INTERNSHIP PROGRAM STRUCTURE & ORGANIZATION

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Psychology Internship 

Our rural practitioner model of training emphasizes an experiential method of learning, of which clinical assessment, treatment, and crisis management are critical process components. Accordingly, we endeavor to provide a balanced set of learning experiences primarily in our inpatient psychiatric hospital while also including exposure to clients seeking bariatric surgery in our outpatient Bariatric Clinic. Interns provide clinical services in an inpatient setting throughout the year and spend one day a week at an alternate medical setting. Inpatient work involves exposure to primarily acute/severe (some chronic) psychiatric patients, while the Bariatric Clinic provides exposure to clients with behavioral regulation issues which are typically related to unmet needs, underlying depression and anxiety, and/or trauma issues.

At our inpatient site, Interns have the opportunity to gain experience in working with acute mental illness, sexual abuse trauma survivors, elderly inpatients having both dementia and superimposed psychiatric disorders, substance abusers, and the chronically mentally ill. Interns are expected to work 40 hours/week on a Monday to Friday schedule of 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Initially, interns work under close supervision with frequent opportunities to directly observe psychologists performing clinical functions. As interns progress, they are expected to assume an increasingly independent role in working with clients and making recommendations to treatment teams. Specialty interests of interns are considered while being matched with supervisors, with hopes of finding congruent interests and goals. The primary focus of training, however, is the refinement of generalist skills.

As all interns become credentialed to practice psychology in Kentucky at the Master’s level ("Licensed Psychological Associate") prior to their start date, interns are able to participate in the gamut of clinical work available to psychologists functioning within our rural community. Additionally, this may provide the opportunity to prepare for the national licensure exam (EPPP) at some point during the training year, assisting the intern with career development beyond their pre-doctoral experience. The licensure requirement necessitates that interns possess a master’s degree in the field of psychology from a regionally accredited university prior to their start date. The program assists interns in completing the application process with the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology.

Interns must also submit to a background security check and urine drug screening, acknowledge U.S. citizenship or provide a valid work visa. During the interview process, staff members will provide more detailed information regarding employment and licensing procedures, which will assist potential interns in knowing the necessary requirements for employment as a psychology intern. We have found that interns generally complete the licensing application process smoothly and expedite the completion of other components by addressing them early, particularly during the summer months prior to their start date.