Doctoral Internship Overview


The Counseling Center’s 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” (htttp://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/diversity-preparation.aspx?tab=2) which was developed by the Education Directorate of the American Psychologist Association.

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).

Guideline 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.
Guideline 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)
Guideline 3: Develop proficiency in providing clinical supervision.
  • Demonstrate awareness of your own values, beliefs, and biases; including how those variable impact the supervisory relationship. (PPS)
  • Gain knowledge of relevant literature regarding methods used to provide clinical supervision within a time-limited/brief therapy framework. (PPS)
  • 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. (PPS)
  • Demonstrate the capacity to provide ethically grounded, developmentally appropriate supervision to a junior trainee. (PPS)
Guideline 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. (PPS)
  • Gain knowledge and community resources. (PPS)
  • Demonstrate skills in designing interventions, developing and delivering services within a community setting and writing program evaluations. (PPS)
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

    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 tow 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, 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; MSUCC informal historian.

    • I-Ching Grace Hung, Ph.D.
    • – Buddhist Psychology; Mindfulness, Self-Compassion; Self-As-Instrument; Multiculturalism; Race/Ethnicity; International Students; Supervision/Training; Prevention; Outreach.

    • Bonnie Wheeler, LMSW, LPC
    • – Treating Grief and Loss; Identity Development; Relationship Concerns; White Privilege; Women’s Issues.

    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: professionalism, reflective practice, professional relationships, interdisciplinary systems, ethics/legal, individual, assessment, crisis, groups, diversity, research, consultation, and supervision.

    All Doctoral Interns must participate in some form of research and exhibit an on-going commitment to working with a diverse student population.

    Click here for the APA Accredited Doctoral Psychology Internship Handbook (2014-2015).