A Humanistic Alternative to PsyD

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Why Saybrook Doesn't Offer a PsyD Degree:

History of the PsyD program at Saybrook

One of the distinctive features of our hybrid online programs has always been an integrative approach, grounded in the traditions of existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychology as expressed in contemporary thought and scientific research. This approach has always informed our programs leading to clinical licensure in psychology.

In 2008 Saybrook began recruiting its first PsyD class for the fall 2009 semester. As part of that process we announced our intention to seek accreditation for the program by the American Psychological Association (APA) when we believed we had achieved all of the requirements necessary for a successful application. We subsequently recruited and enrolled three additional PsyD classes with the continued intent to seek APA accreditation. 

However, over the past several years, based on thorough research, due diligence, and conversations with APA leaders, accreditors, expert APA consultants, and chairs of PsyD programs at other institutions, it became increasingly apparent that it would not be possible for Saybrook's PsyD program to meet the increasingly rigid curricular and pedagogical requirements mandated for APA accreditation while maintaining its rigorously humanistic emphasis. Given that conclusion, on February 16, 2012, Saybrook reluctantly determined that it could no longer offer the PsyD program in good conscience.

At this point, we are "teaching out" these PsyD classes or permitting PsyD students to transfer their credits to our other clinical programs. Almost all of our PsyD students accepted one of these alternatives.

Commitment to a Humanistic Tradition

As an institution that values the whole person – mind, body, spirit – and whose entire history and pedagogy is grounded in the humanistic tradition, we firmly believe that we cannot achieve APA accreditation successfully and hold fast to our core concepts. To attempt to do so would severely compromise our integrity as a humanistic institution. If you share our commitment to humanism, we believe that you will be happier with our other clinical career alternatives - alternatives that do not require you to compromise your ideals in pursuit of a degree.

Better Alternatives

While we no longer accept applications for a PsyD degree, we encourage you to explore other degree programs in the School of Clinical Psychology that prepare for clinical licensure:

MA Psychology, Counseling Specialization (LIOS Seattle Blended Learning Program)

MA in Counseling

PhD in Clinical Psychology

The curriculum and pedagogy of our clinical programs remain aligned with our principles and values as an institution.

If you need additional information or have questions about which degree to seek instead of PsyD, please contact Shawn Rubin, Chair of the School of Clinical Psychology, srubin@saybrook.edu, 415.323.5690.