Eastern Michigan University doctoral program in clinical psychology paves the way for students entering mental health careers

Jennifer Battles wearing PPE take a selfie in a healthcare setting in the field of clinical psychology.
“My experience at EMU helped me immensely in preparation for my current position,” said Jennifer Battles, clinical psychologist for the VA St. Louis Healthcare System. (Photo submitted by Jennifer Battles)

YPSILANTI — According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, psychologists have reported a significant increase in demand for treatment due to the impact the pandemic had on mental health over the years. As more people seek treatment for mental health conditions, the demands on psychological practitioners have increased. Eastern Michigan University has contributed to the field by increasing the number of skilled professionals thanks to its doctoral program's success and internship placements across the country. 

With a 100% placement rate this year, the program’s student applicants have entered into highly competitive internships leading them to rewarding mental health careers. 

“The program is one of the top doctoral programs in clinical psychology in the country,” said Tamara Loverich, director of clinical training. “It is highly competitive and prepares students selectively chosen from all over the United States and worldwide to become outstanding researchers, clinicians, teachers, and managers in universities, hospitals, veterans administrations, and other health service facilities.”

Eastern’s doctoral program in clinical psychology launched in 2001. As a competitive program, approximately eight students who excelled in undergraduate coursework, research, and early human service and social justice endeavors are admitted annually. The program is a full-time, full residency for students, designed to take up to five to six years to complete. As a program requirement, students must participate in a full-time internship in their final year. Then students are trained by clinical psychologists in interdisciplinary settings nationwide. 

In their final year, students complete their full-time internship in various industries, including academia, health care, and college counseling centers, among others. The highly competitive positions lead to postdoctoral training opportunities that foster specialization and careers that benefit the community and the students. 

Jennifer Battles

“Training in the full-time internships is a way for students to begin venturing out into clinical settings beyond EMU where they can begin putting their skills into action and be more independent in determining how to aid clients, especially in mental health work and awareness,” said Natalie Dove, interim department head of psychology and biology.

“My experience at EMU helped me immensely in preparation for my current position,” said Jennifer Battles, clinical psychologist for the VA St. Louis Healthcare System. “I learned the basic skills of a good psychologist in assessing, diagnosing, and treating behavioral health concerns. Also, I gained invaluable skills as a scientist that have helped me acquire and maintain administrative and teaching opportunities within my organization.”

Ted Barrios

Ted Barrios, a clinical psychology doctoral program student, completed his internship in clinical neuropsychology at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan.  “I received excellent training at this American Psychological Association accredited internship site and had the opportunity to work with national leaders in the field of clinical neuropsychology,” said Barrios. “Eastern’s clinical psychology doctoral program offers an ideal balance of research and clinical training, the latter of which is somewhat rare for a funded clinical psychology doctoral program.” 

Barrios is entering his second year of a two-year accredited fellowship with the Association of Postdoctoral Program in Clinical Neuropsychology in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan. He hopes to join an academic medical institute and remain involved in clinical work, teaching, and scientific research.

“Internship training is a way for students to continue venturing out into clinical settings where they can continue to put their skills into action and be more independent in determining how to aid clients as part of an often interdisciplinary, multilevel care team,” said Dove. 

For more information about EMU’s doctoral program in clinical psychology, contact Tamara Loverich at tpenix@emich.edu or Natalie Dove at ndove@emich.edu

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

September 06, 2023

Written by:
Nina Scarpelli

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher