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Albizu Clinic Internship Program in Clinical Psychology (CAIP)

Albizu Clinic Internship Program in Clinical Psychology (CAIP)

The Albizu Clinic Internship Program in Clinical Psychology (CAIP) is a full-time, clinical psychology internship for Albizu University (AU) doctoral students in their fourth year or more of our APA-accredited Psy.D and PhD Clinical Psychology programs. The Albizu Clinic (CA, by its Spanish acronym), which was founded in 1966 in affiliation with Albizu University (AU), San Juan Campus, is an outpatient community mental health treatment facility.

The internship consists of three major programs (General Clinical Program, Domestic Violence Program, and Support for Sexual Abuse victims and their families program). The program’s structure exposes interns to diverse clinical experiences and supervisory approaches and styles. The internship is a full-time, one-year training experience. Exceptions could be made to extend the 12-month period if certain circumstances arise after an intern has already matched with the program (e.g., accommodations for maternity, serious injury, or illness).

The CA, licensed since 2010 by the Puerto Rico Department of Health to provide mental health services to the community, is located in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. It has been a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) since 2008.

There are eight (8) full-time funded intern positions available for the 2018-2019 academic year. CAIP is committed to providing its trainees with the highest quality clinical, research, and supervisory experiences. These are designed to develop the necessary competencies that will prepare our interns for challenging psychology careers.

Our training program participates in the APPIC Internship Matching Program and it adheres to its guidelines. CAIP is firmly committed to equal opportunity for all students regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, gender preference, or handicap. The CA Internship Handbook can be downloaded for review.

CAIP’s Mission and Philosophy

The program’s mission is consonant with Albizu University’s mission, which is to achieve greater representation of Hispanics in psychology professions, such as educators, researchers, and practitioners in Puerto Rico and the United States. The CAIP training philosophy is rooted in the practitioner– scholar model of psychology. Training in clinical techniques is presented in relation to the framework of science that underpins clinical practice. Moreover, although interns are not required to become actively involved in research, it is encouraged, and the internship’s academic setting offers those interested students the opportunity to do so. Therefore, research mentorship under a faculty member is encouraged and coordinated for interns. Moreover, a developmental framework and competency-based approach to learning and assessment guides a core focus on continuing to cultivate professional trainee competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes), thereby building on competencies acquired during doctoral training and anchored by the science of psychology.

Program Goals, Objectives, and Competencies

Objective A: Perform proficient psychological assessments.

Expected competencies for Objective A:

  1. Select appropriate assessment measures to answer diagnostic questions.
  2. Select and use assessment instruments with appropriate norms and criterion-referenced standards to evaluate clients.
  3. Recognize and properly address test limitations.
  4. Follow current guidelines and procedures in the selection and use of instruments for assessment administration and scoring.
  5. Apply knowledge of individual and cultural diversity in the assessment process and diagnosis.
  6. Interpret and integrate results obtained from multiple sources (e.g., multiple assessment instruments, interviews, and collateral information) into a useful and accurate report.
  7. Demonstrate successful initial and follow-up interviewing skills with individuals, couples, and families in order to assess mental status.
  8. Formulate clinical conceptualization, diagnoses, recommendations, and/or professional opinions using relevant criteria and considering all assessment data.
  9. Demonstrate skills in formulating case diagnoses (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM] guidelines), treatment plans, treatment recommendations, and intervention strategies.
  10. Explain test results to clients, parents, couples, families, as well as to interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams in clear and simple terms.
  11. Conduct high-quality forensic interviews to children and families who have suffered from psychological trauma as a result of child sexual abuse and domestic violence.
  12. Formulate assessment reports regarding child sexual abuse allegations.

Objective B: Provide proficient psychological interventions.

Expected competencies for Objective B:

  1. Establish positive therapeutic rapport with patients while maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.
  2. Apply knowledge of evidence-based practices, including empirical bases of assessment, intervention, and other psychological applications, clinical expertise, and patient preferences.
  3. Formulate and conceptualize cases and intervention plans utilizing at least one consistent theoretical framework.
  4. Use scientific and professional knowledge as the basis for your interpretation, evaluation, and integration of results from data collection activities to formulate and reformulate working hypotheses, conceptualizations, and recommendations.
  5. Make differential diagnoses using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5 Manual).
  6. Conduct psychological interventions according to conceptualizations, diagnoses, and treatment plans.
  7. Provide a variety of modality interventions (e.g., individual, family, couples, and group interventions) in a proficient way.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency in a broad range of psychological interventions (e.g., CBT, psychodynamic model, systemic models, existential, narrative therapy, and integrative models, among others) in a variety of settings: while under supervision or supervisory roles, in case conferences, as well as in class presentations and discussions. 9. Implement psychological individual, group, and family treatment plans to mitigate complex trauma in children and their families as a result of child sexual abuse and domestic violence.
  9. Determine the best psychological practice for treating sexually victimized children.

Objective C: Use a scientific framework to inform clinical practice and research.

Expected competencies for Objective C:

  1. Use assessments and available research-based evidence, as well as contextual and cultural factors to select interventions for individuals, families, groups, and community-based organizations.
  2. Apply interventions with individuals, families, groups, and community-based organizations grounded on available research evidence and contextual factors.
  3. Modify interventions based on knowledge of individual and cultural characteristics, situational and environmental variables, emerging information, outcome data, and current research.
  4. Apply evidence-based criteria in the selection and use of assessment methods (e.g., psychometric properties and cost effectiveness).
  5. Independently seek out and read scientific literature pertaining to cases at hand and understand the implications of research for practice.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to formulate questions deriving from clinical issues amenable to scientific exploration, and the ability to plan and implement research to address such questions (optional competency if involved in active research).
  7. Administer baseline, progress, and outcome scales to assess patients’ clinical progress in psychotherapy.

Objective D: Provide proficient psychological consultations.

Expected competencies for Objective D:

  1. Communicate effectively and professionally with staff from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, demonstrated in consultative activities.
  2. Understand questions and issues raised by non-psychologists and structure them so that they are amenable to psychological investigation, demonstrated in consultative activities.
  3. Effectively communicate (verbally and in writing) psychological concepts to non-psychologists, which will be demonstrated in consultative activities.

Objective A: Practice with sensitivity regarding individuals’ diverse cultural, ethnic, racial, and social contexts, as well as their sexual orientation.

Expected competencies for Objective A:

  1. Integrate and apply theory, research, professional guidelines, and personal understanding about social contexts to work effectively with diverse individuals, families, groups, and community-based organizations.
  2. Communicate and work effectively with individuals, families, groups, and community-based organizations from diverse cultural, ethnic, racial, and social contexts.
  3. Demonstrate respect for others, including those with conflicting viewpoints.
  4. Evaluate and apply knowledge of self as a cultural being in assessment, treatment, and consultation.
  5. Apply knowledge, sensitivity, and understanding regarding individual and cultural diversity issues to work effectively with others in assessments, treatments, and consultations.
  6. Include sociocultural characteristics in written conceptualization of cases.

Objective A: Maintain the highest ethical standards.

Expected competencies for Objective A:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, as well as the Puerto Rico Psychology Association’s Code of Ethics and other relevant standards and guidelines, laws, statutes, rules, and regulations.
  2. Apply appropriate ethical decisions in clinical ethical dilemmas.
  3. Integrate own moral principles/ethical values in professional conduct.
  4. Demonstrate and promote values and behaviors commensurate with the standards of practice, including ethics codes, laws, and regulations.
  5. Identify complex ethical and legal issues, analyze them accurately, and address them in a proactive manner.
  6. Adhere to professional values and accept responsibilities for own actions in the development of professional identity.
  7. Understand and safeguard the welfare of others.
  8. Demonstrate personal and professional awareness of own strengths, limitations, and areas of growth as a clinician.

Objective B: Develop the attitudes and skills needed to support lifelong learning.

Expected competencies for Objective B:

  1. Negotiate differences and handle conflict satisfactorily; provide effective feedback to others and receive feedback non-defensively.
  2. Communicate effectively and respectfully with individuals in multiple settings.
  3. Work effectively on multidisciplinary teams.
  4. Demonstrate appropriate and effective working relationships with peers and supervisors; manage differences openly, effectively, and appropriately; and use support of peers and supervisors when needed.
  5. Take initiative in ensuring that key tasks are accomplished, complete documentation in a thorough and timely manner, and take steps to enhance self-learning.
  6. Demonstrate responsibility and documentation skills with the clinical site and internship program.
  7. Adhere to the policies and procedures of the agency.
  8. Demonstrate responsible conduct with time management and be on time for supervision meetings and at the clinical site.

Objective A: Develop interns’ skills in practicum students’ clinical supervision.

Expected competencies for Objective A:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of clinical supervision models.
  2. Appropriately apply models during the supervision process.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and adhere to ethical conduct and professional values during the supervision process.
  4. Identify and acknowledge cultural diversity during the supervision process.
  5. Establish a safe, accepting, and sensitive atmosphere during the supervision process.
  6. Demonstrate the capacity to assess developing competencies in practicum students under supervision.
  7. Demonstrate ability to offer constructive feedback during the supervision process.
  8. Integrate supervisor’s recommendations in the supervision process.

Additional Information

General Clinical Program (GCP): Psychological Services for Children, Adolescents, Adults, and their Families

The GCP provides psychological services to a broad population that request these services for a wide variety of reasons. Patients are also referred from public and private agencies, schools, and professional private practices. Parents or legal guardians often solicit services to treat their children diagnosed with or suffering from symptoms related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reactive attachment disorder, conduct disorders, eating disorders, oppositional-defiant disorder, learning disorders, among others. The GCP also serves self-referred adults presenting similar diagnoses, as well as other conditions related to family problems; substance abuse; mood, personality, and adjustment disorders; trauma; partner relational problems; and occupational problems, among others. The CA serves a wide-range population with the exception of patients who are involved in legal disputes, those who may be chronically mentally ill, or those with chronic histories of substance abuse.

Interns assigned to the GCP provide individual, couple, family, and group psychotherapy and psychological assessment services. The center provides psychological services to a diverse population, including preschoolers, children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Interns are involved in crisis intervention management; administrative and clinical guidance to practicum students; and case consultation to school directors, parents, the judicial system, and social workers.

Domestic Violence Program (DVP)

The DVP provides specific psychological services to women that have experienced domestic violence and their children. These services may include orientation, counseling, consultation, individual and family therapy, psychological assessment, and referrals, among others.

The main purpose of the DVP is to provide clients with essential skills for overcoming the trauma. It seeks to enable them to acquire a sense of empowerment over their lives and move on from abusive relationships.

Interns assigned to this program will gain competencies in: understanding the legal concepts required to advocate for those who have experienced domestic violence; crisis intervention, development of strategic safety plans for clients who may be in imminent danger, psychological and psychometric evaluations focused on the emotional traumatic effects domestic violence has had on the victims, play therapy for children who are the secondary victims of domestic violence; therapeutic strategies to work with domestic violence and sexual abuse; and individual and family therapy. Interns will also acquire the skills necessary to provide consultation to other professionals in the areas of trauma and the psychological effects of domestic violence. Interns participate in clinical case conferences every three (3) weeks with the director of the program, clinical supervisors, and practicum students.

Sexual Abuse Support Program for Victims and Their Families (PAF, by its Spanish acronym)

The PAF operates with the support of the Administration for Children and Families of the Puerto Rico Department of Family Affairs. The program is funded by the family preservation grants of the United States government. This is a specialized program that annually provides individual and group psychotherapy to approximately 850 sexually abused children and adolescents. The program’s facilities are located in Puerta de Tierra, a mile and a half away from the main CA site.

PAF’s main objectives are to:

  1.         Provide psychotherapeutic services (individual, family, or group) to sexually abused children and their families.
  2.         Perform forensic sexual abuse allegation assessments.
  3.         Provide psychological consultation to social workers and foster parents from the Puerto Rico Department of Family Affairs who are caring for children who have been sexually abused, as well as provide psychological consultation to police and prosecutors.
  4.         Promote and develop specialized training to mental health providers in order to determine the best practice for assessing and treating sexually victimized children.
  5.         Develop and promote research in this area of specialization. Doctoral students at AU regularly conduct their research with data from this program. PAF continues to encourage research among doctoral dissertation students, interns, and staff.

The interns recruited into this program will have the opportunity to be trained in forensic assessments, the identification of sexually victimized children, consultation with interdisciplinary groups, and effective evidence-based treatments and approaches with this specialized population. The interns will also have the opportunity to engage in research, if interested. PAF receives referrals from social workers of the Department of Family Affairs. The process of assessing allegations of sexual abuse is based on a forensic comprehensive model (Kuehnle, 2009, 1996; Cantón Duarte and Cortés, 2008; Faller, 2007, 2003), along with the guidelines of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC, 1997). PAF collaborates during legal procedures, ensuring that child protection and therapeutic treatment occur shortly after the allegations are made.

The clinical staff conducts weekly multidisciplinary case conference meetings to review the client’s psychotherapeutic treatment plans, goals, forensic evaluation process, and results.

The interns who complete their internship in this specialized program have the opportunity to participate in a forensic scenario, refining their individual, group, and family clinical skills, as well as forensic assessments and skills.

Interns receive specialized training in the management and treatment of sexual abuse. Some of the areas or topics covered are child development, assessment of allegations of sexual abuse, and treatment for victims of sexual abuse and their families. They also perform a broad variety of case consultations with social workers, attorneys, physicians, prosecutors, and other professionals related to the legal system. This includes training and consulting in expert witness dynamics, as well as writing forensic reports. Interns participate in clinical case conferences with an interdisciplinary team every third week.

Training director: José Rodríguez Quiñonez, PhD

Training period

August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021

Positions available

We expect to have eight (8) full-time positions available for the 2020-2021 training year.

Tracks: 

General Clinical Program Track: 5 openings

Domestic Violence Program Track: 1 opening

Sexual Abuse Support Program for Victims and their Families: 2 openings

The following requirements must be met in order to be considered for admission to CAIP:

  1.   Candidates must have completed all required graduate courses in clinical psychology programs (PhD, PsyD) at AU. They must have a clearance from the director of clinical training (DCT) or academic program director certifying that they have completed all requirements and are ready to apply for the internship.
  2.   Candidates must have completed all pre-internship and clinical courses and practice requirements of their doctoral programs at the time of the application. A minimum of 275 clinically supervised intervention hours, 650 face-to-face clinical intervention hours, and 175 assessment hours as defined in the Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI) of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) are required. Applicants with slightly fewer hours may still be interviewed if the rest of their application is consistent with our standards.
  3.   Candidates must have passed the doctoral comprehensive exams and the dissertation colloquium by the Matching Program ranking deadline.
  4.   Candidates should complete the online AAPI. For the application and instructions on how to complete the AAPI, visit the APPIC website (look for the "AAPI" section). As members of APPIC, we participate in the Matching Program, hence, in order to apply to our program, applicants must register in the Matching Program. Instructions and forms to register for the Match can be obtained in the Matching Program website.
  5.   Candidates must include a minimum of two (2) or a maximum of three (3) letters of recommendations from faculty members or clinical supervisors who are familiar with the candidates’ work. The letters of recommendation from clinical supervisors should include the applicants’ clinical experiences and strengths, as well as areas in need of improvement.
  6.   Candidates must send official copies of graduate transcripts to the AAPI Online service. The service will verify the transcripts, scan them into electronic form, and include them with the applications. When uploading the required documentation to the APPI online portal, applicants should upload a copy of a patient’s integrative psychological testing report and a theoretical case conceptualization that includes a treatment plan. Applicants should remember to protect and erase any patient identifiers.

All application materials must be submitted through the online AAPI by December 5th, prior to the APPIC recommended date for extending interview offers to applicants. A specific date will be set yearly. No materials can be accepted by mail or e-mail. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be considered.  

This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant.

 Required Documentation after Recruitment

*  Health certificate

*  Criminal record certificate

*  Certificate from the Administration for Child Support Enforcement (ASUME, by its Spanish acronym)

*  Birth certificate

*  Certificate from the Municipal Revenue Collection Center (CRIM, by its Spanish acronym)

Completion Requirements
Interns are expected to complete 2,000 hours during a one-year, full-time internship experience. The internship year begins on August 1, 2020 and concludes on July 31, 2021.

Policy of Non-Discrimination

CAIP adheres to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines in its recruitment and retention efforts. We encourage individuals of diverse backgrounds to apply to our program, regardless of age, disabilities, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other diverse personal or demographic characteristics.

However, this program is an exclusively affiliated internship for clinical psychology doctoral students at AU. The university requires its students to be bilingual in English and Spanish. Therefore, CAIP applicants are expected to be bilingual.

Candidate Profile 

Below are personal and professional qualities that we look for when considering applications. The objective is to obtain the best match between an applicant’s experiences and the program’s mission and philosophy.

  •     Spanish and English fluency in reading, writing, and speaking skills.
  •     Interest and/or experience in conducting psychotherapy and assessments for children that have been sexually abused.
  •     Interest and/or experience in conducting psychotherapy and assessments for people who have been exposed to traumatic events.
  •     Experience in providing psychological services to women that have been victims of domestic violence as well as for their children.
  •     Interest in community involvement and social change.
  • An annual stipend of $16,750.
  • A total of 20 leave days per year, including holidays, personal days, sick leave, and dissertation defense.
  • Liability insurance.
  • All testing and psychotherapeutic materials will be provided by the program.

CAIP adheres to the APPIC Matching Policies, which can be found here.

CAIP has been an APPIC member since 2008. It has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since July 15, 2016. The next accreditation site visit is scheduled for 2023.

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the APA Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

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