APA Clinical Internship in Psychology

Introduction

The Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) Psychology Fellowship consists of a two-year integrated training sequence: an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited internship and a (non-accredited) postgraduate Fellowship in clinical psychology. Doctoral candidates enrolled in APA Accredited programs in Clinical, Counseling, or School Psychology may apply. All candidates enter the program through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) match process. Successful applicants are appointed as Fellows of Yale Medical School for the two-year training experience, and are required to complete their doctoral degree prior to beginning the second year. Most students matched to our program meet their goals for licensure at the end of the two-year training sequence.

The program’s didactic curriculum and clinical placements emphasize public service to underserved populations, including the urban poor, children and their families impacted by significant biopsychosocial adversity, and children with combined developmental, medical, and psychiatric disorders. Clinical settings include an urban child guidance clinic with multiple community-based intervention programs and a university teaching hospital with medical, surgical, and psychiatric services for children. Interns and second year fellows work with other community agencies, including private and public schools, local law enforcement, and the state child welfare agency.

Interns receive extensive training in the psychological and neuropsychological assessment of children, and therapeutic interventions that embrace multiple theoretical perspectives, including developmental, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems theory. Opportunities are available to assist in clinical research at the Yale Child Study Center, and to lecture about clinically related topics in child psychology.

The internship training year focuses on implementation of clinical services in community and outpatient settings through yearlong placements. In addition, interns spend approximately 10-15 hours per week working in a focused training area selected by them during the APPIC application process.

Areas of focus include:

  1. Autism,
  2. Early Childhood,
  3. Pediatric Psychology,
  4. Trauma and Children.

All interns remain with the Psychology Training program for a second year. Approximately 50% of the training focuses on hospital-based evaluation and treatment of children with serious psychiatric illness. Second year fellows work as primary clinicians on a child or adolescent psychiatry inpatient unit and consult to the pediatric emergency department.

The remaining 50% of training is dedicated to the area of focus initiated during the internship year. Continued clinical intervention with children and families, along with opportunities for involvement in ongoing research projects, is highlighted in the focused training area.

History

While psychologists have been training at the Child Study Center since its inception, the formal pre-doctoral internship program began in 1977. The American Psychological Association (APA) granted approval in 1981, and in 1989 the psychology faculty developed a two-year, coordinated pre-doctoral internship and postgraduate fellowship.

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