Seattle – The clinical psychology doctoral program at Antioch University Seattle honored its first graduate Saturday in ceremonies at the Westin Hotel. Mike Archer of Seattle received the first-ever doctorate, the highest degree to be conferred by the university.
Archer wrote his doctoral dissertation on factors that affect the development of Body Dysmorphic Disorder in men. The disorder occurs when people become preoccupied with their imagined imperfections. He hopes to establish a body image disorder clinic in Seattle, anticipates teaching at the college level and expects to continue his private practice in Bellevue.
Archer, who was able to maintain his practice part time while a doctoral student, also received his master’s degree in psychology from Antioch in 2002. He says his decision to return to Antioch for the PsyD program stems from his interest in clinical work.
“I found greater clarity at Antioch in the balance between clinical work and research. That sense of balance is very important to me,” says Archer.
Most universities only offer research PhD programs in psychology, while Antioch’s PsyD students focus on clinical training along with research. Program Director Pat Linn notes the Antioch PsyD is based on the rigorous practitioner-scholar model.
She describes the strong social justice threads woven into the PsyD
“In the first year, students have a social justice practicum at an agency or school. They learn multicultural competency skills for communication and counseling before they do any therapy with clients. At the end of the first year, they explore the roles of psychologists in advocacy for bills such as mental health parity laws before the legislature and how to influence public policy. Students are encouraged to sit on boards of nonprofits to learn how to be effective communicators while they contribute to the nonprofit’s mission.
“Then in the second year, students select a concentration for their work in our Community Counseling and Psychology Clinic. Those concentrations include forensic psychology, child and family systems, art therapy and health psychology,” Linn says.
The Clinic serves those who otherwise might not have access to good psychological services. The diverse PsyD student population brings a variety of languages and ethnicities to the Clinic.
“We have students who speak Russian and Japanese,” Linn notes, adding, “We also have one of the most diverse doctoral-level faculties I’ve ever seen.” The program includes Latina, African American and Asian faculty members.
Now in its third year, Antioch’s PsyD program is expected to exceed its goal of 100 students by fall 2007, according to Linn. The program is also on track as it works toward accreditation from the American Psychological Association.
Antioch and its programs are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Antioch offers the only PsyD program in the U.S. to feature an art therapy concentration, approved by the American Art Therapy Association.
To accommodate working mental health professionals and those who commute from distant locations, classes are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays. Full-time students take four to five classes each quarter, while those enrolled part time take two to three classes each quarter.
Students like Archer, with a master’s degree and clinical experience in the mental health field, are able to waive 51 credits in the 150-credit program. Archer completed his doctorate in just 2 1/2 years.
Learn more about our PsyD program.
At Antioch University Seattle, adult learners find innovative, individualized programs with a commitment not only to academic excellence, but also to community service and social justice. Antioch is an accredited university in downtown Seattle. You’ll find numerous master’s degrees, a B.A. completion program in liberal studies, a doctorate in clinical psychology plus teaching and other certificates.
Antioch Seattle is one of six campuses of Antioch University, founded in 1852 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Horace Mann, noted abolitionist and first president of Antioch College, gave a charge to the class of 1859 that is repeated to each Antioch graduating class: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”