities, which include citizens of the eight tribal nations in North Carolina as well as others, live and work in this region — an area with settler-colonial policies including those that attempt to disenfranchise, remove and eradicate Indigenous people and their way of life.
Learn more at diversity.appstate.edu/resources/land-acknowledgement.