James J. De Santis, Ph.D.
Post Office Box 894, Glendora, CA 91740-0894
(818) 551-1714

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After graduating from college with a bachelors degree, usually in
psychology, an average of seven additional years are spent in graduate
school to earn a doctoral degree in psychology, usually a Ph.D. or a Psy.D.

Academic course work includes studying theories of normal and abnormal
behavior, mental health assessment and treatment techniques, ethics and
professional standards, research design and methodology, and biological
aspects of mental disorders such as neuropsychology and
psychopharmacology. Part way through graduate study, the student must
demonstrate a thorough understanding of these areas by successful
performance on a comprehensive examination.

Education culminates with the completion of a dissertation, which is an
experimental research project that must be an original contribution to the
field of psychology.


Training involves clinical rotations in clerkships and practica, followed by at
least one year of full-time, closely supervised internship experience,
typically in a hospital, medical center, clinic, or other health setting,
providing a variety of assessment and treatment services. Psychologists
develop specialty areas of expertise, such as play therapy with children,
marriage counseling, stress management, or behavior modification.


Beyond education and training, additional requirements remain for the
independent practice of psychology. An additional full year of post-doctoral
experience is required for a minimum of 3000 total hours of experience under
supervision in order to be eligible to take the licensing examinations.


Successful performance both on a national, written test and in an oral
examination by a panel of licensed psychologists is required by the State of
California in order to receive a license for the independent practice of

Independent Practice

A licensed psychologist can diagnose and treat psychological and emotional
problems and mental disorders. A psychologist can administer psychological
tests and can conduct psychotherapy and counseling. Psychologists provide
services to individuals, couples, families, children. Psychologists may refer
their patients to other practitioners for related evaluations or treatments.
They may act as consultants to assist other professionals. Psychologists
may practice in clinics and hospitals and private offices.
What is a Psychologist?