Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Susan Panichelli Mindel, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Bruce S Zahn, EdD, ABPP

Third Advisor

David Rubenstein, PsyD


This study utilized a prospective, multi-group cohort, correlational design to examine the relationship between clinical psychology trainees’ beliefs related to themselves and the role of being a psychotherapist and the factors associated with objectively-rated and self-rated measures of clinical competence. The participants in this study were pre-doctoral graduate students currently enrolled in a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) Clinical Psychology Program. All were in the first through fourth years of the five year program. Results indicated there were not significant differences between first, second, third and fourth year students in terms of irrational beliefs. There were no significant differences between students in terms of their irrational beliefs, objective measures of competence, and self-rated measures of competence. As a whole, the number of years in the program, objective measures of competence, and self-rated measures of competence were not predictive of therapist irrational beliefs. However, higher self-rated measures of competence independently predicted lower rates of therapist irrational beliefs (β =.415, t = 2.195, p = .036). This finding provides information about the cognitive processes of clinical trainees and may serve to enhance the supervision and training process.

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