Doctoral students in clinical psychology programs are required to take on an internship in their fifth year. But there’s a chronic national problem: there are more students than there are sites offering good-quality internships.
Lorraine Mangione, AUNE professor of clinical psychology, has long been working to alleviate that imbalance. She is part of a work group with the national Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC) that is updating a document to help agencies around the country become internship sites for students. In fact, it was Lorraine’s original idea to develop the tool kit. In 2009, she and a colleague, Luli Emmons of Palo Alto University, took their plan for a Psychology Internship Development Toolkit to the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP). That organization suggested they bring it to the CCTC, a forum for training organizations in psychology, and the first toolkit was published in 2010.
At AUNE, each PsyD student spends his or her fifth year at an internship in a health-care setting outside the campus. In addition to practicum placements, “it’s their major clinical training, so easing the imbalance is critical,” Lorraine said.
The toolkit is a comprehensive online source that assembles such information for training sites such as administrative and legal issues, mentoring, quality assurance programs, and how to find funding. It’s just the kind of resource that staff at AUNE practicum sites, who often tell Lorraine they would like to have interns, can use. An internship program can be a great advantage for an organization such as a college counseling program or a hospital, as well, she said. “It makes the agency more vibrant and up-to-date, and they’re contributing to the field. It can also be cost-effective for them.”