Clinical Psychology Training

Clinical and counseling psychology students from different universities receive training through our Doctoral Internship, Externship, and Practicum Programs.

The University Counseling Service's staff includes full-time psychologists, counselors, and adjunct psychiatrists. 

Each year we accept three full-time doctoral interns and a varied number of externs and practicum students. Our student body is made up of people from more than 66 countries, giving us the opportunity to offer a unique transnational training experience.

For more information about the HUCS Doctoral Internship Training Program, click here to view our poster, it provides details on Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data.

University Counseling Service

202-806-6870 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Crisis Line:
202-345-6709 - After 6:00 PM

6th & Bryant Streets NW | Washington, DC 20059

Doctoral Internship Program

Overview

Howard University Counseling Service offers doctoral internship training in psychology, to prepare students for the practice of professional psychology. Internship Training Program uses a practitioner-scholar model to achieve the goal of preparing interns to become competent, well-rounded entry-level psychologists with special competencies working with a diverse population. 

Interns complete one full-time year of specialized training in the substantive area of clinical/counseling psychology. Trainees are expected to engage in some degree of self-disclosure as an integral part of the training program.

Their workload includes the following:

  • Clinical and training activities
  • Administrative activities
  • Professional development
  • Teaching and supervision

Interns gain skills and competencies, primarily through direct service delivery and specialized supervision, in individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, assessment, outreach and consultation. This is achieved in the context of a program that offers didactic and experiential exposures, of which in-depth training in diversity issues is a vital element.

The internship training program is sponsored by Howard University, which has among its primary functions the provision of service to a population of recipients sufficient in number and variability to provide interns with adequate experiential exposure to meet its training purposes, goals and objectives.

The stipend for each intern is $34,999.

Internship Training Philosophy + Commitment To Diversity

Training Philosophy

The Howard University Counseling Service Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Counseling Psychology espouses the belief that all individuals should have access to quality mental health care, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical disabilities or socioeconomic status. It is further believed that to fully prepared to render quality mental health care in a diverse society with rapidly-changing demographics, psychologists and other mental health practitioners must have in-depth knowledge of issues of diversity.  This conceptual orientation is part of the guiding philosophy for our program curriculum. 

Interns, therefore, are selected from diverse educational environments in counseling and clinical psychology with varying training philosophies. Because of this diversity, the interns' core program is supplemented by training experiences that are tailored to fit specialized training needs. They have completed all their formal coursework and bring with them the most recent knowledge, theory, and research in psychology. Program emphasis is focused on training interns in the application of knowledge to a culturally, racially, and individually diverse population of clients. Training supervisors ensure that the training experience is consistent with the intern's personal and professional goals.

Interns are encouraged to evaluate their experiences throughout their training and to consider the relevance of these experiences to understanding of dynamics among people of diverse cultural, racial, and individual backgrounds. The total internship experience is informed by the psychodynamic framework.  In addition, the psychodynamic framework provides a foundation for the integration of content and process dimensions of supervision. It is also the lens through which the didactic and experiential elements of the training are understood by both the supervisor and trainee. 

The trainees are taught in seminars to follow a clearly defined theoretical rationale for their clinical and consultative work. In case conferences and supervisory sessions, careful attention is paid to ensure that trainees know how to identify and diagnose a problem by formulating hypotheses and gathering data to confirm or reject the hypotheses. Concepts of human development and intervention strategies are taught from a variety of theories such as Freudian psychoanalysis, ego-psychology, object relations, self-psychology, interpersonal and relational schools of thought. While the practice of psychology is the primary focus in this practitioner-scholar model, interns are provided the necessary resources to conduct research and engage in such scholarly pursuits as attending and presenting at professional conferences.

Training is provided in incremental levels of complexity. The first training requirement is participation in orientation.  Interns participate in three-four weeks of orientation activities which include new employee orientation, sexual harassment training, and ethics presentation, and introduction to the DC Superior Court and assessment review. This orientation also includes a discussion of the history of Howard University Counseling Service, and the training program’s philosophy, objectives, and training plan; as well as a discussion of the evaluation process, due process, and grievance procedures. Interns are then exposed to training in conducting intakes and formulating their clinical intervention framework within an integrated theoretical model. This training takes place under the tutelage of the Training Director, Erica Shirley, Ph.D. The interns start their hands-on experience by first conducting intake interviews and writing intake reports for presentation at the weekly intake conference. Once they master that skill, the interns are assigned therapy cases for ongoing work. In the beginning months of the internship, the training staff works with interns in the selection of cases to help them achieve a balance between selecting cases with relatively straightforward clinical presentations and selecting cases with more challenging clinical presentations. In the ensuing months, interns are encouraged to select increasingly challenging cases.

Our overall model of the supervisory relationship is structured to move interns along a continuum of development as follows:

Stage 1 - Exploration of anxieties, expectations, and experiences focusing on interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics are combined with skill development activities.  During this stage of supervision, considerable discussion is devoted to the intern’s adjustment to the intern role, and attention is also given to the intern’s perceived strengths and areas of growth and how these perceptions are influencing the selection of cases.

Stage 2 - A more in-depth exploration of dynamic patterns and therapeutic feedback from the supervisor. Parallel process issues, transference and countertransference issues often warrant a more in-depth examination during this stage.

Stage 3 - The supervisor functions more as a consultant as trainee skills are enhanced and they gain more confidence. Professional identity development and the transition from trainee to professional are also focused upon in greater depth during Stage 3.

The above supervisory model characterizes individual clinical supervision during the training year, but it also informs, to some degree, many of the other training activities and supervisory relationships. While this model is the foundation for many of the training activities, most of them also have specific structure and/or components which ensure that the learning experience within the activity is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity.

 

Commitment to Diversity

The Howard University Doctoral Internship in Psychology espouses the belief that all individuals should have access to quality mental health care, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical disabilities or socioeconomic status. It is further believed that in order to be fully prepared to render quality mental health care in a diverse society with rapidly changing demographics, psychologists and other mental health practitioners must have in-depth knowledge of issues of diversity. This conceptual orientation is part of the guiding philosophy behind our program curriculum.

Given that Howard University’s mission is to educate African Americans and other underserved groups, Howard University’s student population is rich in diversity. More than 88 countries are represented with large numbers of international students coming from Africa and the Caribbean. This unique setting gives the interns the experience that is needed in realizing the training goal of developing special competency in working with a diverse population. Interns are encouraged to evaluate their experiences throughout their training and to consider the relevance of these experiences to understanding the dynamics among people of diverse cultural, racial, and individual backgrounds. Additionally, the total internship experience is informed by an understanding of group process and the psychodynamic framework. Within this approach, interns are encouraged to explore their own individual differences, identities, and cultural backgrounds. This approach to addressing diversity also allows the interns to learn in experiential and didactic formats. 

Our goal has always been to infuse diversity throughout the interns’ training experience. Discussions about diversity become increasingly more frequent and complex over the course of the internship. During orientation, interns are given the opportunity to role-play intake interviews with the Training Director. Discussion follows each role play. The Training Director gives feedback about issues of diversity and their impact on therapeutic rapport, diagnostic considerations, and potential implications in the therapeutic relationship. As the year progresses and interns begin to work with clients, one aspect of clinical supervision is the discussion of diversity issues.  These discussions become increasingly complex during the course of the training year and a typical progression is as follows:

  • identifying gaps in one’s cultural knowledge and working with the supervisor to supplement the gaps via readings and discussion of history–gathering as a therapeutic technique 
  • discussion of how the intern’s cultural identity along several dimensions (e.g., race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender) influences his or her worldview, identity as a therapist, and lens through which he or she views the client
  • identification of projections (related to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion) and their contribution to transference and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship, and their contribution to parallel process issues within the supervisory relationship
  • identification and discussion of processes and strategies which the intern can integrate into his or her continued self-growth with respect to diversity issues, as well as integrate into his or her continued growth as a culturally-competent therapist.

 

Program Aims & Expectations + Profession- Wide Competencies

Program Aims & Expectations

The primary aim of the training program is to provide interns with an experience that will prepare them to be competent, well-rounded, entry-level psychologists with special competency in working with a diverse population. They are receiving specialized training in the substantive areas of clinical/counseling psychology. The competencies expected of the trainees are described in the objectives set for the program and they are measurable indicators of behavioral change and skills. More information about Program aims, expectations and competencies can be found in the document below: 

Profession- Wide Competencies

Nine profession-wide competencies are required for all interns who graduate from programs accredited in health service psychology. The Howard University Counseling Service Doctoral Internship Program provides a range of training opportunities for interns to achieve the profession-wide competencies. The Competencies are: 

  1. Research
  2. Ethical and Legal Standards
  3. Individual and Cultural Diversity
  4. Professional Values and Attitudes
  5. Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  6. Assessment
  7. Intervention
  8. Supervision
  9. Consultation and Interprofessional/ Interdisciplinary Skills

 

More information about profession-wide competencies can be found in the following document:

 

Doctoral Internship Program- Admissions, Support, & Initial Placement Data

Program Admission

The information and tables below are updated by September 1 of each year.


The Howard University Counseling Service (HUCS) Doctoral Internship Training Program uses a practitioner-scholar model to prepare interns to be well-rounded, entry-level psychologists with special competencies in working with diverse populations. A minimum of 500 intervention hours is required of applicants. Also, a background in psychological assessment, including the Rorschach, is preferred; given the required rotation in assessment at DC Superior Court Child Guidance Clinic.

Interns complete one full year of specialized training in the substantive area of clinical/counseling psychology. A degree of self-disclosure during supervision and training seminars is expected as part of the learning process. The workload is as follows:

  • Direct Service Activities
  • Training Activities
  • Administrative Activities
  • Professional Development
  • Teaching
  • and Supervision.

Our program utilizes a psychodynamic theoretical orientation, brief and long-term therapy models, and includes special training in group counseling and therapy. The typical workday for Howard University Counseling Service (HUCS) interns varies, but usually includes direct service hours (intake interviewing, individual counseling and psychotherapy, group counseling, crisis intervention, outreach, supervision of practicum students); supervision in individual and group formats; and didactic seminars (group, psychoanalytic, research, psychopharmacology). In addition to direct service in clinical activities, HUCS interns also co-teach a graduate-level counseling skills laboratory during the first semester.

Due to COVID-19, all clinical and didactic training is occurring virtually. Interns provide consultations and therapy via video sessions and telephone.

Most direct service hours take place at Howard University Counseling Service with a diverse undergraduate, graduate, and professional student population; but HUCS interns also complete 3 rotational placements. The first rotation is at Howard University Hospital (HUH) Inpatient Psychiatry Unit. Interns train at HUH two mornings each week for 4 months. Due to COVID-19, interns will attend the HUH rotation virtually until further notice. On this rotation, they learn about inpatient diagnoses from the HUH psychiatry team and HUCS supervisors. The second rotation is a forensic assessment rotation and takes place at the District of Columbia Superior Court's Child Guidance Clinic. Interns go to the court one day each week for 6 months and conduct psychological assessments. Integrative reports are generally due on a weekly basis during the 6-month rotation. Due to COVID-19, HUCS are attending this rotation virtually and learning about forensic assessment until in-person testing resumes. The third rotation is a two-month rotation based on individual choice. In the past, interns have chosen rotations in research, trauma, assessment, group, administration, etc. (The 2007 intern cohort wrote a screenplay on mental health stigma in college students of color which was made into a DVD, entitled Lost & Found: A College Story. It is used across the U.S. to increase help-seeking behavior.)

Each component of the internship program (individual therapy, group counseling, outreach, teaching, assessment, inpatient psychiatry) includes separate supervision focused on that respective component.


Professional development is supported throughout the internship year. We typically fund three required conferences during the training year, if the budget allows. Two of the conferences are typically focused on group, and one conference is focused on forensic assessment. A diversity/cultural competency workshop and a DSM-V Workshop are typically offered during the training year.


Qualifications include the following:
- Enrollment in an APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology.
- Completion of required doctoral practica and comprehensive examinations.

Admissions, Support, & Initial Placement Data

Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours of the following at time of application? If Yes, indicate how many:

Total Direct Contact Intervention Hours

Yes

 

Amount: 500

Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours

 

No

 

Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants:

 

Strong assessment background is preferred

 

Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year*

Annual Stipend/Salary for Full-time Interns

$34,999

 

Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-time Interns

 

N/A

Program provides access to medical insurance for interns?

Yes

 

If access to medical insurance is provided:

 

Trainee contribution to cost required?

Yes

 

Coverage of family member(s) available?

Yes

 

Coverage of legally married partner available?

Yes

 

Coverage of domestic partner available?

 

No

Hours of Annual Paid Personal Time Off (PTO and/or Vacation)

150

 

Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave

160

 

In the event of medical conditions and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns/residents in excess of personal time off and sick leave?

Yes

 

Other benefits

Health benefits include medical, dental, vision, and flexible spending accounts. 

Retirement plans are also available in the benefits package.

Each intern is provided with an individual office equipped with a computer and printer.

Release time for personal psychotherapy is available.

 

 

Initial Post-Internship Positions 

 

2016-2019

Total # of interns who were in the 3 cohorts

9

Total # of interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral degree

0

 

PD

EP

Community mental health center

0

0

Federally qualified health center

0

0

Independent primary care facility/clinic

0

0

University counseling center

3

3

Veterans Affairs medical center

0

0

Military health center

0

0

Academic health center

0

0

Other medical center or hospital

1

0

Psychiatric hospital

0

0

Academic university/department

0

0

Community college or other teaching setting

0

0

Independent research institution

0

0

Correctional facility

0

0

School district/system

0

0

Independent practice setting

0

2

Not currently employed

0

0

Changed to another field

0

0

Other

0

0

Unknown

0

0

Note: “PD” = Post-doctoral residency position; “EP” = Employed Position.

 

 

 

 

 

Externship/Practicum

2021 Application Process

The UCS Externship and Practicum application process is as follows: 

  • Applications should be emailed directly to mhummings@howard.edu with "Externship Application - (Applicant Name)" in the subject line. 
  • Recommendation letters should be emailed directly to mhummings@howard.edu by the writers. 
  • The application due date is February 12th, 2021.

For the 2021 Externship Application Cycle, the Universal Acceptance Date (UAD) is Friday, March 12, 2021; students from the consortium programs cannot accept an externship offer prior to 9:00 a.m. on that day.  Refer to the next tab for more information from The Greater Washington Area Directors of Clinical Training

 

Applications to HUCS should include: 

  • Cover letter  
  • Curriculum Vitae 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Official or Unofficial transcript 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: All interviews will be conducted virtually due to COVID-19. All supervision and training activities will be conducted virtually due to COVID-19. 

Overview

Detailed guidelines that externship directors and students will adhere to are below:

  1. We adhere to a Universal Acceptance Date (UAD) (not a Call Date) approach. Specifically, our students will not accept an externship offer until Friday, March 12, 2021, starting at 9:00 a.m.
  2. Externship directors should make offers prior to UAD, at the latest by 9:00 a.m. one day prior to UAD; this will allow students ample time to consider their options and move the process along more quickly on UAD.
  3. Students must decide on offers they receive after 9:00 a.m. on UAD within one hour up until 5:00 p.m. Students who receive an offer before UAD have until 9:59 a.m. on UAD to accept/decline the offer and inform the externship director as soon as possible. Externship directors cannot rescind an offer they made to a student prior to UAD or move to the next student on their list until after 10:00 a.m. on UAD. Externship offers made after 4:00 p.m. carry over to the next weekday at 10:00 a.m.
  4. Students may reject externship offers or withdraw from consideration before UAD.
  5. Students will hold only one offer at a time, and if they receive more than one offer prior to UAD, students will decline offers of their lower-ranked externships as soon as possible.
  6. Both externship directors and students do not attempt to elicit information from each other regarding their status or ranking prior to the UAD.
  7. Externship directors should notify applicants that they are no longer under consideration at the earliest possible date in advance of UAD.
  8. Verbal or email offers of externships and acceptances are considered binding between students and externship directors. Directors should not rescind offers and students should not rescind acceptances unless there is mutual agreement.
  9. The university/school and the externship director should complete externship training contracts as early as possible after the acceptance of the offer.
  10. Externships should not exceed 16 hours in a two-day block and should not require externs to take work home. We strongly encourage externship directors to not require meetings that extend an extern’s hours on-site beyond 16 hours. We suggest online meetings or other creative ways to address the need for group meetings that fall outside of the 16 hours.
  11. Before or at the time of interviews, externship directors should inform students of required meeting times at the training facility (e.g., staff meeting every Thursday, 9-11a.m.).
  12. Individual face-to-face supervision should occur at least 25% of the time that externs spend in service-related activities (i.e., treatment, assessment, interviews, report-writing, case presentations, and consultations).
  13. We require direct observations of externs’ service-related activities with clients at least once per semester to comply with APA’s Observation Standards. According to APA,“Direct observation includes in-person observation (e.g., in-room or one-way mirror observation of direct service contact), live simultaneous audio-video streaming, or audio or video recording. A training site that does not permit live observation, audio or video recording by policy is not a sufficiently unique circumstance to circumvent this requirement.”
  14. We encourage stipends for externs.

Exceptions to the Universal Acceptance Date (UAD) include a) Sites that accept students from just one doctoral program; b) Sites that are outside of the Washington DC metro area; c) Sites that require a security clearance; d) Students who are continuing an externship from the previous year; e) One-day per week externships; f) Externships only offered once to a specific student; and g) Summer externships.

Regular Training Activities

At the University Counseling Service, trainees are expected to engage in some degree of self-disclosure as part of the learning experience.

Activity Length

Intake Conference

2 hrs.

Practicum/Externship Seminar

1.15 hrs.

Staff Meeting and/or Staff Development

0.45 hrs.

Psychoanalytic Seminar/Clinical Case Presentations

2.5 hrs.

Case Conference (3rd year students)

1.5 hrs.

Intake Coverage C.O.D., TBA

2 hrs.

Intake Documentation

1 hr.

Individual Psychotherapy/Counseling (2 clients)

2 hrs.

Preparation of Notes

1 hr.

Supervision

1 hr.

Supplemental Activities

Activity Length

Group Dynamics/Psychotherapy Seminar

2 hrs.

Observation Group

1.5 hrs.

Outreach Program (TBA)

TBA

Seminars and Rotations

Group Dynamics Seminar: Theory and Practice

The group training component runs from September to May and consists of the following:

  • Seminar on theory and technique in group psychotherapy and group counseling

  • Observation of an ongoing psychotherapy group conducted by training staff

  • Discussion group - following the observation of the above mentioned training group

  • Starting and conducting a group to its date of termination

  • Supervision of group work

  • Attendance of two outside conferences, one per semester

Learning Objectives

  • To provide trainees with the basic theoretical foundation and technical skill necessary to conduct group counseling and/or group psychotherapy at increasing levels of competence.

  • To provide trainees with understanding of the ethical guidelines for conducting group counseling and/or psychotherapy. 

  • To provide knowledge of distinguishing factors between group counseling and group psychotherapy.

  • To provide knowledge and skill in the understanding and in the technical interventions indicated to address the impact of diversity and multiculturalism in group.

Observation Group

The observation group is a psychotherapy group for students that follows the academic calendar. Each member is screened and invited to voluntarily participate in the group. A signed document granting permission to be observed is provided by each member.

Both group members and group trainees are required to observe the group contract with specific attention given to confidentiality and the laws of the District of Columbia dictating procedures and conduct around group confidentiality.

Each participant from each group provides written documentation of their consent to this contract. At the first group session, group members and trainees are introduced to one another and group members are invited again to ask questions.

Psychoanalytic Theory/Clinical Case Presentations

Objectives and Requirements

The psychoanalytic theory is based on biological concepts and working hypotheses built up in clinical practice. All its' concepts are theoretical constructs, and any account of them in anatomical and/or physiological terms is inappropriate.

My theoretical approach is based on Freud's work, integrated with concepts from post-Freudian authors, such as W. Bion, D. Winnicott, D. Maldavsky, N. Neves, J. Lacan, R. Spitz, M. Klein, D. Shapiro, J. Piaget, N. McDougall, etc.

1. Objectives of the Seminar

To provide trainees with an integrated theoretical instrument that gives a coherent structure for understanding psychological phenomena and undertaking clinical practice. The seminar:

Examines the construction of human subjectivity and the impact of experiences during the developmental period of life on the shape of the adult mind.

Explores how meanings, values, thoughts, affects, desires, fantasies, intentions, and actions arise from the nature of the body, the bodily experience and the interaction with the environment.

Unfolds the inner structures within which these functions emerge, starting at the moment of birth and continuing throughout life.

Focuses on the application of the concepts to clinical work in a sequential, cumulative and graded in complexity approach.

Trainees are encouraged to discuss how local culture provides a vehicle for the expression of balanced and pathological personalities.

2. Seminar Requirements

Most of the work is done in class; therefore to approve this training component, all trainees are expected to attend at least 90% of the classes. If a trainee misses more than 3 classes, irrespective of the reason, he/she will have to write a 15 to 20 pages essay about an assigned topic in order to complete the component. There will be no completion with five or more missed classes.

Trainees have the responsibility to arrive and leave on time, read all the material given in class, review the concepts, watch the films, participate in class-discussions, prepare questions/comments, give presentations and lead class discussions. At the end of the year, trainees will be asked to give written recommendations for improving the following year's seminar.

Interns' performance will be evaluated three times during the academic year. These evaluations will be part of the interns' records.

A Completion Form will be provided at the end of the academic year.

Psychoanalytic References

Research Seminar

  • The purpose of the research seminar is to provide interns with a forum to discuss research-related issues in a clinical setting. In a clinical setting, research often gets overlooked. Whether it is the trainees' individual research projects, or the contributions that the clinical setting might be able to offer if their data were presented to other institutions, reviewers, agencies, or contributors. One of the goals of the seminar is to keep interns involved in research, directly or indirectly, in order to facilitate their development into well-rounded psychologists.

  • Trainees are expected to participate in seminar discussions, and make contributions to ongoing research projects, develop their own project, or use the space to receive feedback and support for their dissertation.

  • The research team meets biweekly on Wednesdays 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

  • Specific topics will include, but are not limited to:

    • Dissertation support

    • Project development

    • Research design

    • IRB related topics

    • Grant writing

    • Publishing and presenting

    • Other topics as requested

Clinical Supervision: Case Conference

  • Case conference is designed as an ongoing group supervision experience to provide an in-depth training for participants with their active client caseload.

  • Trainees are expected to select two or three clients from their caseload ranging from long-term to brief in duration. These clients are followed throughout the school year with emphasis on assisting the trainee with clinical and theoretical skills. The impact of the client on the therapist is carefully examined. The participants receive supervision from the leader as well as the other group members. While the major thrust of case conference is psychodynamic in orientation, other schools of thought are not excluded.

  • Psychology interns and externs make up the usual composition of the group.

  • A degree of self disclosure is part of this experience.

Forensic Rotation (Internship Only)

Rotation at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (occuring virtually during COVID-19 crisis)

Child Guidance Clinic

Supervisor: Michael E. Barnes Ph.D. michael.barnes@dcsc.gov (link sends e-mail)

From August to February or February to July

  • In addition to providing psychodiagnostic services to students seeking treatment at the Howard University Counseling Service on an "as needed basis, the interns participate in an intensive six-month rotation, providing psychological evaluations for the Social Services Division's Child Guidance Clinic.

  • Interns are required to attend four specialized in-service training seminars each six months, on topics relevant to the work of the Clinic. These seminars are provided by the Court and selected by the Clinic. Local and nationally recognized experts are scheduled each year. Scheduling is made far in advance such that interns may adjust their time accordingly.

The Child Guidance Clinic:

  • Evaluates juveniles age four through eighteen who are under court adjudication

  • Evaluates adults for parental capacity with children under court supervision

Referrals focus on:

  1. Intellectual functioning

  2. Personality functioning

  3. Educational functioning

  4. Neuropsychological functioning

Referral questions may address, but not limited to:

  • Rehabilitation plans

  • Risk to self or to the community at large

  • Competency to stand trial

  • The impact of a traumatic event(s) upon a juvenile such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse

  • capacity

  • Level of detention required

  • Whether a juvenile may be rehabilitated subsequent to a serious violent offense

Referrals are typically made by:

  • Judges via court order

  • Court probation officers

  • Court social workers

  • DC Office of the Attorney General

  • DC Public Defender Service attorneys

Diagnostic categories:

The Clinic has access to a variety of age-appropriate, nationally named and standardized instruments for assessment of specific diagnostic categories such as, but not limited to:

  • Posttraumatic stress

  • Parenting stress/capacity

  • Substance abuse

  • Depression

  • Anger

  • Anxiety

  • Mental retardation

Services:

Interns may expect to participate in the following services pursuant to their work:

  • Consultation to court social workers, probation officers or other court professionals

  • Consultation to court liaison agencies such as public or private schools, Youth Forensic Services,

  • Corporation Counsel, Public Defender Service, Child Advocacy Center, etc.

  • Interviews or data gathering forums with collateral informants

  • Outreach to youth and professionals in the community

  • Testimony in court (if required)

Staff:

  • There are three licensed clinical psychologists on staff.

  • Full-time deputy clerks help with the interns' adjustment to the Clinic and Court.

Hospital Inpatient Rotation (Internship Only)

  • The Howard University Hospitals Psychiatric Unit is a voluntary unit with patients who have varying mental health concerns ranging from major depression to acute paranoid schizophrenia.

  • The hospital rotation is 4 to 5 hours a week, for four months and takes place on the inpatient psychiatry unit. (occuring virtually during COVID-19 crisis)

  • On Howard University Hospital Psychiatric Unit, interns are afforded the opportunity to gain exposure to an additional mental health care system through a close working relationship with psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, nursing staff, medical students, and patients.

  • Interns are provided direct supervision with respect to their participation in the psychiatric unit activities and services. The interns receive supervision on a weekly basis from licensed UCS psychologists, and have the opportunity to receive feedback from the attending psychiatrist.

Microcounseling Teaching Component (Internship Only)

The focus of micro-counseling is the coordination of a didactic experience that affords the doctoral interns an opportunity to further develop their teaching skills. Micro-counseling is supervised by a member of the training staff.

The Howard University doctoral interns have the responsibility of teaching a sixteen week course. Students enrolled in the course are second year doctoral candidates from the Clinical Psychology Program at the university.

The goal of the course is to cover the psychotherapeutic relationship from the intake interview to termination and to facilitate the acquisition of counseling skills. Topics include, but are not limited to informed consent, ethical considerations, and interventions techniques.

Each week the interns meet with the coordinator ;to discuss the relevant literature and best practice in clinical services. That information is integrated into the lecture presented that week. During the weekly meetings with the coordinator, the interns also discuss the integration of their teaching roles.

Learning Objectives :

  • Interns will demonstrate an understanding of ethical standards of psychology

  •  Interns will demonstrate an understanding of issues of diversity that are related to teaching and clinical practice

  • Interns will develop effective teaching skills

Reading List:

Boisvert, C. M., & Faust, D. (2003). Leading researchers' consensus on psychotherapy findings: Implications for the teaching and conduct of psychotherapy. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice , 34, 508-513.

Cardemil, E.V., & Battle, C. L. (2003). Guess who's coming to therapy? Getting comfortable with conversations about race and ethnicity in psychotherapy. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34(6), 595-600.

Deegear, J. & Lawson, D. M. (2003). The utility of empirically supported treatments. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice,34(3), 271-277.

Fischer, A. R., Jome, L. M., & Atkinson, D. R. (1998). Reconceptualizing multicultural counseling: Universal healing conditions in a culturally specific context. The Counseling Psychologist , 26, 525-588.

Shaffer, P.A., Vogel, D.L., & Wei, M. (2006). The mediating roles of anticipated risks, anticipated benefits, and attitudes on the decision of seek professional help: An attachment perspective. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 422452

Vogel, D.L., Wade, N.G., & Hackler, A.H. (2007). Perceived public stigma and the willingness to seek counseling: The mediating roles of self-stigma and attitudes towards counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 4050.