Meghan McManners believes nothing can prepare you more for earning a doctorate degree and becoming a psychologist than doing research.
Those research tools can be found at East Central University’s new Psychological Training Clinic located in the basement of the Lanoy Education Building.
“It’s about having that research opportunity,” said McManners. “Our research lab provides a great coaching experience. Dr. (Christopher) Campbell and Dr. (Catherine) Roring have done a great job of educating us on the graduate process and what it takes to get into graduate programs.”
McManners, a graduate student from Marietta, is all too familiar with the lab which includes a large observation room, three therapy rooms and state-of-the art video and sound systems. She was able to experience the lab as an undergraduate as she obtained her bachelor’s degree last spring.
Graduate students in the Counseling and School Psychology Programs are now able to receive live supervision from licensed ECU faculty as they conduct psychological services.
“I don’t think there is another master’s program in the state of Oklahoma that provides ongoing live supervision of their graduate students within a formal training clinic,” said Campbell, an assistant professor in ECU’s Department of Psychology. “Typically, training programs have students record their clinical sessions and often times feedback can be delayed for several weeks.”
The new training space is also home to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) Research Labs. The overall goal for the labs is to prepare ECU undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate students for advanced degrees in applied psychology (i.e. clinical, counseling, school psychology).
“For students, research is a critical component of graduate school preparation process and our new research lab provides students with opportunities to present their findings at state, regional and national conferences,” said Roring, another assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.
The new training space has also offered the ability to train clinicians from around the world in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Teacher-Child Interaction Therapy. In fact, during the past year, Campbell and Roring have trained two clinicians from South Korea, 11 clinicians from Canada, and nearly 75 clinicians from 16 U.S. states.
“This is a great tool for preparing us for the doctoral level,” McManners said. “A GPA (grade point average) alone doesn’t cut it. This lab prepares undergraduates and graduates for the doctoral level. It provides the Psychology Department with amazing opportunities for ECU students. Psychology research is an important part of the process.”
McManners has a desire to be a clinical psychologist once she obtains her doctorate degree. “I want to work with children, specifically those with behavior issues. It’s not just working with the child, but with parents too,” said McManners.
By going through ECU’s psychological research program, McManners believes she is growing in her leadership skills. According to McManners the research lab is building up her academic resume and her ability to present at national conferences.