- Prepare advanced clinical practitioners skilled at the integration of theory and practice in cultural context.
- Build leadership skills in the mental health field to be expressed through writing, teaching, supervision, professional presentations, and social policy.
- Enhance critical thinking and the development and analysis of clinical theory, culture, ethics, and contemporary social issues.
- Promote deep awareness and support social advocacy on issues related to social justice, social privilege, oppression, diversity, and intersectionality in clinical practice, in the Sanville community, and in society at large.
- Design and produce research that will create, critique, expand, or refine clinical theory or practice and social issues.
Learning in the mental health professions occurs in the context of relationship: between students, between students and teachers, and between students and those they serve. These relationships provide the medium for growth in the learner’s integrative capacity. The student’s maximum participation in the learning process is encouraged and supported.
The adult learner brings to the educational process her or his own life experience, value system, learning style, and goals. The effective teacher focuses attention on the learner toward facilitating the learner’s capacity to use these personal incentives for self-directed study and independent inquiry.
The highest goal of the educational process is to develop the capacity to ask meaningful questions about the unknown and to free the individual to pursue and extend his or her own education. Learning is an open-ended process that occurs throughout the life span of the individual.
The research philosophy of the Institute stresses that students should learn to think critically about empirical research and should be able to evaluate the basic assumptions upon which knowledge is based. Students should be able to derive research questions from clinical and social problems and to apply appropriate methodologies. The Institute emphasizes qualitative research, believing that the “grounded theory” approach to both descriptive and interpretive research is most relevant to the study of clinical issues and the phenomenology of social problems. An individual who possesses the PhD degree, however, should be conversant with quantitative methodology. Students who wish to pursue dissertation research that employs quantitative methods are encouraged to do so.
Clinical theory and practice
1. Understands and is conversant in a broad range of clinical theories
2. Masters two or more clinical theories and applies them to first-hand clinical situations
3. Show evidence of deep and comprehensive understanding and application of the clinical process
Socio-cultural context and cultural sensitivity
4. Considers, and integrates the relative socio-cultural context within which the practitioner, the client, and the theory exist
5. Thinks critically about theory, including its explanatory and ameliorative aspects, strengths, weaknesses and blind spots
6. Applies critical thinking to own work, that of peers and to the program, as well as to institutions, social policy and research
7. Articulates in a scholarly manner matters related to theory, practice, research and culture in writing and orally
8. Identifies and explicates relationships among theories, concepts, and culture
9. Develops and applies a discerning ethical attitude while grounded in basic professional standards
10. Understands the social context of theory; finds, validates, critiques and applies appropriate information resources/research materials when writing scholarly works
11. Produces, designs, and analyzes research that contributes to, expands, evaluates, or refines clinical or social theory or social policy