The CNYPC Internship is a member of APPIC. It strives to be consistent with the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2017), the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology (2013), and the Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology. 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 and marginalized groups, its commitment to individual and public safety, and its focus on ongoing professional development.
The internship is a one-year training program offering two full-time, paid positions. Interns are considered essential employees. The internship’s aim is to train ethical, competent, culturally responsive psychologists for future clinical practice in varied settings, with an emphasis on provision of services in forensic and correctional environments. Interns work 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 Forensic Hospital and typically complete two supplemental rotations at Mid-State Correctional Facility and Marcy Correctional Facility Residential Mental Health Unit. An elective rotation is generally available with the Sex Offender Treatment Program. Due to COVID-19, temporary but planful changes were made to ensure continuity of care for service recipients and acquisition of competencies for interns while maintaining safe practices. Changes were made in collaboration with current and incoming interns, were flexible based on intern comfort level and COVID-19 guidelines, and with full, timely disclosure to graduate programs. Alterations include offering telehealth options to patients and interns, offering work-from-home options, using social distancing and personal protective equipment for in-person services, reducing therapy group size, placing prison rotations on hold, and holding meetings, didactics, and supervision via telephone or video conference. The internship continues to take a flexible, safety-based, intern- and patient-centered approach to this situation as it evolves, with the goal of eventually resuming the internship’s standard program of training.
The internship is based on a practitioner-scholar model emphasizing the integration of science and clinical practice and the development of core profession-wide competencies. The program’s approach to training is intern-centered, collaborative, and flexible such that consideration is given to interns’ individual training goals and professional development. Ongoing discussion and assessment of these issues occur between interns and supervisors throughout the year and allow for timely changes to the training program 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 training of the interns during that internship year. All Licensed Psychologists within the Department may be involved in teaching or supervision of interns. Additionally, licensed social workers and psychiatrists and unlicensed doctoral-level psychologists 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; training is structured to increase 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 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. Every attempt is made to establish the intern as a fully participating member of the interdisciplinary team at the training 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 participate in the interview process for the next cohort. By the end of the year, it is hoped that interns will be ready to function as an entry-level psychology professional.