Group Training Survey: May 2014

Lee Gillis, Ph.D.
Lee Gillis, Ph.D.

In the last newsletter I shared that working in collaboration with Sean Woodland, current student representative; Rosamond Smith, student representative designate (2015); and Dr. Leann Diederich, membership chair and member at large, an email survey was sent in May 2014 to Directors of Training in both clinical and counseling graduate psychology programs to ascertain the importance their program placed on group training.

We received 54 responses with one respondent declining to participate for a total N of 53.  We sent emails to 57 Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs (CCPTP) and 21 responded; 31 Directors from National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) were identified from webpages and sent email invitations and eight responded and due to a website crash at the Council of University Directors of Clinical Training (CUDCP) an email with the survey link was sent by a member to the listserv and 22 responded (out of approximately 80 recipients). Three board members of the Division responded to the pilot survey with information about their programs that was usable. Thus the response rate (54/168) was approximately 32%.

Clinical psychology accounted for 58% (N=26) of the responding programs and 42% (N=19) as counseling psychology.  Question 2 asked “Does your program provide a group-specific class or classes?”  There was a difference in how clinical and counseling programs responded to this question.  While 35% of the clinical psychology programs answered yes to this question, 100% of the counseling psychology programs responded in the affirmative.  In retrospect, we should have asked if the training program “required” a group specific class.  Most readers know that the Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology  do not include the word “group” in it’s domains and standards and it is difficult to determine if this lack of a requirement distinguishes the clinical and counseling psychology training programs represented in the limited sample of programs responding to the survey or if the difference is related to the philosophies of these approaches or if such a difference is insignificant.  Most of the types of courses offered were introductory group therapy courses; no one mentioned an advanced group course.  There was not a clear indication if courses were primarily didactic or experiential.  Though when asking specifically about courses in a question where the respondent could check all that apply, with 29/53 responding, 83% checked “Experiential”, 59% checked “rotating leadership”, 52% chose “peer leadership”, and 31% chose “other”.

There is more qualitative data in the survey results regarding the settings of group therapy practicum’s; types of group research students are involved in, and ways “experiential” groups are defined.  This data will serve as grist for a future article in The Group Psychologist.  In the meantime, if you desire to see a summary pdf of all the data, please contact

Thirteen programs granted permission for us to mention the name of the program on the Division 49 website and those programs with contact emails are listed below:

Clinical and Counseling Psychology (M.S.) Chestnut Hill College Cheryll Rothery, Psy.D., ABPP
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Wayne State University Mark A. Lumley, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Indiana University of Pennsylvania David LaPorte
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Seattle  Pacific University David G. Stewart
Counseling and Educational Psychology Indiana University Rex Stockton
Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology University of Minnesota Sherri Turner, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychology New York University Mary B. McRae
Counseling Psychology Carlow University Mary Burke
Counseling Psychology Texas Tech Univ Sheila Garos, Ph.D., DCT
Counseling Psychology University of Maryland Dennis Kivlighan
Counseling Psychology University of Nebraska-Lincoln Michael Scheel
Counseling Psychology Iowa State University Nathaniel Wade
Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) University of Hartford John Mehm