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‘Really big step’: UPEI’s doctorate program receives accreditation from national association



CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Eager to turn into a psychologist, Tessa O’Donnell of Souris relished the possibility to enrol in UPEI’s doctorate program two years in the past. 

The 27-year-old college pupil is now attempting to let it sink in that this system was simply accredited by the Canadian Psychology Affiliation. 

“To have this chance is unbelievable,” O’Donnell mentioned in an interview with SaltWire on Could 5. 

The physician of psychology program is knowledgeable coaching floor the place graduates turn into medical psychologists, who will assess, diagnose and seek the advice of with folks of various ages who current many issues. 

About this system

Following is details about the doctor of psychology program at UPEI: 

  • College students in this system are engaged full-time with this system all through virtually the whole thing of the 4 years of research. 
  • The primary semesters embody 5 programs per semester. The workload for 5 graduate-level programs in knowledgeable coaching program is larger than that for 5 senior undergraduate programs. 
  • As is the case in different skilled coaching applications, reminiscent of drugs or veterinary drugs, college students within the PsyD won’t have time for vital employment exterior this system.  
  • The UPEI’s PsyD in medical psychology is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Affiliation. The preliminary accreditation is for a three-year time period courting from the accreditation web site go to of October 2022. A reaccreditation web site go to will happen earlier than that three-year date. 

This system started at UPEI in 2019, and professors instantly began the accreditation course of with the nationwide affiliation. With its latest accreditation, it turned the latest medical psychology program in Canada. 

SaltWire additionally spoke to Philip Smith at his workplace at UPEI on Could 5. The director of medical coaching of the psychology program mentioned receiving accreditation places this system on the North American radar. 

“It’s a extremely huge step for this system,” Smith mentioned. “It’s a validation that the sort of schooling and coaching that’s provided is of a excessive normal, that’s nationally acknowledged, and it opens extra doorways for college students who graduate.”

The doctor of psychology program at UPEI is a professional training ground where graduates become clinical psychologists, who will assess, diagnose and consult with people of different ages who present many problems. - SaltWire file
The physician of psychology program at UPEI is knowledgeable coaching floor the place graduates turn into medical psychologists, who will assess, diagnose and seek the advice of with folks of various ages who current many issues. – SaltWire file

Caroline LeBlanc, a registered psychologist who owns Serene View Ranch in Alexandra, calls the accreditation a Godsend.

“It opens the door to having extra psychologists skilled on the Island by our college,” LeBlanc instructed SaltWire in a phone interview on Could 9. “It’s a tremendous feat and it took a number of effort. It means the scholars which are popping out and require placements and internships that it will likely be simpler for them to go to totally different placements throughout Canada as a result of this system is accredited.”

The proprietor of the post-traumatic stress remedy centre mentioned UPEI’s physician of psychology program has shed extra gentle on the function of psychologists in P.E.I. and throughout Canada.

“It has additionally opened up extra analysis and extra neighborhood involvement from the college again out to the neighborhood,” LeBlanc mentioned, including the accreditation additionally means entry to highly-qualified professors.

O’Donnell mentioned she didn’t all the time need to be a psychologist. It was not till she enrolled at Saint Mary’s College in Halifax and took a few psychology programs whereas she was majoring in arts. 

“Initially, I actually loved artistic writing, and I believe via the method of going via highschool and the primary 12 months of college, I noticed the factor I favored about artistic writing was fascinated about folks and fascinated about how folks react in several conditions and the way the thoughts labored,” mentioned O’Donnell. 

She cherished the programs, realizing straight away what her calling was. 

“I actually loved fascinated about human behaviour, what makes an individual who they’re and what may occur to alter that. The inspiration grew from there.” 

College students in this system would not have to attend till after commencement to work with shoppers. 

Smith, who can also be a professor of psychology at UPEI, mentioned being accredited will put college students within the workforce a lot faster. 

“So, when folks then go on to turn into licenced, whether or not it’s on P.E.I. or someplace else, coming from an accredited program offers a little bit of a quick monitor,” Smith mentioned. “After we’re taking a look at doctor-level coaching for medical psychology, any program in Canada goes to need to be accredited.”

Philip Smith, left, a psychology professor at UPEI, said students like Tessa O’Donnell undergo an intensive four-year program that includes providing more than 2,500 hours of direct clinical service out of the university’s psychology clinic. - Dave Stewart/SaltWire
Philip Smith, left, a psychology professor at UPEI, mentioned college students like Tessa O’Donnell endure an intensive four-year program that features offering greater than 2,500 hours of direct medical service out of the college’s psychology clinic. – Dave Stewart/SaltWire

This 12 months, UPEI’s physician of psychology obtained 107 purposes for eight positions. Smith expects the information that this system is now accredited means the variety of candidates will improve. 

The primary six college students accepted into this system in 2019 will graduate this fall.

“It’s a really intensive program, so that you don’t churn via hordes and hordes of scholars. Along with the course work you do, there’s a lot of time spent in medical coaching.’’ 

College students do the primary a part of their medical coaching on campus within the psychology coaching clinic, underneath psychological supervision. 

The shoppers can embody college students, employees, school, household of college or referrals from exterior this system. 

The fourth 12 months of research is a 12-month exterior internship someplace in Canada. This system additionally contains hours of direct medical service achieved by college students within the psychology coaching clinic centre.

“That is making a distinction in P.E.I.,” Smith mentioned. “That’s 2,500 hours of labor with a psychological skilled, a research carefully supervised by a psychologist. Which means they aren’t ready in a line for providers someplace else.” 

O’Donnell mentioned she has developed a ardour for serving to folks. She is already beginning to work with shoppers. 

When requested the place she ultimately hopes to observe, O’Donnell doesn’t hesitate to reply: “I adore it right here. I need to practise in P.E.I.”

Have to know

Following is a pattern of the wait time to see a psychologist in P.E.I.:

• Somebody who has an autistic baby that wants an evaluation from a non-public psychologist may wait six months to 2 years.

• Psycho-educational evaluation might take one to 2 years.

• Neuropsychologist may very well be wherever from six months to 2 years.

• Serene View Ranch is a month to a few months.

(* Supply: Registered psychologist Caroline LeBlanc, proprietor of Serene View Ranch in Alexandra)

Dave Stewart is a well being reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He will be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @DveStewart.

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