APA Internship


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Internship Requirements

The Internship Program believes professional skills and attitudes are developed and internalized through mentoring, supervised clinical practice, relationship with clients and colleagues of diverse backgrounds, didactic training, scholarly, and opportunity to work with multidisciplinary professionals. Therefore, the Internship Program is structured so that interns assume increasing clinical responsibilities in the context of appropriate supervisory support and professional role modeling; work with diverse populations and with professionals from other disciplines; participate in didactic training regarding clinical topics and professional issues; present assessment and psychotherapy teaching cases; and interact with and learn from diverse peers and supervisors who are engaged in a variety of professional roles and community settings. The program requires 2,000 hours for completion of the Internship Program, with the program commencing the first week of July concluding the final week of June.

The Internship Program offers a wide range of clinical training experiences that require interns to complete two primary clinical rotations: one internal, the other external. Counseling and Wellness Services, the university’s student counseling center, and the General Practice Clinic, the school’s community based training/service center, represent the internal rotation options. Currently, external rotation options include the Dayton Children's Hospital, within its pediatric psychology department; CompDrug, a mental health and substance abuse treatment center; Eastway Behavioral Healthcare, a community mental health center; the Miami County Juvenile Court; and Summit Behavioral Healthcare, a public acute/chronic psychiatric forensic facility. Rotations tend to be stable from year to year, but may change as opportunities or challenges present themselves.

External rotations are managed through the APPIC Match, with internal rotations assigned by the training coordinator based on intern preferences and other considerations. All rotations are either two days per week for twelve months or four days per week for six months, with rotation structure predetermined to optimize the training experience. Each intern is assigned a primary supervisor(s), who is a licensed psychologist, at each rotation and whose role, in collaboration with the rotation director, is to oversee the intern training experience at that rotation. In addition to the primary supervisor, interns are often assigned or have access to one or more secondary supervisors. Each primary supervisor develops with the intern an Individual Training Plan outlining training goals and objectives for that rotation. The primary supervisor is available to the Training Director to discuss all aspects of the intern’s experience during that rotation.

The combination of internal and external clinical rotations provide broad and general training and allow for the development of specialty skills, work with diverse and focused populations, and participation with interdisciplinary and/or diverse skilled professionals.

Direct Clinical Service Hours

Therapy Experiences

According to the availability of types of cases at a given site, trainees are supervised in the provision of individual, group, family and couples therapy. Therapy may also involve collaborative contacts with family members, significant others as well as clinical contacts with school or employment personnel. The intern documents all therapy hours for which the primary supervisor authenticates the successful provisions of services on the monthly service logs. It is the intent of the program to train interns so that they are able to operate effectively within one or more identified models of therapy or intervention, with proficiency in the use of empirically supported approaches to behavior change. We also expect trainees and supervisors to process issues of diversity that impact all levels of clinical relationships including the relationship of supervisor and trainee and supervisee and client.

Assessment Experiences

The Internship Program values critical thinking and believes that sound conceptual and diagnostic skills are the foundation of a good psychologist. Assessment opportunities are available to interns throughout all rotations, with some rotations placing greater emphasis on assessment than others. Interns will be exposed to a variety of models and methods of psychological assessment that yield information useful in identifying strengths and needs in understanding clinical problems, and in measuring progress and accomplishments. Interns will use these models and methods as part of a systemic process to collect data and other information, translate assessment results into empirically-based decisions about intervention decisions and strategies, and to evaluate the outcomes of interventions. It is assumed that interns will enter the Internship Program with basic and sometimes advanced assessment skills, such as the ability to select appropriate instruments or procedures, proficient test administration, consistent accuracy in scoring and data, acquisition and integration of information from collateral sources as a part of interpretation, preparation of integrative written reports, and oral communication of findings and targeted recommendations. Assessment skill development includes, but is not limited to, interviewing, behavioral observations, functional behavioral analysis, estimation of adaptive clinical or diagnostic behavior, cognitive, achievement, and/or emotional conceptualization, and differential diagnosis consistent with the DSM-5.

Consultation Experiences

The Internship Program values critical thinking, and believes that sound individual, group, and/or organizational consultative and advocacy skills are the foundation to a good psychologist. Consultation opportunities are made available to interns throughout all rotations, with some rotations placing greater emphasis on consultative experiences than others. Interns will be exposed to a variety of familial, mental health, educational, medical, and/or other consultation models and methods. Interns, as appropriate, will utilize these models and methods, and apply them in appropriate settings based on the individual situation. Interns will collaborate effectively with others in planning and decision-making processes at the individual, group and/or systemic levels. 

Interns will also be given opportunities to collaborate in designing and developing procedures to promote emotional/behavioral health, enhance interpersonal relationships, and improve group/organizational functioning. Consultation experiences include, but are not limited to, a broad range of professional activities, including program evaluation procedures and behavior management plans. Interns will be encouraged to provide in-service training and other skill enhancement activities regarding issues of human learning, development, and emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal well-being. Interns may be required to consult with teachers, parents, varied practitioners, administrators, community professionals, and/or other individuals, groups, or systems.

Indirect Service Hours


Each intern will have a minimum of two primary supervisors during the training year. In addition they will have the opportunity to be exposed to or train with a number of secondary supervisors.  The primary supervisor develops individual training goals, completes and reviews intern competency-based performance evaluations, and functions in a mentoring/modeling role for the intern. Supervisors have diverse backgrounds, varied theoretical ordinations, and clinical expertise, while valuing and promoting generalist training. All primary supervisors will be doctorate-level and licensed in the State of Ohio and will fulfill all supervisor requirements as set forth by the Ohio State Board of Psychology. In addition, to help enhance the highest level of supervision and mentoring and to meet all national licensing board requirements, all primary supervisors will be minimally experienced three years post-licensure, with the goal of assigning a supervisor who is five years post-licensure. Primary supervisors will be engaged at their respective training rotations a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Primary supervisors have full legal responsibility for the daily clinical activities of their assigned interns. In clinical decisions, the intern will adhere to the direction of their primary rotation supervisor who has final authority over all clinical services. All interns and supervisors are required to comply with all laws and rules governing the practice of psychology in Ohio, and APA Ethical Principles and Codes of Conduct. Primary supervisors shall maintain records of supervision. Each primary rotation supervisor will assure that each intern receives no less than two hours of individual face-to-face on a weekly basis at their respective rotation, personally or through secondary supervision, although the primary supervisor shall in all cases meet minimally one hour individually on a weekly basis with the intern. Individual supervision may be augmented with group or other forms of supervision.

Interns have the responsibility of communicating with their primary supervisor(s) if there is a problem fulfilling the supervision requirements and, if unresolved, informing the training coordinator

Umbrella Supervision

Each intern is required to participate in clinical teaching for a minimum of at least one semester. This required experience will occur within the internal rotation, although external rotations may also provide this experience as well. Clinical teaching involves the intern providing “umbrella supervision” with a practicum trainee or other designee with less clinical training and expertise. Umbrella supervision will occur under the license of the primary supervisor as provided for in Ohio Law. This experience offers the intern the opportunity to further refine their own clinical skills, and also to gain an appreciation and confidence in their own clinical knowledge and skills from a developmental perspective. This experience should be clearly reflected within the intern’s performance evaluations.

Teaching Assistant

In order to focus on clinical work and hours, The Wright State University School of Professional Psychology Doctoral Internship Program is eliminating the TA requirement as long as clinical hours are maintained.

Grand Rounds

Each intern is required to participate in other academic teaching and scholarly learning activities. Grand Rounds is one of those activities. Grand Rounds is an educational presentation that two (sometimes more) interns collaboratively develop to present to the Wright State SOPP student body, faculty, internship supervisors, and other invited guests. Each intern is expected to engage in this experience. Grand Rounds are scheduled by the Training Director, in consultation with the Clinical Training Director, the beginning of the academic year, usually to occur during the fall and spring semesters. The interns may choose any topic or format for presentation, in consultation with and subject to approval of the Training Director. Presentation topics should be relevant to the targeted audience, and reflect critical thinking, literature review and theoretical considerations relative to contemporary issues within the field of clinical psychology. This includes consideration of multiple perspectives, incorporating practice standards, ethical and legal issues, diversity considerations, with references/citations. Presentations are 90-minutes in duration. The intern co-presenters will receive written feedback regarding their performance by those in attendance, as well as a formative review by their intern peers and Training Director. Satisfactory ratings (3 or better on the 5 point rating scale) from intern supervisors, SOPP faculty and intern peers is expected for successful completion. An evaluative summary will be included in the semiannual performance summary submitted to the intern’s graduate educational program.

Didactic Training

Each intern is required to participate in professional development and scholarly learning activities in the form of a didactic seminar series as well as other educational workshops or professional forums. Didactic seminars have been developed for interns to ensure continuity in training, knowledge/skill progression, peer interactions, and focused learning opportunities. Content, coordination, and scheduling of didactic opportunities are facilitated by the Training Director. Each didactic seminar is evaluated by interns, with summative feedback provided to each didactic seminar presenter. Intern feedback is also periodically sought relative to content areas of interest for scheduling in future years. Didactic seminar presenters are usually psychologists, either Wright State SOPP affiliated or community-based, who have focused expertise. Each didactic is titled, and has a brief overview, goals/objectives, suggested readings, and abbreviated presenter bio. Didactic seminars are structured and scheduled for 90-minutes. During this time, didactic presenters are invited to share their knowledge, expertise, and experience with the interns.

Didactic content areas are varied, although every effort is made to assure that relationship, assessment, intervention, research/evaluation, management/supervision, consultation/education and diversity competency areas are addressed throughout the annual seminar series. Each presenter is requested to integrate ethical and diversity considerations into their presentations. However, as the Internship Program strongly values diversity as a personal and professional competency, focused opportunities have been crafted for interns in this area. Most notably, interns are exposed to a daylong experience at the National Underground Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH. The Freedom Center is nationally renowned for its address of diversity and oppression. As a part of this experience, interns have the opportunity to process/debrief with a Freedom Center consulting psychologist regarding their individual and collective experiences, and issues pertaining to diversity, oppression, social advocacy, and personal bias and responsibility.

Professional development is a valued aspect of the Internship Program.  In this vein, interns are required to attend the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA) annual conference as a group on the first day of the 3-day conference. At their own discretion, interns are encouraged to attend other days of the conference utilizing their professional leave time.  Interns are also encouraged to submit posters for presentation at OPA, which some interns have done in recent years, one having been chosen for top recognition honor.  Interns are also encouraged to attend APA or other national or regional conferences or association meetings. Financial assistance may be available. Two other didactic opportunities are especially noteworthy: 1) the executive director of Ohio State Board Psychology and 2) the executor director and the director of professional affairs for the Ohio Psychological Association are annually invited didactic Internship Program presenters.

Interns are also required and /or encouraged to attend other educational or professional forums to further their scholarly learning, and professional development and networking. Interns are required, at least once, to attend Dayton Area Psychological Association (DAPA) meetings to facilitate professional networking, and to also expose interns to local community psychologists who might serve as potential case conference discussants. DAPA openly welcomes intern participation without dues/cost, except for meals. Wright State, as well as SOPP, regularly sponsor workshops or community forums that are of potential special interest to interns, and efforts are made to try to facilitate intern attendance without direct cost to them.

Case Conference

Each intern is required to participate in case conferences, which is a group supervision and clinical learning activity. The case conference is a progressive sequence of case presentations that runs across the training year, usually scheduled on Wednesday mornings. Each intern will present a minimum of three cases to their intern peers, Training Director, and select others during the year. Case presentation will be 2 hours in duration, with the intern presenter responsible for time management. The intern may select any case from his/her internal or external caseload. The intern is responsible for obtaining any and all required consents required by law, supervisor, or rotations before presenting the case. An approved Authorization Form is available for this purpose.  All interns are required to comply with the APA Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, Ohio law, and relevant professional guidelines. Case conferences will be evaluated in writing by intern peers and supervisors, and formative feedback will be provided. For the case conference including a discussant, and any subsequent case conferences, the intern presenter must receive an overall expected level rating for successful completion.

The case is to be presented in written and oral format, with materials appropriately sanitized. Failure to adequately sanitize or obtain appropriate authorization releases will be considered an ethical violation. The written materials should be disseminated in advance, preferably the Friday before scheduled presentation. All case presentations should reflect the sense that clinical psychology is both a science and a practice. Accordingly, the relevant psychological literature pertinent to case should be reviewed and incorporated. Each case presentation will include selected readings, such as journal articles, book chapters, or other informative handouts to facilitate informed discussion about the relevant aspects of the case. Readings discussion should represent about a quarter of the presentation, while being integrated into the overall presentation. The readings will be evaluated as to their relevance and integration into the case presentation. Readings in most cases should be restricted to two or three, dependent upon their scope and breadth.

There are several goals for the case conference. First, the presentations offer the intern the challenge of actively constructing and presenting clinical cases to colleagues with open discussion focused around the questions raised by the case and its formulation. This may include, but is not limited to, ethical issues, diversity issues, clinical implications, robustness of the theoretical model, empirical support for this approach, etc. Second, they offer interns an exposure to a broader range and variety of problems, practice settings, and approaches to treatment than they might not have available at their individual clinical rotations. Third, they offer interns the opportunity to be more comfortable in challenging varying clinical conceptualizations and providing critical and constructive collegial feedback. Fourth, they offer an exposure to a range of psychological perspectives, including that of community psychologists as case discussant. Finally, they offer a collegial forum for potentially lively, scholarly discussion and inquiry regarding case conceptualizations, data integration, psychopathology, diagnostic impressions, treatment modalities, outcome objectives, theoretical perspectives, multicultural integration, countertransference/personal bias, ethical/legal issues, multidisciplinary considerations, and client advocacy.

The case presentations should be viewed as a graduated task. Interns may elect to present an assessment and/or psychotherapy case. The first presentation should reflect the intern’s ability to gather and conceptually integrate background, subjective, objective and diagnostic data, and derive meaningful and conceptually sound recommendations and intervention strategies. Open discussion should focus around the questions raised by the case and its formulation. 

The second presentation should expand beyond the first presentation, with greater emphasis on the intern’s evolving theoretical and conceptual integration and approach to clinical work. Here, the theoretical/conceptual formulation section of the written materials should be approximately two pages in length to aid the reader in contextualizing the model for explaining the client’s affect, cognition and behavior. The intern should be able to provide a comprehensive description of his/her theoretical and conceptual approach to psychotherapy. The relevant theoretical and empirical data base that guide their interventions should be reviewed and incorporated.

As the year progresses, the intern’s conceptual, theoretical, and clinical understanding is expected to increase and be more sophisticated. Accordingly, the third presentation is a showcase for this increased understanding. For this presentation, it is required that an expert, preferably a community-based psychologist, from an alternate theoretical stance or with a divergent conceptual perspective be invited as a discussant. The focus is on a scholarly discussion between the converging and diverging viewpoints. This discussant is subject to the approval of the Training Director and should be identified at least four weeks in advance of the presentation. It is the intern’s responsibility to secure a discussant who cannot be the intern’s primary supervisor.  

In addition to offering a divergent theoretical stance or conceptual perspective about the case, the role of the discussant is to challenge the intern presenter, and the group, as a collegial and experienced practitioner. The discussants are also encouraged to offer their own clinical insights that are often gained only through experience. The intern is encouraged to speak to his/her progressive growth as a professional psychologist, and how it impacts their current clinical work. The intern should meet and/or speak with the discussant in advance, and discuss their co-presentation format. This interactive opportunity with the discussant is not only an academic exchange, but an opportunity for interns to become more familiar with local community psychologists and to extend their professional networking.

If time permits, the fourth case presentation should reflect the intern's growing clinical interests and emerging professional development. Topics for these final presentations may be individually tailored to meet the intern’s training needs.  Nonetheless, interns must have prior approval of their topic/format from the Training Director.

Special Project/Research

Each intern is required to participate in this broadly defined self-directed clinical training. The Special Project augments other aspects of the Internship Program by providing the intern with the opportunity to pursue more focused or specialized clinical or research activity of their own special interest. The intern, in consultation with and approval of the Training Director, develops a plan for the Special project. The plan must be developed and approved no later than March 1st. Special projects can include but are not limited to:

  1. Involvement in research projects,
  2. Developing program evaluation studies,
  3. Teaching Assistant to a course at SOPP,
  4. Doing extra consultation activities,
  5. Receiving extra training (e.g. becoming involved in a Gestalt Training Institute),
  6. Working on a scholarly writing project,
  7. Making a professional presentation.

The only restrictions are the special project cannot be used to complete the dissertation and if clinical in nature, it is beyond the scope of the requirements of the two assigned clinical rotations. Clinical activities must have a designated supervisor and research efforts may be subject to Wright State Institutional Review Board approval. At the conclusion of the Special Project the intern must submit an evaluative summary of the experience, approximately two pages, that describes outcomes, obstacles, recommendations, and pertinent issues relative to their Special Project.  Final acceptance by the supervisor and Training Director is required for the completion of the Special Project.