2014, Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology
Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University
Psychologist III at Arizona State Hospital
“[My] education prepared me for a career as a licensed
clinical psychologist with coursework that included both emerging research and
foundational classic texts, relevant clinical training experiences, faculty
accessibility outside of scheduled classes and quality role modeling from
Approach: Psychodynamic, Existential/experiential and Humanistic Therapy to
Dr. Summer Schneider is a psychologist at Arizona State Hospital where she
provides forensic programming services to patients. “My primary
responsibilities include forensic evaluation and report writing, general
psychological evaluation for diagnostic clarification, co-management of two
forensic units, treatment planning, individual therapy, group therapy,
supervision, consultation and training of direct care staff,” she says.
Schneider works with many populations at the hospital, an
inpatient psychiatric facility. These include civilly committed men and women
with serious mental illness, forensically committed men and women who have been
adjudicated Guilty Except Insane (GEI) for the commission of a violent crime,
pre-trial men and women in the Restoration to Competency (RTC) program and adult
males committed to the Arizona Community Protection and Treatment Center
(ACPTC) due to Sexually Violent Person (SVP) status.
Schneider earned a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical
Psychology from Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University
in 2014. “I quickly became aware of the limitations associated with my
undergraduate degree. Working in proximity to various master’s and doctor level
mental health professionals clarified my aspiration of becoming a licensed
psychologist. I was especially drawn to their leadership and seemingly broad
repertoire of competence in therapy, psychological evaluation, supervision and
research,” she adds.
She chose Argosy University because of its well-respected
program, training and education, small class sizes, caring faculty and proximity
to family. Schneider is a first generation college student and did not have an
educational “roadmap” to follow. She says, “it was difficult to turn down
family gatherings in favor of endless studying. I am eternally grateful for my
family’s patience and cheerleading along the way.”
Schneider’s education at Argosy University included comprehensive academic coursework
including emerging research and foundational classic texts, relevant clinical
training experiences, faculty accessibility outside of scheduled classes and
quality role modeling from expert educators.
She earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology in 2012
and completed her “ultimate goal” of completing doctor level studies while
training in community mental health, at the county jail and Arizona State
Hospital. “This further informed my passion for instilling hope and providing
care to underserved inpatient populations. Following an incredible internship, I
was hired into the psychology department and completed an additional year of informal
post-doctoral training [at Arizona State Hospital],” she adds.
While working at the hospital, Schneider strengthened her
blended therapeutic approach in private practice. This approach includes psychodynamic,
existential/experiential and humanistic therapy.
Schneider is an advocate for policy reform to improve protections for gender
diverse patients and employees. “Consistent with these efforts, I am developing
a mandatory training module to educate direct care staff about best practices
for the treatment of patients who identify as transgender,” she states. Schneider
was selected to pilot a psychologist-run unit at the hospital’s forensic campus,
leading multidisciplinary treatment team in serving 15-20 forensic patients. “The
role of treatment team leader has traditionally been reserved for psychiatric
staff. Reimagining this role to include psychologists represents an important
milestone in the evolution of the psychology department from consultative staff
to fully integrated treatment team members,” she says.
She recommends that current students get a head start on
studying for the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP).
Schneider states, “the longer you wait to rip the tape off the box and begin
studying, the harder your experience will likely be. There is a unique element
to the EPPP which separates it from any other exam. You must meaningfully commit
the information to memory and learn the artfully complex language of the EPPP. The
questions are uniquely worded. Learn the language so you do not get lost in
Schneider also works part-time as a private contractor conducting
forensic evaluations for the Department of Child Safety (DCS) and providing disability
evaluations for the Department of Economic Security (DES). She appreciates the
meaningful relationships built at Argosy University. “The committee chair of my
dissertation is one of my greatest mentors. I often reflect upon the magnitude
of his positive influence [and am] grateful for his role in introducing me to
my preferred therapeutic approach, his guidance in developing my observational
skills, his ongoing friendship, wisdom and support,” she states.
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See ge.argosy.edu/programoffering/971 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt,
salary data, alumni success, and other important info.