APA-Accredited Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology

(Following the recommendation by the American Psychological Association Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, the title of the internship program was changed from "Predoctoral Internship" to "Doctoral Internship" in October 2013.)

The goal of the Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology at CAPS is to prepare doctoral students in the final stages of their graduate training for broad, competent, and responsible functioning as professional psychologists in the mental health care system. The program provides interns with the opportunity to develop and refine general skills that are fundamental to the independent practice of health service psychology, and applicable to a wide variety of mental healthcare settings.

The internship training program places particular emphasis on: consolidation of a theoretical body of knowledge; competencies in individual and group psychotherapy, clinical assessment, crisis assessment and intervention, consultation and advocacy, preventive and developmental outreach programs, and supervision skills.  Interns are also expected to deepen their sense of professional identity by functioning effectively as members of a multifaceted mental health/student development system for the campus community.  The internship facilitates the interns' productive relationships with fellow trainees and with clinical staff.  The objectives are both to become proficient in the provision of psychological services and to enhance the personal and professional qualities necessary to participate cooperatively and creatively in health service settings.

The internship program is based on a 40 hour week, for 12 months, with university holidays, vacation and sick leave, and staff benefits.  The program begins the final week of August and is completed one year later. The total training comprises more than 1,800 hours of supervised experience. In addition, time is spent outside the regular Center hours as may be needed for program planning, research and preparation for services, writing of reports and other documents, and delivery of special activities. Interns are included in afterhours on-call emergency consultation, shared with other staff on a rotation basis; interns serve as consultants for a third-party agency on crisis calls from Northwestern students approximately four evenings and one weekend per quarter with supervisory back-up by senior staff.  These additional hours bring the total internship hours to 2,000 for the year; individuals are advised to check with their state Boards of Psychology to determine if these additional hours may be declared in their applications for licensure.

Review the requirements for successful completion of the internship program (pdf).

Competencies in working with culturally diverse clients comprise one of the three training goals for our interns as outlined in the hyperlinked document in the previous paragraph. For information about our internship's commitment to diversity and preparing interns to serve a diverse public, please review our position on Multicultural and Diversity Competencies and CAPS's Diversity Value Statement.

The doctoral internship program at CAPS is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA). The CoA can be contacted at the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002-4242 Phone: 202-336-5979 TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123.