Gregory Betz is a 2015 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee

Roger L. Peterson, PhD, Committee Chair
Lorraine Mangione, PhD, Committee Member
Gina Pasquale, PhD, Committee Member


professional competence, professional impairment, psychologists, problems

Document Type


Publication Date



This dissertation addresses the subject of problems of professional competency within clinical psychology. A review of the current literature on the subject begins with topics including recent changes in terminology, conceptualization, and prevalence of competency problems. Contributing factors, differences between practicing psychologists and trainees, and ethical issues are addressed. The review concludes with current perspectives for assessing and intervening for problems of professional competence. The second section provides the methodology for the study which was a mixed-methods design consisting of a quantitative and qualitative component. The primary procedure consisted of an educational intervention provided to first-year students of a clinical psychology doctoral program. Second-year students were used as a comparison group but were not given the educational intervention. The primary hypotheses presented were that first-year participants’ knowledge about the topic would improve and a shift in attitudes for intervening with competence problems would occur. The third section provided results for the study. Quantitative results indicated that knowledge increased and support-seeking attitudes became more favorable for the first-year sample. Results indicated that first year students’ scores on the self-report measure showed a significant change whereas the second year comparison did not. Qualitative data provided insights regarding students’ motivations in how they would approach a peer with competency problems. The fourth section provided discussion on relevant findings, including implications for the field and limitations within this particular study. The dissertation ends with concluding comments on the study.