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Psychology Internship

Goals and Objectives

Sweetser serves more than 20,000 people each year in more than 70 communities and schools, and maintains counseling offices, a respected medical team, a training institute, a peer recovery center, and educational and residential campuses in Saco and Belfast. More than 700 employees and hundreds of volunteers are committed to a vision of helping people find promising futures. Sweetser's mission is to provide quality treatment, support, and hope to children, adults, and families through a network of mental health, behavioral health, and educational services.

The goal of the Sweetser Internship Program is to provide psychology interns with the educational and experiential opportunities necessary to independently engage in the practice of professional psychology. We aim to prepare interns to adopt leadership roles in providing and disseminating effective psychological services. The Sweetser Internship program will encourage the development of clinical competence with children, adults, and families through a broad range of clinical experience in community mental health settings. Interns will develop skills in areas of critical thinking, case conceptualization, hypothesis testing, and interdisciplinary collaboration, while remaining aware of cultural factors, ethical issues, and the influence of personal biases. Interns will be expected to demonstrate core competencies during the internship year. These competencies include:

Professional Conduct, Ethics, and Legal Matters Individual and Cultural Diversity Theories and Methods of Psychological Diagnosis and Assessment Theories and Methods of Effective Psychotherapeutic Intervention Scholarly Inquiry and Application of Current Scientific Knowledge to Practice Professional Consultation Professional Presentations

These core competencies will be addressed in trainings, supervision and case conferences. Progress in attaining core competencies will be assessed in weekly supervision and at least twice in formal written performance evaluations over the course of the year. Upon completion of the internship interns will be prepared to function competently in the role of a psychologist with generalist training in a range of community mental health, managed care, or institutional settings.

Program Overview

This is the second year that Sweetser is offering a psychology internship program. The program will be a one year, full-time 2,000 hour psychology internship with a variety of professional responsibilities. We are striving to create a robust training opportunity and are pleased to announce that we were granted APPIC membership during the 2015-2016 internship year.

Sweetser is a non-profit, multidisciplinary, community-based mental health organization serving much of Southern and Central Maine. Psychology interns will provide services to clients in collaboration with therapists, case managers, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners. Sweetser is located in urban areas as well as rural areas and participation in different trainings and work at different service locations will require substantial travel, sometimes up to 50 miles from the Brunswick office. Interns will be expected to have reliable transportation.

Interns will participate in a scheduled series of training opportunities as well as participate in some required and some elective direct service to clients. Interns will be required to complete 16 hours per week on a psychological assessment rotation, 14 hours per week on a mobile crisis rotation, and 6 hours per week in therapeutic services. A minimum of 25% of the interns’ time will be in face to face client contact. Interns will on average complete between 14-16 client contact hours per week.

The psychology internship will begin on July 10th, 2017. Interns will receive a stipend of $20,090 for the 2017-2018 training year and will have seven holidays and 13 days of flexible leave time for use for any reason (vacation, sick days, snow days, dissertation time, etc.). Interns will receive an additional $900 travel stipend to assist with travel expenses that may be required as part of the program since interns will not be able to submit for mileage reimbursement. Interns also receive professional liability coverage through Sweetser. Health insurance will not be available to interns.

Outpatient Psychological Assessment Services

The Psychological Assessment Services Team provides psychological testing for children and adults to assess a variety of presenting concerns, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, dementia, ADHD, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, adjustment disorders, attachment disorders, developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, and adaptive functional behavior. The team also provides treatment and placement recommendations in the context of comprehensive psychological evaluations. Over 30 standardized testing measures are utilized by the team, which include the Wechsler Intelligence Scales (e.g., WISC-V, WAIS-IV, WPPSI-IV, WASI-II), Conners’ Continuous Performance Test, Third Edition (CPT-3), Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2), and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Third Edition. Psychology interns will provide testing services 16 hours per week that includes one hour of individual supervision on testing cases. They will also collaborate with their supervisor on the completion of comprehensive psychological evaluations. One trainee will do testing out of the Brunswick location, which includes assessment of children and adults ages six and older. The other trainee will conduct testing at the Lewiston location, which focuses on assessment of children ages 3-17. Many clients in the Lewiston area are underserved and there is also a significant Somali refugee population in the Lewiston area.

Mobile Crisis Intervention

The Mobile Crisis Intervention Team provides crisis intervention to people in crisis. Mobile crisis intervention specialists [CSP] respond to crisis calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Cumberland, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc counties. Assistance is provided to a variety of people asking for immediate help. Crisis providers respond to various settings (e.g., homes, schools, hospital emergency departments, and other community locations). The team has continuous support of an independently licensed supervisor and psychiatrist for case consultation. Psychology interns will take the Crisis Services Provider certification course to be allowed to work as a crisis clinician on the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team. Psychology interns will work on the crisis team for one full 10-hour shift, and will have several other hours allotted during the week for follow-up with crisis clients. On-the-job supervision will be offered in crisis, but given the nature of the job this supervision is often less structured that a traditional supervision session.

While working with mobile crisis psychology interns will have standard daytime shifts that may sometimes end early or sometimes run into the evening depending upon coverage needs. Flexibility in the position is important. Interns will rarely if ever be expected to work a weekend shift. Interns may sometimes need to transport clients, and will also follow up with people seen in crisis

Outpatient Therapy Services

The Outpatient Therapy Team provides individual, group, couples, and family therapy to adults, children, and families for a range of clinical issues from adjustment disorders and relational problems to more severe mental illness such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, personality disorders, trauma, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and behavioral disorders. Psychology interns will have the opportunity to learn and practice one or more Evidence Based Therapies utilized by the team, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Psychology interns may also elect to co-lead a therapeutic group with another Psychology trainee or a licensed provider as available. Psychology interns will provide therapy services one day per week and receive one hour of individual supervision per week on their therapy cases, as well as participate in ongoing case presentations of therapy clients during group supervision.

Training Opportunities

Psychology interns will begin with a week-long agency orientation including an introduction to the psychology program and two days of training on our electronic records system. During their second and third weeks at Sweetser, interns will receive intensive training and shadowing experience in crisis work in order to earn the necessary certification for their ongoing work over the course of the year. Starting their fourth week interns will begin their regular schedule of 14 hours crisis work, 16 hours assessment and six hours therapy. The remaining hours per week will be spent in a variety of seminars, supervision and training activities.

Interns will complete a seminar series on the assessment of Autism Spectrum diagnoses and will be trained in the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2 (ADOS-2). Over the course of the year they will also receive training in a variety of evidenced-based therapeutic interventions, including Cognitive Processing Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention, with opportunities to practice some of these approaches under supervision. Interns will also participate in psychiatric seminars offered by other training sites in the area, and will have the opportunity to prepare and present their own trainings on mental health topics to other Sweetser staff.

Integration with Other Sweetser Programs

The psychology department is an integrated part of Sweetser’s outpatient services and works collaboratively with other disciplines to meet the needs of our clients. The primary role of the psychologists at Sweetser is to conduct psychological evaluations, although each psychologist also carries a small caseload of therapy clients. Referrals for psychological evaluations are received from all disciplines, including therapists, case managers, medication managers, crisis workers, and intake clinicians. Members of the psychology department communicate with a client’s other providers to refine and adequately address the referral question. Once a psychological evaluation is complete, the results and recommendations for treatment are then communicated to the client’s providers at Sweetser so they can be used to inform the client’s treatment. Psychologists are also responsible for referring clients to other Sweetser programs when these services are deemed appropriate. The psychology interns will be expected to provide integrated care in this fashion, and will also have a unique opportunity to integrate their roles as psychological evaluators and therapists with their roles in the crisis field.

Application Requirements

In order to qualify for internship training at Sweetser, applicants must have completed a minimum of three years of pre-internship graduate training and be in the process of completing a doctoral degree from a graduate program in clinical or counseling psychology. Applicants must have passed their comprehensive exams and completed a minimum of 500 direct service practicum hours. Experience in conducting psychological assessments is required. Familiarity with the Wechsler Scales, MMPI-2, PAI, Rorschach, and the Millon Inventories is preferred. Experience with crisis work is preferred, but not required. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of academic preparation, practicum experience, letters of recommendation, and degree of fit between the applicant's goals and the goals of the program.

Interested applicants should submit an online APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI). Please include a supplemental psychological evaluation, preferably with a cognitive and a personality component. There will be three psychology internships available for the 2017-2018 training year.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Linda Walker served as a mentor for a young woman in the Brunswick area for more than a year. Recently, Linda sent a letter to Volunteer Services describing her relationship with her mentee. She called it "a learning experience." The two enjoyed the time they spent together, she wrote. Because...

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Executive Address: 2 Pendleton Drive Saco, Maine          Mailing Address: 50 Moody Street Saco, Maine 04072-0892          Phone: 1-800-434-3000                           Copyright © 2017  Sweetser    info@sweetser.org