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June 24, 2016

A Leg Up for Doctoral Students

by Bonnie Eissner

shutterstock_416331709_resizeFor students pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the fifth-year internship is an intensive, culminating training experience designed to ready the student for independent clinical practice. To attain an internship, students compete on a national level for a limited number of qualified programs, in much the same way as physicians compete for residencies in medicine.

Although the American Psychological Association (APA) has been encouraging the creation of new internships, it remains a large undertaking considering the resources—suitable training sites, available patient populations, supervising and administrative staff, cash stipends, to name a few—that are required to create and sustain one.

Remarkably, Adelphi’s Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies has surmounted these challenges to become the only clinical psychology program in the New York-Northern New Jersey metropolitan area to be awarded accreditation from the APA for its own affiliated internship program.

The creation of the internship means that Derner can now assure preferred access to an accredited internship for up to six of its students each year. The selected students will pursue internship training at the following six sites:

Derner collaborates with each of the sites to ensure that interns have the opportunity to provide direct care to a diverse population of patients, that they receive the close supervision needed to hone their clinical skills and that they participate in didactic training to increase their knowledge base.

Jonathan Jackson, Ph.D., the longtime director of the Center for Psychological Services and field training, established the Derner Institute Internship Consortium and now serves as its director. He credited Derner’s extensive network of talented and dedicated alumni and its current faculty and administrators with helping him create the innovative program. A number of Derner alumni hold prominent positions at partnership sites, including:

  • The Center for Motivation and Change
    Carrie Wilkens, Ph.D. ’00, co-founder and clinical director
  • Long Beach Reach, Inc.
    Joseph Smith, Ph.D. ’85, executive director and primary supervisor; Monica Pal, Ph.D. ’13, project director and licensed clinical psychologist; Elizabeth Shorin, Ph.D. ’99, staff psychologist
  • Counseling and Psychological Wellness Services at SUNY College at Old Westbury
    Patricia Billard, Ph.D. ’05, director
  • The Village Institute for Psychotherapy
    Frederick Woolverton, Ph.D. ’82, founder and director

An online handbook provides detailed information about the Derner Institute Internship Consortium.


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