The CNYPC Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and as such abides by its guidelines. It also strives to be consistent with the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2017), the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology (APA, 2013), and the Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA). The internship is integral to the function and philosophy of CNYPC and the NYS Office of Mental Health in its provision of a wide range of treatment and evaluation services to traditionally underserved populations, its commitment to individual and public safety, and its focus on ongoing education and development of employees and the services they provide.
The internship is a one-year training program offering two full-time, paid intern positions. The internship is designed to train doctoral psychology students to provide mental health care services from a biopsychosocial, culturally-sensitive, and trauma-informed perspective. The training is generalist in nature, albeit within a forensic context, such that the knowledge and skills acquired may be applied to a wide range of future clinical endeavors. Interns are afforded the opportunity to gain experience working with individuals with mild to severe mental illness, personality disorders, cognitive impairments, and maladaptive behavior issues in forensic inpatient, correctional, and civil-confinement settings. Interns are based at the inpatient hospital and complete two supplemental rotations at Mid-State Correctional Facility and Marcy Correctional Facility Residential Mental Health Unit. An elective rotation is available with the Sex Offender Treatment Program. The goal of the internship is to produce ethical and competent psychologists with practical knowledge of both clinical and forensic aspects of the field.
The internship is based on a practitioner-scholar model that emphasizes the integration of science and clinical practice and the development of profession-wide competencies proposed by the Health Service Psychology Education Collaborative and the American Psychological Association Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology (SoA, 2017). The program’s approach to training is intern-centered, collaborative, and flexible such that consideration is given to each intern’s individual training goals and professional development. Ongoing discussion and assessment of these issues between interns and supervisors occur throughout the year and allow for timely changes to the training program as appropriate, within the overarching goals and structure of the internship. This process occurs informally, through regular supervision, and during formal quarterly reviews of interns’ progress and their own assessment of the program. The internship promotes a culture that enhances personal and professional growth through a series of clinical rotations, formal didactics, and intensive supervision.
The internship Training Committee is composed of the Training Director and faculty involved in the direct supervision of the interns during that internship year. All Licensed Psychologists within the Department may be involved in direct teaching or supervision of interns. Additionally, unlicensed doctoral-level psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists are available to augment training and supervision experiences. Supervision is viewed as a critical component of training throughout the internship and in all rotation experiences, with a goal of increased autonomy over the course of the year. To that end, training is structured to gradually allow interns to function with increasing independence during the internship year. In the beginning of each rotation, interns are closely supervised as they familiarize themselves with the rotation setting and expectations. This process may involve observation of the supervisor and other clinical staff (e.g., conducting treatment groups, interviews, or assessments) and assuming clinical responsibilities with close consultation with, or under the observation of, the supervisor. As the year progresses, interns are gradually expected to assume clinical tasks with less reliance on supervision (while maintaining a minimum level of supervision). Every attempt is made to establish the intern as a fully participating member of the interdisciplinary team at the rotation site, rather than as simply a student or assistant to staff. Likewise, interns assume a position of responsibility in relation to the training program and are encouraged to propose changes to the program and to participate in the interview process for the next cohort of interns. By the end of the year, it is hoped that interns will be ready to assume the independent clinical functioning expected of an entry-level psychology professional.