The integration of behavioral health services (mental health, substance abuse, health behavior change) into primary care and other medical services is currently a top priority of federal (Medicare, VA, DoD), state (Medicaid) and private health plans. Evidence for clinical and cost effectiveness is driving a national movement to integrated care, and a consequent shortage of well prepared clinicians. To be fully qualified as clinicians in primary care and other medical settings, clinical psychologists need a broad preparation in the delivery of clinical services in an interdisciplinary healthcare setting, with an additional emphasis on the role of the psychologist as consultant to a variety of medical personnel. The transformation of medical settings into fully integrated care requires broadly trained clinical health psychologists who can address concepts of population health delivery, clinical metrics, quality improvement, and who can offer confident representation of the behavioral aspects of all of the work in primary care and other medical settings. Psychologists with training and experience in these areas are in great demand.
To address this need, AUNE Dept. of Clinical Psychology has instituted a Major Area of Study (MAS) in Clinical Health Psychology. The concentration is directed by Alexander Blount, a nationally recognized leader in behavioral health integration.
Concentration Director: Alexander Blount, EdD (email@example.com)
This degree is offered by AU New England.
- Meet all regular program degree requirements to complete the doctoral in Clinical Psychology
- Notify the Director of the M.A.S. of the student’s intention to follow the course of study and to receive the credential that its completion bestows. Preferably this is done at the beginning of the third year.
- 9 credits and a project as follows:
- The Biological Bases of Behavior (3)
- Health Psychology (3)
- Integrated Primary Care (3)
- Population Behavioral Health course or equivalent project/independent study (3) (The population health project in the GPE practicum program or another population health project of equal substance may be used to fulfill this requirement.)
- At least 3 additional elective credits in a relevant area, defined broadly (e.g., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Substance Abuse, Brief Therapy, Mindfulness, Psychopharmacology)
- At least one behavioral health integration/population health practicum (e.g., in a primary care or other medical setting serving underserved populations)
- Dissertation on a topic relevant to behavioral health integration/population health. Students should present their dissertation topics to the Director before they are finally determined to be sure that they are judged to meet the criteria.
- 1st year pre-practicum experience, “Introduction to Interprofessional Care.”
- Second practicum in behavioral health integration/population health with underserved populations.
Job Demand: Both federal and state health care authorities have defined the need for behavioral health clinicians in primary care as a crisis. It is hard to imagine an area of psychology that could possibly be in higher demand once you have finished your training.