Teaching a Humanistic Style of Psychology: A Faculty Q&A with Professor Robert McInerney, Ph.D.
"We are one of only a few universities in the country where you can study humanistic psychology, which includes existential, phenomenological, feminist and liberation psychologies. Our diverse faculty have both scholarly and practical expertise in the above. Because of our small class sizes and one-on-one advising, you’ll get to know the faculty well. And, our students are warm, kind, welcoming and inspiring!"
What makes the psychology major at Point Park University special?
We are one of only a few universities in the country where you can study humanistic psychology, which includes existential, phenomenological, feminist and liberation psychologies. Our diverse faculty have both scholarly and practical expertise in the above. Because of our small class sizes and one-on-one advising, you’ll get to know the faculty well. And, our students are warm, kind, welcoming and inspiring!
Tell us about this major’s various concentration areas.
We have three popular concentrations. They are clinical, community and religion/spirituality.
The clinical concentration teaches you how to be an effective, ethical and open-minded therapist. You’ll learn theoretical foundations as well as practical, skill-based knowledge. This concentration is person-centered, honoring the unique, lived experiences of all people.
Our community concentration is for those students that recognize the complex interrelationship between community and psychological life. These students are not so much interested in being therapists as much as they are interested in working for nonprofits, starting their own nonprofit agency or outreach initiative or working for community health organizations. Community psych students learn sophisticated and applicable philosophical knowledge and do practicums in the City of Pittsburgh.
Finally, our new religion/spirituality and psychology concentration provides students with in-depth, synthetical, comparative and diverse knowledge regarding the interconnectedness of religiosity, spirituality, and our psychological lives. You can take courses such as The Psychology of Evil, Christianity and Psychology and Buddhism and Psychology.
What should prospective students and their parents know about being a psychology major at Point Park?
Psychology major Emily Jamison
Being successful at academics is the byproduct of being passionately engaged in the learning experience and feeling more alive and present to others! We strive to provide a healthy, inviting and enlivening experience for our students and then good grades follow.
Our student run Confluence Psychology Alliance provides opportunities to enjoy various sorts of day trips such as hiking, trips to museums and off-campus talks and fun events. The Alliance facilitates both the social and extra-curricular life of the undergraduate psychology department and so there are always on-campus activities such as seeing a film or documentary, celebration parties, and opportunities for community activism.
Where have graduates of your program landed internships and jobs?
Over the years, many of our students have continued to the master’s (M.A.) or doctoral (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) level. In fact, some of our former students are now currently licensed, clinical psychologists in our city and some teach at our University!
At the master’s level, our students work for mental health agencies and community health nonprofits. We currently have internship opportunities at Operation Safety Net, Bridge to the Mountains (Bridge), Inside our Minds, Persad and Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.