What is the difference between a practicum and an internship?
There is a clear distinction between the practicum and internship experiences. The first three years of clinical training are devoted to basic skill acquisition in the areas of assessment and psychotherapy. The practicum sites are to serve as laboratory settings that allow students the opportunity for mastering the fundamental skills and knowledge being taught in the introductory courses in psychopathology, assessment, and intervention. The internship experience follows from both this practicum experience and the successful completion of three core practicum courses. Internship training requires more responsibility on the part of the students, with interns viewed as junior colleagues who perform, under supervision, all the duties of staff psychologists. The internship years are designed to prepare the students for the assumption of an autonomous professional role by allowing for the participation in the full repertoire of activities in which psychologists engage. Interns are expected to refine and to coordinate the skills acquired in the first three years of practica training, as well as to acquire new skills that are specifically related to supervision, care management, decision making, and treatment team leadership.
When can I begin a practicum?
Effective fall 2009, students may begin practicum at the beginning of the second year. This means beginning the practicum training process as early as Fall quarter of the first year, and interview for practicum placements in the Winter and Spring quarter of the first year. Please note that practicum credit will not be awarded during the first year.
How do I set up a practicum?
The practicum training process starts as early as Fall quarter of the first year. Student must first establish readiness through the submission of the Practicum Readiness Packet which consists of the following:
- Practicum Readiness Form
- HIPAA acknowledgment document
- Student Curriculum Vitae
- Statement of Goals
The Practicum Readiness Form asks that students identify at least three practicum sites they may be interested in approaching. The clinical training office maintains a list of approved practicum placements from which students could chose from. If a student is interested in a new site that is not in the pre-approved list, the student could propose the new site by submitting the Training Site Proposal document together with their Practicum Readiness Packet. Once the packet is submitted, it is reviewed by DCT and student is given approval on which sites to approach and apply.
Practicum experiences must include the following:
- Supervision by a licensed clinical psychologist.
- Training in the foundations of clinical practice. Training activities may include, but are not limited to, observing the clinical work of supervisors or trainees, being involved in practice sessions in order to learn therapeutic skills, doing intake interviews with clients, co-leading groups, and participating in clinical "staffings".
- At least one hour of clinical supervision for each 10 hours of time spent providing direct or indirect professional services. One hour of supervision each week must be with the primary supervisor in individual face-to-face setting; the remaining supervision may be in either individual or group supervision with a delegated supervisor. Delegated supervisors may hold a license at the master’s level.
- Exposure to diverse client populations.
When can I begin an internship?
Students may begin internship after meeting the following:
- Internship Readiness Packet Submitted
- Student has received the internship readiness approval letter
- Successfully completed 1000 hours of practicum work.
- All coursework has been successfully completed with a grade of "B" or better.
- Successfully passed the Comprehensive Exam.
- Be actively enrolled and in good clinical training standing and academic standing.
- Passed the Annual Assessment for Program Advancement (for students who started Fall 2010 and forward)
What are the internship requirements?
Internship experience must include the following five components:
Formal training in advanced clinical practice, including diagnosis, treatment planning, case management, intervention, clinical case review, and preferably psychological assessment
- Direct client contact and responsibility for independently managing a caseload
- Ongoing supervision by a licensed clinical psychologist
- A formal, didactic training program as an ongoing aspect of the program
- A variety of direct client contact
How long do I have to complete an internship?
Students must complete the 1500-hour internship requirement in a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 30 months, with any exceptions needing approval by the Director of Clinical Training. For those pursuing APA internships, the requirement for APA internships is that the internship be a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months. This can be completed in a one-year full time internship placement or in two (one year) half-time internships.
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