School News

The Adler School Establishes Western Canada’s First Psy.D. Program 10.15.12
The Adler School Establishes Western Canada’s First Psy.D. Program

VANCOUVER—The Adler School of Professional Psychology is enrolling students for western Canada’s first Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program, to be offered at its Vancouver Campus beginning fall 2013.

The British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education approved the new Psy.D. program this year, just as the nation adopts its first-ever national strategy for improving mental health outcomes. The “Changing Directions, Changing Lives” strategy created by the the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MCHA) also will provide an evidence-based tool to ensure that Canadians throughout the country have adequate access to mental health services.

To enact this plan, Canada will need more well-trained clinical psychologists—and critical thinkers prepared to make a difference in the social services landscape.

The Adler School will do its part to address Canadian communities’ health needs by training mental health practitioners through its Psy.D. program with the skills to effect change. The program is designed to shape socially conscious practitioners who are prepared to work directly in communities with the most need, and improve public policies.

“The Adler School’s commitment to social responsibility—and this new Psy.D. program—fits well with Canada’s fundamental value of social service,” said Michael Mandrusiak, Psy.D., Adler School Core Faculty, who has been involved in developing the program. “The Psy.D. degree is unique from a typical Ph.D. in psychology in that it is specifically geared to train graduates as clinicians who understand how to interpret research and how transform it into effective, evidence-based clinical care. In contrast, a Ph.D. tends to place proportionally more emphasis on training producers of research. As with the M.D. medical training model, our Psy.D program primarily focuses on producing trained clinicians.”

The program will aid British Columbia and Canada in expanding much-needed psychological and community services, by giving prospective graduate students a choice to pursue a practitioner-based program.

“At the Adler School, we realize the need not only to train doctoral-level professional psychologists who can provide a full range of clinical services, but to also prepare them for conceptualizing problems at the community and societal levels,” said Larry Axelrod, Ph.D., Dean of the Adler School's Vancouver Campus. “We also give them the tools and encouragement to engage in public policy, advocacy and political action to implement systemic change.”

As part of the Psy.D. training, the Adler School offers coursework in leadership, diversity, social policy and community psychology, which is not usually found in other clinical psychology programs.

“We are grateful to be able to implement our Psy.D. program in Vancouver,” Axelrod said. “We see great changes on the horizon for mental health awareness and services here in Canada.”

At the Vancouver Campus, the Adler School also offers Master of Arts programs in counselling psychology, community psychology and organizational psychology that prepare the next generation of mental health professionals to improve the landscape of mental health care in Canada.

About the Adler School

The Adler School of Professional Psychology has provided quality education through a scholar/practitioner model for 60 years. The School’s mission is to train socially responsible graduates who continue the visionary work of Alfred Adler throughout the world. The Adler School offers graduate-level programs enrolling more than 1,000 students at its campuses in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, and through Adler Online.


Kim McCullough
Director of Communications
Adler School of Professional Psychology
312-662-4124 or via email