Pre-doctoral, APA-Accredited Psychology Internship Program
Pre-doctoral, APA-Accredited Psychology Internship Program
Aurora MHC started a full-time clinical psychology internship program in 1998. The Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association has accredited the internship since 2000. For information about APA accreditation, you may contact the Commission on Accreditation at: 750 First Street, N.E. Washington, DC 20002-4242 / (202) 336-5979.
The Center offers interns an excellent clinical experience in which they are trained in the assessment and treatment of a diverse range of mental health problems with a client population that includes children, adolescents, adults, and families.
With more than 300 employees and 80 volunteers, the Center serves over 14,000 individuals per year. Approximately 42% of the clients are children or adolescents, 53% are young to middle-age adults, and 5% are age sixty or older. The client population is also diverse in its racial and ethnic makeup. Approximately 50% are Caucasian and non-Hispanic, 22% are African American, 21% are Hispanic, 5% identify as Multi-Racial, and Native American and Asian comprise 1% of our client population, respectively.
Aurora MHC is closely affiliated with a managed care company, Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. The relationship between the two organizations provides the intern with substantial experience in a managed care environment, with emphasis on providing rapid assessment, treatment planning, acute care in an interdisciplinary setting, and solution-oriented treatment. The Center's roots, however, remain in its commitment to the community and helping its citizens attain the highest quality of life our expertise can help them achieve. Toward this end, we provide acceptance, respect, and care that restores dignity, nurtures relationships, and enriches lives.
The internship is located in Aurora, Colorado, which is part of the Denver metropolitan area. Our facilities are located within 30 minutes of central Denver and are less than one hour from the Rocky Mountains. There are several excellent colleges and universities in the area, state- of-the-art medical facilities, numerous cultural and sports attractions, and abundant sunshine for year-round recreational activities.
The internship is designed to provide a wide variety of clinical experiences with an emphasis on preparing the interns to achieve a standard doctoral level of competence in skills, personal maturity, and ethical behavior. In order to accomplish this goal, and to accommodate the special interests and needs of the intern, the program is balanced between required and elective clinical experiences.
All interns are required to participate in a year-long primary placement. The remaining training experiences will consist of two six-month minor rotations, weekly seminars, monthly case conferences and a group research project. The program accepts two interns who prefer an adult oriented primary placement, two interns who prefer a child/family primary placement, and one intern who prefers a primary placement with the Asian Pacific Development Center, which has a new affiliation with Aurora Mental Health Center. For all three tracks, the minor rotations can be either adult or child focused, depending on the interests of the intern. The internship is for 12 months and 2000 hours.
The current stipend is $20,000, with an additional $2400 compensation for interns who are fluent in English and are able to conduct therapy in a second language. The fringe benefits include Center contributions toward health and dental insurance, a flexible benefit plan, $15,000 in life insurance, professional liability insurance, long-term disability insurance, an EAP program, 12 days of vacation, up to 12 days sick leave, and ten paid holidays. The program provides interns the same access to Center administrative resources (e.g., office space, computers, secretarial staff) as other clinical staff.
For administrative purposes, the Aurora MHC clinical services are divided into two divisions: Adult Services and Family Services. Within these divisions, interns can receive training in the following programs.
Adult Services Division
Southeast Outpatient Clinic - (Optional Primary or Minor Rotation). The Southeast Team provides mental health treatment and education to individuals, couples, and groups who are seeking help for a variety of problems. Services include intake evaluations, psychotherapy (individual, couples, and group), crisis intervention, psychological testing, case management, consultation, and medication management. The multidisciplinary staff includes psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, and a nurse. Most clients are between 18 and 55 years old and have presenting problems that range from adjustment disorders to severe and persistent mental illness. The southeast facility is located in a predominantly middle-class area of Aurora, and while the clients present with a broad spectrum of problems, they are generally functioning at a higher level than clients who live in other parts of the city. Some evening work is required.
North Adult Outpatient Clinic - (Optional Primary or Minor Rotation). The North Adult Team provides the same services as the Southeast office and has a similar mix of multidisciplinary staff. In addition to individual therapy, interns can co-facilitate specialized groups; these include groups designed for clients with personality disorders, trauma history, co-morbid substance abuse, and Bipolar Disorder. In general, compared to the Southeast Clinic, the presenting problems tend to be more severe and the clients generally have fewer economic resources. Some evening work is required.
Older Adults Outpatient Services - (Optional Minor Rotation). The Older Adults Team provides psychotherapy and education for older persons and their families who are experiencing mental health or adjustment to aging problems. Services are provided at both the Southeast (primary) and North clinics, as well as in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Services also include PASAAR evaluations.
Emergency Services - (Presently only available to interns as an optional add-on experience during nights or weekends). This program provides 24-hour coverage for evaluating individuals who are at risk of being a danger to themselves, others, or of being gravely disabled due to a mental illness. The staff arranges hospitalization when necessary. The evaluations take place at Center facilities, local hospital emergency rooms, or area detention facilities. The staff consults with family, community members, and the police regarding the need for crisis intervention or to arrange treatment. They also respond to community crises by providing support, for example, to survivors of a natural catastrophe. Interns who participate in the off-hours emergency evaluations first shadow the on-call clinician and as knowledge and skills develop, conduct the emergency evaluation under the supervision of the off-hours clinician.
Adult Intensive Services - (Optional Primary Placement). An array of coordinated services and programs are managed under the umbrella of "Adult Intensive Services". It is designed for adults with severe and persistent mental illness who are best served by a high frequency of services in order to maintain ties to family and community. Components include:
1. Community Living Program - This intensive outpatient program is available for clients needing several hours of group therapy either daily or several days per week. Case management, outreach, crisis intervention, medication management and therapy sessions are oriented toward helping individuals develop better coping and self-management skills. A substance abuse program focuses on recovery for those with co-occurring mental health and drug/alcohol abuse problems. A recreational component teaches leisure time activities and social skills. A vocational component guides Center clients toward employment experiences.
2. Aurora Center for Life Skills - This outpatient and day treatment program provides social/emotional training, functional skill training, and creative/expressive training for adults with a developmental disability and a concurrent mental illness. The goal of the program is to enhance each client's ability to live as independently as possible in the community.
3. Fitzsimons Treatment Unit - Provides counseling, medication monitoring, and supervision for clients who need 24-hour support during a psychological crisis, as a transition from hospital to community, or as an alternative to hospitalization. Length of stay is up to one month.
Offenders Program - (Optional Minor Rotation). Provides evaluations, group therapy, and educational classes to clients referred by the courts, probation departments, social services, or other professionals. The primary area of focus is sex offenses, however domestic violence, anger control, and substance abuse evaluations and treatment are also provided. Evening work is required.
Family Services Division
Child and Family South Outpatient Services - (Optional Primary or Minor Rotation). Diagnostic assessments, individual, group and family therapy, and intensive work with children whom have often been abused or neglected are provided by the multidisciplinary staff. The treatment team works closely with schools, courts, and other care givers like foster families to identify and help prevent problems facing young people and their families. Some evening work is required.
Child and Family North Outpatient Services – (Optional Primary or Minor Rotation). The Child and Family North Team provides the same services as the Child and Family South Program, but with a higher concentration of Spanish speaking clients and a close affiliation with the Center’s school-based program.
School-Based Program – (Optional Minor Rotation). The school-based team provides comprehensive mental health treatment for school age children in an elementary school setting. Services include intake evaluations, individual, group, and family psychotherapy, crisis intervention, consultation and case management. The youth served have a range of presenting problems; however many children have a significant trauma history. Similar to the North Child and Family Outpatient team, there is often a high concentration of Spanish speaking families.
Early Childhood and Family Center - (Optional Primary Placement). ECFC provides comprehensive mental health treatment for infants and children up to age 6. Many of these children have been victimized, traumatized, abused, abandoned, or have experienced emotional or behavioral difficulties which interfere with learning and developing relationships. Individual, family, and group therapies are integrated to best serve the needs of each child and family. A variety of parenting classes for new and teen parents are provided. Parent-Child Interactional Therapy is also offered.
Intercept Center - (Optional Primary Placement or Minor Rotation). Intercept provides comprehensive mental health treatment for children and adolescents who have mental illnesses as well as developmental disabilities from age 6 to 21. The youth we serve generally have a trauma history and for many they have experienced complex, multiple traumas. Intercept provides individual, group, and family psychotherapy, as well as medication evaluations. The intensive outpatient program serves about 100 families. Intercept also runs a day treatment program for up to 10 youth that is a collaborative project of Aurora Mental Health Center and Aurora Public Schools. Interns would be assigned a caseload on either a minor or primary rotation, depending on their training level and familiarity with this population. There are also many opportunities to gain experience through co-leading group and family therapy sessions.
Integrated Primary Care - (Optional Minor Rotation). Working on-site at one of the integrated primary care sites located in the Aurora medical community. One position at the Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN), and another working with refugees in primary care. Interns will have the opportunity to function as a member of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, meeting the needs of a diverse medical population serving the entire lifespan. Opportunities to work with patients presenting with a range of co-morbid diagnoses involving both medical and mental health conditions. The rotation will touch upon biologic, cognitive, affective, developmental, sociocultural, economic, collaborative, ethical and professional issues related to the culture and practice of medicine, health and illness - distinct from general psychological practice. A biopsychosocial, integrated care model is emphasized. Activities may include consultation-liaison, triage, groups, short-term treatment and referral, and bariatric evaluations, training presentations, program development, readings/background research and case conferences. Interns can expect to learn and or increase their knowledge of psychotropic medications, time-limited presentation skills for on the spot consultation with medical providers, and how psychological illnesses affect medical diagnoses and vice versa.
Asian Pacific Development Center (Primary Rotation). In May, 2012, the Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) affiliated with the Aurora Mental Health Center to integrate their services and resources. This new affiliation prompted Aurora Mental Health to add a new rotation at APDC for the internship program. The Asian Pacific Development Center has provided culturally competent, community-based and consumer-driven mental health services to the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Colorado since 1980. The vision is for our diverse communities to be healthy and empowered. The primary target population has been and continues to be refugees, immigrants, multi-generational and multi-racial AAPIs in Colorado. The multidisciplinary staff at APDC includes psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, case managers/navigators, and outreach workers most of whom are bicultural and bilingual with close ties to their AAPI communities. A variety of services are provided to clients who present with a wide range of mental health issues from brief, transitory conditions to more acute and chronic psychiatric symptoms and disorders. These include major mental illnesses such as Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Clients are also seen who have adjustment disorders, family difficulties, marital problems, occupational or academic problems. Services are tailored to address the needs of refugee and immigrant status clients. Issues involving cultural adjustment, such as language, values, customs and behavioral differences, are often intimately associated with the client’s presenting problem. Services provided at APDC include intake evaluations, psychotherapy (individual, group, family and couples) across the lifespan, case management/navigation, psychosocial skills training groups, medication management, community outreach, and cultural competency education/consultation.
Philosophy, Goals, and Objectives
The Local Clinical Scientist model guides the philosophy of the program. The training staff believes that the primary purpose of the internship is to help interns apply scientific theory and knowledge within the context of unique client situations. This requires a scientific orientation that includes critical thinking, case conceptualization, hypothesis testing, awareness of personal biases, and understanding of group differences including those of culture, ethnicity, gender, age, and sexual orientation.
The overall goals of the Aurora Mental Health Center Internship Program are to provide students with a broad range of experiences, in a variety of service delivery modalities, with diverse client populations, by psychologists of varying professional and personal backgrounds, styles, and areas of expertise. We aim to provide the intern with the educational and experiential opportunities necessary for them to develop the competence and confidence to engage in the independent practice of professional psychology. Although the training program by nature is strongest in providing the knowledge and skills necessary in community mental health, the diversity of the program will prepare the intern to function responsibly in a range of institutional and managed care settings.
Each intern is expected to develop and demonstrate certain core competencies during the internship year. These core competencies are taught, monitored, and evaluated during each quarter placement. Successful completion of the internship requires the demonstration of these competencies. Core areas consist of the following:
1. Professional Conduct, Ethics and Legal Matters
2. Individual and Cultural Diversity
3. Theories and Methods of Psychological Diagnosis and Assessment
4. Theories and Methods of Effective Psychotherapeutic Intervention
5. Scholarly Inquiry and Application of Current Scientific Knowledge to Practice
6. Professional Consultation
These core areas are addressed in seminars, supervision, literature reviews, and case conferences. They are demonstrated by intern written records and reports, review of cases in supervision, and interactions with clients and interdisciplinary staff. Progress in their attainment is evaluated in weekly supervision, monthly reviews by the Training Committee, and in quarterly and semi-annual written performance evaluations.
Interns are assigned a primary clinical supervisor, who is a licensed psychologist. The intern and primary supervisor meet individually at least one hour per week throughout the training year. These meetings entail the discussion of cases and related clinical topics, reviewing progress in the program, and evaluating training needs. The intern has a minimum of one additional hour of weekly individual supervision in accordance with the current minor rotation with a licensed staff member whom is associated with the specific training site. The assignment of interns with specific primary supervisors is made by the Training Committee, which makes every effort to match intern interests and needs with supervisor expertise. The format of supervision may include case discussion, review of treatment notes, review of audio- or videotape, live supervision behind a one-way mirror, or co-therapy. At the beginning of each rotation the intern and their primary supervisor and each of their site supervisors will develop individualized training goals.
Aurora MHC has a very experienced and talented staff of allied mental health professionals including psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses. Interns receive additional supervision from these allied staff, in consultation with their primary supervisor.
Interns are required to attend and participate in the regular group supervision meetings and case conferences that occur on at least a weekly basis at their primary and minor rotations. In addition, interns will attend a monthly case conference with the training director and/or other training staff. Interns will rotate presenting cases at these monthly cases conferences. The focus of these cases conferences is assessment and treatment approaches with challenging clients and ethical or legal issues.
Interns receive ongoing training in the provision of supervision. Supervision skills are taught in a supervision of supervision group that interns attend on a biweekly basis. The supervision group is facilitated by two staff psychologists and has both didactic and process components. The program strives to ensure that interns have an opportunity to provide supervision to a practicum student during the year. The extent to which an intern provides direct supervision to a more junior student is determined by the particular placements of each intern, the availability of a junior student on a particular placement, and the interests and previous education and training of the intern in being a supervisor.
The program recognizes that the ability to competently perform psychological evaluations is one of the distinguishing features of practicing psychologists. Staff use results from psychological testing to enhance understanding of particularly challenging cases, and to respond to the needs of other agencies, including the Departments of Human Services and the courts. The internship provides didactic training in testing in seminars and in both individual and group supervision. The program, however, does not have a strong emphasis in teaching testing; rather, interns are expected to have acquired most of their knowledge and technical skills in this area in graduate school. The emphasis in this program is in the ability to integrate data and to write succinct, high quality reports. Prospective interns who seek a program that has an especially strong testing emphasis would not be a good match with this program.
Interns are required to perform 10 psychological testing evaluations during the year. The evaluations include a clinical interview, administering, scoring, and interpreting the tests, and writing a report. Testing referrals are generated by each of the treatment teams, thus interns may evaluate clients from teams other than those in which they are rotating. The evaluations include the use of a variety of tests, typically measuring both cognitive and personality functioning. Interns assess varying age groups and problem areas. Four hours per week are set aside for interns to work on testing evaluations.
Training seminars for interns are presented 3 to 4 times per month by training staff or guests. Areas of concentration in the seminar schedule include evaluation, treatment, legal issues, consultation, and cultural competence. Certain seminars are required and others are optional and are selected by the intern class. Each intern facilitates a seminar on the topic of her or his choice toward the end of the training year.
Interns are encouraged to attend the Center-wide trainings that are arranged by the Center's Educational Committee. Each intern is allotted $100 for attendance at external workshops or conferences.
In order to develop and enhance program evaluation and research skills, each intern class is responsible for collectively conducting a study that relates to some aspect of the Center's operations. A recent intern class, for example, analyzed the relationship between client demographics, treatment modality, and outcomes. The Center is affiliated with the Aurora Research Institute (ARI). Dr. Richard Swanson, the Director of ARI, oversees the intern research project in conjunction with the internship Training Director, Dr. Jeff Longo. Drs. Swanson and Longo meet with the intern class early in the year to provide guidance on the selection of a project that is both meaningful and practical within the time frame of the internship and they consult with the interns on the project from start to finish. The intern group presents the findings of their study to the management team of Aurora Mental Health and writes a paper describing the study in APA style.
In order to qualify for internship training at Aurora Community Mental Health Center, applicants must have completed a minimum of three years of pre-internship graduate training, had their dissertation proposal approved, have passed their comprehensive exams, and completed a minimum of 750 practicum hours, including 500 of which were direct service. Applicants must have completed at least five integrative psychological assessment reports (with adults and/or children). The program requires that applicants be from APA accredited graduate programs in clinical or counseling psychology. Training in the administration, scoring and interpretation of the WISC, WAIS, and either the MMPI or PAI are required. The program prefers that interns have had training in the administration and scoring of the Rorschach using the Exner System.
Students seeking internship training at Aurora Mental Health Center should submit the on-line APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI) and a sample psychological assessment report. In the cover letter, please indicate whether you are applying for the Adult Track, Child/Family Track, or the Asian Pacific Development Center Track.
All materials must be received by November 9, 2012. The internship will begin on August 6, 2013.
Intern Selection Policy and Procedure
There are five full-time openings for psychology interns: two in the Child/Family Track, two in the Adult Track, and one with a primary placement at the Asian Pacific Development Center. All applications from students in APA accredited programs in clinical or counseling psychology that are completed and electronically submitted to us through APPIC by our deadline will be reviewed by at least one member of the Training Committee. We are particularly interested in matching with interns who share our passion in working with traditionally underserved and disenfranchised populations.
All students who submitted a completed application will be notified of their interview status by December 15th. Based on the quality of the application and the goodness of fit between the applicant’s training goals and the internship program, approximately thirty-five applicants are invited for an interview. Interviews are conducted in January. The program requires that all interviews be on-site and not by telephone.
Following the completion of the interviews, the Training Committee meets to rank order applicants, which is based on both the submitted application and the interview. The final ranking order is determined by consensus of the Training Committee. This 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.
Results of the APPIC Match constitute a binding agreement between the matched applicants and the program. However, final appointment of applicants to the internship at Aurora Mental Health Center is contingent on matched applicants passing a criminal background check.
Aurora MHC is an equal opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minority candidates for the internship program are strongly encouraged to apply. For further information you may reach the internship Training Director, Jeff Longo, Ph.D., at (303) 617-2408 or JeffLongo@aumhc.org.
Kirsten Anderson, Psy.D., University of Denver
Child and Family North
Play Therapy, Family Therapy, Testing
Eri Asano, Ph.D.
Clinical Director, Asian Pacific Development Center
Sarah Avrin, Ph.D., Washington State University
Program Director, Aurora Center for Life Skills
Developmental Disabilities, PTSD, Families and Couples
Christy Balentine, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Early Childhood and Family Center
Infant Mental Health, Parent-Child Interactions, Post-Partum Depression
Megan Brennan, Psy.D., Alliant University/Calif. SPP
School Based Program
Individual and Group Therapy, Consultation with Educators
Luisa Bryce, Psy.D., Argosy University at Phoenix
Child and Family South
DBT with adolescents and their mothers, neuropsychology screening
Holly Cappello, Psy.D., University of Denver
Program Director, Child & Family South
Trauma, Assessment, and Integrated Care
Margaret Charlton, Ph.D., ABPP, Washington University in St. Louis
Developmental and Learning Disabilities, Assessment, Forensics, Child Trauma
Irene Ellis, Psy.D., Hospital Universitario de Caracas
Child Intensive Outpatient
Child and Family Therapy, Couples Therapy, Acculturation of Latino Populations
Jane Hancock, Psy.D., University of Denver
Parent-Child Interactional Therapy, Family Therapy
Jan Jenkins, Ph.D., University of Colorado
Program Director, Integrated Care
Refugee Mental Health, Consultation to Medical Providers
Mara Kailin, Psy.D., Rutgers University
Program Director, Child and Family North and School-based Program
Cross-Cultural Issues, Assessment, Trauma
Rebecca Kinney, Psy.D., Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Child and Family South
Adolescents, Family Therapy
Courtney Klein, Psy.D., University of Denver
Southeast Outpatient Program
Young Adults, Trauma, Bipolar Disorder
Laura Knudtson, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison
Child and Family North and Child Pediatrics
Multicultural Psychology; Child, Adolescent and Family Therapy, Integrated Care
Jeffrey M. Longo, Ph.D., University of Virginia
Program Director, Southeast and Older Adults Programs
Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Supervision
Davitta Love, Psy.D., Azusa Pacific University
Southeast Outpatient Program
Trauma, Existentialism, Multiculturalism
Dianne McReynolds, Ph.D., University of Denver
Adult Intensive Services
Ethics, Major Mental Illnesses
Edward P. Miller, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Child Intensive Outpatient
Child Psychology and Solution Focused Therapy
Dawn S. O'Neil, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
Southeast Outpatient Program
Crisis Intervention, Women's Empowerment, DBT
Laura Ramzy, Ph.D., University of Oregon
Refugee Populations, Acculturation
Brian Scherzer, Ph.D., Graduate School of The Union Institute
Testing, ADHD, Biofeedback
Brian Schneider, Ph.D., Marquette University
Child and Family South Outpatient Program
Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Multicultural Therapy, ADHD
Dustin Shaver, Psy.D, Argosy University at Phoenix
Southeast Outpatient Program
Trauma, Anxiety, Sports Psychology
Randy C. Stith, Ph.D., St. Louis University
Executive Director, Aurora Mental Health Center
Ethics and Managed Care, Community Mental Health
Richard Swanson, Ph.D., J.D., University of Colorado
Aurora Research Institute
Research and Forensics
Joseph Tadie, Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary
Southeast Adult Outpatient
Mental Health and Religion, Grief and Loss
Alan Toulouse, Ph.D., University of Nebraska
Child and Family South
Child and Family Therapy, Assessment and Consultation
Shawna Urbanski, Psy.D., University of Denver
Aurora Center for Life Skills
Developmental Disabilities, Behavioral Therapy, Consultation
Psychology staff and interns at our 2011 retreat in Evergreen, CO