The clinical psychology program at American University is committed to two goals regarding diversity:
- Fostering an environment of respect and inclusion for all students
- Training students to be multiculturally competent psychologists
Our program has adopted an infusion model of diversity and multicultural training, which means that multicultural issues are addressed throughout the curriculum. We include discussions on topic of diversity in all areas of training, from classes to practicum experiences. For example, our practicum and assessment courses ask students to do readings and engage in discussions related to culturally competent interventions and assessments. Additionally, our externship course asks students to read about and write reflection papers on intersecting identities, bias and privilege, and being an ally. Each semester a speaker is invited to address special topics related to diversity and multiculturalism (e.g., recent topics include working with Latinx clients, unmasking privilege, and being an ally for the LGBTQ community). Finally, students have the opportunity to work with diverse clients through externship and practicums and are supervised in conceptualizing clinical work from a multicultural perspective. Through these experiences students are encouraged to explore their own identities and how these impact their clinical work with clients. Some students also engage in research related to diversity, including recent papers on the validity of psychological assessments across racial groups, gender-sensitive substance abuse programs, and race/ethnicity and treatment outcome for trichotillomania.
Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee
We recently started a Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee (Spring of 2017) with the aim of creating a collaborative team of faculty and students who meet routinely to consider curriculum and environment in our program. The Committee is open to anyone who is interested, and it is comprised of students and faculty members who brainstorm new initiatives for the program and evaluate progress toward action items.
Connected to the Larger Mission of the University
The clinical program is proud to be connected to the larger mission of American University and its values of diversity and inclusion. The university’s goals are articulated in the American University Inclusive Excellence and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion webpages.