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Counseling Psychology

The SIU Counseling Psychology doctoral program is a health service psychology program designed to train counseling psychologists who reflect the values of the profession.   The program provides a balanced training experience with our primary goal being the development of the student as both a scientifically sophisticated researcher and an interpersonally skilled counselor. Our graduates are evidence-based practitioners capable of providing quality services, critically evaluating services, developing new theories and intervention approaches, and contributing to the field through research, teaching, practice, and training.


Features of the Counseling Psychology Program

  • Accreditation:  We have been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association1 since 1961. Our most recent site visit resulted in reaccreditation until 2021.
  • National Reputation:  Historically, the Counseling Psychology Program has distinguished itself as a nationally ranked program based on faculty publication records and other indicators of quality (Buboltz, Ebberwein, Watkins, & Savickas, 1995; Cox & Catt, 1977; Delgado & Howard, 1994; Hanish, Horan, Keen, St. Peter, Ceperich, & Beasley, 1995; Perez, Constantine, & Gerard, 2000).
  • Commitment to Social Justice: Our program includes an emphasis on social justice. In addition to fostering academic growth and self-understanding among our students, we strive to positively impact the local community and the world outside of our program. For example, we encourage and engage in social justice work through our in house clinic, through important research initiatives, and with our social justice practicum that encourages students to partner with local groups and organizations.
  • Diversity and Multiculturalism: The program promotes recognition of the various ways cultural diversity impacts psychological theory, research, and practice. This emphasis is evident in student and faculty demographics, curriculum, training experiences, faculty and student research, and the careers of our graduates. Program faculty and students reflect diversity in race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic background, worldview, and religion. The program has a long history in, and a national reputation for, attracting, nurturing and graduating students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Balance:  We seek to provide balanced training, with respect to counseling and research training, and with respect to perspective.  We aim to provide graduates with a solid foundation as a counseling psychologists, so that they can pursue a variety of career paths, change careers successfully, and adapt to inevitable changes in the profession.
  • Financial Assistance:  We offer substantial support, guaranteed to all first-year students and historically available throughout a student’s four years on campus.  Students in good standing can anticipate receiving a stipend and a tuition waiver, and all students complete training assignments as teaching or research assistants or in an externship doing clinical or administrative work.  For more information, see Financial Assistance page.
  • Graduated Counseling Training:  Practicum training begins early (second semester of the first year) and grows in complexity.  Students receive individual and/or group supervision throughout their practicum training.
  • Wide Range of Counseling Experiences: The program provides many and varied opportunities, occurring through regular counseling practica, specialty practice, and counseling training assignments.  Training sites range from the department’s Career Development and Resource Clinic, the campus Counseling and Psychological Services Center, regional mental health centers, primary care clinics, hospitals (including VA), rehabilitation settings, and correctional facilities.
  • Research Training:  We offer solid training in basic and applied research.  The program operates on an elective-mentor system.  That is, students may choose to work primarily with one faculty member throughout their graduate career, but they are also free to complete the M.A. thesis with one faculty member and the dissertation with another, while participating in research activities with other faculty.  The counseling faculty themselves represent a very broad range of interests.  Moreover, students in the counseling program can choose to work with any departmental faculty member regardless of program.  Students are encouraged and receive travel funds to present research at conferences and to become involved in the publication process.
  • Teaching:  Students have a variety of opportunities to develop teaching, presentation, and outreach skills.  Most students will have at least one training assignment as a teaching assistant.  Further opportunities include class presentations, formal thesis and dissertation research presentations, conference presentations, outreach workshops, and teaching Psychology courses.
  • Atmosphere:  Faculty and students are proud of the program’s collegial and supportive atmosphere.  We seek to maintain high academic and professional standards, while being supportive of and responsive to the goals, strengths, and needs of individual students.  In general, students report experiencing the program as being highly facilitative of their professional development.

Counseling Psychology Faculty

Kathleen Chwalisz, Professor and Director of Counseling Program

Tawanda M. Greer-Medley, Associate Professor

Douglas Knutson, Assistant Professor

Additional faculty TBA


Applying to the Counseling Psychology Program

Visit the Department of Psychology's Admissions page for more information.


1Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

                Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
                American Psychological Association
                750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
                Phone: (202) 336-5979/E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
                Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation