Combining community intervention and action research for positive social change
Point Park University’s 48-credit Master of Arts program in clinical-community psychology, beginning in the Fall of 2013, offers students a holistic, humanistic, and phenomenological approach that seeks to better explain human experience and behavior by integrating two important subfields of psychology — clinical and community psychology.
Clinical psychology is primarily concerned with nurturing mental health and well-being while community psychology is focused on social and cultural influences on personal well-being, including research and interventions at the community level to alleviate human suffering.
The overall goal is to enable graduates of the program to enhance the well-being of individuals, groups and communities through research, community intervention and clinical practices. Therefore, emphasis is placed on understanding the role of social and cultural influences on mental health and well-being including prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
The M.A. in clinical-community program also strives to teach empathic understanding and appreciation of diverse ways of living in the world. The goal of empathic understanding and appreciation, in addition to scientific goals of explanation, is a foundation for an ethically-informed approach to psychology that respects and values the fundamental dignity and human rights of all persons.
Professors Brent Robbins, Ph.D. and Robert McInerney, Ph.D. host national psychology conference at Point Park.
As part of their thesis, graduate students will identify a community in need of intervention due to social factors. Based on research review and assessment, students will then design a plan to improve the mental health and well-being of members of the identified at-risk community.
Some of the courses offered in the Master of Arts in clinical-community degree program include:
- Foundations of Community Psychology
- Mental Health & Well-Being: Individual and Collective
- Brain, Body and Experience
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Psychology of Human Diversity
With a master’s degree in clinical-community psychology, you will have the option to pursue a doctoral degree as well as various career opportunities, such as:
- Administer/director of community programs in human services, mental health, prevention community, education, health promotion and community development
- Social and community service manager
- Marriage and family therapist (with additional courses for training in MFT work)