VCU Psychology Department

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Counseling Psychology

Mission Statement

Counseling Psychology is a specialty within healthcare psychology (see the webpage of the Society of Counseling Psychology, Division 17 of the American Psychological Association for formal definition of Counseling Psychology). Our training model is a Scientist-Practitioner-Leader program (sizes of font and order represent our relative emphases among the three components). Scientific psychology is the basis of our training in preparing scientists, leaders, and professionals for functioning within the community and the profession of counseling psychology. Our faculty and graduate students are characterized by excellence, innovation, and forward thinking. The counseling psychology program at VCU seeks to be nationally known as the leader among counseling psychology programs in the area of counseling health psychology. The program seeks to advance the field of counseling psychology through innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to science and service provision, while preserving the field’s core traditions, but with a distinctive slant toward counseling health psychology. We endorse a motto that is consistent with VCU itself, “Innovation is our Tradition.”

Specifically, the faculty and students will exhibit excellence in:

  1. the integration of research, practice, and leadership  
  2. basic and applied research
  3. contemporary modes of providing doctoral-level service
  4. leadership in science and in the profession
  5. cultural competence in research, practice and leadership.

Vision Statement

Our goal by 2020 is to become one of the three leading programs in the country in Counseling Psychology. This means having students who publish, win APA-accredited internships, achieve recognition as leaders, and land good jobs that produce satisfying careers. It means having faculty who are excellent teachers, trainers, scholars, and leaders in the field.

This will require reaching several objectives:

  1. Bend our research focus toward grants, high-impact publications (including more in JCP), and collaboration with colleagues;
  2. over half of the core faculty will have at least one government grant—preferably all faculty;
  3. recognize, celebrate, and promote others’ achievements;
  4. engage students in efforts that produce their own high-impact first-authored publications and participation in research teams and contribute to grant getting and administration;
  5. train exceptional students in research, practice, and leadership without “over-training” (i.e., require more clinical training than is necessary).

If we achieve these goals, objectives, and plans, we can expect to:

  1. be successful as individuals who help change the world positively,
  2. feel secure about our place as psychologists and counseling psychologists, and
  3. feel good about working in the VCU APA-accredited Counseling Psychology program.

In short, we will succeed as a program because a team can outperform an individual and a group of coordinated teams can outperform individual teams working toward only their own agenda.

APA Accreditation

Our program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1984. Our last APA site visit was in the fall of 2011.  Our next APA site visit is scheduled for 2018.

Our program upholds the Counseling Psychology Model Training Values Statement Addressing Diversity put forth by the Council of Counseling Psychology Programs (CCPTP). For detailed program statistics, please see our section on Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data.

Commission on Accreditation
750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-336-5979

Contact Information

Director of Clinical Training
Dr. Suzanne Mazzeo

Counseling Psychology program assistant
Rachel Boutté
E-mail: (email is the preferred method of contact)

Virginia Commonwealth University
Department of Psychology
Counseling Psychology Program
806 West Franklin Street
PO Box 842018
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2018