Clinical Program Information


The Department of Psychology at Lakehead University offers both MA Clinical Psychology and PhD Clinical Psychology programs, with the PhD built upon the MA program. The PhD program is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association for a six year term until 2023-24 (141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5J3, Tel: (613) 237-2144, Fax: (613) 237-1674, Toll free: 1-888-472-0657, email: The mission of the graduate clinical program is to pursue excellence in psychological research, professional education, and training, as well as public and community service. We are committed to fostering a community of intellectual excellence that promotes an evolving understanding of psychological science and the provision of high-quality graduate education and training in the profession of psychology. The programs strive to develop and nurture skills within our students that are grounded in science, critical thinking, and ethics, so that they may serve as competent researchers, clinicians and educators. We are dedicated to increasing the scientific understanding of the behaviour of individuals, groups and social systems, and to the application of this understanding to enhance the functioning and well- being of individuals, groups and societies.

The programs adhere closely to the Scientist-Practitioner model of training and practice in Psychology. Specifically, we subscribe to the view that the practitioner who can critically evaluate these research findings will make the soundest contributions to society and the profession by supporting evidence-based practice. Similarly, a clinical researcher who is knowledgeable about best practices will make the most significant contribution to clinical research.

The program celebrates cultural diversity and individual differences, and strives to reflect and foster the rich cultural diversity of Northern Ontario. The location and heterogeneity of Thunder Bay provides a unique opportunity to work with various cultural groups, particularly Indigenous populations and individuals from rural, remote and under-serviced areas, in addition to individuals living in urban areas.

Our program strives for collegiality and a supportive environment, as well as a forum for open discussion and exchange of information. As a smaller university, we strive to offer our students an open, friendly, and stimulating environment that is attentive to their unique interests and concerns, and is conducive to professional, intellectual and personal growth. In fact, a recent survey of our current students indicated that students noted the following three main themes as the top strengths of the program: a positive and supportive environment/culture (78%), faculty/supervisor relationships (78%), and the abundant peer support (67%).


Our professional goal is to train our students at a doctoral level in clinical and research skills that allow them to pursue a career in professional practice that is informed by science, and/ or a career in academic/research settings that require highly trained clinical psychology researchers. The program provides generalist training that allows career flexibility in urban or rural practice settings, and in academic institutions. Opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in northern, rural, and cultural issues are available through coursework, research, and clinical training. Health care issues have been at the forefront in northern Ontario for many years. Distinctive geographic and population characteristics pose unique considerations for clinical service delivery and the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals. It is hoped that our programs will contribute to research knowledge associated with northern and rural issues in clinical psychology, and assist in the retention of practising clinical psychologists in the region. To this end, students are provided with a comprehensive background in the field to prepare them for working with the wide range of mental health issues that confront clinical psychologists in urban and rural settings. Clinical training opportunities in northern Ontario hospitals, clinics, and agencies are available to the students.


Our objectives are to provide our students with knowledge in the following areas:

1. The five core content areas in psychology, namely biological, social, cognitive-affective, individual bases of behaviour, and history and systems of psychology.

2. Research methods and advanced statistics

3. Test construction and measurement

4. Scientific and professional ethics and standards in accordance with the Canadian Psychological Association Code of Ethics for Psychologists, Practice Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services, and the College of Psychologists of Ontario Standards of Professional Conduct.

5. Psychological assessment

6. Intervention

7. Program development and evaluation

8. Interpersonal Relationships

9. Diversity issues in clinical psychology

10. Consultation and Clinical Supervision

11. Information to launch careers in research and professional practice


  • Learning. We view learning as a continuous lifelong process. It embraces the principles of intellectual freedom and academic inquiry.
  • Science-based practice. The program adheres to the Scientist-Practitioner model of training. The value of evidence-based practice is appreciated and applied to training in assessment, treatment, and outcome evaluation. It is hoped that these ongoing contributions can be used to enhance service delivery and the well-being of the mental health population as a whole.
  • Ethical and responsible practice. The program strives to prepare students who are ethical and professional in their research, clinical, and teaching activities. The ethical principles of the field are emphasized so that students come to value the dignity of the individual, the importance of the promotion human welfare, and the maintenance of scientific, academic, and professional integrity.
  • Diversity. Training is grounded in an appreciation of cultural diversity and the unique needs of Aboriginal persons and rural, remote and underserviced populations. Training is provided in courses and clinical practica in the adaptation of approaches to assessment, treatment, and the interpretation of data that are sensitive to individual differences. Moreover, the program attempts to provide a "generalist" approach to training that is responsive to the varied interests, needs, and goals of its learners.
  • Interdisciplinarity and Interprofessional Practice.  Our commitment to learning transcends specific programs and disciplines. There are opportunities for collaboration between psychology and other academic units within the university, including Women’s Studies, and Gerontology. A focus is also on training future interprofessional team members.

Theoretical Orientation

The primary theoretical orientation of the program is cognitive-behavioural. However, students are exposed to other theoretical orientations in their courses (e.g., psychodynamic, interpersonal, systems, feminist). Additionally, our students work with faculty or clinical supervisors in the various clinical settings, both within and outside of Thunder Bay, on their research and< clinical activities. Exposure and familiarity to different theoretical orientations are available when the students are trained with different supervisors.

Professional and Research Interests

The professional and research interests of the Clinical Psychologists on faculty span a broad range, and their research expertise include both quantitative and qualitative strategies of analyses. Students are encouraged to work with the any full time Psychology Faculty members to broaden their scope of research training and become familiar with different areas of Psychology. The research interests of the Psychology Faculty members are detailed our program brochure or through the Faculty & Staff webpage (