Doctoral Internship Overview


MSU CAPS doctoral internship in Health Service Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association and offers a broad range of training and service opportunities utilizing a Scientist-Practitioner model. Training is designed to be graduated and experiential.

The overarching goal of the internship is to prepare entry level professionals who are generalist ready to serve a diverse public. This requires developing competency at a level that satisfies professional benchmarks, solidifying professional identity and respecting diverse world views. Our internship adheres to the document, “Professional Psychologist Competencies to Serve a Diverse Public” which was developed by the Education Directorate of the American Psychologist Association.

The program’s aims are in line with meeting the mental health needs of a large, Big 10 University college campus with a population of students in excess of 50,400 enrollees.  The population demographic is highly diverse (ranked 6th in Diversity among the Big Ten)  and includes U.S. students across the socioeconomic strata as well as one of the highest enrollments of international students in the country As a land grand university MSU serves a high number of in-state students who come from the rural regions of the Upper Peninsula, from the western (more conservative) side of the state to the urban areas of Flint and Detroit. Seventy percent of MSU students are between 18 to 22 years old. This is a particularly vulnerable group for onset of early adult mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, and Bipolar.  Additionally, a significant number of students arrive at MSU with previous psychiatric diagnoses and treatment (Attention Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Eating Disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  The American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (2014) data suggests an increase in “garden variety” mental health issues such as anxiety (22% compared to 17% in 2010 survey) and depression (15% compared to 10% in 2010 survey).  These statistics are alarming and contribute to the decision to co-locate mental and medical health services.  Out of necessity, a public mental health model has evolved at MSU and continues to develop to meet the increasing needs of a growing, diverse campus population.

The MSU Doctoral Health Service Psychology Internship training program’s guidelines competency areas, objectives, supervision, seminars, and feedback represent a valuing of and a commitment to proficiency in different ways of knowing and intervening (culturally, empirically, experientially, and intellectually).


Training Program Goals:

1: Develop proficiency in individual and group counseling within an integrated mental health system.

  • Assess client concerns and develop a diagnosis based on DSM criteria, including cultural formulations.
  • Demonstrate ability to create integrative evidence based treatment plans based on psychological measures, clinical impressions, and available resources.
  • Understand and apply a time-limited therapy model.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work within an inter-professional team.
  • Demonstrate efficacy as a group leader.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and adherence to ethical principles and legal mandates.

2: Develop proficiency in providing assessment services within a multicultural context.

  • Demonstrate the ability to elicit and integrate relevant cultural information in assessment reports and mood disorder evaluations.
  • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and awareness in the choice of appropriate assessment tools for culturally distinct groups.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of relevant APA treatment guidelines, APA code of conduct and other legal mandates related to testing and assessment.
  • Demonstrate awareness of your own world view and how it impacts the assessment process. (PPS)

3: Develop proficiency in providing clinical supervision.

  • Demonstrate awareness of your own values, beliefs, and biases; including how those variable impact the supervisory relationship.
  • Gain knowledge of relevant literature regarding methods used to provide clinical supervision within a time-limited/brief therapy framework.
  • Demonstrate awareness of your own supervisory preferences, theoretical orientation and power needs within the supervisory dyad and articulate how these factors impact the supervisory process.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to provide ethically grounded, developmentally appropriate supervision to a junior trainee.

4: Develop proficiency in outreach and program evaluation (e.g., consultation with Residence Education staff (e.g. liaison, crisis debriefing psycho-educational programming within MSU neighborhoods).

  • Actively seek out multicultural experiences while providing community interventions or engagements.
  • Gain knowledge and community resources.
  • Demonstrate skills in designing interventions, developing and delivering services within a community setting and writing program evaluation.

Core training seminars are:

  • Professional Practice (PPS): Supervision and Assessment: Emphasis on diagnosis, assessment, treatment planning and providing supervision. The following link will you to view a past syllabus. EBPP Syllabus_2015-2016
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology (EBPP): Emphasis on application of psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral models of treatment while integrating interpersonal, feminist and experiential techniques within a multicultural framework. The following link will allow you to view a past syllabus. syllabus-for-ebpp-2016-2017
  • Cultural Competence and Racial Responsiveness: Emphasis on multiple ways of knowing, reflective practice and community engagement, as well as exploring the intersections of factors that impact treatment access, process and outcome. The following link will allow you to view a past syllabus.syllabus-for-ebpp-2016-2017

Topic-focused presentations during orientation to the internship and staff development training during the academic year offer a foundation and/or exposure to additional clinical and professional issues.

Major areas of evaluation include: science, professionalism, relationships skills, clinical knowledge, clinical interventions, education, and systems

Training related to ethical and legal issues is woven throughout each core seminar. While the focus is on time-limited treatment, each doctoral intern has the opportunity to work with two longer-term cases. Opportunities exist to work in the areas of disordered eating, complex trauma, triage/crises intervention, disability adjustment, sexual orientation, couples, and group treatment.

Approximately 50% of a doctoral intern’s time is committed to direct service activities. Each doctoral intern receives a minimum of two hours of individual supervision, plus two hours of group supervision weekly with licensed psychologists. The following senior staff psychologists are available to serve as doctoral intern supervisors.

Mentoring relationships with psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, care managers and/or social workers result in additional supervision and professional experiences and offer customization of the training experience.


The following staff members are available to serve as mentors:

  • Scott Becker, Ph.D.

Administration, Integrated Mental Health, Complex Trauma, Technology and Mental Health, Grief and Loss, Archetypal Psychology, Psychodynamic models, Couples and Family systems therapy.

  • Talitha Easterly, Ph.D.

Outreach: College Student Mental Health; Multiracial Identity Development; Retention, Persistence and Achievement among culturally diverse college student populations (Racial/Ethnic Identification, 1st Generation, International, Non-traditional, Student Parents); Leadership Development; Integrating Religion and Spirituality into practice; Positive Psychology.

  • Carmen Gear, LPC

African American students, Male-Female Relationships; Negotiating Academic Systems; Educational Policy; MSU CAPS informal historian.

  • Bonnie Wheeler, LMSW, LPC

Treating Grief and Loss; Identity Development; Relationship Concerns; White Privilege; Women’s Issues.

  • Tenille Gaines, Ph.D.

Identity Development, First Generation College Students, African-American Women’s Issues, African-American college student development, Family-of-Origin Issues, Diversity/Multiculturalism, Outreach, Supervision and Training

  • Josh Turchan, Ph.D.

Relational and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy/Theory; Trauma (e.g., developmental/relational, complex trauma, sexual trauma); Family of Origin issues; Low Income/First Gen College Students; interpersonal process group therapy; Supervision and Training; Psychological Assessment.

  • Jinaki Flint, Psy.D.

Africana Psychology, Psychospiritual, Reproductive Mental Health, Ritualism in Psychology, Mindfulness, Shame, Neurobiology of Trauma, Race/Ethnicity, Acculturative Stress, Outreach.

  • Gail Anderson, M.S.

Mood/Bipolar Disorders, SPMI, Attachment and Relationships, Couple/Sex Therapies, Multicultural and Dynamic Therapies, LGBTQ+, Integrated Health Care, Research Design, Data Analysis.

  • Basak Khumush Kacar

Areas of mentorship/consultation: Immigrants,  international students, Muslim and middle eastern students, acculturation, social justice issues, identity development, career development, psychological assessment, clinical assessment and diagnosis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy