The Role of a Clinical Psychologist in a Division I Athletics Program

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

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Gary BennettVirginia Tech

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In recent years, Division I athletics programs have hired counseling or clinical psychologists as a resource for student-athletes who need assistance with clinical issues, personal difficulties, and performance issues. This article documents the evolution of this type of position at Virginia Tech and includes a discussion of the goals of the clinical sport psychologist position, an overview of the daily activities the position entails, and a discussion of the issues that comprise the assessment, conceptualization, and treatment of student-athlete concerns. Models for conceptualizing and delivering sport psychology interventions are also discussed. Evidence indicates that having access to a mental health professional familiar with the issues facing college athletes can be instrumental in helping many of these student-athletes achieve success in the university setting.

Gary Bennett is with the Athletics Department and Cook Counseling Center at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. E-mail: gabennet@vt.edu.

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