Monitor on Psychology - February 2012 - (Page 30)

ting Righthe imbalance Psychology programs are using novel strategies to tackle the internship shortage. B Y TO RI D eA N G ELI S hree years ago, José Pons, PhD, found himself in a difficult situation. As chair of the psychology department at the Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, P.R., he received a letter from APA’s Commission on Accreditation saying that only 40 percent of his students were placing in internships accredited by APA or approved by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) — much lower than the rates of 75 percent or higher that many other psychology programs enjoy. The commission asked Pons to discuss how his program could ensure students had a quality education when his internship placement rate was so low, since doctoral programs cannot be accredited without high internship placement rates. The reason for the sparse figures had largely to do with Puerto Rico’s size: It has only two internship sites, one accredited by APA and the other approved by APPIC. And while Puerto Rico has adequate social and mental health services, “you’re always competing to find slots for practicum and internship students,” says Pons. 30 T Pons knew he had to act swiftly. Over the next three years, he convinced his school to invest money in seeking APPIC membership for its internship program; to pay for new psychology internship slots in his school’s psychiatry and psychology clinics; and to fund the development of an internship consortium made up of several hospitals and clinics in southern and central Puerto Rico. He also convinced Puerto Rico’s Department of Labor to nominate psychology interns as “people in need of training” — a move that paid for 10 student interns in 2010 and 10 other interns in 2011 under a work-incentive program. The result? “We’re now placing more than 75 percent of our students in internships,” says Pons, even more than the average doctoral program. Pons is just one of several program directors who are tapping their creative skills to develop more psychology internships. Psychology programs nationwide have been forced to look for such solutions since only about three in four students have been securing internships over the past M o n i t o r o n p s y c h o l o g y • F e b ru a ry 2 0 1 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - February 2012

Monitor on Psychology - February 2012
President’s column
From the CEO
APA files two briefs in support of same-sex couples
New registry seeks to understand addiction recovery through ‘crowdsourcing’
APA launches a database of tests and measures
Watch for new member benefit: “APA Access”
Apply now for APA’s Advanced Training Institutes
PsycTHERAPY, APA’s new database, brings therapy demos to life
In Brief
APA scientists help guide tobacco regulation
A-mazing research
‘A machine for jumping to conclusions’
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Righting the imbalance
The beginnings of mental illness
Science Directions
Improving disorder classification, worldwide
Protesting proposed changes to the DSM
Interventions for at-risk students
Harnessing the wisdom of the ages
Anti-bullying efforts ramp up
Hostile hallways
R U friends 4 real?
Support for teachers
Speaking of Education
Record keeping for practitioners
Going green
At the intersection of law and psychology
Division Spotlight
Grants help solve society’s problems

Monitor on Psychology - February 2012