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Doctoral Internship Program in Clinical Psychology

For those wishing to further their education in clinical psychology, WellSpan Behavioral Health offers an APA-accredited* Doctoral Internship Program in Clinical Psychology.  For more information, please contact Michael J. Eshleman, Ph.D., internship director of Clinical Training, Center for Cognitive Therapy, at (717) 812-4200 or meshleman@wellspan.org.

The doctoral internship in clinical psychology at WellSpan Behavioral Health is designed to train future psychologists to work in health care settings, especially large, integrated health systems such as ours, as providers of comprehensive psychological services with an emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration.  Accordingly we are aggressively recruiting a diverse group of interns with a passion for integrating cognitive behaviorally oriented psychology into a health system and to developing the necessary competencies for conducting cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, performing diagnostic screenings and more comprehensive evaluations, serving as consultants in collaborating with multidisciplinary treatment teams, performing staff trainings in areas such as Motivational Interviewing, and who are capable of a close reading of the relevant research literature and of presenting this clearly and succinctly to a professional audience in the true tradition of the scholar-practitioner. We believe diversity strengthens our program. It is one of our core values and we strongly encourage applications from under-represented groups.

WellSpan Behavioral Health strives to provide a planned, sequential training program:  training experiences are sequenced such that each skill builds upon the next. Our aim is to build a core skill set by refining and extending proficiency, knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the following areas of professional psychology:  intervention, assessment, consultation and collaboration, professional development, ethics, and sensitivity to and respect for individual and cultural diversity. We are committed to the "practitioner-scholar" model and our training is based upon applying sound scientific knowledge and scholarly practice to clinical work.

There is a broad array of clinical experiences available in an integrated health system such as ours that offers a full spectrum of psychological services to a culturally and individually diverse population representing virtually all diagnostic categories and all ages in inpatient, crisis intervention, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and medical-surgical settings. We work with each intern to create opportunities for in-depth learning and professional development in one or more areas in which the trainee has interest.

A defining emphasis of the internship is extending proficiency in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training Seminar offered weekly at our Center for Cognitive Therapy forms the spine of the didactic training.  The curriculum is designed to teach proficiency in cognitive behavioral therapy. The training relies heavily on role play and review of videotaped sessions to achieve mastery of core skills. The didactic training seminar series focuses on a broad array of professional issues including

  • Assessment techniques
  • Case conceptualization
  • Treatment planning
  • Empirically supported interventions for the most common disorders including depression, anxiety disorders, trauma and personality disorders
  • Ethical issues in treatment
  • Legal/risk management
  • Models for psychological consultation
  • Health psychology
  • Dealing with difficult patients
  • Non-adherence
  • Tailoring treatment to the various stages of change

As areas of need for additional training are identified over the course of the year by the interns and supervisors, they are incorporated into the curriculum. 

Interns are given the opportunity to lead a discussion of a research based topic within the seminar to foster professional development and growth. Virtually all the internship training experiences, including supervision and didactic seminars, occur on site at WellSpan. While seeing clients, the interns remain under the supervision of the internship supervisors at WellSpan Behavioral Health.

Our doctoral internship training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association and is a member of the Association of Psychology Post-doctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). Interns are expected to complete 2,000 psychological service hours over the course of the internship.  At least 50 percent of an intern’s time is spent in direct clinical service delivery in an outpatient behavioral health setting involving face-to-face client contact.  Interns are expected to see a minimum of 20 outpatients per week which typically requires scheduling 25 patient-hours per week.  Another eight to nine hours each week is divided among programs depending upon the intern’s needs and interests. The options include such programs as our inpatient mental health unit, our Pain Management Clinic, WellSpan Surgery & Rehabilitation Hospital, our Ambulatory Intensive Care Unit, etc.

Interns attend individual, face-to-face supervision with at least two different doctoral level psychologists on our staff for a combined two hours each week, attend two weekly group supervision sessions led by one of our doctoral level staff psychologists, and attend didactic intern seminars with the intern cohort, and other supervised training experiences such as case conferences, multidisciplinary team meetings, group supervision, educational seminars and Grand Rounds for the equivalent of at least four hours per week of supervision and two hours per week of didactic training.

Our 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 accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
E-mail:  apaaccred@apa.org

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