The Doctoral Psychology Internship at Community Services Institute is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and offers up to 4 full-time positions at its Springfield, MA location. These funded positions begin during the first week in July and extend through the second week of July the following year, for a total of 2000-Internship hours (a 54 week, 40 hour per week commitment). The first two of these weeks are designated for orientation. After the orientation phase, Interns begin building a caseload and participating in assessments, supervision, and didactics. Supervision is geared not only to supporting clinical learning, but administrative demands as well.
All Interns participate in 4 hours of didactic training every Wednesday. Didactics are divided into four seminars, each with a different focus. These four seminars are: Becoming a Trauma- Informed Therapist, Practical Application of Psychological Theory, Psychodiagnostic Assessment, and Integrating Social Justice in Community Mental Health. Topics are chosen specifically to support the learning needs of the Interns beginning with instruction on basic safety and the unique challenges of outreach therapy, telehealth, and advancing into case conceptualization and differential diagnosis.
Overall, didactics are designed to support the primary goal of the Internship- professional practice of child, adolescent, adult and family psychology in a variety of community settings (i.e., outreach psychotherapy, and community mental health centers as well as school settings). As such, the Internship is directed at personal growth and is not directed at specialization.
Interns will be introduced to the unique challenges of outreach and tele-therapy while working with ethnically diverse and economically disadvantaged children, adolescents, adults, and families. Most CSI clients have experienced psychological trauma related to child maltreatment, domestic violence, or exposure to community violence. By the completion of the training year, Interns are expected to have developed competence in working with the complex issues engendered by the above issues, and their impact on clinical services.
CSI’s philosophy embraces the local clinical scientist model of training (Stricker & Trierweiler, 2006), aiming to integrate current research and best practices with community-targeted clinical services. CSI maintains a commitment to diversity and recognizes that multicultural competence is vital to the practice of psychology.
Since its inception, CSI has been committed to innovative treatment approaches such as outreach work and currently telehealth services. Continuing in that tradition, CSI has made a commitment to train all Interns in neurofeedback, as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. This innovative technique can help individuals with depression, anxiety, PTSD and other forms of affect dysregulation learn to better control their emotions. Traditionally, interns are provided all the training and supervision necessary to become a certified neurofeedback practitioner by the end of internship. (Certification through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance, the largest and most comprehensive accrediting body of its kind.) The Internship’s ability to do so this upcoming year will be dependent on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who Can Apply?
- Each Intern accepted into the Internship program will be in the process of completing a doctoral degree in professional psychology from a nationally accredited, degree-granting institution in the United States.
- Qualified applicants must have earned a master’s degree in education, psychology, or social work to participate in a Doctoral Internship.
- Intern applicants must have all required coursework as well as comprehensive exams completed and be in good standing with their doctoral program by the start of the Internship year.
- Eligibility for entry is based on satisfactory completion of graduate program coursework, practicum experiences, including assessment, and other academic requirements as specified by each graduate program.
- Interns will have proposed their dissertation by the time Internship begins.
- Applicants must also demonstrate a sound background in psychology, and a general level of competency in diagnosis and delivery of psychotherapy services, psychopathology, diagnostic criteria, assessment, and theory-based therapeutic interventions as well as knowledge of basic psychodiagnostic testing administration and scoring.
- Applicants who demonstrate a specific interest in children, adolescents and family populations through coursework, research, or practicum or externship experiences are highly desirable and tend to be more highly ranked.
- Computer proficiency, including the ability to learn the use of electronic medical records, is necessary.
- Demonstrate excellence in written and oral communication, and organizational skills
- Show flexibility, self-initiative, and the willingness to self-reflect
- The capacity to maintain a positive attitude under challenging circumstances
- Reliable transportation is a necessity for clinical travel