Mission, Philosophy, and History

Mission and Philosophy

The Jackson State University Applied Psychological Services Clinic (APSC) is designed to serve as a mental health training clinic for doctoral students enrolled in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program.  The philosophy of the APSC is that clinical psychology doctoral students need to develop special competencies in rendering psychological services by the repeated practice of providing these services under the close supervision of experienced clinical psychologists.  In keeping with our program theme of training doctoral students to become proficient in providing clinical and research services involving minority and underserved populations, skills in becoming culturally sensitive and culturally competent are taught in the APSC.

History

In the summer of 2002, the APSC opened in the Dollye M.E. Robinson College of Liberal Arts Building    Prior to this time, our doctoral students received their practicum training at a variety of local, off-site, facilities that specialized in the delivery of mental health services. The personnel for the clinic began with a Program Director, a Clinic Manager, and two graduate assistants.  The graduate assistants provided counseling services primarily to JSU students and were supervised by the Clinic Director. The first practicum students provided psychological assessments either as a Practicum I or Practicum II student.

Over the course of two years, a program review process took place and resulted in the development of a policy which mandated clinical training in the APSC.  In the spring of 2004, it was decided by the Graduate faculty to initiate a policy that required two of the three practicum placements be carried out in the APSC.  Three practicum students were trained during the summer, 2004 semester. All were Practicum I students. In the fall of 2004, three Practicum II students and two Practicum I students received hands-on training in the APSC.  Beginning Fall of 2006, the Graduate Program revised the training paradigm to reflect a requirement that all three Practica would occur in the in-house training clinic where psychological services would be provided to JSU students and citizens from the local communities. This practice remains to this day.

In 2003, the APSC became a Medicaid Provider. To this day, Medicaid has not been billed in part because the services are actually rendered by doctoral students and not licensed professionals.  The Director of the APSC completed the HIPAA for Psychologist course sponsored by APAIT and developed HIPAA compliant forms based on this software package which is consistent with the laws in the state of Mississippi.  Consultation was sought from Psychology Clinics at the University of Mississippi, Georgia State University, University of Southern Mississippi and Texas A& M University.  In early 2005, Dr. Jean Spruill, Director of the Psychology Clinic at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa since 1983, served as a consultant who visited the Clinic and reviewed the APSC operations and procedures.   She reviewed and provided comments on the APSC policy manual and HIPAA compliance practices. Dr. Spruill discussed her observations and prepared a feedback summary on ways to improve the training experience of our students, which resulted in the organization of the Clinic that fits the acceptable standard of operations for this type of training facility.

The Director of the Clinic joined the Association of Directors of Psychology Training Clinics (ADPTC) in 2008, thereby facilitating communications via list-servs with Directors of psychology clinics all across the country. Affiliation with the now APTC organization has afforded the opportunity to maintain state of the art practices in training clinics.