Consensus Conference: Proceedings and Results

Man and 2 women at table

As indicated by the Schedule of Events, much of the preparatory content for the Consensus Conference occurred through the “Conference Readings” as well as a series of initial presentations by invited speakers; many of these readings—along with transcripts, video taped presentations, and interviews with conference speakers—are or will be accessible via the CCIDPIP website (see www.jmu.edu/ccidpip). The Consensus Conference was also covered in the American Psychological Association's Monitor on Psychology, and can be accessed electronically at http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug03/combined.html. Finally, the conference and related topics will be covered in a Special Series of the Journal of Clinical Psychology, which is slated for release in 2004.

The “results” of the Consensus Conference emerged from the working groups described above. Ultimately, participants developed specific content and/or recommendations in the following five areas, which are described below.

  1. Program Name
    • The group changed the name “combined doctoral program” to “combined-integrated or C-I doctoral program.”
  2. Mission Statement
    • Participants approved the following mission statement for combined-integrated doctoral training programs in psychology:
      “Combined-Integrated Doctoral Training Programs in Psychology produce general practice, primary care, and health service psychologists who are competent to function in a variety of professional and academic settings and roles; these programs achieve this goal by intentionally combining and/or integrating education and training across two or more of the recognized practice areas.”
  3. Rationale for Combined-Integrated Doctoral Training
    • In addition to “rationale” elements that were implicit and explicit throughout the Consensus Conference, participants also emphasized the following four points:
      1. there is tremendous overlap in the basic competencies (i.e., knowledge, skills, and values) needed to function effectively in each of the single practice areas of psychology;
      2. psychologists with training across the practice areas are employed in increasingly similar settings and thus are required to possess comparable competencies;
      3. psychologists are perceived as alike by many outside the field, including relevant funding systems and regulatory boards; and
      4. competence within and across the practice areas of psychology can and should be taught in a manner that is complementary and synergistic.
  4. Distinctiveness of Combined-Integrated Doctoral Training Programs
    • In addition to “distinctiveness” elements that were implicit and explicit throughout the Consensus Conference, participants also emphasized that combined-integrated doctoral programs:
      1. fill a unique and necessary niche in the education and training of psychologists;

      2. respond proactively to current realities for and needs of students and the public;

      3. operationalize a vision of education and training that would help ensure the long-term viability and prosperity of the profession and field.

  5. Principles of Combined-Integrated Doctoral Training in Psychology
    • Consensus Conference participants completed their work in both a large group and small group format. After a series of presentations, small working groups considered issues within two topic areas (see “schedule of events”). Following these discussions, the entire group met and developed the following eighteen principles of Combined-Integrated (C-I) Doctoral Training in Psychology:
      1. C-I programs provide a unique educational and training model that affords students a wide breadth of training, increases their flexibility and marketability, and optimally prepares them to function as psychologists in a wide variety of professional and academic roles and settings.
      2. C-I programs achieve their unique curriculum in large part by intentionally exposing students to the following:
        1. two or more psychological practice areas, which are woven throughout the curriculum;
        2. multiple theoretical orientations;
        3. the wide parameters of practice, including a variety of problems addressed, settings, and populations across the life span.
        4. population presentations that exist along the functional/adaptive continuum.
      3. C-I programs provide an educational environment that facilitates effective intra- and inter-professional communication, training, and scholarship in a manner that is respectful, collaborative, and informed.
      4. C-I programs are committed to developing clear and specific competencies for their programs and students. In that regard, the conclusions of the Competencies 2002 Conference (see www.appic.org) including, but not limited to, the Competencies Cube provide a useful framework for guiding program development and modification (e.g., in the context of the Comprehensive Principles for Health Services Specialization in Professional Psychology; see www.apa.org).
      5. C-I programs are structured to support prominent student representation, are sensitive to the implications of training requirements for students, and are aware of the interface between training and regulatory/licensing bodies that students will ultimately encounter in their professional development and careers.
      6. C-I program faculty accept the responsibility for training students to at least an entry-level of competence for a particular area of practice and assume the authority to evaluate student competencies in the relevant practice areas.
      7. C-I program faculty seek to protect the integrity and welfare of their programs, the profession, and the public and therefore accept responsibility, insofar as possible, for the timely identification and remediation of student problems as well as any subsequent program actions vis-à-vis the ultimate status of all students in their programs.
      8. C-I program faculty accept the responsibility for the relative imbalance of power between faculty and trainees that is inherent in doctoral level training, and subsequently expect training faculty to behave in an appropriate, responsible, and ethical manner, and to exhibit a level of self-awareness that equals or exceeds that required of students.
      9. C-I program administrators and faculty demonstrate that they are supportive of the combined-integrated model of education and training, and recognize that aspects of the single practice model (e.g., training processes and cultures) must be modified somewhat in order to create the unique learning environment provided by C-I programs.
      10. C-I programs actively work to engender a climate of diversity, and endorse relevant professional and ethical guidelines (e.g., see the 2002 Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists, at www.apa.org).
      11. C-I programs are committed to teaching an ethic of social responsibility as well as the capacity to respond effectively to evident social and psychological needs within the larger community.
      12. C-I programs are sensitive to and aware of issues pertaining to the field of psychology at a global level and strive to establish productive relationships and alliances with international psychological training associations, models, and programs.
      13. C-I programs endorse the basic knowledge areas identified by the Committee on Accreditation’s Guidelines and Procedures including, but not limited to, exposing students to the scientific foundations necessary for informed and competent practice.
      14. C-I programs support evidence-based practice that is ecologically valid and relevant for practitioners and scientists alike.
      15. C-I programs support the highest standards of quality assurance, and design programs to be simultaneously efficient and rigorous.
      16. C-I programs engage in the assessment of outcomes relevant to their programs, use such data to inform program development, and disseminate results as appropriate.
      17. C-I programs are actively self-reflective vis-à-vis their model and approach to education and training.
      18. C-I programs endorse a commitment from faculty and trainees to continue their professional development throughout their careers.