Psychology 870

PSYC 870: Doctoral Internship

Prerequisites: Admission into Psy.D. program

Credit Hours: (1)

This course is a 1,500-2,000 hour training opportunity (either one-year full-time or two consecutive half-time years) at a site that is focused on training advanced doctoral students to become psychologists. It is the capstone applied experience of the Psy.D. program.

Note(s): Students must register for PSYC 870 for three consecutive terms and must successfully complete all three of them. This is a pass/fail course.


Detailed Description of Course

This course may include the following topics:

I.  Professional, ethical, and legal standards of behavior in counseling, assessment, and other applied psychological work, including consultation and documentation.

II. Working with professionals from other disciplines

III. Issues of cultural diversity in mental health intervention and prevention practice.

IV. Specific Therapeutic Issues

                a. Serious and persistent mental illness

                b. Substance use and abuse

                c. Mood disorders

                d. Anxiety disorders

                e. Eating disorders and body image issues

                f. Sexuality issues

                g. Dissociative disorders

                h. Empirically-supported treatments and assessments for the above conditions

V. Individual therapy

                a. Developing the relationship and common factors

                b. The course of the therapeutic relationship

                c. Case analyses and diagnoses

                d. Case conceptualization, goal setting, and treatment planning

VI. Models of therapy

                a. Cognitive and cognitive behavior

                b. Humanistic

                c. Psychodynamic

                d. Brief

                e. Integrative

VII. Therapeutic Issues

                a. Crisis intervention

                b. Potential harm to self or others including possible child or elder abuse

                c. Grief and death

                d. Anger management

                e. Social and coping skills development

                f. Issues of social justice


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is a one-year full time (or two consecutive half-time years) training opportunity at a site that is focused on training advanced doctoral students to become psychologists. It is the capstone applied experience of the Psy.D. program.  Because each internship site is different it is not possible to describe the specific content of the course. Students will be in “continuous enrollment” throughout the internship experience.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1.       Students will learn techniques for effective interviewing and listening.

2.       Students will be able to apply their knowledge in order to identify biological conditions, sociocultural issues, thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that may be contributing to difficulties.

3.       Students will be able to develop and evaluate progress toward short and long term goals.

4.       Students will be able to identify the variables that create individual differences in people including biological, social, cultural, ethnic, experiential, socioeconomic, gender-related, ability, and linguistic factors and which contribute to the need to develop unique strategies for intervention with each client.

5.       Students will be able to identify the important systems in the client’s life and will understand how conflicts and strengths within these systems are contributing to the client’s current functioning.

6.       Students will become familiar with a variety of counseling strategies that can enhance client’s behavior including the development of problem solving skills, conflict management skills, and self-monitoring techniques.

7.       Students will learn to work effectively with families and other community members to provide comprehensive services for clients.

8.       Students will learn how to accurately assess and diagnose mental disorders.

9.       Students will learn to link assessment information directly with evidence-based intervention strategies in order to help clients – and develop conceptualization and treatment plan that reflects these skills.

10.    Students will be able to evaluate the extent to which their intervention contributed to the outcome of a case and will be able to identify what factors contributed to the successful outcome of a case.

11.    Students will be able to identify effect prevention and intervention programs that promote the health and well-being of clients; this includes wellness-oriented programming in addition to programming for high risk problems and crisis response.

12.    Students will be able to identify social justice issues that arise when working with particular clients and their associated systems.

13.    Student will be able to articulate their theoretical orientation.

14.    Students will be able to identify and refer to appropriate community resources.


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed using several measures which may include formal evaluation by the on-site supervisors, feedback from clients, and case presentations.


Other Course Information



Reviewed and Approval

December 2007