The Women’s Center, a freestanding outpatient mental health clinic, offers an intensive internship program in clinical psychology. The requirements and standards of this program are equivalent to those of the American Psychological Association (APA) and Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). It is an organized training program designed to provide interns with a planned and programmed sequence of training experiences. Training takes place in the Vienna, VA office.
This internship is open to students of any gender who meet the requirements outlined below. Interns must have a strong interest in working with clientele of varied economic and cultural backgrounds, who present with a wide range of pathologies that are treatable in an outpatient setting. These include not only a wide range of disorders but also a range of condition severity and individual functioning.
The program offers an opportunity for clinical experience in psychotherapy for adults, couples, families, adolescents, and children. The amount of experience in any given population depends both upon the availability of clients and the clinical expertise of the individual supervisors. Additional opportunities in co-leading group psychotherapy and in co-presenting psycho-educational workshops may also be available.
This training program is intended to be the continuation of the academic preparation of doctoral students in clinical psychology. Its purpose is to increase the development of clinical assessment, treatment, and consultation skills, while utilizing knowledge of theory and research. In this approach, the preparation of a professional psychologist includes a continuous integration of theory, research, and practice with each of these sources informing the others. Its purpose is to both assure the breadth and quality of the intern’s academic training, and to serve the community by providing clinical services, and community education, regardless of the client’s ability to pay.
Sessions & Applications Deadline
|Internship/Externship Session||Application Deadline|
(January – August)
Start Date – January 2nd
(May – December)
Start Date – May 1st
(September – April)
Start Date – September 1st
Masters Level Counseling, Social Work & MFT Students
Start Date – September 1st
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Students
Standards of Quantity and Quality of Internship Responsibilities
The internship requires a minimum of 2,000 hours. For full-time interns, this must be completed within 12 months, and for part-time interns this must be completed within 24 months. The internship provides training in a wide range of assessment and treatment activities conducted directly with clients seeking health services. Allocation of time and effort of the typical intern (with some flexibility to pursue individual interests) is as follows:
50-60% Individual, Couples, Family, or Group Psychotherapy
Interns are expected to maintain a caseload of clients sufficient to log 1,000 hours in direct client contact hours in an effort to gain considerable experience as a psychotherapist. Interns work with clients having moderate and severe mental disorders. Responsibilities include diagnosis, treatment planning, and empirically-supported treatment interventions. The intern will demonstrate his or her skills to the assigned supervisor by means of recording of sessions (with client consent) for training and supervision purposes. The number of clients and the number of sessions recorded is at the discretion of the supervisor. Interns may also elect to co-lead a group of his or her choice when such opportunities are available. The intern will demonstrate the following in individual supervision sessions:
- Ability to establish effective therapeutic relationships
- Ability to correctly identify and classify disorders
- Ability to write appropriate treatment plans
- Proficiency in individual, group, and family therapy according to supervisory guidelines
- Competence and sensitivity to cultural and individual diversity concerns in planning and implementing treatment
- Knowledge and skills associated with effective case management
- Ability to utilize family and community resources in treatment planning and referrals
5-10% Attendance at Didactic Seminars
The purpose of the weekly didactic seminars is two-fold: (1) To integrate and apply the concepts, principles, theories, and techniques of clinical practice within a variety of clients and groups; and (2) To combine each intern’s individual educational, employment, and life experiences, as well as their current internship experiences into a defined professional self.
The seminar provides interns with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate each intern’s awareness of his or her own psychodynamics and their impact on others; to be supportive of his or her peers and listen to contributions of others without judgment; to allow for differences and hear feedback or positive criticism; and to contribute to the learning process by asking questions and offering thoughtful comments or questions.
Attendance at all seminars is mandatory. If an emergency arises and a student is unable to attend, advance notice must be provided to the training manager. Particular importance is placed on attendance and punctuality in order to develop and observe the intern’s capacity to contain and hold information, practice self-discipline, observe the rules of confidentiality, and demonstrate respect for supervisors, staff, and agency policies
The internship includes a minimum of two hours per week of regularly scheduled, formal, face-to-face, individual supervision with the specific intent of dealing with mental health services rendered to clients directly by the intern. Attendance at the weekly group supervision session is mandatory. If an emergency arises and a student is unable to attend, advance notice must be provided to the training coordinator. Attendance at additional supervision groups (e.g., play therapy) is optional, but highly recommended. If the intern wishes to have additional supervision, he or she may arrange additional supervision hours with the Director of Clinical Training.
Staff: Major views represented include psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic-existential, and integrated approaches
Students: Varies according to interests
Specialization and Restrictions
The Center’s clientele includes outpatients of many ethnicities, all genders, and all ages.
Clients who are not seen at The Center include those who are imminently suicidal, those who are actively psychotic, and those seeking substance abuse treatment. These individuals are referred to other organizations that provide these specialized services.
How to Apply
- Third or fourth-year doctoral students in good standing in an APA-approved (or equivalent) clinical psychology or doctoral re-specialization program. This requirement includes the completion of the university’s externship or practicum requirements
- Interest in community mental health
- Clinical practicum plus courses in personality theory, psychodiagnostics, psychopathology, and psychotherapy
- Experience with two or more standardized tests of intellectual, cognitive, academic, and social-emotional functioning
Internship Duties & Requirements
Upon offer of an internship opportunity, all prospective interns must sign a contractual agreement to fulfill the following internship requirements:
- Participate in the program for 2,000 hours for 50 weeks of the year: Full-time interns must log 40 hours per week; Part-time interns must log 20 hours per week
- Provide a minimum of 20 hours of individual psychotherapy services each week (10 hours for part-time interns)
- Each week, work one four hour shift of intake services and related duties
- Each week, work either one evening (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) or Saturday
- Attend all scheduled internship seminars, including the didactic seminar, group supervision group, and individual supervision sessions
- Adhere to all Center policies and procedures, including those governing documentation and records
- Inform all clients of one’s training status (i.e., that services are being provided by an intern) and advise clients at least two months in advance of internship termination date
- Provide a copy of TB test results
- Provide a copy of liability insurance (through one’s school or individual policy) and agree to keep the policy in effect for the full duration of the internship
- Attend a mandatory internship orientation session
- Take HIPPA test
- Background check
How to Apply
Cover Letter (with intended start date)
One Letter of Recommendation from a Professor
Two letters of Recommendation from Supervisors
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