psyd Archives - Divine Mercy University

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Affordable Outpatient Mental Health Clinic to Host Open House

The newly relocated outpatient mental health clinic known as the IPS Center for Psychological Services will host two one-hour open house sessions on January 23 — with the first session in the morning at 9 a.m. and second session in the evening at 5:30 pm. All interested guests are encouraged to email to RSVP. (Members of the press are welcome.)

The clinic is part of the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program operated by the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) of Divine Mercy University (located at 45154 Underwood Lane in Sterling, Virginia). Trainees receive regular supervision from licensed psychologists — a practice consistent with the American Psychological Association’s accreditation requirements. 

During this event, guests will get an overview of the IPS Center’s affordable, professional mental health services for adults, adolescents, children, families and couples. There will also be a presentation about the client-clinician matching process, psychological assessments offered, and the sliding scale fee (based on individual/family income).

“We are very pleased to share the services of the IPS Center with residents of Loudoun County and the Northern Virginia community,” said Fr. Charles Sikorsky, L.C., president of Divine Mercy University. “The IPS Center has been providing affordable outpatient mental health services since 2000, and our relocation to Sterling will allow us to serve more clients who desire a holistic approach to therapy.”  

The IPS Center is committed to providing the community high-quality services consistent with a Catholic-Christian understanding of the person, marriage, and family life. At the heart of such treatment is a deep respect for the dignity of each person and a commitment to providing appropriate state-of-the-art services within the context of each individual’s culture, race, religion and gender. All services are provided on a confidential basis, as the IPS Center adheres to the strict guidelines of HIPAA and state laws.

“Our clinicians are trained to treat a variety of concerns including anxiety and panic disorders, relationship difficulties, and child behavior management,” said Dr. Helena Orellana, interim director of the IPS Center and licensed clinical psychologist. “One distinguishing feature to our training program is that our students receive instruction in child-centered play therapy and marital therapy. They also receive training in a wide variety of modalities including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, and interpersonal theory.”  

The IPS Center accepts referrals from physicians, psychiatrists, educators, church leaders, mental health providers, social service professionals, and others. To schedule an appointment with a clinician, call (703) 418-2111. (Services are by appointment only. The IPS Center does not provide emergency services.)

To RSVP for the open house, email and include your first and last name, along with your desired session (either 9 a.m. or at 5:30 p.m.).   


The IPS Center is an outpatient mental health facility providing clinical services to adults, adolescents, children, families and couples. Services are provided by doctoral students, closely supervised by licensed clinical psychologists. We are committed to providing the community with high quality, affordable mental health services that incorporates an understanding of the emotional, biological, social, spiritual and psychological aspects of a person. Clients of any faith or background are welcome.

For more information, contact Marketing and Communications Manager Ebony Shamberger at 703-416-1441 x115 or

Report Shows Psy.D. Program Listed Among U.S. Best

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program at Divine Mercy University has been ranked one of the best Psy.D. programs in the United States.

Pictured Left: Psy.D. 2019 Cohort, a leading online social community for graduate-level psychology students, ranked over 80 APA-accredited Doctorate of Psychology degree programs. Factors considered included affordability, completion time, degrees conferred, and internship placement. The Institute for the Psychological Sciences’ (IPS) Psy.D. program, housed within Divine Mercy University (DMU), ranked 38th out of the top 50 programs.

According to, “All schools were sourced directly using the data set available through the website. For prospective psychologists, the APA accreditation assures the educational and professional communities that a program meets certain basic quality levels and industry standards.”

Among the 50 programs, the IPS Psy.D. degree at DMU is unique as it is based upon the latest advances in evidence-based practice, research, and theory, while incorporating principles of a Catholic-Christian understanding of the human person. 

“The faculty at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences takes pride in preparing our students for the rigors and opportunities inherent in the profession of clinical psychology,” said Dr. Suzanne Hollman, IPS dean. “It is our hope that each student who graduates from the Psy.D. program will, through our commitment to academic excellence and science-based practice,  help further our mission to relieve human suffering in all its permutations.” 

The Psy.D. program currently has 65 students and 66 alumni. Students have received training through externships and internships at various sites, including St Elizabeth’s Hospital, Children’s National Medical Center, Catholic Charities, and Veterans Affairs. The PsyD candidates  have also defended dissertations on a wide range of topics that contributes new research to the world of academia.

“On behalf of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences at Divine Mercy University (DMU),” said Fr. Charles Sikorsky, L.C., J.D., J.C.L., president of DMU, “I would like to say that we are grateful and proud that our Psy.D. program is considered one of the best in the country. The hard work of our faculty, students, alumni and staff has made this possible and we will continue to strengthen and develop our program in the future. 

“Our distinctive blend of the best of science with the best of Christian thought about the nature and destiny of the human person enriches the study of psychology and uniquely prepares our students for the challenges and opportunities of contemporary practice.”

Applicants of the program can apply online at the following link:

For additional information about the Psy.D. program, contact a representative at 703-416-1441 or


Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate institution of higher education offering degree programs in psychology and counseling, founded in 1999 as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. The university is dedicated to the scientific study of psychology with a Catholic understanding of the human person , marriage, and the family. The university offers Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in Psychology and Counseling, and the Doctoral (Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology.

Divine Mercy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award masters and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Divine Mercy University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

 The IPS doctoral program in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA). *Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association 750 1st Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 Phone (202)-336-5979 / Email: apaaccred@apa.orgWeb:

For more information, contact Marketing and Communications Manager Ebony Shamberger at 703-416-1441 x115 or