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Traineeship Appointments in Clinical Psychology

Clinical students normally serve a traineeship of 15 to 16 hours per week in their third and fourth years. For students entering with their master’s degree and who have completed prior practical training, it is possible that they can start their traineeship in their second year (if the Section faculty agree this is appropriate and if the traineeship supervisor determines they are ready for placement at the traineeship site). The traineeship provides supervised clinical experience at a variety of mental health facilities, including placements in inpatient, outpatient, VA, clinical child, clinical health, and clinical neuropsychology settings.  Traineeships are usually scheduled in blocks of 9 to 12 months, although most are 12 months. Students should consult with their mentors/advisors as to how they wish to fulfill this requirement.

In the late fall semester of each year, the Director of Clinical Training and/or the Clinic Director will hold an informational meeting to inform students about traineeship sites that are available for the upcoming year. Students will be informed of the clinical experiences available, population served, and specific requirements for eligibility at each site. Over winter break, students will need to prepare application materials for the sites they are interested in. At the very least, this will include a CV, a cover letter specific to each site, and a summary of clinical experiences and hours (which could be part of the cover letter, although some programs want a specific AAPI style summary, which students can print from Time2Track). By noon on the first day of classes in spring semester students should provide to the Internship and Traineeship committee a copy of their CV, a sample cover letter, a summary of clinical experiences and hours, and a list of traineeship sites to which they plan to apply; the committee will review these materials and provide students with feedback.  After students have applied to various sites, the traineeships themselves will arrange for interviews and will make offers. Traineeships will inform the Director of Clinical Training and the Clinic Director about whom they will interview and also about offers to students. Should students receive more than one offer, they can decide from amongst the sites interested in them as to where they will be placed in the upcoming year. Following placement, a letter of agreement is signed by the site, the student, and the Clinic Director.

Every semester that a student is on an external traineeship they must register for 1 credit of PSY7910 (Fieldwork) with either the Director of Clinical Training or the Clinic Director. This is important for maintaining student malpractice insurance. If the traineeship is in our Training Clinic, the student will register for Advanced Clinical Practicum (PSY 7925).

Traineeship Travel

Students who travel to external traineeships that are more than 30 miles from their home to their placement will receive a $400 William Snyder Scholarship to help alleviate travel costs. Students must provide evidence (such as a google map from their home to the placement) that their placement is more than 30 miles one way in travel. Students can receive this scholarship only once during their time in the program. Receipt of the scholarship will be facilitated by the Director of Clinical training after traineeship decisions have been finalized in the spring semester.

Program Sanctioned Training Hours

For students entering the program with a master’s degree who completed clinical experiences outside of the doctoral program and for those students who opt to obtain additional clinical experiences other than the traineeships that are required and assigned by the Clinical Section, they must have their supervisors fill out the Program-Sanctioned Training Experience Form (available from the Director of Clinical Training), if they want to have the hours accrued count toward training hours. For students entering the program with a master’s degree, they must give this form to the supervisor(s) at their prior clinical placements to complete; this should be returned to the Director of Clinical Training. For students who opt to obtain additional clinical experiences while in the doctoral program, they must have this form signed by the supervisor at the site prior to the initiation of the training experience. Further, the potential training experience must be reviewed and approved by the Director of Clinical Training prior to its initiation. In addition, students who complete clinical experiences that could count as pre-internship direct client hours (see above) as part of their research labs should complete the Program Sanctioned Training Hours (Research) form (available from the research supervisor or from the Director of Clinical training) together with the research supervisor who served as the clinical supervisor for this experience.

Faculty. A practicum contact hour is defined as one hour of contact between a supervisor and his or her supervisees or class. The optimum range for enrollment in a therapy practicum is four to six students.