Ensuring high-quality training
In addition to widening the pool of accredited internship
programs, the APA internship stimulus initiative has also
helped non-accredited sites improve their programs to ensure
high-quality training. Many grantees note that simply going
through the self-study process — which requires programs to
systematically review, describe and evaluate their education and
training model and outcomes — encouraged staff to collaborate
on their training goals, strengthen their didactics and improve
their program’s comprehensiveness.
“It’s a grueling process, but I understand why it’s required
now because it really has resulted in an improvement in our
program,” says Jody Pahlavan, PsyD, director of the Rogers
Center for Research and Training at Rogers Memorial Hospital
in Milwaukee. The hospital received an internship stimulus
grant in December 2012 and began the self-study process last
January. The program’s site visit is scheduled for this month.
The self-study process also involves collecting data and
gathering feedback about how the program may be improved,
says Kristy Sakai, PsyD, director of training at the Waianae Coast
Comprehensive Health Center Psychology Internship Program,
in Waianae, Hawaii, which received APA accreditation in August
— and is now training five interns. Through the review process,
Sakai and her team gathered feedback from current and former
interns about how the program helped and what they wish had
been different. Sakai and colleagues used that information to
restructure several of their teaching methods.
“The quality of the training has already improved as a result
of this process,” she says.
Other programs that have received an APA internship
stimulus grant and have applied for accreditation include:
• George Fox University Behavioral Health Clinic, Newberg,
• Heart of America Psychology Training Consortium, Central
Region, Springfield, Mo.
• MCCHC-IU Health Consortium of East Central Indiana,
Madison County Community Health Centers Inc., Madison
• PCOM Center for Brief Therapy, Philadelphia College of
Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia.
• University of San Francisco Counseling and Psychological
Services, San Francisco.
• Venture Psychology Internship Consortium, Summit
Pointe, Battle Creek, Mich. n
Amy Novotney is a writer in Chicago.
To apply for the next round of internship
grants, visit www.apa.org/about/awards/
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