The doctoral program at Carlow University is wholly committed to the foundational values of the discipline of Counseling Psychology. Therefore, the educational philosophy of the Program is based in part on both the Model Training Program in Counseling Psychology (Murdock, Alcorn, Heesacker, & Stoltenberg, 1998) and on the core themes of the discipline which were initially suggested by Gelso & Fretz (2001).

The themes uniquely characterize Counseling Psychology and distinguish it from other substantive disciplines within the broader field. These themes were elaborated upon by the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs and are as follows:


  • focus on working within a developmental framework across a wide range of psychological functioning;
  • focus on assets and strengths, regardless of level of functioning;
  • inclusion of relatively brief counseling approaches;
  • emphasis on person-environment interactions, rather than an exclusive focus on either person or environment;
  • emphasis on prevention, including psycho-educational interventions;
  • emphasis on the educational and vocational lives of individuals;
  • commitment to attending to issues of culture, race, and ethnicity, as well as other areas of individual diversity such as gender, age, ability, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation; and
  • evaluation and improvement through critical thinking and a commitment to the scientific approach.


To that end, education in both general and counseling psychology is characterized by a solid foundation in theory, research and practice including skills in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for application in a wide-range of practice settings and for use across the full spectrum of adjustment and psychological disorders. The program strives to train psychologists who will make a difference in the communities in which they work through reflective practice, scholarship, teaching, activism and research.