Health Psychology Emphasis | Clinical Psychology PsyD

The Health Psychology Emphasis within the School of Graduate Psychology combines the academic, research, and clinical experiences necessary to prepare students for work as an allied health provider in healthcare settings and with medical patients. Working in medical settings requires additional training and experiences beyond the generalist training we already provide. Between 30 and 80 percent of primary care office visits are estimated to result from the complex interplay of psychological factors and medical issues. Functioning in an interdisciplinary setting requires facility with skills and populations that are both inclusive of and different from traditional psychology training. Through integrated coursework, research, and practicum experiences, Health Psychology emphasis students will be competitive for internship, prepared for their clinical trajectory, and able to function in a complex workplace.

Students in this emphasis can also choose to develop skills specifically related to culturally and linguistically informed work with the Latinx community by participating in the Sabiduría emphasis.

Faculty areas of clinical and research specialization include but are not limited to the following:

  • patient-provider communication
  • tailored healthcare communications
  • mind-body interactions
  • perceptions of medical patients
  • psycho physiological disorders
  • psychological factors affecting medical conditions
  • work in interdisciplinary settings
  • pre-surgical psychological evaluations
  • pain assessment and treatment
  • weight management
  • biofeedback
  • gender and health
  • mindfulness with medical populations
  • behavioral medicine
  • rehabilitation psychology
  • primary care psychology


Jennifer R. Antick, PhD - Director

Ruth Zúñiga, PhD


In addition to the regularly required courses within the general SGP curriculum, the following emphasis-specific courses are required (for full course descriptions see the University Catalog):

  • Health Psychology
  • Brief Psychotherapies
  • Neuropsychological Assessment + Lab 
  • Health Psychology Seminar
  • Minimum of one of the following: Psychological Assessment & Management of Chronic Pain; Couples Psychotherapy
  • Minimum of one of the following: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Based Interventions

Clinical Training

Practicum I

Students complete their Practicum I training experience conducting intake assessments and psychotherapy during their 2nd year in the program.  This training takes place at the Pacific Psychology and Comprehensive Health Clinics (our in-house training clinics located in Hillsboro and Portland) where Health emphasis students are supervised by a Health emphasis faculty member.  Students work with clients with a wide range of presenting problems with an emphasis on clients with health-related difficulties.

Practicum II

Students complete their Practicum II training experience during their 3rd year in the program at a community training site where they gain experience in assessment and/or psychotherapy within a healthcare setting. 

Advanced Practicum

During their 4th year in the program students continue their assessment and/or psychotherapy training within a healthcare community training site.  


During their 5th year in the program students complete Internship within a setting that offers a minimum of a health psychology major rotation. This requires a national application process through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC; Students should expect to relocate during this year, as health psychology related sites are located all across the country.  Sites are listed in the APPIC directory (


Students complete empirical dissertations that involves collection of original data or use of archival data for analysis. Dissertation work begins in the 2nd year of training and should be completed prior to internship applications (fall of 4th year). In all cases, dissertations must be completed by the time the student starts Internship. The dissertation must relate to health psychology, theory or practice. Research activity beyond the dissertation is expected, including presentations, attempts at publication, student-level participation in professional organizations and assisting other students and emphasis faculty in their research efforts.


American Psychological Association Division 38:  Society for Health Psychology