Health Service Psychology Internship
- Practitioner-Scholar Philosophy: The Southwest Behavioral & Health Psychology Internship program embraces the philosophy of the Practitioner-Scholar model of training which grew out of the conference on Professional Training in Psychology held in Vail, CO in 1973. At the heart of this model is the development and honing of clinical skills required of professional psychologists, including clinical interviewing, client advocacy, treatment planning, and therapeutic interventions, as well as consultation, community outreach, and advancements in research and practice standards. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).
- Internship Program: Internship is the year that bridges the space between being a student of psychology and being a professional psychologist. As such, the program is designed to meet the increasing skill level of the intern, approaching training and supervision from a developmental model. At the start of the internship, all interns will participate in the New Employee Orientation (NEO) to acclimate them to the agency. Clinical Week encompasses the second week of the internship year, training interns on various clinical activities such as the Initial Engagement Session, service planning, and safety support planning. The program is sequential, cumulative and graded in complexity. Thus, supervision in the initial months of internship is more directive, allowing interns to gain skills needed to be successful. Directive supervision, for example, may take the form of assisting interns understand clinical data to develop a service plan; it may take the form of recommending and modeling or teaching a specific intervention. As the intern gains confidence in clinical skills, supervision typically shifts to having the intern present cases and review the effectiveness of the intern’s intervention strategies. The internship program is designed to meet the American Psychological Association (APA) Standards of Accreditation (SoA), and Arizona licensure requirements. Through supervision, colloquia series, and training, interns will have ample opportunities to achieve the required profession-wide competencies outlined in the APA Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology: (1) Research (2) Ethical and legal standards (3) Individual and cultural diversity (4) Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors (5) Communication and interpersonal skills (6) Assessment (7) Intervention (8) Supervision and (9) Consultation and inter-professional/interdisciplinary skills. Licensure requirements vary from state-to-state, so prospective interns are encouraged to be knowledgeable regarding the requirements of other states.
In all areas of service, SB&H supports the belief that all individuals possess personal strengths, interests, and desires, and are capable of live fulfilling and rewarding lives. Thus, SB&H embraces a strengths-based, recovery oriented, community-integrated approach to treatment.
Description of Internship Tracks
- College of Wellness/Community Living Program: The College of Wellness/Community Living program offers the opportunity for interns to learn how to assist adults with behavioral health interventions in a variety of settings. A key component of this placement is assisting adults with community integration and resolving behavioral issues so that individuals may to gain greater community independence. Services are designed to build upon an individual's strengths, and provide community supports. Services are provided in the client’s home, residential facilities, and the community. Interns will gain proficiency in working with voluntary and court ordered adults, addressing substance abuse issues, assessing and treating a variety of psychiatric symptoms, and navigating public health systems within Maricopa County to increase client supports and resources. As part of a multidisciplinary team, interns will engage in coordination of care, client advocacy, treatment planning and programming with an integrative approach. The intern may also have opportunities to provide input on program development and to facilitate training and supervision to direct care staff. Interns conduct intake assessments, provide individual counseling, facilitate groups, utilize telehealth in some cases and participate in community-based activities. Psychological testing/report writing is not an activity available on this track.
- Inpatient Unit: The inpatient units are 24-hour, Level One, secured facilities located in Phoenix, Arizona. Persons admitted to the inpatient programs are typically considered a danger to self or others and are unable to function in the community. The interns provide behavioral health interventions for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis who require a structured, non-hospital setting. Services are designed to build upon the client’s strengths while working to minimize escalation of behaviors that will lead to a more restrictive setting. Interns are part of a multidisciplinary team consisting of prescribers, nurses, and behavioral health technicians. Interns have opportunities to assess and treat adults manifesting a variety of psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses. Interns will gain proficiency in working with individuals as they work to resolve mental health crises and stabilize over a 60-90 day period of time. Daily group and individual therapy sessions are facilitated by interns. Psychological testing is not an activity available on this track.
- Outpatient Clinic - Maricopa County, Arizona; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Prescott Valley, Arizona: The outpatient clinics serve members who reside in various urban and rural parts of Maricopa County, as well as in the northern Arizona region in Flagstaff, and Prescott Valley, Arizona. The clinics serve all age ranges of members from birth through adulthood. The intern provides comprehensive behavioral health services including Initial Engagement Sessions, individual counseling, family/couples counseling, and group counseling. Coordinating care with the member’s primary care physician and other providers is essential and assists the intern in becoming adept at an integrated model of care. The intern works as part of a treatment team that includes the program director, case managers, clinicians, family coaches, and prescribers. Services are provided in both the outpatient clinic, telehealth, as well as the member’s home, as needed. For the Flagstaff and Prescott Valley locations, the intern will have the opportunity to work in both the outpatient clinic, as well as the opioid replacement services clinic.
- School and Community Based Counseling Services: The School and Community-Based Counseling Services program provides comprehensive behavioral health services to youth and their families in school and community settings in the greater Phoenix area. All behavioral health services are developed in collaboration with the youth and family and are created to be flexible and adjustable as the youth and family progress and grow. The intern is responsible for communicating with families and school staff to help identify those children who have counseling needs. The intern works collaboratively with school staff and families to provide not only individual, group, and family counseling, but helps identify supports needing to be developed and implemented in the home and school environment to help children reach their potential. As part the Child and Family Team (CFT) process, the intern meets with identified members on the child’s clinical team to assess and monitor goals that drive the overall need for development. The intern is able to help the child grow and develop personally and emotionally in order to go back into the classroom to learn, form healthy relationships with others and have the self-confidence they need to go out into the world. Psychological testing is not an aspect of this placement as all testing is done by school district staff.
Supervision is integral to professional development. The interns receive multiple forms of supervision and training during their internship. Psychologists associated with the Training Institute and licensed to practice independently will provide a minimum of two hours of weekly individual supervision and two hours of weekly group supervision for each intern. During individual supervision, interns and the supervisor will review cases, treatment planning, intervention strategies, and other relevant issues. The supervisor will also review the intern’s documentation of cases, and if necessary, advise the intern on appropriate conduct. The two hours of group supervision per week, facilitated by the Training Director, provides a forum for interns to present cases, discuss current research, and consult with the other interns. All weekly individual supervision activities take place in-person per Arizona Revised Statute 32-2071.
Financial Support and Benefits
Full-time interns receive an annual stipend of $35,000.00 to be paid in increments every two weeks throughout their internship year. Health, vision and dental insurance plans are available to interns and these benefits go in to effect on November 1st of the training year. Eighty hours of Paid Time Off, and paid holidays are counted as compensated hours. Parental leave is offered in accordance with the APPIC Guidelines for Parental Leave During Internship and Postdoctoral Training document dated 10/1/2015.
The Southwest Behavioral & Health Services Doctoral Psychology Internship Program is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and is accredited by the American Psychological Association. All internship positions are filled through the APPIC Match. For more information, please visit http://appic.org/.
- Eligibility: Doctoral psychology students in clinical, educational, school, or counseling psychology who have met their institution’s requirements for internship are invited to apply to the SB&H Doctoral Internship in Psychology program. At a minimum, applicants will have completed 250 direct/face-to-face intervention hours, 50 direct/face-to-face assessment hours, and have completed at least two practica. Advanced practicum experience and experience in community mental health is highly preferred, though not required. Ideal applicants will indicate a strong desire to work in public behavioral health. The program is committed to recruiting and training interns who represent a variety of ethnic, racial, gender and personal backgrounds. The Training Institute follows traditional psychology clinical preparation requirements. These are the standards required by APA as well as the State of Arizona Board of Psychology Examiners. Applicants are required to have completed an APA approved (or equivalent) course of study which covers the identified core competencies.
- Application Process: Southwest Behavioral & Health Services is a member of Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), and participates in the National Match to fill all doctoral psychology internship positions. Please see the APPIC website (http://appic.org/) for assistance with application submission.
- Equal Opportunity Employer: SB&H is an equal opportunity employer. Selections for the internship positions are made without discrimination for any non-merit reason, including, but not limited to, age, race, color, religion, physical disabilities, national origin, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, and marital status. Reasonable accommodations in facilities and work expectations will be made for individuals with limitations if the individual would be able to perform the job satisfactorily given appropriate accommodations. If an applicant requires special accommodations in order to complete the application/interview process, the applicant should contact Dr. Livesay, via email at DoctoralTrainingProgram@sbhservices.org.
This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant.
Questions related to the program's accreditation status should be directed to:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
For more information about the SB&H Doctoral Psychology Internship Program, please contact Chief Psychologist, Dr. Lynette Livesay: DoctoralTrainingProgram@sbhservices.org.