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Albizu Clinic Internship Program

Internship Program

Albizu Clinic’s Health Service Psychology Internship is an exclusively affiliated internship for Albizu University doctoral students from the Psy.D., and Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Programs of the San Juan campus.
The Albizu Clinic in San Juan is an outpatient community mental health treatment facility founded in 1966 in affiliation with Albizu University, San Juan Campus. Albizu Clinic is an on-campus training clinic that serves as a clinical practicum site for students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs in clinical psychology. The Albizu Clinic internship program is based on a scientific foundation with diversity as its guiding post in leading interns towards developing the profession’s competencies at a professional practice entry level.
The Albizu Clinic internship is a full-time, 12-month experience that consists of the participation in three major programs (General Clinic Program, Domestic Violence Program, and Casa Albizu’s Sexual Abuse Program). The program structure exposes interns to diverse clinical experiences and supervisory approaches. Under special circumstances, after interns have matched with Albizu Clinic, if specific needs were to occur (e.g., accommodations for maternity, serious injury or illness), the internship might be extended beyond the 12 month period. Except for such situations, the internship is a full time one-year training experience.

The San Juan campus is Albizu University’s first and main location. Albizu University is a private non-profit university level institution offering Bachelor's, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in Psychology. Albizu University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is licensed by the Puerto Rico Council of Higher Education.
Albizu Clinic is in Old San Juan and has been a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) since 2008. In 2016, Albizu Clinic Internship became APA accredited. Moreover, the Albizu Clinic has been licensed since 2010 by the Puerto Rico Department of Health to provide mental health services to the community.
Albizu Clinic serves primarily the needs of low-income and minority clients in a broad spectrum of clinical areas. The site provides culturally sensitive psychological services to the greater San Juan community area and adjacent municipalities. Albizu Clinic serves both as a practicum site for master’s and doctoral level students, as well as an internship site for doctoral candidates in psychology. In addition, Speech/Language Therapy students, provide services at Albizu Clinic as well.
The Albizu Clinic is an outpatient community mental health facility established in 1968 shortly after the beginning of the Psychological Institute of Puerto Rico (PIPR), now Albizu University. The Albizu Clinic was designed from its inception to provide graduate psychology students of the PIPR a quality training-oriented clinic to acquire and develop the skills needed to become competent clinical psychologists. Consequently, Albizu Clinic has offered quality mental health services to the communities of the San Juan Metro area at an affordable cost and from a culturally and socioeconomically sensitive perspective. Among the services provided at Albizu Clinic are clinical assessments and diagnostic procedures, crisis, short and long-term interventions, and interventions with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Furthermore intellectual, personality, psychoeducational, and neuropsychological assessments are also offered. Services are available for children, adults, and adolescents. Moreover, Albizu Clinic offers consultation and training to community agencies, educational institutions, and government agencies.
Interns at Albizu Clinic provide a wide array of therapeutic services to the Clinic’s clientele. Health services interventions include, individual, couples, family, and group therapy modalities. Interns provide services to a broad spectrum of individuals that are at different levels of the developmental spectrum that range from early childhood to older adults.
A wide range of clients born in other Caribbean countries come to Albizu Clinic. These ongoing migratory patterns provide students and interns a heightened opportunity to delve deeply into most issues pertaining to cultural and socioeconomic diversity including, race, ethnicity, religion, poverty, migration, oppression, and discrimination. Illegal migrants from the Dominican Republic and Haiti come to the western shores of the island bringing with them trauma-related symptoms and syndromes, family abandonment/losses issues, housing, food insecurity and job placement needs. Furthermore, Albizu Clinic recognizes the importance of offering mental health access to the LGBTTQ+ population and provides services that are inclusive, understanding, and affirming of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
There are ten full time funded intern positions available for the 2023-2024 year. The Albizu Clinic internship is committed to providing its trainees with the highest quality clinical, research and supervisory experiences designed to develop the necessary competencies that will prepare them for challenging psychology careers. Our training program participates in the APPIC internship match program and adheres to its guidelines. Albizu Clinic is firmly
committed to provide equal opportunity for all students without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, gender preference or handicap.

Domestic Violence Program (DVP)

The DVP provides specific psychological services to women and their children that have experienced domestic violence. Although most victims are women, in recent years men have also sought help when being in an abusive relationship. Furthermore, services have also expanded to support members of the LGBTTQ+ community who may be in abusive relationships as well. These services may include orientation, counseling, consultation, individual, family therapy, psychological assessment, and referrals, among others. The main purpose of the DVP is to provide clients with essential skills for overcoming the traumatic experience, enable them to acquire a sense of empowerment in their lives, and move on from abusive relationships.
Interns assigned to this program will gain competencies in understanding 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 victims, play therapy for children that are secondary victims of domestic violence, therapeutic strategies to work with domestic violence and sexual abuse and individual and family therapy. Interns will also gain competency in providing consultation to other professionals working with trauma on the psychological effects of domestic violence.

General Clinical Program

The GCP provides psychological services to a diverse population that requests psychological services for a wide variety of reasons. Clients may be referred from public and private agencies, schools, as well as from professional private practices. Parents or legal guardians often solicit services to treat their children diagnosed with or suffering from symptoms related to ADHD, Major Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Conduct Disorder, Eating Disorders, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, and Learning Disorders, among others. The GCP also offers services to self-referred adults presenting emotional distress that may be related to family problems, mood, personality, and adjustment disorders, trauma, partner relational problems, and occupational problems. Albizu Clinic serves a wide-range population except for clients 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, group psychotherapy (when possible) and psychological assessment services. Albizu Clinic provides psychological services to a diverse population such as: preschoolers, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Interns are involved in crisis intervention management, administrative and clinical guidance to practicum students and case consultation to school directors, parents, judicial system, and social workers.

The Sexual Abuse Support Program for Children and their Families (Casa Albizu)

Casa Albizu operates under the support of the Administration for Families and Children of the Government of Puerto Rico. The Family Preservation Grants of the United States Government funds this program. This is a specialized program that annually provides individual and group psychotherapy to approximately eight hundred and fifty, sexually abused children and adolescents and primary caretakers. The program’s facilities are located in Cupey, Ponce, and Camuy. Interns from Casa Albizu provide services at Albizu Clinic.
The main objectives of Casa Albizu are to:

  1. Provide psychotherapeutic services (individual, family, or group) to sexually abused children and their families.
  2. Administer forensic sexual abuse allegation assessments.
  3. Provide psychological consultation to social workers, police, prosecutors, and foster parents that are in some way working or taking care of children and adolescents who have been sexually abused.
  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 Albizu University regularly conduct their research with data from this Program. Casa Albizu continues to encourage research among doctoral dissertation students, interns and staff.

The interns recruited to this program will have the opportunity to be trained in forensic assessments, identification of sexually victimized children, consultation with interdisciplinary groups, and effective evidence-based treatments and approaches with this specialized population. Casa Albizu interns may engage in research, if interested.
Casa Albizu receives referrals from Social Workers of the Department of Family and Protective Services. The process of assessing allegations of sexual abuse is based on a Forensic Comprehensive Model (Kuehnle, 2009, 1996; Cantón Duarte y Cortés, 2008; Faller, 2007, 2003), along with the guidelines of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC, 1997). You may locate the website at: Casa Albizu is involved and collaborates with legal procedures, ensuring that child protection and therapeutic treatment occurs shortly after the allegations.
Interns who complete their internship in this specialized program have the opportunity to participate in a forensic scenario, refining their clinical skills individual, group, family, and forensic assessments. Interns receive specialized training in the management and treatment of sexual abuse. Casa Albizu Interns participate in the development of a sexual abuse prevention activity in school settings during the month of April.

  • Sixteen intervention rooms.
  • Two play therapy rooms.
  • Two ample spaces for group or family interventions.
  • Two rooms equipped with a unidirectional mirror.
  • Eight supervision rooms.
  • Record room with sufficient space for students to do record-keeping.
  • Fourteen rooms are equipped with computers, microphones, and camaras for telepsychology.
  • Lounge for interns with microwave, sink, tables, and chairs.
  • Classroom with multimedia equipment reserved for weekly didactics.
  • Reception/waiting areas.

The mission of the Albizu Clinic internship is consonant with Albizu University’s mission, which is to achieve greater representation of Hispanic psychology educators, researchers, and practitioners in Puerto Rico and in the United States. Research is encouraged, and training in clinical techniques are presented in relation to the framework of science that underpins clinical practice. The internship is in an academic setting that offers the opportunity for involvement in research for interns who have this interest. Research mentorship under a faculty member is encouraged for interns. A developmental framework and competency-based approach to learning and assessment provides the opportunity to cultivate professional trainee competencies (knowledge, skills, attitudes), thereby building on competencies learned during doctoral training and anchored by the science of psychology.

Joycette L. Aponte Commander, PsyD

PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, 2005
MS in Clinical Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, 2003
MA in Educational Theatre, New York University, 1995
BA in Drama and Communications, Loyola University, 1993
Internship: Clinica de Salud Mental de la Comunidad , Domestic Violence Intern, 2005
Areas of Interests: CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, Clinical Supervision, Domestic Violence

Yariza Cartagena, PsyD

PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Carlos Albizu 2014
Internship: Hogar Santa María de los Ángeles, 2014
Areas of Interest: Therapy with Children, Assessment, Behavior Modification, CBT, LGBTQ+

Rebecca Cruz, Psy D

PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies, 1992
MS, Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies, 1990
MSW, University of Puerto Rico, 1974
BA, University of Puerto Rico, 1967
Internship: Hospital Pediátrico Centro Médico, 1991
Areas of Interests: Evidence Based Psychotherapy, CBT, Solution-Focused, Problem Solving, TF-CBT, Exposure Therapy, Family and Couple’s Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Therapy with children and adults, Supervision

Héctor M. Gómez Martínez, PhD

PhD in Clinical Psychology, PHSU, 2015
Internship: Comprehensive Center of Behavior and Neuroscience, 2014
Areas of Interest: Neuropsychological, Neurocognitive and Neurodevelopmental evaluation

Miguel R. González Psy D

PsyD in Clinical Psychology,
Carlos Albizu University, 2003
BA in Psychology, University of Puerto Rico, 1995
Internship: Clínica de Salud Mental de la Comunidad, 2003
Areas of Interest: Sports Psychology, Health Psychology, Gender Violence, Depression, Anxiety, CBT

William Laguna, PsyD

PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies San Juan, 1995
MS in Clinical Psychology, Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies San Juan, 1991
BA, Inter American University, 1981
Internship: Centro Médico Psiquiátrico del Caribe (Mepsi Center), 1992
Areas of Interest: Substance use, Trauma, Domestic Violence, Evidence Based Practices, Mindfulness, Psychogeriatric

Michelle López Fernández, Psy.D.

PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, 2003
MS In Clinical Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, 2001
BA in Psychology, University of Puerto Rico, 2003
Internship: Psychiatric Hospital: Mepsi Center, 2003
Areas of Interest: Trauma, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Abuse Prevention, Evidence Based Practices: TF-CBT, EMDR

Pierre Edward Pharel, Psy.D.

PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, 2011
MS in Clinical Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, 2009
MPH Master’s in Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, 1997
MD in Medicine, Universidad Autó tónoma Metropolitana de Mexico, 1990
Internship: Asoci a c ión de Misioneros de Canóvanas (AMEC), 2011
Areas of Interest: Health Psychology, Social Psychology, Mindfulness, Evidence Based Practices, Sports Psychology

Marta Isabel Philippi, PhD

PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of Puerto Rico, 1999
BA in Psychology, University of Puerto Rico, 1988
Internship : Centro Universitario de Serv icios Psicológicos y Escuela Laboratorio UPR, 1998
Areas of Interest: Play Therapy, Group Therapy, Assessment, Mindfulness, ADHD, Parenting

Sally Quiñones Rodríguez, PsyD

PsyD, Carlos Albizu University, 2008
MS in Clinical Psychology. Carlos Albizu University, 2005
BA in Psychology, University of Puerto Rico, 2000
Internship: Clínica de Salud M en tal de la Com unidad, 2008
Areas of Interest: Domestic Violence, Trauma, Anxiety, Neuroscience, Anxiety

Accreditation Status
The doctoral psychology internship at Albizu Clinic is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation (CoA) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Our most recent site visit was in 2016. We received full accreditation for 7 years. The next site visit is expected in 2024. Questions related to the program’s accredited 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 / E-mail:

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