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    Saybrook University
   
 
  Nov 21, 2018
 
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Summer Addendum 
    
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Summer Addendum [Archived Catalog]

Applied Psychophysiology, Ph.D


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Core Degree and Requirements


Applied Psychophysiology is the sub-specialty of psychophysiology which uses knowledge of the biological bases of various behaviors in conjunction with numerous psychological techniques to help people moderate illness-related symptoms and optimize their behavior in the sports, educational, and business environments.

Applied Psychophysiologists are professionals who develop and use behavioral assessments and interventions based on such areas as behavioral genetics, hormonal influence on behavior, individual differences in perception, and abnormal physiological patterns. They assist clients in recognizing and altering problems caused by these biological underpinnings. Common psychophysiological intervention techniques include biofeedback, relaxation training, hypnosis, neurofeedback, stress management, among others.

The College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences at Saybrook University provides a PhD in Applied Psychophysiology with two doctoral level specializations to prepare graduates to pursue careers in a professional practice informed by a scientific understanding of mind and body. 

The specializations available within the PhD in Applied Psychophysiology include:

  • Clinical Psychophysiology
  • Optimal Functioning. 

For licensed health professionals, the Clinical Psychophysiology curriculum provides a range of useful concepts and skills for application in most specialty areas of medicine and mental health.  Students entering the Optimal Functioning specialization will learn to assess and assist healthy people to perform better through behavioral control of their physiological systems.  Optimal functioning assessments and interventions are widely used in sports, education, business, military, and clinical environments.  The specializations are detailed below.

Admission Requirements


Students entering the Applied Psychophysiology doctoral program must have completed a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to enrollment. Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 76 credits. Applicants to the Clinical Psychophysiology specialization must document a current healthcare or mental healthcare license or completion of a licensable healthcare or mental healthcare degree.

Students entering the program who have not taken undergraduate courses in general biology or general psychology must take any they are missing during their first semester: APH 5001 General Biology, 1 credit; APH 5002 General Psychology - 1 credit.  Students showing weaknesses in academic writing skills must take Graduate Academic Writing, a 3-credit course. Depending on prior education, they may need to review online resources in electronic circuitry, mathematics, psychological assessment, and medical information needed to perform psychophysiological assessments.

By approval, Saybrook may accept up to nine graduate transfer credits into the PhD degree in Applied Psychophysiology from other regionally accredited colleges and universities prior to entrance. Transfer credits are applied to the required number of elective credits or required courses for degree completion.

These credits must be suitable for transfer to the intended degree as determined by the Department Chair.  If a student has taken additional past graduate courses matching required courses, or can demonstrate learning equivalent to a required course, the required course(s) will be waived, and students will take elective(s) in their place. For further details regarding transfer credit policies, consult the Institutional Transfer Credit Guidelines section of the University Catalog.

Students who have earned a Saybrook MS in Mind-Body Medicine, the MS in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, or the MA in Integrative Wellness Coaching, and who are admitted into the doctoral degree in Applied Psychophysiology, can generally transfer all master’s degree credits that match either a required course or an elective in the PhD program. The exact amount depends on which master’s degree the student has completed, and which PhD specialization the student selects. These students must fulfill the doctoral degree requirements not completed at the master’s level, including the remaining required courses and the dissertation or project.

For further information on admission into the PhD in Applied Psychophysiology program after completion of a master’s degree at Saybrook University, contact the Applied Psychophysiology Department Chair.

Note, this program is not a clinical psychology program. However, it can offer more flexibility in program planning to those wishing to enhance and further develop their clinical knowledge and expertise, but who do not intend to use the degree to qualify for licensure.

Degree Requirements


Students in the PhD degree program in Applied Psychophysiology pursue a 25-credit sequence of core courses in Applied Psychophysiology academic courses, preparing them for a broad range of employment opportunities in medical and mental healthcare, stress management, optimal functioning, and wellness education. Students in the PhD in Applied Psychophysiology also complete a 21-credit sequence of research courses, culminating in a doctoral dissertation, pursuing an original research project on a topic relevant to mind-body and integrative healthcare.  Students in this PhD also complete 18 credits in specialization courses, and 12 credits of elective courses. 

Each of the doctoral specializations is described separately with its coursework and career applications, following discussion of the core PhD degree in Applied Psychophysiology.

Notes:


 

  • The degree completion time for a student following the default course sequence will average between 4 and 5 years. Some students may complete degree requirements in fewer terms and some may require more terms to complete the degree.
  • A listing of acceptable electives is available in the Saybrook Catalog. Students may also choose an elective from the required courses in other specialization.
  • This is a structured cohort program and the sequence of courses is different for students who start in the fall than for students who start in the spring.

 

Learning and Career Outcomes


Licensed healthcare professionals who complete this doctoral degree will strengthen their already existing careers, utilizing evidence-based psychophysiological interventions within their practice area. Graduates with the PhD in Applied Psychophysiology are prepared to excel in medical and mental health settings, integrative medicine, holistic nursing, and a variety of allied health professions. Graduates without healthcare licenses will be prepared to work in the private practice of wellness coaching, stress management, and optimal performance training, and as consultants, educators, and employees in corporate and medically based health promotion and wellness programs.

Specialization in Clinical Psychophysiology


Clinical psychophysiology represents a new level of scientific breadth and personal depth in healthcare. It requires training that emphasizes treating the patient as a whole person, rather than as a set of symptoms, and working with the mind and spirit as well as the body. The Clinical Psychophysiology Specialization for the doctoral degree in Applied Psychophysiology gives currently licensed health professionals expert knowledge and skills applicable in their current field of practice, and opens new medical and mental health practice areas as well.

Designed for licensed healthcare professionals (and those with licensable degrees), this curriculum involves extensive evidence-based research to support a comprehensive range of applied psychophysiological interventions used in the treatment of medical and mental health disorders, in pain management, physical rehabilitation, and a number of other medical specialty areas.

Specialization Requirements


Students selecting the Clinical Psychophysiology doctoral specialization will complete 18 credits in specialized coursework including coursework in mind-body science (anatomy and physiology, psychophysiology), the application of integrative medicine strategies, and additional clinical skills, such as biofeedback, hypnosis, spirituality and health, energy medicine, and consulting skills. As part of their required coursework, they may complete a Saybrook University certificate in biofeedback, hypnosis, integrative wellness coaching, or integrative and functional nutrition.

Specialization Requirements for 2017-2018 Academic Year approved by CIMHS Degree Program Committee.

Specialization Credits: (Years 1-4) 18


Specialization Requirements for 2017-2018 Academic Year approved by CIMHS Degree Program Committee.

Notes:


  • The degree completion time for a student following the default course sequence will average between 4 and 5 years. Some students may complete degree requirements in fewer terms and some may require more terms to complete the degree.
  • A listing of acceptable electives is available in the Saybrook Catalog. Students may also choose an elective from the required courses in other specialization.
  • This is a structured cohort program and the sequence of courses is different for students who start in the fall than for students who start in the spring.

Learning and Career Outcomes


Licensed healthcare professionals who complete this doctoral degree will strengthen their already existing careers, utilizing evidence-based psychophysiological interventions within their practice area. Graduates with the PhD in Applied Psychophysiology are prepared to excel in medical and mental health settings, integrative medicine, holistic nursing, and a variety of allied health professions. Graduates without healthcare licenses will be prepared to work in the private practice of wellness coaching, stress management, and optimal performance training, and as consultants, educators, and employees in corporate and medically based health promotion and wellness programs.

Specialization in Optimal Functioning


Current research shows that a whole-person approach toward treating stress-related diseases and chronic health conditions yields improved outcomes, and can also promote optimal levels of human wellness and performance. The Optimal Functioning specialization prepares students to assist healthy people to perform better through behavioral control of their physiological systems. The PhD in Applied Psychophysiology with a Specialization in Optimal Functioning provides an opportunity to broaden and deepen your knowledge of health, wellness, and resilience, and to master strategies that will help human beings to reach their highest wellness and optimal levels of performance.

Specialization Requirements


Students selecting the specialization in optimal Functioning will take an additional 18 credits, to prepare them for a career in wellness, stress management, and optimal functioning. 

Degree Requirements for 2017-2018 Academic Year approved by CIMHS Degree Program Committee.

Notes:


  • The degree completion time for a student following the default course sequence will average between 4 and 5 years. Some students may complete degree requirements in fewer terms and some may require more terms to complete the degree.
  • A listing of acceptable electives is available in the Saybrook Catalog. Students may also choose an elective from the required courses in other specialization.
  • This is a structured cohort program and the sequence of courses is different for students who start in the fall than for students who start in the spring.

Learning and Career Outcomes


All the specializations in Applied Psychophysiology support career and professional goals across a broad spectrum of academic, healthcare, and organizational environments. The learning outcomes and career outcomes for the Optimal Functioning specialization include:  the application of applied psychophysiological knowledge and interventions in wellness coaching, health education, stress management, corporate wellness, and sports applications.

Whether you are a mid-career professional seeking to enhance your existing skills or an individual seeking to transition to a new career path, the optimal functioning specialization provides a comprehensive overview of the wellness and performance fields combined with core skills training.

If you are currently pursuing a career in one of the occupations below or aspire to do so, this degree program and specialization can help you make a difference and advance along your chosen path.

 

  • Stress Management
  • Sports Trainer
  • Integrative Wellness Coach
  • Health Educator

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