Internship in Clinical/Counseling Psychology
For a complete Insight Behavioral Health Centers Doctoral Internship Training Manual, please email Dr. Anne Kubal, Director of Clinical Training, at anne.kubal@ERCInsight.com. View the training brochure here.
Intern Selection & Academic Preparation Policy
ERC-Insight’s psychology internship is open to applicants from doctoral graduate programs in Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology. Selected applicants must have completed all graduate coursework and passed their clinical competency exam prior to the start of internship. ERC-Insight is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and participates in the APPIC Match for doctoral intern selection. Required application materials include a completed AAPI, including: Cover letter, current vita, official transcript(s) of all graduate course work, and three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with your recent work (including at least one, preferably two, letters from clinical supervisors who have directly supervised your clinical work within the last year). All application materials must be received by the specified deadline listed in the current APPIC directory to be considered.
Application Screening & Interview Process
ERC-Insight bases its selection process on perceived “goodness of fit” between an applicant’s previous experiences and goals for internship and ERC-Insight’s training program goals and objectives. Each applicant’s application is considered in its entirety; however, applicants who have met the following qualification prior to beginning internship will be given preference:
- A minimum of 400 intervention hours
- A minimum of 100 assessment hours
- Dissertation proposal defended
- Current enrollment and good standing in an APA-accredited doctoral program
Once intern applications are submitted, a standardized screening form is used to review intern applications and determine whether an intern candidate will be invited to interview. Intern applicants are notified of their interview status no later than the second Friday of December.
Interviews occur in the first three weeks of January. Interviews are conducted individually with each applicant and are typically conducted by the training director and 2 separate members of the senior staff. The specific staff involved in the interview process is dependent of the applicant’s clinical program(s) of interest, as one of the goals of the interview is to introduce applicants to the program staff they would be working with if matched with ERC-Insight for internship. In-person interviews are preferred so that the applicant can tour ERC-Insight and meet multiple members of the staff. A standard interview question form is used to guide intern applicant interviews; this form allows the program to further evaluate “goodness of fit” between the applicant’s clinical and academic qualifications and the training program’s goals and objectives. However, interviews may ask additional questions as appropriate.
All interns who match at ERC-Insight are required to pass a background check and drug screen within the 30 days prior to beginning internship. Interns must also provide proof of a tuberculosis (TB) screening test from the previous 12 months. Instructions for providing this information and completing the background check and drug screen will be sent to incoming interns during the two months prior to starting internship.
Questions regarding any part of the application or selection process should be directed to the Director of Clinical Training.
APPIC Membership Status
ERC-Insight is a participating member of APPIC.
Current APA Status of Doctoral Internship
ERC-Insight’s Doctoral Internship Program is not currently accredited by the APA.
Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Stipends, Benefits, and Resources Policy
Stipend and Paid Time Off (PTO)
The ERC-Insight doctoral internship stipend is $25,000 for the year. Interns are scheduled for 40 hours of work per week, but unexpected clinical duties and/or crisis situations may push interns beyond 40 hours.
Interns receive 23 days of paid time off (PTO) during their 12 months on internship. PTO is used for sick time or vacation days. When feasible, interns should submit requests for PTO 2 weeks in advance. ERC-Insight is open 365 days per year, thus PTO is used when interns request off holidays. The staff works to share the burden of holiday coverage, thus interns are expected to work on at least one federal holiday. Interns are paid time and a half for any holidays worked. Interns are paid for any unused PTO days at the end of the internship year.
Interns earn Extended Illness Bank (EIB) hours throughout the course of internship. EIB is designed to provide employees with lost-work-time wages if a serious illness or injury prevents them from working, or if an employee experiences a qualified FMLA event. The EIB account is intended to be a “bridge” during the 90-day eligibility period prior to qualifying for and receiving Long-term Disability (LTD) benefits. EIB hours may be utilized beginning on the sixth day of continuous absence from work due to illness or injury. Lost wages during the first five days of continuous absence may be reimbursed through one’s regular PTO account. Interns, as full-time employees, accrue EIB hours at a rate of 2 hours per payroll period, up to a maximum of 464 hours. Once the maximum EIB hours limit is reached, EIB credit is no longer earned. These hour maximums provide payment for lost wages from the second full week of illness or disability through the 90-day eligibility period prior to the commencement of LTD payments. EIB hours are considered a form of “sick leave” and, as such, are to be used exclusively to compensate for wages lost due to a serious illness or disability. Interns are not reimbursed for unused EIB hours at the end of internship.
Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance plans are available; ERC-Insight pays a portion of the premiums for this coverage. ERC-Insight provides life, long term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance for interns; ERC-Insight pays 100% of the premium for this coverage.
Optional 401(k) and Flexible Spending Plan Participation
Interns may opt to participate in an employer sponsored 401(k) plan. Interns may also opt to participate in an ERC-Insight sponsored flexible spending plan. To assist employees who will have ERC-Insight sponsored premiums and qualifying out-of-pocket health care and/or dependent care expenses, ERC-Insight has established a Section 125 flexible spending account plan. Under this plan, employees can put aside pretax dollars to pay for ERC-Insight sponsored premiums and certain health care expenses and dependent care expenses. The plan year is January to December. Employees are eligible to participate in the premium only section of the plan beginning the first of the month following hire. Employees may enroll in the reimbursement sections of the plan in January and July. Participants should plan carefully when determining how much money to set aside under this plan because the law requires that you forfeit any amounts that you have not used by the end of each calendar year.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The EAP is a confidential, no-cost resource outside the workplace for all employees, their dependents, and household members to get help in addressing a variety of personal problems. The EAP counselors can help with many issues, such as marital and relationship problems, stress, parenting concerns, and alcohol and drug abuse.
Office Space, IT Support, Administrative Support, & Access to Reference Materials
Numerous resources are available to support interns throughout the training year. All interns are provided with shared office space (Interns share an office with one officemate), a laptop computer, office phone, voicemail, and basic office supplies. Interns negotiate use of their shared office for individual therapy sessions with their officemate. If an intern and the officemate have overlapping therapy appointments, “swing offices” are available to be reserved; front desk administrative staff manage reservation of alternative office space when needed. IT support is available for any technology issues, both in-house and through the IT helpdesk based in ERC-Denver office. Administrative support is also available. Interns have access to group therapy curriculum binders, relevant evidenced-based practice guides, and other current reference materials to support clinical and professional skill development.
In-house Trainings and Conference Attendance
In addition to in-house staff training and attendance at ERC-Insight sponsored conferences, interns are encouraged to attend professional conferences in the larger community. ERC-Insight covers the cost for in-house trainings and ERC-Insight sponsored trainings in the community. ERC-Insight can provide limited funding to support non-ERC-Insight sponsored trainings and conferences. Upon approval from the Director of Clinical Training, interns may take up to 2 days off to attend non-ERC-Insight conferences or trainings without taking PTO.
Questions regarding specific benefits can be directed to Diana Izaguirre, Human Resources Generalist, at diana.izaguirre@ERCinsight.com.
Diversity and Non-Discrimination Policy
ERC-Insight highly values individual and cultural diversity and respect for diversity is a core value of the training program and the agency as a whole.
ERC-Insight welcomes intern applicants from diverse backgrounds and is committed to providing equal opportunities to all prospective interns. ERC-Insight prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, any other applicable status protected by state or local law, or any other factor that would be irrelevant to their ability to succeed as an intern. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of the quality of their educational experiences, relevant past clinical experiences, and fit between the applicant’s training goals and the training program’s training opportunities.
One of the overall goals of the training program is to help interns achieve integration of multicultural awareness and competence in all professional responsibilities. This includes the development of knowledge, skills, and awareness of individual and cultural diversity factors that are necessary to provide competent clinical interventions to a broad range of patients and to work effectively within a multidisciplinary team with diverse colleagues. Diversity experiences and training opportunities are provided throughout the internship year to help interns strengthen competencies related to issues of diversity as well as to deepen their understanding of their own multiple identities.
Philosophy of Training
ERC-Insight’s doctoral internship is based on the practitioner-scholar model of training. This model focuses on the development of the doctoral intern’s clinical skills through scholarly inquiry. The doctoral intern learns to practice psychology that is informed by both theory and research. Specifically, doctoral interns will learn about evidence-based treatments and will then implement this understanding through clinical practice. The training year will emphasize the continued development and refinement of the doctoral intern’s assessment and therapy skills through clinical interactions, collaboration with multidisciplinary teams, didactic seminars, group supervision, and individual supervision that focuses on self-reflection and skill development.
Overall Goals of the Training Program
The overarching goal of the doctoral internship training program at ERC-Insight is to promote the growth of effective and innovative future psychologists through facilitation of interns’ skill development, professional identity development, and ability to thrive within a multidisciplinary environment. The practitioner-scholar model of training serves as a foundation for achieving the overarching goal. The training program is designed to assist interns in gaining competencies appropriate to their developmental level in the following areas:
1) Implementing a wide range of evidence-based clinical interventions, in` individual therapy, group therapy, and assessment to diverse clientele
2) Developing a generalist base of clinical skills as well as developing competency in an area of specialty that demonstrates integration of theory and research knowledge with practice
3) Developing one’s own clinical style that is congruent with professional values and attitudes
4) Use of self-reflection to continually examine one’s own strengths and limitations and how these strengths and limitations impact the therapeutic process
5) Collaboration and consultation with multidisciplinary team members
6) Integration of multicultural awareness and competence in all professional responsibilities
7) Application of appropriate ethical and legal standards in all professional responsibilities
The goals of the training program will be achieved through the following training opportunities:
Group Therapy. The doctoral intern will co-facilitate no less than three groups (approximately 9 to 12 hours of group therapy per week) from, at most, two treatment programs. The groups interns co-facilitate are determined at the onset of the internship year based on interns’ interests and program needs. Insight offers groups at each level of care: outpatient, intensive outpatient (IOP), partial hospitalization (PHP), and residential. Outpatient groups are 1.5 hours; IOP groups run 3 hours and involve both a skill and process component, and the length of groups at PHP and residential level of care are dependent upon the specific treatment program and group.
Individual Therapy. The doctoral intern will be expected to have an individual therapy caseload of 5-8 patients (depending on the doctoral intern’s group therapy schedule and level of care of patients).
Assessment. The doctoral intern will be expected to engage in ongoing patient assessment to continually assess the patient’s presenting problems or chief complaint(s) and to determine the frequency, duration, and intensity of symptoms. The doctoral intern is expected to provide full diagnoses, provide treatment recommendations, and work with the treatment program team and authorizations department to insure that the patient is receiving the most appropriate level of care. The doctoral intern will have the opportunity to complete psychological evaluations consisting of cognitive and personality assessments when a clinical need exists during the last 6 months of internship.
Supervision. The doctoral intern will receive two hours of individual supervision per week from licensed clinical psychologists from the training team. The doctoral intern will be assigned a primary supervisor who will be the intern’s supervisor for the full 12 months and who will sign off on all clinical documents related to services provided by the doctoral intern; the doctoral intern will also receive supervision from a secondary supervisor. After six months, the doctoral intern may be assigned a different secondary supervisor depending on the program in which the intern is involved. In addition, the doctoral intern will participate in a minimum of one hour of group supervision per week.
Didactics. Didactics in the form of case conferences, seminars, and specialty workshops will be provided at a minimum of two hours per week. At these didactics, issues of clinical and cultural competency will be addressed and doctoral interns will have the opportunity to actively share their clinical cases as well as interact with one another in a seminar, case conference, and/or workshop setting.
Meal Support/Meal Supervision. Depending on the treatment program and level of care, there are opportunities for interns to provide meal support/ meal supervision to patients.
Training Program Content/ Structure
The training year begins on or near July 1st each year (depending on the day of the week the holiday July 4th falls) and ends June 30th. Specific work schedules, including days and times of work, are determined at the beginning of the internship year based on program needs and interns’ interests. Interns typically work a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and have Sunday and Monday off each week. Evening hours may be required, depending on the treatment program the intern is working within.
The ERC-Insight doctoral internship is structured so that interns complete 2,000 hours of overall service of the course of 12 months, with the goal of completing a minimum of 18 direct service hours per week. Training activities interns engage in during the week are as follows:
- Individual therapy: Approximately 6-9 hours
- Group therapy: 9-12 hours
- Milieu or meal support: 0-3
- Formal and informal assessment: 0-2 hours (Interns will be provided formal assessment experience during the second half of internship.)
- Supervision (4 hours): 2 hours individual supervision (1 hour each with two separate supervisors. 1 hour weekly intern/postdoctoral fellow group supervision. 1 hour topic specific group supervision (Topic examples: DBT, ERP, Eating Disorders, Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Psychodynamic Interventions)
- Didactics (2 hours weekly minimum) in the form of case conferences, multidisciplinary staffings, seminars, and specialty workshops
The internship is designed to help interns to develop a generalist base of clinical skills as well as develop competency in an area of specialty. As such, interns work with the Director of Clinical Training prior to the start of the internship year to determine which treatment programs the intern will work within during the internship year and how their time will be split if working with two different treatment programs. Interns may work within one treatment program for the entire 12 months of internship or divide time between 2 programs for the entire 12 months of internship.
ERC-Insight’s Treatment Programs
The Eating Disorders Program, located in the Huron Street building in Streeterville, specializes in treatment for adults experiencing eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Comprehensive programs and services are available to meet the needs of patients and families at every stage of the treatment spectrum. At each level of care, individualized and developmentally appropriate treatment plans deliver evidence-based medical, psychiatric, psychological, and nutritional interventions. We believe that enhanced awareness of the underlying emotional issues that drive behaviors is necessary. With compassion and experience, we also focus on helping our patients to improve decision-making and coping skills. Similarly, our staff provides medical nutrition therapy, medical management, and treatment of co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, family problems, or substance abuse.
The Binge Eating Treatment and Recovery (BETR) Program, located in the main downtown office focuses on treating binge eating, compulsive overeating, emotional eating, and night eating accompanied by weight gain or difficulties with weight management. While traditional eating disorders treatment focuses on stopping the diet-induced weight loss and regain cycle, BETR concentrates on ending “dieting.” BETR replaces dieting with behaviors that decrease overeating, while helping with long-term weight management. BETR also focuses on the addictive/compulsive nature of food behaviors and provides the treatment intensity needed to break the emotional eating cycle and have a healthier relationship with food and one’s body.
The Mood and Anxiety Program (MAP), located in the main downtown office, provides multidisciplinary treatment for individuals who have experienced a decline in overall functioning due, in part, to difficulties with depressed and anxious symptoms. In the Mood and Anxiety Program, patients learn skills that promote improved coping and deeper understanding of the issues that created and maintain mood symptoms. MAP adopts a Mindfulness-Based perspective, which uses behavioral interventions to address symptoms while simultaneously seeking to understand the underlying meaning and function of behaviors. Mindfulness-Based interventions are congruent across ERC-Insight programming, creating a common language from which to approach treatment. Examples of Mindfulness-Based treatment utilized at ERC-Insight include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
The Adolescent Program (AP), located in the main downtown office, is a treatment program designed specifically for adolescents and their families. The AP treats adolescents with mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and other mental health concerns. The AP utilizes Multi-Family Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as a core component of treatment and offers multiple group experiences, including DBT groups, ERP groups, and Family Based Treatment (FBT) for the treatment of adolescent patients with anorexia.
Other Clinical Experiences: Although full clinical rotations for interns are not offered within the Residential Programs, ARCH Program, or through Supported Living Apartments at this time, there are opportunities for interns to gain clinical experience in these settings during the internship year. Interns specializing in eating disorders have the opportunity to work within the residential level of care program as part of a continuum of care model between Residential and PHP Eating Disorder treatment programs.
The Addiction and Recovery Comprehensive Help Program (ARCH) is ERC-Insight’s integrated substance abuse treatment program that provides services across all three downtown Chicago locations. Patients who struggle with dual diagnosis and need support addressing substance abuse while receiving treatment in the Eating Disorders Program, Binge Eating Treatment Program, or Mood and Anxiety Program are able to attend substance abuse specific treatment as a complement to treatment received in their “home program.”
Residential Programs for Adults with Eating, Mood, and Anxiety Disorders: ERC-Insight’s Residential Programs offers a rare, integrated treatment model that seeks to address the underlying issues that lead to a variety of maladaptive behaviors. Insight’s residential treatment programs seek to help individuals struggling with eating disorders, obesity, mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, and co-occurring substance abuse. ERC-Insight takes a behavioral and mindfulness oriented approach to treatment by modeling acceptance and commitment to one’s self, others, and the community. Programming encourages acceptance of one’s differences, while maintaining awareness of the individual’s needs and the group at large. This approach fosters compassion, deeper camaraderie and commitment to healing for patients. Insight’s Residential Eating Disorder Program is located within the same building as the Eating Disorder IOP and PHP Programs in the Streeterville neighborhood, in close proximity and walking distance to ERC-Insight’s main downtown office. The Residential Mood and Anxiety Program and Residential BETR Program are located in a separate building in the Streeterville neighborhood, also in close proximity and walking distance to ERC-Insight’s main downtown office.
Supported Living Apartments (SLA): ERC-Insight’s supported living apartments provide a safe place to live, to help individuals recover and gain the confidence and skills they need to thrive. Patients balance recovery and independence by receiving an intermediate level of structure and support.
Progress Review and Evaluation
ERC-Insight’ training program provides ongoing feedback to doctoral interns and continually assesses interns’ progress. The goal of feedback is to facilitate ongoing clinical growth and professional development. In addition to receiving ongoing informal feedback, at the six-month mark and at the completion of internship, doctoral interns will receive formal, written feedback evaluating their performance.
Doctoral Internship Training Team
Anne E. Kubal, Ph.D.
Angela P. Derrick, Ph.D., CYT, CEDS
Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher, Ph.D., CEDS
Julie Friedman, Ph.D.
Michelle Gebhardt, Psy.D.
Andrea Stone, Psy.D.
See Insight staff bios for more information.