Doctoral Internship

Clifford Beers Clinic and The Post Traumatic Stress Center have formed a consortium to pursue common training, research, and treatment goals. Both organizations share a commitment to providing comprehensive community-based services to individuals and families suffering from disorders caused by psychological trauma. This combined initiative provides interns with the opportunity to develop expertise in the treatment of trauma throughout the lifespan. Competence in understanding the effects of trauma on child, adult, and family development will be emphasized.

The physical proximity of the two organizations and the shared philosophy of commitment to community-based treatment and clinical research provide a rich and coordinated training environment.


Clifford Beers Clinic location at 93 Edwards Street, New Haven, CT

Founded in 1913, Clifford Beers Clinic is a mental health clinic serving children and families in the Greater New Haven area. Offering a wide variety of programs and services – from individual, group and family therapy to providing a family with complete wraparound care – the Clinic uses a trauma-informed approach as it strives to help children and families live healthy, successful lives within a strong community. Psychology pre-doctoral interns are based out of the Outpatient Program at Clifford Beers Clinic’s 93 Edwards Street location in New Haven.


The Post Traumatic Stress Center is a private practice, fee-for-service clinic in New Haven that specializes in evaluation, education, and treatment of people suffering from disorders caused by psychological trauma. A wide range of services are provided for clients who may have experienced traumatic stresses such as accidents, incest, sexual abuse, rape, combat, criminal and domestic violence, or the Holocaust. Training emphasizes the creative arts and drama therapy approach to trauma treatment.

The therapeutic staff of the Center are highly trained professionals who are deeply committed to the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and related conditions. The Center was established in 1992 and has 250-300 active clients of all ages. It is located at 19 Edwards Street in New Haven.

girl looking out the windowTHE DOCTORAL INTERNSHIP

The Consortium of the Clifford Beers Clinic and The Post Traumatic Stress Center will offer four and one doctoral internship positions respectively in each training year. Interns must choose either a concentration on children (at the Clifford Beers Clinic) or on adults (at the Post Traumatic Stress Center). Appointments are for 12 months and begin in September. The annual stipend is $25,000, and interns are offered individual medical insurance coverage at no cost. The Child Track provides 15 days of vacation, 11 paid holidays, and 5 days for illness. The Adult Track provides 20 vacation days and 6 paid holidays (same total). Malpractice insurance is provided by the Consortium.

This internship program provides a minimum of 1,920 hours of full-time work and training experience to be completed in twelve months. Interns will work 40 hours/week for 48 weeks (52 minus vacation and sick days) which provides 1,920 hours total of direct service, support activities, and didactic seminars combined. Fifty percent of the time on site is spent delivering direct services (client appointments and care management).


An applicant must be a third- or fourth-year student in a psychology doctoral program, preferably an APA-approved program in clinical psychology. Completion of all course requirements and elevation to doctoral candidacy are necessary. Applicants must have at least two years of practicum experience in clinical assessment, psychotherapy and/or psychological testing. Interest and experience in working with children and families, in the treatment of trauma, and in urban, low-income and ethnically diverse populations are highly desirable. Interns who have persistent curiosity, high energy, strong organizational skills, and flexibility are likely to have a positive training year with the Consortium.

Program Philosophy & Goals

The goal of the Consortium internship is to provide a varied, high quality training experience which will support interns in developing a professional identity as clinical psychologists. Interns will receive training in individual and family assessment, evidence-based individual, family, and group therapy, and parent guidance. The internship will include comprehensive training in clinical and developmental assessment, differential diagnosis, and treatment planning and experience in both short- and long-term psychotherapy. Through varied training experiences interns will develop an integrated understanding of individual psychodynamics, developmental issues, and family systems. Given the agencies’ longstanding commitment to community services, interns will be expected to provide advocacy and case management services for clients and to engage in community consultation with local agencies and schools. Emphasis is placed on providing treatment and services which are culturally and ethnically sensitive.

The training program is designed to provide interns with the wide range of skills expected of a community mental health practitioner. Training experiences are tailored to the background, goals, and interests of each intern. Interns will be provided with learning experiences and a professional orientation designed to make their skills transferable to other populations and settings.

Interns will be provided with opportunities to learn a wide range of therapy techniques, consultation skills, and outreach practices. Training is achieved through: the provision of direct clinical services; individual and group supervision; co-therapy and collaborative therapy with experienced staff members; participation in various clinical team meetings with multidisciplinary staff, and; didactic and case presentations. Video, audiotape and co-therapy/shadowing are available to use as teaching techniques. Appropriate creativity is encouraged, and interns may be supported in developing independent projects. Interns will work collaboratively with highly qualified professionals from other disciplines including psychiatry, social work, and nursing. The Clinic has a longstanding commitment to training community mental health practitioners and has provided practicum training to graduate social workers, psychologists, clinical nurses, and public health students for over 20 years. The Post Traumatic Stress Center has been involved in clinical research and training of psychologists since its inception in 1992.

Psychology Training at the Consortium

Child Track

1)      Traditional family and individual therapy to children and adolescents, supplemented with parenting sessions (twenty 45-minute sessions per week)

2)      Intake assessments and treatment planning (1-2 per week), including diagnostic assessment through clinical interview and use of screening and other measures

3)      Other areas that support clinical work, such as mandated reporting, level of care assessment, inter-agency collaboration and referral, and work with various special groups

4)       Safety assessment and planning

5)      Co-facilitate social skills groups for children presenting with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Adult Track

1)      Trauma-informed diagnostic assessment, intake assessments, and treatment planning (1-2 per week)

2)      Outpatient adult psychotherapy (family therapy may be available)

3)      Safety assessment and planning

4)       Participating in training seminars, in-services, and individual supervision

5)       Opportunities may be available for co-leading a trauma-focused group

Support services:

1)      Care management, consultation with community agencies, and school advocacy

2)      Writing progress notes and intake/assessment reports

Professional development:

1)     Interns will apply the APA ethics code to their work, and conduct themselves with integrity as a representative of the profession of psychology.

2)   Function efficiently and independently as a team member at a large interdisciplinary community agency with appropriate support and supervision

3)  Transition from student role to a professional, developing their professional identity, grounding their work in continued revision of newest research


Treatment Services

Fifty percent (50%) of each intern’s time will be spent providing direct clinical services to a diverse population of children, adolescents, adults and families. The rest of the time is filled with support services/documentation and training. Each intern is responsible for managing their training and direct service schedule and timely client documentation in accordance with each site’s recordkeeping system. Good time management and organizational skills are necessary to successfully manage a full caseload. Interns will begin with a week of orientation and training when they arrive in September. They will also begin to build their caseloads and see their first clients during the first week.

Child track includes: clinical assessment (clinical interview and short measures, but no testing at this time) of the child/adolescent and family, diagnosis and treatment planning and individual, family, parent guidance and/or group treatment. Case management services include liaison with schools, child protective services, medical, and social service providers.

Adult track includes: individual, couples and family therapy and assessment in the form of clinical interview.

Group treatment opportunities to co-lead therapy groups may be available at the Clinic and the Post Traumatic Stress Center as interest and opportunities dictate.


Interns at both sites conduct intake assessments for new clients. Each intake includes at least one structured clinical interview with the client (and legal guardian if the client is a minor), behavioral observations, Mental Status Exam, and select self-report measures depending on the site (e.g., child emotional/social/behavioral functioning scales, needs and outcome assessments, adult symptom checklists, MMPI-2). Please note that the Child Track does not provide psychological testing aside from short measures.

Intake interview at both sites is followed by a written intake assessment/conceptualization and oral presentation at Team meeting for clinician assignment and supervision. The intern may or may not be assigned to work with a given client depending on the client’s clinical needs, client/clinician match, and status of caseload. Interns collaborate with supervisors to ensure a balanced caseload with regard to age, gender, and clinical presentation, but also tailor the caseload with regard to area of interest or expertise.

Supervision, Treatment Team Participation, and Didactic Seminars

Each predoctoral intern will be provided with a minimum of two hours of individual clinical supervision each week by two different licensed psychologistsCase consultation and more informal supervision also will be available from agency staff through co-therapy, collateral therapy, and case discussions.  Additional training requirements for predoctoral interns include:

Child Track

1) The Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy team meets for weekly for one hour at Clifford Beers to provide ongoing case consultation and review, and didactic training around the treatment of child sexual abuse victims and their families and treatment of children and families who have experienced or been exposed to domestic violence. Individual, family and group treatment issues are discussed. Opportunities are available for training in court testimony, and in collaboration and advocacy with local service agencies involved with families who have experienced sexual abuse including, but not limited to, medical and Protective Service personnel, police, the courts.

2) Multidisciplinary Intern Seminar includes a series of weekly two-hour mini courses at Clifford Beers that are mandatory to psychology interns and other agency trainees.  Topics include evaluation of children and families, treatment of behavior disorders of childhood, sexual abuse treatment, training in court and expert testimony, family therapy, psychological trauma, and desensitization techniques.

3) Early Childhood Seminar (Clifford Beers) is designed to support predoctoral interns’ evidence-based clinical work with young children (ages 0-8) and their caregivers. The weekly one-hour seminar includes readings, discussion, and presentation of clinical work via videotaping.

4) Case Disposition (Clifford Beers) takes place once a week for one hour, where interns and other staff who do intakes present new clients followed by case assignment. This meeting provides interns with an opportunity to balance and tailor their case loads based on training needs.

5) In-service training is offered regularly on varied issues related to the diagnostic treatment of children and families at both Consortium sites. Recent in-service seminars have covered such topics as issues in group treatment, treatment of attachment disorders, and differential diagnosis of mood disorders in children.

Adult Track

1) Post Traumatic Stress Center Seminars (PTSC) meet for one hour twice weekly to provide ongoing training in: a) Theory, Research, and Practice on the Treatment of PTSD and Anxiety Disorders, and b) Treatment Methods (e.g., exposure treatments, drama and creative arts, psychodynamic and family systems techniques).

2) Case Conference – Interns will participate in a weekly one hour case conference of the agencies’ multidisciplinary staff. Weekly sessions focus on case presentation and consultation and didactic training around a variety of clinical issues.

3) Experiential training – Interns will learn and practice (role play) psychotherapeutic techniques in weekly one hour meetings.


Ongoing evaluation of the interns’ performance is an important part of the training process. Establishing learning goals and monitoring progress will be part of the intern/supervisor collaboration. Formal mid-year and final evaluations which consolidate this ongoing feedback will be written by supervisors and forwarded to the Director of Training at the interns’ respective universities.

Interns will be asked to complete formal evaluations of their training experience mid-year and at the end of the internship, which usually coincides with their school evaluations.


The application process follows APPIC guidelines and is completed online. The application should include:

1) APPIC Application for Psychology Internship.

2) A cover letter specifying why you have chosen to apply to our internship and whether you are applying to the Adult or Child Concentration.

The site director for the Child Concentration is: Christine Payne, Psy.D. Clifford Beers Clinic, Inc. 93 Edwards Street, New Haven, CT 06511 (203 772-1270)

The site director for the Adult Concentration is: David R. Johnson, Ph.D. Post Traumatic Stress Center, 19 Edwards Street New Haven, CT 06511 (203 624-2146)  

After a review of completed applications, selected candidates will be invited for an interview. Invitations for interviews will be made by December 15.