Monitor on Psychology - February 2012 - (Page 33)
innovative approaches, Pons and others are serving as role models, paving the way for what will hopefully be an easier internship road for future graduate students, he and others say. Philanthropy meets psychology One of the most promising internship-creation efforts is an initiative that’s using philanthropic funds to address mental health needs in Texas. The project is headed by Michele Guzmán, PhD, a clinical associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She also manages grants and coordinates evaluation efforts at the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, an endowed philanthropy at the university that focuses on advancing mental health, recovery and wellness in Texas. Guzmán has blended her expertise in both areas to create psychology internships with Hogg Foundation funding. Two key points helped convince her foundation colleagues to fund the internships as a way to develop the state’s mental health workforce. First, Texas has a serious shortage of psychologists — in fact, 107 Texas counties have no psychologists at all. Second, it’s easier to draw interns to underserved areas than it is to attract fully trained psychologists. The foundation awarded $1.6 million in competitive grants to three sites to help them form internships over a five-year period: Scott & White, a major health-care system in Central Texas; the University of Houston–Clear Lake Office of Counseling Services, a university counseling center serving older, less affluent students; and Travis County Juvenile Probation Department, a juvenile probation center in Austin. As a condition of the grant, the sites have agreed to work toward APA accreditation by demonstrating that they have enough psychologists and institutional support to adequately train students. In all, the program will train 38 students over five years, with each site taking between two and four interns each year. Seven new one-year positions will be available for the 2012 match, growing to 11 by 2016. The development is exciting for Scott & White, which has a strong record of providing integrated care but wants to expand its range of practitioners, says the system’s director of internship training, Michael Carey, PhD, who wrote the grant. The interns will work in a variety of settings and see a diverse range of clients including those in poor, rural areas as well as patients at a new children’s hospital. They’ll also have the opportunity to work with certified a peer specialist — a person who has personal experience with mental illness and is trained to help others achieve recovery and wellness. “I think the interns will have a synergistic effect on psychiatry residents, medical residents and other trainees, as well as on the faculty of these various disciplines,” he says. Keilin, who helped Guzmán write the request for proposals for the grants, says that while the Hogg Foundation only funds projects in Texas, its impact could reach far beyond that
F e b ru a ry 2 0 1 2 • M o n i t o r o n p s y c h o l o g y
Why all psychologists should care about the internship shortage
Video: Ali Mattu, chair of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, discusses the broad implications of the internship crisis. Click here for a transcript of the video.
state. “There are other foundations and sources of funding out there, and this model provides a blueprint that will allow others to replicate this,” he says. Acting locally Other programs are tackling the internship shortage by creating affiliated internships or internship consortia, an idea proposed in 1995 by University of Denver psychologist Jennifer Cornish, PhD. In the model, a program or professional school seeks out potential quality internship sites at nearby hospitals, clinics and other institutions. The psychology program provides organizational oversight so that internship site supervisors can share resources, ideas and sometimes students, who may do rotations at a variety of sites depending on how the consortium is organized. Because consortiums pool funding and expertise, they’re able to collectively gain APPIC membership, which they wouldn’t be able to do individually. The clinical psychology program at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia is one example. There, Assistant Professor Jeanne DiVincenzo, PsyD, heads a “partially affiliated” internship started by the program in 2010 in which Chestnut Hill students get first dibs on internship slots in the first phase of the APPIC Match. The internships are then opened up to students nationally in the second phase of the match. The college began by bringing together three sites it already had relationships with, and has since expanded to seven sites, including two mental health centers, a psychiatric hospital, an inpatient facility for eating disorders, a college counseling
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