PsyD Dissertation – A Step-by-Step Manual for Writing Outstanding Papers

PsyD Dissertation

If you are becoming a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D), it becomes crucial to start a research project in clinical psychology to make an effective contribution to the field. This is what we call a PsyD dissertation in which you have to pick a clinical problem and do your own research on the topic. In this way, you can start a new study from any already existing knowledge to contribute fresh insights and synthesis to it.

Due to increasing concerns about mental health issues, the demand for Psychologists has also increased. A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that clinical psychologists’ employment rate is projected to rise 10% by 2031, which is much faster than that of other jobs.

Coming back to our topic, a PsyD dissertation helps students deeply understand a key clinical problem and grow as scholarly clinicians and psychologists. However, the problem arises when you don’t have enough knowledge and expertise to start such a long project. That’s why most of the students seek dissertation writing help from professionals in this field. With their quick support throughout this journey, they ensure that your written work is exceptionally outstanding compared to others.

Here, we will discuss the whole manual of writing a perfect PsyD dissertation in detail and help you make an outstanding paper with a little effort.

What is PsyD?

Just like a PhD degree, which means the Doctor of Philosophy, PsyD is used for the Doctor of Psychology. It is the highest doctoral degree that many psychologists get from a university while working in different clinical settings. It focuses on both applied and clinical aspects of psychology.

During this academic journey, you have to work independently on leading clinical problems for significant input into the field. After getting a PsyD, you would be able to work independently in your own clinic or join a leading position at any healthcare centre, institute or organisation.

How to Write a PsyD Dissertation? Step-by-Step Guide

Wondering how to start writing a dissertation to get a doctoral degree in the PsyD program? Most students struggle during this stage due to very little guidance from their instructors. But you don’t need to worry about it because you have got our comprehensive guide on this topic. Following is our easy step-by-step manual for writing an outstanding PsyD dissertation.

Visualise Your Dissertation

We all are aware of the fact that dissertation writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. It demands full concentration on every little step. So, whenever students start thinking about writing a dissertation, they first make some imagination about it. They usually ask questions from themselves as well as others, like what they should choose for a doctoral study and what the ways to approach it.

To answer such queries, you must have in-depth knowledge of your field of research. Already available data greatly helps you in this regard that you can use for your PsyD dissertation work.

Choose a Compelling Research Topic, Problem, and Question

Before starting your dissertation, you have to pick an engaging topic of research and develop strong research questions. Just like many other fields, psychology also has various methods to use during this step. It basically involves methods to explore feelings using various approaches like case study, phenomenological, and hermeneutic. You can also use quantitative and qualitative methods of study.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to clarify the significance of the question for clinical psychology and understand its place within the field. Additionally, researchers should look at their research and which gap they are going to fill. These include basic scientific, theoretical, or clinical gaps.

PsyD Dissertation Structure

Regent University provided the complete structure and formatting guidelines related to your psychology dissertations. It consists of these main pages:

Title Page

The title page is the top page of your PsyD dissertation that will catch the sight of your readers. It should have a clearly written topic name on which you are working. Along with that, write an author name that means your good name, a subject that you are studying, date of completion, and the university name. The title of your dissertation should be elaborative enough to represent the main research or theoretical issues addressed.

For example, Oxford Echoes presented the following title page to help you get an idea about it.

Image Source: Oxford Echoes


Abstract means the shortest summary of your PsyD dissertation. It typically includes the main purpose of your study, with an overview of your method of study used and the results obtained. For theoretical dissertations, you should mainly focus on introducing your topic, literature and methods of study used. Keep in mind that your abstract should be under 350 words, but a 120-word abstract is also highly recommended in APA journals.

Acknowledgements (Optional)

Here, you will say good words as an appreciation or to say thanks to those who fully supported you during this tough time. A dissertation journey is not a single person’s work; it includes your instructors, family, friends, administration and the faculty. So, you should express your gratitude to all of them here.

Table of Contents

In this section, you need to list all sections of the PsyD dissertation with their starting page numbers. Steven presented the following table of contents for a dissertation:

Image Source: Steven

It should be single-spaced and following that, add these sections below:

  • List of Tables

Lists all tables in the dissertation with their starting page numbers for easy reference.

  • List of Figures

Lists all figures in the dissertation with their starting page numbers for easy reference.


Introduction is the first chapter of your PsyD dissertation in which you need to describe the aim of your study. Along with that, introduce your topic and some background information to help the reader understand your dissertation topic. Here, you will also discuss the psychological problem you are working on.

However, if you are finding it tough even during the initial stages to work on such a crucial project, you can buy dissertation online from academic advisors and writers. They provide great support to the students and help them design their projects according to their university’s highest standards.

Literature Review

Do a thorough survey of the literature from various credible resources. These include old theses, books, scholarly articles, publications, journals, case studies and E-books. During this step, you should start your research from previous years to the recent ones. It will help you identify the research gaps that are available in the existing literature.

Furthermore, you should keep a pen and paper along with you to record your research data site by site. Don’t forget to add references along with the information collected for later use in your PsyD dissertation.

Method or Proposed Project

Among the various methods available, you should choose the most appropriate one that is practically possible for you. During this process, describe your study design along with the selected procedures and methods used. For example, it covers everything from data collection to data analysis and the materials and techniques used. You should describe your proposed method in a very easy and understandable way so that everyone can understand it well.

Results or Outcome of Project

Here, you need to present the relevant findings to the methods you used for your PsyD dissertation research. It shows the end results of your whole study, describing what you have gotten from this research. It mostly includes a lot of statistical data and significance tests that need proper visualisation for understanding. So, you should use graphs, charts, tables and figures here.


Now, it’s time to interpret the results you have gotten from your research and practical work. You should discuss the effectiveness of your study and the methods used. Along with that, any study limitations should be discussed by comparing them with other studies and their potential applications. It will add more credibility to your work and show that you are honest about the results obtained.


Here, you will present the whole dissertation work once again with a little detail of important things. Discuss your topic of research a little bit and then explain your methodology. Also, present a critical evaluation of your project and discuss its outcomes in an easy and concise way. Here, you should avoid adding any new information because it leaves a negative impact on the reader.


In this part, you should list all the references used in your PsyD dissertation. If you neglect this step, your whole dissertation work will be wasted. So, consider it a crucial part of your dissertation and keep all the references consistent in the same reference style prescribed by your institute. Always use single-space individual references with double spacing between them. Also, you should continue the page numbering through the references.

PsyD Dissertation Topics

Wondering how to pick a dissertation topic in psychology? To choose a topic of research, you have to do a thorough literature survey and find the research gaps that you can fill. Furthermore, always select a topic of your choice, keeping in mind your future study and career concerns. Following is the list of top unique dissertation topics for clinical psychology that you can use for your own research:

  1. The role of early intervention in preventing psychosis.
  2. The effectiveness of exposure therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  3. The role of family therapy in treating eating disorders.
  4. The impact of attachment-based therapy on adult attachment styles.
  5. Eating disorders in gay men: The link to shame and suicide risk.
  6. The effectiveness of cognitive remediation therapy for schizophrenia.
  7. The role of psychological interventions in managing chronic pain.
  8. Anger and depression among incarcerated juvenile delinquents: A pilot intervention.
  9. The impact of neuropsychological assessment in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.
  10. The relationship between sensory processing and play in children with autism spectrum disorders.

PsyD Dissertation Examples

The University of San Francisco has presented various examples of PsyD dissertations from which you can select that are relevant to your topic or study. Such previously written dissertations not only serve as a guide but also help students to stay on track during this journey.

For example, a PsyD dissertation on the topic “Clinician Perspectives on Fistula Mental Health” is given below:

Image Source: Clinician Perspectives on Fistula Mental Health

Does a PsyD Require a Dissertation?

Most of the PsyD programs generally don’t need a lot of research. However, some programs require a research-based project called a dissertation. But in the early stages of PsyD, you don’t have to worry about the research as it will come after completing the coursework.

How Long is a Dissertation in PsyD?

Basically, Pacifica Graduate Institute divide these PsyD dissertations into three main types and their length, depending upon various factors, varies for each type. These are:

  • Qualitative dissertation – 80 to 100 pages
  • Theoretical dissertation – 100 to 120 pages
  • Quantitative dissertation – 60 to 80 pages


No doubt, writing a PsyD dissertation requires the utmost attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the field. For students, it becomes the most demanding stage in their whole study career because of critical research and finding the newest possible methods. In this regard, to help you throughout this tough phase, we have designed a complete manual for making your papers outstanding and winning. You just have to follow the steps mentioned above to format and structure your dissertation properly.

In addition, most capable students also prefer to get dissertation writing services to ensure their success in this critical stage. If you also don’t want to take the risk of ruining your paper, you can benefit from these professionals and get their tailored services for your PsyD dissertation.